Luke Ryan, Privateer (or an Irish Bucaneer )

Paper 205

Lecture – 1998

Author – Coyle, Eugene

This is a paper which was published in History Ireland in 1999. In 1781 Luke Ryan, from Rush, captain of a French Privateer captured the Nancy, a merchant brig from Aberdeen and demanded a ransom of 300 guineas. Overcome in his turn by two fully-armed British men of war, he was put on trial for mayhem, murder, mutiny and treason. However, he was subsequently pardoned because of various political expediencies caused by the American and French peace negotiations. He took legal action to try to obtain moneys which he said were owed to him but was declared bankrupt and died in the King’s Prison in Hampshire in 1789.