Jack Ward

Jack Ward, Yusuf Reis (d.1622 CE (ra) a famous British Muslim adventurer. He was press ganged into (forced to join) the Royal Navy in 1603 CE, but was an experienced privateer who had previously fought with the approval of Queen Elizabeth I.

After a short time he charismatically lead some 30 other men in fleeing from their enforced naval life on a 25 ton ship, was voted captain and thus began his new career as an outlaw and a Corsair.

He named his ship ‘Little John’ and avoided English ships, whilst fighting against the Spanish navy. He later became a Muslim and took on many English and Dutch sailors in North Africa. He became an associate of the Bey of Tunis and his fame in England spread, some criticize him for becoming a Muslim, whilst others praised him as a defender of the seas for English shipping. He eventually passed away in Tunis aged seventy.

In the taverns of England his tales were told and ballads were sung, like those of Robin Hood. He was a small man with a large personality, who dressed in Turkish fashion.

He was loyally served by a large force of mainly British Muslim privateers. Edward Coxere noted that drank water, not wine. Jack Ward was to be long remembered as a great Corsair who had for a time mastered the shipping of much of the Mediterranean.

further reading

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