Dirk Chivers

Dutch Pirate

Born: Unknown

Died: Unknown

The Dutch Pirate Dirk Chivers signed aboard the Portsmouth Adventure in early 1694, under the command of Captain Joseph Farrell. The ship was leaving Rhode Island and heading for the distant Red Sea. Once there, Captain Farrell teamed with the infamous Pirate Captain Henry Every and helped to capture two ships rich in booty around June, 1695.

Unfortunately, while returning to Rhode Island, the ship was wrecked on Mayotte in the Comoro Islands. Farrell was eventually rescued by Every and continued on with him, but Chivers choe to stay behind on Mayotte.

Toward the end of 1695, Chivers signed aboard the 28 gun ship Resolution and was made her captain a few months later renaming her the Soldado. As a Captain, Chivers enjoyed much success, plundering several ships rich with booty before teaming up with another Pirate vessel commanded by John Hoar.

Soon after the two vessels teamed up, they captaured a pair of East India Company ships. This presented a problem for the two Captains, as niether wanted to take possession of the large and slow moving cargo vessels, but given their immense value neither could commit to destroying them either. Realizing the ship's high value to their legel owners, a decision was made to attempt to ransom the ships back to the East India Company. Unfortunately, the governor of Aden surprised them by refusing to pay the ransom they demanded, forcing the Pirates to burn the ships to the waterline.

Of note regarding cruelty to the prisoners captured by Pirates, one of the captives from the seized vessels was the English Captain Sawbridge. According to historical records, Captain Sawbridge's constant complaining so annoyed Chiver's crew that they eventually sewed up the man's lips with a sail needle to silence him.

Parting ways from John Hoar, Chivers and his crew sailed for India. They arrived in the harbor at Calcutta in November, 1696. There Chivers seized four ships with their crews and demanded 10,000 random for their safe return. Chivers sent the following message to governor stating:

"We acknowledge no country, having sold our own, and as we are sure to be hanged if taken, we shall have no scruple in murdering and destroying if our demands are not granted in full."

Not swayed by Chivers' threat, the governor sent in 10 Indian ships to attack him and reclaim the stolen property. When they sailed into the harbor, Chivers instantly knew that he was outgunned and fled, taking moderate damages in his escape. He chose to head to for the Pirate Stronghold of Saint Mary's Island (off the coast of Madagascar) to make repairs, arriving there in the summer of 1697.

After making repairs to his vessel, Chivers quickly put back to sea and managed to captured an English trading vessel named the Sedgewick in April 1698. Apparently the captain of the captured Sedgewick was very persuasive and Chivers' crew voted to let him keep his ship.

That September, Chivers joined forces with the fmaous Pirate Captain Robert Culliford. Together they captured the Great Mohammed and 130,000. Chivers took command of the new ship and renamed her the New Soldado and returned to Saint Mary's Island.

When four British battleships arrived at Saint Mary's in September 1699, Chivers sunk the New Soldado in the harbor to block the passage. Chivers was offered a royal pardon which he accepted and returned home on the merchantman Vine.

Click on the Piece of Eight to return to the Main Page