Captain Henry Johnson, alias "Henriques the Englishman."

A West Indian pirate, born in the North of Ireland.

Commanded the Two Brothers, a Rhode Island-built sloop, eighteen guns, crew of ninety, mostly Spaniards. On March 20th, 1730, he took the John and Jane (Edward Burt, master), from Jamaica, off Swan Island. The John and Jane was armed with eight carriage and ten swivel guns, and a crew of only twenty-five men. After a gallant resistance for five hours the pirates boarded and took the English ship. The few survivors were stripped naked, and preparations made to hang them in pairs. This was prevented by Captain Johnson and an English pirate called Echlin. There was a Mrs. Groves, a passenger, in the John and Jane, whose husband and the English surgeon had both been killed at the first onslaught of the pirates. This poor lady was hidden in the hold of the ship during the action, and was only informed afterwards of the death of her husband. The pirates now dragged her on deck, "stript her in a manner naked," and carried her as a prize to the Spanish captain, Pedro Poleas, who immediately took her to the "great cabin and there with horrible oaths and curses insolently assaulted her Chastity." Her loud cries of distress brought Captain Johnson into the cabin, who, seeing what was on hand, drew his pistol and threatened to blow out the brains of any man who attempted the least violence upon her. He next commanded everything belonging to Mrs. Groves to be returned to her, which was done - including her clothing. The gallant conduct of Johnson is the more surprising and pleasing since he had the reputation of being as bloody and ruthless a pirate as ever took a ship or cut an innocent throat. He only had one hand, and used to fire his piece with great skill, laying the barrel on his stump, and drawing the trigger with his right hand.

In all the American "plantations" there were rewards offered for him alive or dead.

The end of this "penny-dreadful" pirate is unrecorded, but was probably a violent one, as this type of pirate seldom, if ever, died in his bed.

Taken from The Pirates' Who's Who:Giving Particulars Of The Lives and Deaths Of The Pirates And Buccaneers by Philip Gosse. Originally published by Burt Franklin of 235 East 44th St., New York 10017 in 1924 and in the public domain.

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