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Hunter of pirates

The 300-year-old published journal of a swashbuckling British captain who defeated pirates in the Caribbean and South Seas has been discovered.

Captain Woodes Rogers commanded two 36-gun ships and 333 men, and pursued pirates with gusto. His motto was "Piracy expelled, commerce restored". His pay was pirate loot.

That he appears to have been regarded by the Spanish as a pirate detracts slightly from the tale, but no one could doubt Rogers' courage and resourcefulness in entering a nest of 2,000 pirates in Fort Nassau and clearing them out.

The Captain did not have much luck selling his reminiscences, perhaps because he was an aficionado of the run-on sentence, but he was a friend of Defoe, and his rescue of Alexander Selkirk inspired Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.

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