Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Jones Paul

Jones, Paul, properly John Paul, a notable corsair, was born at Kirkbean, Kirkcudbright, in 1747, and was the youngest child of the head gardener to Mr. Craikof Arbigland. Bound apprentice at the age of twelve to a captain in the American trade, he afterwards shipped in a slaver, and at one-and-.twenty obtained command of a brigantine. He next became a smuggler, and then a trader to the West Indies. In 1773 he was left some property in Virginia and went to America, assuming there the name of Paul Jones. In 1775- he obtained a lieutenant's commission in the newly-' organised Continental Navy, and served at the capture of New Providence. Soon afterwards he was given command of the Providence sloop, and cruised with much success against the English trade, exhibiting great boldness and resource. His next ship was the Ranger, 26, and in her he crossed to France, where he seems to have obtained recognition of the American flag. Thence he made a rapacious descent on Whitehaven and St. Mary's Isle, and captured the British sloop Brake off Belfast Lough. Later, his own crew having mutinied and gone home, he fitted out an old French Indiaman which he renamed Bonhomme Richard, with which, in conjunction with other vessels, all French, yet flying the stars and stripes, he made several prizes. On September 23rd, 1779, having with him the'Alliance and the Pallas,.32, he engaged off Flamborough Head the Serapis, 44, and the Countess of Scarborough, 20, and after a sharp action took both of them, his own ship, however, subsequently sinking. Jones returned to America in 1780 in the Ariel, 20, another British prize. He was afterwards entrusted with more than one quasi-diplomatic mission to Europe, accepted a rear-admiral's commission in the Russian Navy, got into hopeless disgrace, and died in Paris of dropsy in 1792. He was a quarrelsome, unscrupulous, self-glorifying scoundrel; but a great seaman and a brave commander.