Woodes Rogers

Woodes Rogers

English sea captain, privateer and colonial governor Woodes Rogers (c. 1679 – 1732), son of a prosperous merchant captain who made his money with the Newfoundland fishing fleet, was apprenticed to Bristol mariner John Yeamans in November 1697. 

He completed his time in November 1704 and married Sarah Whetstone, daughter of Rear Admiral Sir William Whetstone, Britain’s commander-in-chief in the West Indies the following January. 

The marriage enhanced the family's standing and allowed Rogers to become a freeman, or voting citizen, of Bristol. 

After his father died at sea, Rogers inherited his ships and business but losses to the French during the War of the Spanish Succession, although he does not record their extent in his book, prompted him to turn to privateering to remedy an uncomfortable financial position.

He is best known for his privateering voyage around the world (1708 – 1711) which set out to break the Spanish and French monopoly of trade in the South Sea. 

Setting Out

© Ian Hughes 2017