Captain Peter Easton

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Peter Easton
Bornc. 1570 (1570)
Died28 January 1620 (1620-01-29) (aged 49)
Piratical career
NicknamePirate Admiral
AllegianceKingdom of England
Years active1610-1614
Base of operationsWest Indies and the Mediterranean Sea
CommandsHappy Adventure

Why Captain Peter Easton[edit]

A favorite pirate candidate of Marty Lagina, Easton had a crew of almost 5,000 who worked the coast of the North American Eastern Seaboard. [1][2] Easton became a legend and nobody of law was able to stop his reign of piracy. Captain Peter Easton was commissioned by the Queen of England in 1602, to take three British Warships to Newfoundland to enforce a British peace among the lawless fisherman of many nations who were living along the hundreds of miles of coastline.

By 1610 the British referred to Easton as a “Notorious Pirate”. He had become the most powerful pirate in the Western Hemisphere. He was very wealthy and had thousands of men in his crew. He had a fleet of forty ships which were stationed near Bristol at the mouth of the river Avon. From this site he was able to hold up all the traffic in the English Channel.

In 1610, Easton turned to piracy to survive and eventually established a home base in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. Easton built a crew of pirates and acquired a fleet of ships that enabled him to control the waters off the Eastern Seaboard.

In 1612, Easton moved his home base to Ferryland, Newfoundland. He plundered ships and recruited new pirates that served to enhance his empire. Easton and his crew were very fierce. Easton's greatest conquest was the capture of three Spanish ships that held such an amount of treasures for him and his crew, that he had amassed a fortune that would last a lifetime.

Easton was the leading corsair of his day and one of the most famous in the whole annals of piracy. He possessed all the requisite skills for his infamous trade but he was neither a blood-thirsty monster nor a swashbuckling cut-throat. On the contrary, he proved himself an outstanding navigator, an able, brave, and bold seaman, an expert tactician, and highly competent in gun-laying.

Based on this history Easton:

  • Had the resources (thousands of men)
  • Had a considerable amount of treasure to hide
  • Home-based in Newfoundland, just a short distance from Oak Island
  • Captured Spanish Treasure and ships that fit the Oak Island narrative.

There is no hard evidence that Easton could have contributed to the workings of Oak Island, but there is certainly enough circumstantial evidence to consider Easton as a possibility just as much as anyone else


  2. Nottingham University, Middleton MSS, Mi X 1/1–66. PRO, H.C.A. 1/47, 14/42 give details of his raids on English and French vessels returning from Newfoundland in 1610 and on the French in Newfoundland in 1612 (on the latter see also PRO, P.C.2/27 and CSP, Ireland, 1611–14, 383); H.C.A. 13/42 concerns his raids on the Dutch, 1612; H.C.A. 24/76, no.160; C.O.1/1, no.179; CSP, Dom., 1611–18, 119, 158; CSP, Venice, 1610–13; 1613–15; 1619–21. The life and works of Sir Henry Mainwaring, ed. G. E. Manwaring (2v., Navy Records Soc., LIV, 1920, LVI, 1922), I. Purchas, Pilgrimes (1905–7), XIX, 417. Westward hoe for Avalon in the New-found-land as described by Captain Richard Whitbourne, of Exmouth, Devon, 1622, ed. T. Whitburn (London, 1870). Richard Whitbourne, A discourse and discovery of New-found-land (London, 1620).