Captain Jack Redmen's background and information
Jack Henry Redmen was born in 1695 in a small village near Plymouth. The eldest of three sons born to a poor fisherman, he worked on a fishing boat from an early age. His father deemed education important for building a better life, so Jack and his brothers were allowed to attend school when they weren't needed on the boat. All three brothers excelled at reading and writing.
Jack and his brothers shared one common trait, all three were restless. When not working or studying they would roam the countryside pretending they were on some grand adventure, like searching for lost treasure or fighting highwaymen. As they got older, they each developed their own interests as well.
Jack's youngest brother Jim desired wealth. When he was young he would wander the marketplace watching and learning from the traders. He was also involved in the organizing of back ally games of chance and other similar ventures. Later he signed on as a crewmen on a trading ship. He worked on this ship for several years until saving enough money to buy his own small ship and start his own company.
His middle brother John had a bit of a temper. He was always in trouble for fighting with other children. He disliked working on his father's fishing boat. He didn't like being tethered in one place. John took an interest in the stories of pirates told around the local tavern. He liked the idea of being free to go wherever he liked whenever he liked. He ended up working in that same tavern until he was 18 years of old, then he disappeared.
Jack possessed the same restless spirit as his younger brothers. He desired wealth and was on more than one occasion in trouble for fighting. Jack was a bit more controlled than his brothers though. He was somewhat of a stoic. He took a keen interest in history, particularly that of a militaristic nature. Jack spent a good amount of his time reading about soldiers, naval captains, and all sorts of great battles.
As he was of proper wit and adventurous spirit, he decided to join the Royal Navy when he was 14 years old. His father could not afford to send him to the Naval Academy, so young Jack opted to travel the path of the enlisted man. Much to his surprise, after being evaluated by the recruitment officer in Plymouth, he was proposed as a Midshipman due to his prior sailing experience and strong grasp of reading and mathematics. He was tasked with finding a Captain to sponsor him in order to make the rank official. As luck would have it, a newly promoted Master and Commander with his first commissioned vessel was preparing to leave port and young Jack was able to convince him to take him along after plying him with several drinks at the local tavern.
He served 6 years aboard a light frigate, mostly in the Mediterranean. He was present at numerous minor engagements towards the tail end of the War of Spanish Secession. He proved himself to be a capable sailor with leadership potential and was allowed to take the Lieutenant exam in 1715. He passed and received his commission. He was assigned to the HMS Orford, a 70 gun 3rd rate ship of the line, under Captain Edward Falkingham. In 1718 the Orford was present in the Battle of Cape Passaro, where Jack distinguished himself during the wounding of his Captain and two other Lieutenants. He was able to keep the ship from sustaining further damage and brought it safely back to port.
Shortly after the Battle of Cape Passaro, Jack was promoted to Master and Commander. He was sent to the Caribbean to bolster the numbers of the British Royal Navy in 1720, and given command of the HMS Hunter, a 12 gun sloop of war built to chase smugglers. He was based out of Jenny Bay, and eventually served in the Yucatan, and Antilles, mainly hunting pirates. In 1721 he was called back to England. He returned to the Caribbean in 1723 in command of the HMS Orion, a 24 gun frigate.
Early in 1723 he applied to the elite Saint George Squadron of the White. The squadron was made up not just of naval officers, but privateers and high ranking businessmen. Their mission was to the crown and they worked through many channels both public and secret to achieve it. Upon acceptance, Jack was re-assigned to Port Royal, where the squadron was based. Jack's new task became blockading enemy ports and harassing their supply lines and navy. He fought many battles in service to the squadron and the crown and earned a reputation as a fierce fighter and tactitican. He eventually rose to the rank of Post Captain in the British Royal Navy.
Jack retired from the Saint George Squadron of the White and the navy in late 1723. He had suffered a number of wounds in his time of service and no longer felt the drive he had as a young captain. He returned to England with the intent of settling down and living a life of ease. Here Jack was involved in a variety of entrepreneurial ventures including opening a general store, an inn, and a shipping company. None did well.
Jack began spending most of his time in taverns. He met women, but never married. He drank, he gambled, but mostly he found himself remembering past glories, and friends long gone. Early in 1725 he came to the realization that he was not meant for a life of ease and comfort. His spirit was too strong, his loyalty too deep. Jack still had some fight in him, and fight he would until the very end.
Wasting no time, he tracked down an old friend from his time in the navy who was now an admiral. Jack asked him to re-commission him as an officer in the navy. Though his friend tried to talk him out of it, he finally relented. He re-commissioned Jack under the following conditions: Jack would be re-commissioned as a Master and Commander rather than Post Captain, he would have to find his own way to Port Royal and captain whatever vessel the navy could scrounge up there, and he would have to earn his way back into the elite Saint George Squadron of the White.
Around this time Jim Redmen reappeared. Jack bumped into his brother in a tavern one night where he sat pondering how to get himself back to Port Royal. Their reunion was full of questions as they had not seen each other in many years. Jim had never made his fortune. He had just returned from a trading venture in Africa that ended in failure, and was considering a break from his travels until Jack mentioned the Caribbean. Unbeknownst to Jack, Jim had been in the Caribbean around 1722. While his previous ventures there had yielded nothing, he knew there was wealth to be had in this region of the world and wanted nothing more than to return to it. This settled it. Jack and Jim would return to the Caribbean together.
The brothers gathered a crew and provisions for Jim's ship, the Eminence, and set sail in late fall 1724. After a brief stopover and a few minor exploits in Morocco, they reached the Guyana region in late December. Here Jim stumbled across a business opportunity and decided to remain for the time being. Jack hitched a ride on a naval courier ship to Port Royal.
Jack arrived back in Port Royal on January 25, 1725 with little more than a sea chest and the old uniform on his back. He immediately sought out the office of the Saint George Squadron and re-applied to their ranks. The state of British conquest in the region was dire and they were glad to have Jack back. After a brief probationary period, he was granted full membership again. As he was now a Master and Commander, Jack was given command of a 34 gun frigate, the HMS Defiance, rather than a larger rated ship of the line like he previously captained. He was assigned the task of hunting down veteran enemy captains who were causing problems for the British fleets in the area and hampering British expansion.
Several months after Jack's return to Port Royal, Jim sent word of his exploits. He was in the process of setting up a mining and processing operation in Puerto Cabeza, and with a bit more capital it would soon be underway.
He also informed Jack that he had found their long lost brother John. One night in a tavern in Bartica, Jim had a disagreement with with another patron over British foreign tax policy. The patron just so happened to be a local crime lord. Jim found himself outnumbered and surrounded by armed henchman until a rough captain from across the room stepped in. This fellow sent three of the aggressors flying with one blow from his sword scabbard. He and Jim drew swords together and the crime lord yielded. Jim didn't even have to turn and look to know the hard captain was his brother John.
As it turned out, John now held a letter of marque. He was a privateer in command of a sloop of war based in the Guyana region. He told Jim a bit of his tale over a tankard of ale.
His disappearance all those years ago was not intentional. He was more or less kidnapped by the East India Company and forced into their service for, as John told it, "commandeering" a keg of rum off their dock in Plymouth. He was forced to labor before the mast on one of their trading vessel's bound for the East Indies. In Singapore they were engaged by a Dutch East India Company galleon. In boarding combat John fought with such ferocity, his fellow crew members and the officers themselves followed him to victory. The captain offered John the position of Sergeant at Arms for his service. John instead jumped ship with another "commandeered" keg of rum in tow.
John spent the next few years wandering through the Indies trading with the locals and dabbling in smuggling. He eventually landed in the Philippines where he fell in love with a young Philippino woman, who he married. The French however were trying to extend their influence in the area by eliminating local smugglers and tradesmen who competed with their own trading company. One night, the French navy shelled the village where John lived with his wife. She died.
John was inconsolable. His hatred for the French lead him to fall in with local pirates, who like John hated the French navy. He was eventually able to unite the small squabbling bands of local pirates behind the cause of fighting the enemy they all shared. They developed tactics to help them take larger boats by surprise. John did this so well, he eventually drew the attention of the British naval commander assigned to the area. This commander secretly supported Johns private war in any way he could as it helped advance British influence in the area.
Eventually, higher ups in the British Navy back in England heard of Johns exploits and requested his presence back home. John agreed to return well aware he would probably be hung for participating in piracy. In his depressed state he didn't care and wanted to see home again before he died. Much to his surprise, he was instead given a letter of marque and a ship. He soon set sail for Guyana and the life of a privateer.
John was overjoyed to hear of his brothers successes and promptly expressed interest in helping Jim with his new business and fighting alongside Jack against enemies of the crown, especially the French. He had already left for Belize to secure a source of limestone, which was necessary for the smelting process of iron. Jack also decided to help Jim by investing a small sum of money. Redmen Brothers Ironworks was born.
Jack brought news of his brothers to the squadron and both were granted membership. Hard fighting captains were desperately needed, and the brothers business would aid the British shipbuilding market. Their business grew quickly and soon began producing munitions on top of basic iron goods. Redmen Brother's Ironworks shipped goods to all corners of the caribbean.
Around this time Jack was asked to take a position on the Board of Flag, the squadron's governing body, and he graciously accepted. He welcomed the opportunity to serve the squadron he had come to love on a higher level. In parallel, the navy promoted him back to his original rank of Post Captain as a result of his continued efforts in the fight for British dominance in this area of the world.
Coat of Arms
- Has White as the metal representing Sincerity
- Has Red and Blue for the Color representing Military Strength and Eagerness to Serve One's Country
- Has a Bend representing Defense
- Has a Anchor representing Hope and Steadfast Devotion
- Has a Cutlass representing Military Honour and Daring
- Is an Knight't Helm. Open and facing forward.
- Is a Dolphin representing Swiftness, Charity, and deep ties to the Sea
- Is the Most Houourable Military Order of the Bath
- Virtus Virum Gignet, "Courage Begets Heroism"
March 29, 1723 - Enlisted in the Saint George Squadron of the White
April 17, 1723 - Promoted to the rank of Esquire in the Saint George Squadron of the White
December 9, 1723 - Retired
January 25, 1725 - Re-enlisted
February 25, 1725 - Re-commisioned Esquire
April 9, 1725 - Voted into service on squadron Board of Flag
May 5, 1725 - Given the rank Knight Companion, Most Honourable Order of the Bath
March 7, 1726 - Awarded Admiral's Commendation
October 6, 1726 - Awarded Baronetcy
Record of Critical Actions
|Puerto del Princepe||February 20, 1725||Offense||Defeat||HMS Surprise-||Red Squadron, Skirmish line|
|Turtling Bay||February 22, 1725||Defense||Defeat||HMS Lyon||Red Squadron, Skirmish line|
|Riding Rocks||April 26, 1725||Defense||Defeat||HMS Lyon|
|St. John||May 15, 1725||Defense||Defeat||HMS Lyon|
|Bartica||January 19, 1726||Defense||Victory||HMS Lyon|
|d'Lisle||January 21, 1726||Offense||Victory||HMS Lyon|
|West End||January 23, 1726||Defense||Defeat||HMS Lyon|
|Bridgetown||February 7, 1726||Defense||Victory||HMS Fervour|
|Charlestown||February 7, 1726||Defense||Victory||HMS Spirit|
|Bartica||February 8, 1726||Defense||Victory||HMS Fervour|
|Biloxi||February 21, 1726||Defense||Defeat||HMS Indomitable|
|Nassau||September 26, 1726||Defense||Defeat||HMS Fervour|
HMS Hunter - Bermuda Sloop
HMS Masiff - Cruizer Snow
HMS Orion - Postillionen Frigate
HMS Orion II - Stralsund Frigate
HMS Clementine - Raa Heavy Frigate
HMS Lucky Lady - Raa Mastercraft Frigate
HMS Perseus - Gallant Naval Frigate
HMS Surprise - Capricieux Mastercraft Frigate
HMS Defiance - Tigre' Mastercraft Frigate
HMS Courage - Defiant Mastercraft Frigate
HMS George - Mercy Naval Frigate
HMS Goliath - Hercules Heavy Frigate
HMS Marathon - Mordaunt Sleek Fourth Rate (Sunk)
HMS Lyon - Macedon Hunters Fourth Rate
FV Anne Murray - Zuiderzee Yacht (Personal fishing boat)