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Captain John Coxon

    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. 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.

    Sailing north to Boca del Toro, they careened their ship, and were joined by pirates Sawkins and Harris. From this place the buccaneers began, in April, 1680, to land and cross the Isthmus of Darien, taking the town of Santa Maria on the way. Quarrels took place between Coxon, who was, no doubt, a hot-tempered man, and Harris, which led to blows. Coxon was also jealous of the popular young Captain Sawkins, and refused to go further unless he was allowed to lead one of the companies. After sacking the town of Santa Maria, the adventurers proceeded in canoes down the river to the Pacific. There they found two sloops which they stole and then proceeded toward Panama, and, with the utmost daring, attacked, and eventually took, the Spanish fleet of men-of-war one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of the buccaneers.

    Coxon now quarreled again with his brother leaders, and began a march back across the isthmus; his party of seventy malcontents included Dampier and Wafer, who each published accounts of their journey. By 1682, Coxon seems to have ingratiated himself with the Jamaican authorities, and was sent by the Governor of Jamaica to bring in a troublesome French pirate named Jean Hamlin, who was playing havoc with the English shipping in his vessel La Trompeuse, after two Royal Navy ships failed; Coxon was also unsuccessful. He continued his piratical deeds, often under the guise of a stolen letter of marque for several more years. He was caught and tried several times, but somehow this wiley rogue always managed to escape the gallows. No one is sure of what became of John Coxon or his last known ship. It's name was lost over time, but was said to be of eighty tons, armed with eight guns and a crew of about 100 men.




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