Telescope will help tell story of Orkney’s hapless pirate
A TELESCOPE belonging to a “hapless” Scots pirate has returned to his home island.
Orkney pirate John Gow ruled the seas for a short period 300 years ago before being captured and hanged.
One of his captors, John Dennison of Westray in Orkney, took his telescope as a memento, and it remained with the family until now.
His ancestor, Jean MacLeod, said it had been kept under the stairs of her London home for years. She has donated it to the Stromness Museum, near where Gow was brought up.
Bryce Wilson, of the museum, said: “This is a tremendous donation and will help tell the story of John Gow, who was a fairly hapless pirate.
“But he was famous in his day, albeit for a very short time.”
Gow is understood to have been born in Wick in 1698, but his family moved to Stromness when he was a boy and he took to the lure of the sea.
He was a second mate on the trading ship Caroline in 1724 when he led a mutinous gang into murdering the captain.
Renaming the vessel Revenge, Captain Gow became famed for acts of piracy in seas surrounding Spain, France and Portugal.
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