“The Demon of the Seas”


On board the pirate ship Demon of the Seas Captain Moore outrun ships of war until "two men of war were fitted out By Edward, England's King" to bring him in. The pirates destroy those ships but are destroyed by a third.


Huntington states, without evidence, that the King Edward involved is Edward VI (reigned 1547-1553). The difficulty in this, of course, is that Edward VI died while he was still only a boy; he didn't fit out anything in his own right.

Nonetheless, if an English King Edward is meant, it almost has to be Edward VI. Edward VII (reigned 1901-1910) is obviously too late. The Edwards prior to Edward VI are largely eliminated by the mention of guns. Edward I (1272-1307) and Edward II (1307-1327) simply didn't have cannon. They began to be used in the reign of Edward III (1327-1377), but not on shipboard -- they were still too experimental.

By the time of Edward IV (1461-1470, 1471-1483) and Edward V (1483), cannon were well-established as weapons, but only on land; they had been mounted on ships, but hardly used. It's surprising to hear guns mentioned even in connection with Edward VI's navy, since this is before the Spanish Armada really caused naval gunnery to be tested -- but at least it's possible.

I know of no famous pirate named Moore (excluding the Captain of the _Flying Cloud_, which is obviously too late). Could it possibly be an error for "Moor" -- i.e. one of the corsairs from North Africa? - RBW


  1. Ives-NewBrunswick, pp. 151-153, "The Demon of the Seas" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 78-79, "The Demon of the Sea" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Roud #1962
  4. BI, IvNB151


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1847 (Journal of William Histed of the Cortes)
Keywords: fight navy death pirate
Found in: Canada(Mar)