Edward Jordan (pirate)

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Edward Jordan attacking Captain John Stairs with an axe (illustration published in "The Annals of Crime, and New Newgate Calendar", 1834)

Edward Jordan (1771–1809) was an Irish rebel, fisherman and pirate in Nova Scotia. He was typical of the violent but short-lived pirates in the 19th century following the end of "Golden Age of Piracy" in the 18th century. Born in County Carlow, Ireland, he took part in the Irish rebellions of 1797–1798 but was pardoned and attempted to start a new life as a fisherman in Nova Scotia. On 13 September 1809, desperate to avoid debts, he slaughtered the crew of a merchant who came to seize the schooner he owned named Three Sisters. However the captain, John Stairs, managed to escape overboard to be rescued by a passing fishing schooner and survived to spread the alarm. A few weeks later the Royal Navy schooner HMS Cuttle captured Jordan.

Jordan was convicted of piracy and executed in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His body was covered in tar and hanged from chains in an iron cage called a gibbet at Black Rock Beach in Point Pleasant as a warning to others. His gibbet joined those of four other across the harbour on McNabs Island who had been executed for mutiny aboard the brig HMS Columbine in the same year. His skull was eventually deposited at the Nova Scotia Museum.[1] It was recently displayed in the exhibit "Pirates: Myth and Reality" at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax.


  1. ^ Dan Conlin. (2009). Pirates of the Atlantic: Robbery, murder and mayhem off the Canadian East Coast Halifax: Formac Publishing, pp. 58-59


  • "Pirate Fact Sheet", Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Halifax, 2007
  • MacMechan, Archibald "Jordan the Pirate", Sagas of the Sea, London, 1923, pages 43–55.
  • Peirce, Elizabeth, The Pirate Rebel: The Story of Notorious Ned Jordan, Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 2009.
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