ARCHER, John Rose (1697-June 2nd, 1724)
John Rose Archer was born in Newfoundland in 1697. He was a fisherman by trade, but longed for a life of adventure. After a long night of ale and debauchery at a local tavern, Archer soon found he had been press ganged into piracy with Blackbeard the Pirate, also known as Edward Teach, and his crew. This was not such a dire situation as Archer had first feared and soon became quite good at being a pirate. After a time though, Archer decide to return to Newfoundland. In 1723 he was, for the time being, in honest employment on a Newfoundland fishing boat – Dolphin.
Something that would change Archer’s life forever was his unfortunate chance encounter with John Phillips. Phillips was only a beginner at piracy. He had originally sailed from West Country for Newfoundland in a ship that was captured by the pirate Anstis in the Good Fortune. On the night of August 29th, 1723, with four others, Phillips stole a sloop, the Dolphin, on the Banks of Newfoundland and sailed away. Phillips was chosen captain. The fishing crew of Dolphin were compelled by Captain Phillips to join the pirates.
Amongst these they had the good fortune to take prisoner, was an old pirate called John Rose Archer, who had served his pirate apprenticeship under the able tuition of the famous Blackbeard, and who they at once promoted to be quartermaster. This quick promotion caused trouble afterwards, for some of the original crew, particularly carpenter Fern, resented it. The pirates next sailed to Barbadoes, that happy hunting ground, but for three months never a sail did they meet with, so that they were almost starving for want of provisions, being reduced to a pound of dried meat a day amongst ten of them.
- Every Man Shall obey civil Command; the Captain shall have one full Share and a half of all Prizes; the Master, Carpenter, Boatswain and Gunner shall have one Share and quarter.
- II. If any Man shall offer to run away, or keep any Secret from the Company, he shall be maroon’d with one Bottle of Powder, one Bottle of Water, one small Arm, and Shot.
- III. If any Man shall steal any Thing in the Company, or game, to the Value of a Piece of Eight, he shall be maroon’d or shot.
- IV. If any time we shall meet another Marroner that Man shall sign his Articles without the Consent of our Company, shall suffer such Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit.