In the late sixteenth century, a young man gathering scraps of destruction from the docks thought about whether he would ever leave Faversham, in the ward of Kent — the most sizzling place in the whole United Kingdom.
It was a muddy spot of little significance to anybody except gang members. Its docks were a shelter for bootleggers, pirates and other such nefarious people.
And out of those slums grew a forgotten pirate named John Ward, whose fantasies would one day work out as expected, however maybe not in the way he had thought; he would grow to be Jack Birdy, the most fearsome pirate on the planet, and towards the end of his life, Yusuf Reis, a contrite Muslim who helped the poor and needy.
He was rich beyond any man’s fantasies, spending the remaining years of his life in his Tunisian castle.
The incredible Captain Jack Birdy, once sung about by every balladeer in England, may have everything except been overlooked.
Yet his memory remains as the soul behind the anecdotal character, Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
However, the question is, who was Johnny Ward, the kid who was scrounging through the angling docks of Faversham? Who was John Ward, the British Naval officer? Who was Captain John Ward, the pirate supported by the crown of England? Who was Captain Jack Birdy, the pirate turned “pirate spy” by that same crown?
Lastly, who was Yusuf Reis, once Captain Jack Birdy, previously Captain John Ward, who safeguarded tons of Spanish Jews and Muslims escaping the Moriscos and Conversos removal of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries?
These were all one man. With such a variety of characters wrapped in one, the stories of his undertakings are exponentially more energizing than anything a Hollywood film could catch.
What follows is a recorded performance of William Lithgow’s second visit to Tunis, as a visitor of Captain Jack Ward, five years prior to his passing.
A percentage of the dialog is verbatim from historical record. Each point of interest has been carefully examined for an exact depiction.
It is a performance, yet a verifiably established one, no less. In spite of the fact that this starts towards the end of Captain Jack’s life, it is ideally the start of your enthusiasm for this fabulous man; fictionalized in Hollywood, slandered in Christendom and generally overlooked in the Muslim world.
This is, however, one of numerous stories about him, finally coming out from history, longing to be told.
— Anon.Dos (@anondos_) April 28, 2015
“You see, mate. I have grown fond of a tiny little birdy, savvy? Oh dear me. What’s her name and should I warn her. No, you dinghy rat! A wee little birdy, Little birdy? Captain Jack, do you mean a Sparrow?” –The Total Discourse of the Rare Adventures and Painful Peregrinations of long Nineteen Years Travels from Scotland.
The old man chuckled, not having heard himself addressed as ‘Captain Jack’ in what seemed to be many a lifetime spent. For now, he was simply Yusuf Reis, a nobleman from Tunis who had wealth beyond any Englishman’s dreams, and was a husband to Jessamine the Sicilian who was, like him, a convert from Christendom.
“No… Ummm… Chicks… Chicks? Yes, Chicks!” –The Total Discourse of the Rare Adventures and Painful Peregrinations of long Nineteen Years Travels from Scotland.
The zany old man, once a great pirate and commander at sea, albeit the zany one back then was now just a tired silhouette of what he once was. He seemed happy though, as he lavishly entertained his guest, none other than William Lithgow, son of James and not a pirate, most definitely not a Turk, but a Scotsman and a vagabond, yearning to sojourn an endless trajectory. He wrote in many accounts that he rummaged his way, by land and sea, from Scotland to the Levant and now to Africa.
“I drink water like an arse, I am shoed like a horse, I have a coat like a fool, and a head like an owl!” –The Total Discourse of the Rare Adventures and Painful Peregrinations of long Nineteen Years Travels from Scotland.
Commander Jack was a famous boozer; crafty, pitiless and would clown around. Yet now, water and unfermented nectar were all Captain Jack would drink.
The loyal Turk drinks neither malt beverage, nor wine, nor fervent spirits of any sort. Yet, he did not require beverage to be generally as frantic as usual.
‘Shoed like a horse’ was in reference to the Turk’s shoes, which are studded with iron. “It is a dreadful sight, I must say, keeping in mind that you discover yourself under one,” speaking of his layer of clothing.
Captain Jack dependably wore an Englishman’s cover, but then he was wearing the cover of a Turk. This senseless, lavish and vain layer made him seem different. VIA