September 19th is now known throughout the world as “International Talk Like A Pirate Day”, a day in which we liberally splice our chatter with a few “Aaargghs” and “Ahoy there”s. But it’s a little known fact that Southampton boasts its very own pirate from the pages of the history books and his exploits set the trend for future privateers throughout the later Golden Age of Piracy.
A pirate from Southampton, he was from an earlier age than the Golden Age of Piracy and was active during the first half of the sixteenth century. Towards the end of the reign of Henry VIII he captured a Spanish treasure ship called the San Salvador. This was in revenge for the Spanish taking from him a French ship he had captured before. Captain Reneger and his crew took the booty from the treasure ship, which included lots of gold and sugar, back to England where it was stored in the Tower of London.
Captain Reneger was given a hero’s welcome for this and was promoted by the King to commander of the fleet. All of this infuriated the Spanish especially as England had previously made an agreement with them to stop their attacks on Spanish shipping. This was one of the incidents that set the scene for the later Golden Age of Piracy and the many attacks on Spanish ships by the English.
The Friends of Weston Shore are delighted to revive the memory of Captain Reneger, who is incorporated into our yearly Pirate fun day at the playground on Weston Shore. If anyone knows anymore about Captain Reneger please get in touch!