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Woodes Rogers was born into money, and his early life was the very model of ambition. When his father died in 1706, Woodes inherited his family's shipping company, and his fortunes grew.
However, by the end of 1707, his business suffered under raiding French forces and Rogers sought to recoup these losses himself. He became a privateer soon after.
His career as a privateer was rather unremarkable, though he was able to pen a successful memoir based upon his exploits. However, his fortunes quickly reversed. His son died suddenly, and wife left him soon after. Then he was sued by his former shipmates for allegedly hoarding profits, and lost the case.
When he returned to England, he lobbied King George for a commission to hunt pirates in the West Indies and was appointed the Governor of the Bahamas. He became an ally of the Templar Grand Master Laureano Torres y Ayala and joined his search for the Observatory.