Talk like a pirate day

The Pirates Of Faversham

Did you know that the fictional pirate Captain Jack Sparrow was actually based on a real life Faversham pirate?

We kid you not, the trickster captain of the Black Pearl in the massive “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise was based on a local Faversham man named John (Jack) Ward.

Jack Ward was born c1553 in Faversham, to an impoverished family. Much of his life was spent working in the local fisheries. He was known locally as an out-and-out wastrel who spent much of his time getting drunk, he would “sit melancholy, speak doggedly … [and] repine at other men’s good fortunes”.

In 1588 Ward found work as a privateer, plundering the Spanish Fleet under licence from Queen Elizabeth I following the Spanish Armada’s failure to invade England.  

Following King James I coming to the English throne, the war with Spain ended and these licences were revoked. However, for Jack and his fellow privateers the rewards had been so large, they refused to give up their livelihoods and continued to plunder Spanish ships.  As such they were considered pirates.

Around 1604, Jack Ward was believed to have been pressed into service aboard a ship named the Lyon’s Whelp.  He wasn’t there long however, as Ward and his colleagues quickly deserted and stole a small 25-ton ship from Portsmouth.  Ward’s comrades elected him Captain and they sailed to the Isle of Wight and captured another ship named the Violet.  And so it came about that Jack and the crew no longer just targeted Spanish ships, now any ships were fair game.

Over the next few years Ward and his crew captured a great many ships, and fitted them out as war ships.  He headed to Tunis which he hoped to make his base.  

Tunis was nominally ruled by a pasha appointed by the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul but, by the time Ward arrived in 1605, the real power lay in the hands of Uthman Dey, leader of the janissary soldiers (janissaries being the Sultan’s household troops and bodyguards) garrisoned in the city. Wily and ruthless in equal measure, Uthman Dey had created a powerful guild of corsairs, and they preyed on shipping across the Mediterranean. Dey recognised that Ward was a skilled pirate and allowed him to use Tunis as his centre of operations, just so long as he got a share of the loot.

Ward so ingratiated himself with Uthman Dey that he was given a large plot of land in Tunis, where set to work building himself a mansion on a scale and opulence that would have been unthinkable in his native England. One compatriot who visited the place described it as “a very stately house, far more fit for a prince than a pirate”.

From Tunis Ward built a fearsome reputation and went on to capture many vessels from various European States.  In the spring of 1607 Ward took a fleet of four ships and spotted a large Venetian ship named Reniera e Soderina and, after a three hour fire fight, the ship was surrendered to Ward and his men with an alleged haul of £2m.   This led to rumours in London that the Venetian authorities were close to declaring war on England if Ward was not stopped.  The English Ambassador in Venice assured the council Ward would “meet with a warm reception if he comes into these waters”

Eventually, Jack Ward asked to be pardoned by James I of England, this was rejected and he reluctantly had to be given a safe haven in Tunis.  Jack and his entire crew then converted to Islam and Ward was renamed Yusuf Reis, yet was more commonly known as Captain Yusuf Asfur  (Captain Jack Sparrow) due to Jack’s fascination with the small birds in Tunis.

So there you have it, the inspiration behind one of the of the most well known pirates to appear on film, and arguably, one of actor Jonny Depp’s best know characters was based on a local Faversham lad!

Fiver Fest Faversham

Fiver Fest Faversham

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Faversham will be taking part in a nationwide shop local initiative called FIVER FEST, we hope to get as many local businesses involved and help residents and tourists see the wide range of diverse independent businesses Faversham has to offer.

The event will run from the 10th – 24th October 2020, here is a little more about what it is and how you can get involved.

WHAT IS FIVER FEST?

The Fiver Fest is part of a nationwide volunteer-led organisation called Totally Locally which supports small independent businesses to come together to create a more vibrant, stronger and resilient town by encouraging the community to think and act locally. 

Fiver Fest is being organised by InFaversham.co.uk (the website about local businesses for people who shop in Faversham).

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Businesses taking part put on special £5 offers over 2 weeks, to show the diversity and value of what they sell, and to say thank you to the communities that support them.

Businesses come together to support each other, share each others offers, create maps, do trails, work on PR – everything to get people moving around the town, and discovering their local independent shops.

AN OPPORTUNITY…

This is not about just selling £5 things. It’s an opportunity for you to get people through the door who haven’t ever stepped foot in your shop, or who haven’t been for ages. What you do when they get there is up to you.

Don’t worry if you don’t sell a lot of your special offer. It’s not about that (your offer may not be right for everyone). The idea is to get people engaged with the campaign and talking about our local businesses.

£5 OFFERS

Offers should be something with a £5 spend to tie in with the £5 message (don’t use discounts like £5 or 5% off), Businesses not on the high street such as services, fitness etc can offer introductory services to get new clients on board. Make the offer for something brill, not just old stock you are trying to shift.

Don’t worry if you are stuck for ideas, we are here to help, ideas are what we are good at so get in touch and we will help you to find a fantastic £5 offering.

WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF IT?

Apart from a fantastic opportunity to engage and take part in helping to revive the town, you will be part of a National Campaign and get all the promotion, PR, and media opportunities that go with it.  

You will get posters to put in your window, trail maps of all the businesses taking part to giveaway, merchandise (optional purchase) like our lovely tote bags (how about putting together a fab goody bag?) to promote the campaign.  Lots of local media coverage via Faversham Fiver Fest Facebook pages, Instagram and Twitter plus promotion on InFaversham website and Facebook page.  Oh and of course sharing and mentions on everyone else’s social media who takes part and gets involved.  It’ll be a blast.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BE INVOLVED?

It’s absolutely free* and open to all independent businesses in Faversham. 

WHERE DO I SIGN?

Just fill in your details on the attached form, and return to [email protected] and we’ll do the rest!

We are asking for a voluntary donation of £5 to take part to help cover printing costs.  We stress this is voluntary because we want as many businesses to take part as possible.

Faversham Market Through The Ages

Faversham Market was mentioned in the Doomsday book in (completed in 1086) as one of only 42 places in England that was recorded as having a market.  In 1546 King Henry VIII granted Faversham a Charter of Incorporation, which included the privilege of a market three times per week.  Subsequent monarchs added to this, including the right that a new market town could not be established within the distance it took to drive a herd of sheep to market in one day (approximately 6 miles).  This is still law in England today.

So today, as the market begins to re-open, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the people who visited Faversham, and some of the major events the market has lived through:

  • 1148 – Faversham’s Benedictine Abbey founded by King Stephen and his wife Queen Matilda.
  • 1170 – Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket assassinated.
  • 1252 – Faversham’s earliest charter issued by Henry III. It confirmed a number of rights and privileges enjoyed by the town and clarified its relationship with Dover as its ‘head port’ within the Cinque Ports.
  • 1300 – Magna Carta presented to the Barons and Port of Faversham
  • 1343 – Author of the Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer stays at the Maison Dieu complex during his own pilgrimage to Canterbury
  • 1346 – The Plague (Black Death) arrives in England
  • 1360 – Black Prince Stays at the Maison Dieu
  • 1455 – Wars Of The Roses Begins
  • 1527 – Grammar school founded.
  • 1538 – Abbey dissolved by Henry VIII, the rubble was shipped to Pale Of Calais for defences
  • 1551 – Thomas Arden (Controller of Customs & Mayor of Faversham) murdered.   The incident was recorded in the play Arden of Feversham written in 1592.
  • 1553 – Notorious Pirate John Ward is born in Faversham
  • 1560 – Gunpowder industry starts at Home Works.
  • 1564 – Christopher Marlowe is born in Canterbury, his family originate from Ospringe.
  • 1585 – More corn shipped through creek to London than from any other port.
  • 1587 – New grammar school opens, following a charter issued by Queen Elizabeth I in 1576. Faversham lost its previous school when the Abbey was dissolved.
  • 1588 – Faversham was fitting out the Hazard to fight the Spanish Armada. 
  • 1597 – Shakespeare first performs in Faversham
  • 1605 – Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot discovered. 
  • 1645 – Joan Walliford, Joan Cariden & Jane Hott, convicted as witches and executed in Faversham
  • 1660 – Charles II visits John Trowts’ house at 23 Court Street following the restoration.
  • 1683 – More wool exported through the Creek than from any English Port.
  • 1688 – King James II’s brief imprisonment in Faversham.
  • 1698 – Shepherd Neame founded
  • 1815 – The Battle Of Waterloo
  • 1838 – The Courtney Riots take place in Dunkirk and Hernhill
  • 1840 – Henry Wreight leaves fortune to town 
  • 1858 – Strood-Faversham railway opens, some of the counties most elaborate Jutish treasures where unearthed in Kingsfield during the building works.
  • 1914 – World War 1 breaks out
  • 1916 – Great Explosion at Uplees: 106 people killed
  • 1917 – Pollock’s Shipyard opens.
  • 1930 – Great Britain wins the coverted Cup of Nations for Roller Hockey in a tournament held at Montreux.  The whole team comes from Faversham, despite Faversham’s roller rink burning down five years earlier.
  • 1939 – Start of World War 2 
  • 1965 – M2 to Medway Towns opened
  • 1974  – Faversham Borough abolished, Faversham absorbed into new Borough of Swale.
  • 1975 – Shipyards close
  • 2020 – Covid-19 sees the market temporarily close