Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration

Pirate Hunters > William Rhett

William Rhett


Colonel William Rhett (4 September 1666 - 12 January 1722) was a British plantation owner and pirate hunter in the Province of South Carolina between the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Rhett arrived in the New World in 1698 along with his wife Sarah and began farming rice. He soon rose within the local community and became a member of the South Carolina Assembly. He was also a colonel in the Provincial militia and the receiver-general of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, surveyor, and comptroller of customs for Carolina and the Bahama Islands.

Rhett was also a capable naval commander and In 1706 he would command a small flotilla which managed to beat off a dual French and Spanish assault on the capital of South Carolina called Charles Town. Following this in 1716 he would take two vessels called the Henry and Sea Nymph that each held eight guns and sixty or seventy crew and set out to capture the infamous Stede Bonnet. Eventually the pirate hunters would encounter their prey two years later and capture them in what became known as the Battle of Cape Fear River in 1718.

Rhett would return Bonnet and his crew back to the port of Charles Town where they would be executed for piracy. Rhett's colonial house that was built in 1716 still exists in modern day Charleston today, and is located at 54 Hasell St. The house has been fully restored and is currently in private ownership.


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