PortCities London

London and the pirates

Captain Johnson's classic history of the pirates

Johnson's best-seller

The Active privateer passing Tilbury
View full size imageThe Active privateer passing Tilbury. © NMM
In 1724 a book was published and put on sale at Charles Rivington's bookshop beside St Paul's Cathedral. It was entitled A General History of the Most Notorious Pyrates and it became a best-seller. New editions came out each year.

Written in London by the mysterious Captain Charles Johnson, it was based on the evidence of pirate trials, on newspaper reports and on interviews with sailors who had been captured by pirates.

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