The 19th of September is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. But did you know that Norfolk had its fair share (or, perhaps, unfair) of Pirate-related shenanigans, including a rather infamous fellow known as ‘Fall’?

Daniel Fall (aka Fall the Pirate – also known as John Fall) was first mentioned in November 1780 as “The noted Daniel Fall, a smuggler and captain of a large privateer” when he cut out two colliers from Lowestoft South Roads.

The frigate Pegasus sailed from Yarmouth in pursuit but was unable to sight them. A report in the Ipswich Journal at the time stated that an American cutter privateer of 20 guns had captured two large merchantmen off Pakefield but she had been intercepted by the Fly man-o-war from Hollesley Bay which recaptured one of the prizes.

This privateer may have been Fall’s vessel, as he apparently sailed under American colours. In February 1781, one of the Harwich packets sighted Fall, who had taken many colliers on this coast. He had letters of marque from Holland, France and America and hoisted the 13 stripes as the packet passed him. A short while later it was reported the rebel commodore Fall was off Orfordness with a squadron of privateers from Dunkirk.

At the beginning of June 1781 the Harwich packet, Prince of Wales was captured by two cutters – The Fearnought, commanded by Fall, and the Liberty, which he had recently cut out from a Scottish port.

By April 1782, it was reported that Fall was moving into the Irish Sea and the East Coast apparently heard of him no more.

Tucked away in the old graveyard of the Gt. Yarmouth parish church of St Nicholas is this stone erected to the memory of David Bartleman, Master of the brig Alexander & Margaret of North Shields. On 31st January 1781, whilst sailing along the Norfolk coast with a crew of 10 men and boys with only light armament of 3 pounders, Bartleman courageously defended himself against a Cutter carrying 18, 4 pounders plus a crew of upwards of 100 men. The Cutter was commanded by the notorious English pirate Fall.

This success however was short lived, when two hours later Fall’s Cutter again attacked the unlucky Brig. The skirmish continued until the Alexander & Margaret was totally disabled. With Daniel MacAulay the mate dying from the loss of blood and hi