Caribbean Buccaneers in Plymouth Colony with Stephen O’Neill. Local historian, Stephen O’Neill, will tell of Captain Cromwell and his band of buccaneers in Plymouth in 1646.
In May of 1646, three ships sailed into Plymouth Harbor, commanded by Captain Thomas Cromwell. The ships were returning from the West Indies where after seizing many “prizes.” They were Caribbean Buccaneers. They were pirates in Plymouth Colony. And like pirates of fiction, they spent their time drinking and brawling. This surprising visit of West Indies Buccaneers shows how closely connected Plymouth Colony was to events throughout the Atlantic World. To the English, Capt. Cromwell’s ships were legal privateers, but to the Spanish they nothing but pirates. Hear the fascinating history about Capt. Cromwell and his Buccaneer crew and their riotous stay in early Plymouth.
Stephen O’Neill is a graduate of Boston College and Boston University. He is currently the Executive Director of the Hanover Historical Society. In 2019, he was the Guest Curator for the archaeology exhibit In Small Things Remembered at the Alden House Historic Site in Duxbury. In 2018, O’Neill was the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities funded Scholar-in-Residence at the Old Colony History Museum in Taunton. He taught as Senior Lecturer in History at Suffolk University in Boston and was formerly the Associate Director & Curator of Collections at Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth. O’Neill has curated more than twenty temporary exhibitions and guest curated exhibits at The Old State House in Boston and Heritage Museums & Gardens on Cape Cod. He has lectured widely on Plymouth Colony and Pirate history, and has lead tours of many burying grounds and cemeteries. In 2020, O’Neill contributed the essay “Day-to-Day Life in the 17th Century” to Duxbury: Our Pilgrim Story. Also in 2020, O’Neill authored The Life of Peregrine White: The First Englishman Born in New England, published by the Marshfield Historical Society. O’Neill is a lifelong resident of the South Shore, a member of the Old Colony Club in Plymouth, a life member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and a Proprietor of the Boston Athenaeum.
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