You might think that pirates exist only in Hollywood movies, colourful novels for kids and in cartoons. But if you are a resident in the charming town of Poole you are living on the land of a legendary pirate called: Harry Paye
Probably he was not as cool as Caribbean Pirate Johnny Depp, nevertheless Harry Paye was a well-known commander of the Cinque Ports fleet in the late 14th and early 15th century. Paye led raids through the coast of France and Spain from Normandy through to the Bay of Biscay and Cape Finisterre.
Mr Pat Parker from Poole Museum said “Harry Paye`s activities took place in the beginning of the 15th century when Henry IV was King of England. And in this period the country was in the middle of battles known as The Hundred Years War with France.”
A Spanish nobleman of his day, Count Pero Nino defined him as following words, “This knight who scoured the seas as a corsair with many ships, plundering all the Spanish and French ships he could meet with.”
After spending long adventurous years, he settled down in Kent and died there in 1419. "His exploits still stir the imagination, more than five hundred years after his death", says Parker. Famous citizen Herbert S Carter wrote a novel for children about his adventures and `Old Harry` pub in the High Street of Poole commemorated his name.
Poole Rediscovered, Museum Publishing