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July 22, 2014utbf_team@hotmail.com

Basil Ringrose The Surgeon

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Basil Ringrose was a English buccaneer and surgeon. Ringrose wrote the rare account which was added as a fourth part of The Buccaneers of America in the second English edition. It can be found bound with the first three parts but scarcely as a separate book. Entitled “The South Seas Waggoner”.
Ringrose wrote about his adventures with Bartholomew Sharp’s expedition across the Isthmus of Panama in 1680-1682. He drew numerous charts and views during these ventures. This account also provides us with a description of daily activities by the buccaneers.
Ringrose was killed during an attack on the city Santiago against the Spanish in Mexico
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  • Roy Ringrose
    Reply

    I have a question, where did you find that Basil was a surgeon?
    I have not found anything.

    Roy Ringrose

  • Wayne Comrie
    Reply

    There were many surgeons on Ringrose’s piratical voyage. After the mutiny and John Watling voted captain, there was an ill fated attack on Arica where most of the surgeons were killed looting and searching for apothecary supplies (Sharp) or tending the wounded (William Dick) or too drunk to pay heed to the call to retreat (Ringrose) or possibly all of these. Sharp was re-elected captain during the fight at Arica, but a large portion of the crew members were not happy with his leadership as the adventure had produced little profit. The pirates agreed to a vote where the majority would keep the ship and the losers would be given a launch and two canoes. Sharp won the vote, but among those choosing to leave were Lionel Wafer (remaining surgeon) and William Dampier. Ringrose would have joined them except for his fear of the natives and his dislike of being rain soaked (they left as the rainy season was starting). Ringrose being educated performed the role of surgeon when no one of better skill was to be had. Doubtless being an excellent observer and practical he picked up some things from those with trained surgical skills. He certainly helped other pirates with maladies like sea sickness and the ‘gripes.’
    Roy, I note your last name is Ringrose. Are you related to Basil? My paternal grandmother was Bertha Jane Ringrose and often spoke of her famous piratical kin, which is the reason for my interest. He is immensely interesting and mysterious in a certain way. I am interested in where he acquired his education and skills as a sailor/navigator. I am also writing a biography, though not for publication, for my grand nieces and nephews and family. It started as a one or two page article and has so far blossomed into over a hundred pages.

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