Legal and Financial Difficulties

The voyage's success largely stemmed from Rogers' success in constraining his crews' buccaneering instincts and piratical inclinations by cultivating a tight community aboard his ships, monitoring and strictly punishing any transgressions.

His accomplishments in that regard led later privateers to consult his narrative and imitate his methods on their voyages.

Back in England, having made about £14,000 from the voyage, Rogers should have been comfortable, but a combination of circumstances conspired against him. 

His father-in-law had died while he was away, his family had run up debts in his absence, and his dealings with the Dutch in Batavia violated the British East India Company's monopoly. 

The legal battle that ensued saw the East India Company picked up £6,000 to settle their claim. 

Another legal battle saw two hundred members of his crew claim that they had not received their fair share of the expedition profits. 

When that action succeeded, and the profits from his book were not enough to recoup his previous losses Rogers was forced into bankruptcy and had to sell his home in Bristol to support his family.

Going After Pirates

© Ian Hughes 2017