The Pirate's Realm
Christopher Condent was born perhaps in the late 1690's in Plymouth, England. Little is known of his early life, though he is mentioned among the men that fled New Providence when Woodes Rogers arrived in 1718. He was quartermaster aboard a privateer from New York, and so most likely saw action during Queen Anne's War.
After fleeing pirate's 'heaven', Condent proved his mettle when an Indian passenger who had been beaten sought revenge by threatening to blow up the ship by igniting the powder in the hold. Condent quickly assessed the threat to all aboard and jumped into the hold, dispatching the Indian with a shot to the face.
Sometime thereafter, an argument arose after the taking of an English merchantman, and the result was that Condent was made captain of the sloop with half the sailors as his new pirate crew. Having set course for the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa, he soon encountered a Portuguese merchant ship, which he relieved of its cargo of wine. He then overtook an entire fleet of 20 salt ships, the commander of which he had whipped and pickled for his mistreatment of the men under him. At a nearby island, he forced the surrender of a Dutch ship with but one broadside, and then he claimed this former privateer as his new Flying Dragon.
Condent now sailed for the Brazilian coast, plundering the goods of several Portuguese ships en route. His success as a pirate and skill as a sailor helped him acquire two more ships, the Wright galley and an unnamed Dutch East Indiaman. Several months off the coast of Brazil proved lucrative, yet Captain Condent had to flee a battle with a 70-gun Portuguese Man-of-War.
Arriving in Madagascar around mid-1719, Condent spent the next year sailing from St. Mary's, as pirates like Thomas Tew had done before him. The prizes were few until the fall of 1720, when he took an Arab ship with a huge treasure, the precious metals alone worth 150,000 pounds. Realizing it was in his best interest not to anger the East India Company, the crew was treated well, and Captain Condent returned to St. Mary's contmplating retirement.
The huge haul was divided up, and some of the crew began to settle there in Madagascar among the natives. Condent himself attempted settling down, but soon grew restless and went with his remaining crew to request a pardon from the Governor at Nearby French Mascarenhas (now Reunion). The large bribe that accompanied the request was helpful in securing a pardon, provided their ships were burned. Most of the crew were said to have settled in Reunion; Christopher Condent wound up at the French city of St. Malo in Brittany as a wealthy shipping merchant.