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Diver finds lost wreck of pirate king

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: June 02, 2012

Todd Stevens diving the wreck of the John,  believed to be the flagship of Captain John Mucknell's pirate fleet

Todd Stevens diving the wreck of the John, believed to be the flagship of Captain John Mucknell's pirate fleet

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Maritime archeologists are to investigate the site of a wreck at the Isles of Scilly to discover whether it is the remains of a ship belonging to a legendary pirate king.

English Heritage will analyse the site on the heels of extensive detective work by local diver Todd Stevens which suggest it is the final resting place of the John, a 44-gun frigate.

The vessel, under the command of Captain John Mucknell, was the flagship of a pirate fleet which launched a reign of terror out of the islands during the turmoil of the English Civil War in the mid-1600s.

She was lost after a fierce battle with three ships sent by Parliament to hunt her down.

Alison James, maritime archeologist with English Heritage, said if investigations confirm it is the John, it could end up being Britain's newest protected shipwreck site.

"It is of interest because it is a very early vessel," she said.

"We know the John was a Royalist vessel and we know it was lost in 1645.

"This is a preliminary investigation, but it could turn out to be of huge historical significance."

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