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John Coxon

(Captain, One of the most famous "Brethren of the Coast")

We pick up the story of John Coxon (sometimes John Coxen) around 1677, when, in the company of other English Buccaneers, he was involved in the surprise attack and plunder of the town of Santa Marta on the Spanish Main. Coxon was actually responsible for the kidnapping of Santa Marta's Governor and Bishop.

A couple years later, Coxon met up with several other Privateers in Jamaica for the eventual raid in the Gulf of Honduras. This raid was a quite successful. Within the same year, Coxon and his crew joined forces with such noteworthy companions as Sharp and Essex, and set sail to sack Porto Bello. The attack was an arduous task. It was suicidal to sail into Porto Bello and attack from the sea, so the pirates were forced to land twenty leagues away. This led to a four day march through the jungle, three days of which were without food. By the time the pirates arrived, their feet were a bloody mess and they were half starved.

Despite these adversities, the pirates plundered the town in quick order and made their escape before the nearby fleet could react. Their plunder came to about 100 pieces of eight per man. This last act prompted the Governor of Jamaica, Lord Carlisle, to issue warrants for Coxon and his crew. Shortly afterwards, Sir Henry Morgan issued similar warrants as acting Governor. Nothing became of these warrants.

Not satisfied with his latest take in Porto Bello, Coxon again met up with some of his brethren and proceeded to plunder the town of Santa Maria and crossed the Isthmus of Darien.

Coxon was a hot tempered man and had a falling out with the other sea captains, (Captain Sawkins and Harris) and the three went their separate ways. Sawkins and Harris returned to the Atlantic side of the Isthmus while Coxon continued by Indian canoe to the Pacific Coast.

There they found two sloops which they stole and then proceeded toward Panama where they attacked the Spanish Fleet and after a brief battle actually captured it. Coxon once again had a falling out with his brother pirates and along with 78 other men took off on foot to return across the Isthmus.

By now, Coxon was considered a hero in Jamaica and was given letters to attack a troublesome French pirate Jean Hamlin, although he never found him. Coxon continued his piratical deeds, often under the guise of a letter of marque for several more years. He was often arrested but never hanged. His ship's name was lost over the ages but his last known ship was of eighty tons, armed with eight guns and a crew of 97 men.

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The only author and editor of all pages on the site. Most of what I write about is based on years of book reading on the topic. My first web page was published back in 1994.

Updated: 04 September 2022