The Capture of the Crown

Fred Gosbee/Castlebay
Traditional, new material by Fred Gosbee


This song is from a biography of Commadore Samual Tucker (except for the verse about Peter Collamore, which I made).

Tucker was a very successful captain in the Revolutionary War and retired with his winnings to Beacon Hill in Boston. Through a combination of failed investments and high living he lost his fortune and retired to a farm in Bremen on the shores of Muscongus Bay.

When the British privateer, Bream, was raiding Maine coastal villages in the War of 1812, a crew of Bristol fishermen decided to put to sea and stop the raiders. Someone loaned a sloop and small cannon were borrowed from the fort in Edgecomb. The volunteer crew asked Commodore Tucker, then 67 years old, to take charge of the expedition.

They cruised off midcoast Maine for three days and saw nothing. Food and rum were running out - and the men from Edgecomb were getting nervous about leaving their town undefended. The sloop returned to Edgecomb, offloaded the cannon and was making way toward Bristol when they encountered the British sloop, "Crown". In the ensuing conflict Commadore Tucker did what he had done during his naval career: he flat outsailed them, putting the Crown into an undefensible position. Contrary to the lyric there was only one round of small arms fire and the only casualty was the British cptain¹s hat. The Crown surrendured and there was little damage to either vessel - but what kind of song would that make?

Peter Collamore was known as the Bremen Giant or the Bremen Monster because of his great size and immense strength. The story of him using the achor as a grappeling hook is common in the oral tradition of Bremen, where the Collamore family has lived for many generations.


On the 26th of April, it plainly doth appear
The brave boys of Bristol fitted out a privateer
In command of Captain Tucker- a sloop both neat and trim
And we set out to cruise the seas all for to take the Bream

So cheer up, my lively lads and never be it said
That the brave boys of Bristol were ever yet afraid

We cruised the shores for several days and nothing did appear
At length our brave commander resolved to homeward steer
It was on a Friday morning, and clear was the sky
And as we were returning, a sail we did spy

Then rose our bold commander and to his men did say
"My boys, be all stout-hearted and do not fail today!
Our enemy's before us and after her we'll run
For I'm resolved to take her before the setting sunî

Then we bore away for her and up to her did come
We hauled down our foresail and gave her a gun
'Twas broadside and broadside we showed her Yankee play
'Til our enemy got frightened and tried to run away

We went to bind her to our side but much to our chagrin
We found we had no grappling hooks to seize and pull her in.
Till Collamore leapt up and swung the anchore o¹re his head.
"Captain, shall I let her fly?" the Bremen monster said.

Then they quit their quarters and down below they run
We shot away their halliards and down their colors come
Their captain he stepped forward and waving of his hand
He cried "I must surrender; this I can no longer stand!"

Then we hoisted out our boats and on board of her did go
We made them all prisoners and ordered them below
We hoisted Yankee colors and hauled the British down
And when we did examine her, she proved to be the Crown

"Now" says our brave commander "we'll bring our prize ashore
For we're the boys that fear no noise, thoí cannons loudly roar!
And quickly we will clear the coast of all these British boys
For we will fight 'em till we die, and never mind their noise!"

Now we have fought this privateer till she is overcome
And God bless Captain Tucker this day for what he's done
Likewise his officers and all his jolly crew
God grant that they may prosper in everything they do

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Concerts in Brief

  • Mar 12
    The Ridge,  Exeter
  • Mar 15
    Dickey Memorial Presbyterian Church,  Baltimore
  • Mar 16
    Lakewood Manor,  Richmond
  • Mar 18
    Well-Spring Retirement Community,  Greensboro
  • Mar 19
    Country Club of Salisbury,  Salisbury