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"Australian convict pirates in Japan: evidence of 1830..." Topic

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978 hits since 13 Jun 2017
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2017 12:12 p.m. PST

…voyage unearthed

"Its maverick skipper was William Swallow, a onetime British cargo ship apprentice and naval conscript in the Napoleonic wars, who in a piracy trial in London the following year told of a samurai cannonball in Japan knocking a telescope from his hand.

Swallow's fellow mutineers, two of whom were the last men hanged for piracy in Britain, backed his account of having been to Japan.

Western researchers, citing the lack of any Japanese record of the Cyprus, had since ruled the convicts' story a fabrication.

But that conclusion has been shattered by Nick Russell, a Japan-based English teacher and history buff, in a remarkable piece of sleuthing that has won the endorsement of Australian diplomatic officials and Japanese and Australian archival experts.

Russell, after almost three years of puzzling over an obscure but meticulous record of an early samurai encounter with western interlopers, finally joined the dots with the Cyprus through a speculative Google search last month…"
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Interesting idea for wargaming? (smile)


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2017 12:25 p.m. PST

Nice work! I think all the necessary castings are available, too.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2017 1:25 p.m. PST

In 1830 they "the last men hanged for piracy in Britain"? Wow, I would have expected capital punishment to have been applied for piracy for much longer than that.

And the ship lies 900m from the man's house! Amazing.

Yeah, I can see this being a very interesting game of cat and mouse on the high seas. :)


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2017 2:21 p.m. PST

Cacique, I bet it was--but locally. I doubt Chinese pirates caught in the Straits went further than Hong Kong or Singapore.

I was thinking more of the crew of the Swallow vs samurai. Foraging expeditions ashore? Attempts at boarding? All kinds of possibilities for the wargamer with some samurai castings, a handful of more or less Napoleonic sailors a small ship and a longboat or so.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2017 3:08 p.m. PST



Henry Martini13 Jun 2017 10:12 p.m. PST

Some escaped convicts turned river pirate within the colony of New South Wales, too.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2017 10:43 a.m. PST

Happy you enjoyed it boys!. (smile)


Beaumap Inactive Member22 Jun 2017 1:24 a.m. PST

Very interesting indeed. Although a bit of 'back-filling' of history going on here. A British Scholar discovers details of a British ship flying the Union Jack, hi-jacked by a British captain, but a-ha it has sailed from Tasmania. So everybody's suddenly Australian. It's like saying Julius Caesar was British because he left Britain! Although I am glad the Australian press took up the story, otherwise I probably wouldn't be reading it today!

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2017 11:21 a.m. PST

Glad you like it too my friend! (smile9


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