From the Fortress of Solitude
What is Valentines Day without a good pirate story? Tonight we learn about our 12th Great Grandfather Henry Strangeways - its "Yo ho Yo ho A Pirate's Life for me". We begin with the Relationship Chart.
Sir Henry Strangwayes (1506 - 1544)
is your 12th great grandfather
Son of Sir Henry
Son of Giles
Daughter of Sir John
Son of Grace
Son of Edmund
Daughter of Thomas
Son of Rebecca
Son of Cuthbert
Son of Cuthbert
Son of Matthew
William Jonathan Williamson, son of George Matthew (1858-1934)
married Effie Helen Victor (1867-1944)
Ima Della, Vinnie, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie Elvery, Emmett, Walter, Charles, Maurice
Henry Strangways (died in 1562) also sometimes known as Stranwish, was an English Gentleman Pirate who attacked Spanish and other shipping. He was repeatedly imprisoned, and pardoned by highly-placed friends during his approximately eight year piratical career from about 1552 to 1560.
Strangways began his life as a pirate in 1552 plying the Irish Sea for plunder. There he joined forces with the Cornish Killigrews. His achievements were such that two men of war were prepared at Portsmouth to apprehend Strangways. He next appears in the historical record in 1555 imprisoned in the Tower of London. However nothing came of it and it is probable he had highly placed friends helping him out. In 1559 he was condemned to death after being arrested with 80 of his men, but he managed to avoid the sentence just before execution.
That same year n 1559 he was recorded as wanting to "steal an island" from the King of Spain. However, piracy seems to have taken precedence, he attacked not a Spanish island but Spanish ships. This is known to us because of an official complaint and request for damages which was made out to Philip II of Spain in which a ship, belonging to Johannes de Bagnes, was plundered by Strangeways.
Stangeways died a free man in 1562, pardoned once again by well placed friends, this time the highest, Queen Elizabeth I. The Royal Pardon after his death, the many releases from jail, and the seemingly complicit co-operation by authorities has suggested to later historians that Strangways reputation is as much a Privateer as a pirate.