George Shelvocke Circumnavigation
The Speedwell started its voyage around the world in 1719 and was captained by George Shelvocke. He was given the commission under the leadership of Captain John Clipperton in the Success. A storm when they were only six days out gave him the opportunity to slip away from his unwanted commodore. When the Speedwell was off Brazil, Shelvocke attacked a portuguese merchant ship and robbed them of money and silk. He engineered a "mutiny" among the men that would give him a greater percentage of the voyages' profits then starting plundering the Pacific Coast of south america. In May 1720 the Speedwell sailed to Juan Fernandez to rest the crew. While there the anchor cable parted and the Speedwell was wrecked on the rocks. They recovered enough timber and canvas to make another smaller craft.
In November they captured a two hundred ton merchant ship off Peru named the Jesu maria and rechristened her the Happy Return. Shelvocke sailed to the island of Coiba near Panama to rest up and recuperate. Sailing north, Shelvocke boarded a spanish ship the Sacra Familia( despite the fact that peace had recently been signed between Spain and England), and he once again transferred his crew and supplies to the new ship and away he went with his fourth ship. He sacked another spanish ship the Concepcion de Recova in May 1721 and stole $100,000 in coins from her.
Shelvocke then sailed north to California so that he could rest up and refit the ship. With the Sacra Familia Shelvocke sailed across the Pacific, where he had plans to sell the ship and distribute the spoils of the voyage with the crew. He did a sneaky deal with the chinese customs for an exhorbitant harbour fee of thousands of pounds which in reality was hundreds and he pocketed the difference. Shelvocke managed to scrape together more than seven thousand pounds from his nefarious deeds and skullduggery. The men of the crew received from three hundred to a thousand pounds each - well below what they really were owed.
Shelvocke returned to England on an East India company ship with his ill-gotten gains in July 1722. He was arrested for piracy but was soon released because there was not enough evidence to convict him. He was again put in prison for charges brought against him by the owners of the Speedwell but he escaped and ran away to the continent.Shelvocke did return home to England years later and wrote a book about his travels and adventures while circumnavigating the globe.