Well Matey’s ... Olde Capt’n Eric Cobham (c.1700-1760) started off his illustrious career as a successful smuggler operating from Poole as young as 18 years old. He was known to be 'cautious and prudent' with a secret intrigue for the ladies. Stories of his smuggling activities included the landing of some 10,000 gallons of brandy at Poole but in time his vessel was captured by one of the King's cutters. This led the young Cobham to purchase a cutter ship from Bridport and set about using it to raid other ships. His first target was said to be an Indiaman, which he boarded off the Mersey. He made off with a bounty of £40,000, the crew of the ship were drowned and the ship scuttled.
Cobham made his way to Plymouth where he met a maiden called Maria Lindsey who he took on board. The captains new companion was a cause for complaint amongst the crew at first, as they were not extended the same privilege. Maria proved to become popular with the crew when she used her influence to reduce the severity of any punishment that was to be delved out on crew members and in some cases they were even excused.
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