KITTY HAWK, N.C., Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert Louis Stevenson was born on November 13, 1850. It was on November 13, 1750, that a fabulous treasure was buried on a deserted island in the Caribbean and it's no coincidence that this true pirate tale would inspire Stevenson when he wrote his immortal classic, Treasure Island.
It was the map of Treasure Island found in the sea chest of the dying pirate, Captain Billy Bones, that launched a treasure hunt central to the plot of Stevenson's Treasure Island. The map carried the inscription, "Treasure Island, August 1, 1750, J.F." The fictional pirate, James Flint, buried his stolen loot and drew the map of its location. In real life, it was Captain Owen Lloyd, born in Flintshire, Wales that buried his booty on Norman Island, in the BVI, on November 13, 1750.
In late August of 1750, a Spanish fleet was cast away along the coast of Virginia and North Carolina. The treasure galleon, Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, with a million dollar cargo, was disabled at Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina. The galleon was successfully towed into Teach's Hole, the famous anchorage where Blackbeard was killed in 1718. Captain Juan Manuel Bonilla felt relieved that his treasure was safe, but his relief would soon turn to despair when Owen Lloyd and his one legged brother, John, commandeered two sloops that had been loaded with pieces of eight and sailed for the Caribbean. Owen Lloyd planned to sail to St. Kitts to greet his wife with his new found wealth. Unfortunately, he was forced to go the Virgin Islands to take on supplies and was forced to bury his treasure there and maroon three if his crew. The three pirates were discovered by the people of Tortola who then uncovered nearly all of what Lloyd had left behind. Lloyd sailed to St. Kitts where he found that he was wanted for piracy. He was captured at St. Eustatius and condemned to hang, but by his cunning, luck, and the help of his Dutch guards, he escaped and returned to St. Kitts to get his wife, fleeing then to St. Kitts. Owen Lloyd was killed at nearby St. Croix in 1752. His wife, Christian, returned to St. Kitts with a compelling tale of adventure that would be handed down for many decades. When Robert Louis Stevenson's great-grandfather arrived at St. Kitts in 1772, the legend of Owen Lloyd was still in the memory of many of the island's residents.
In 2011, award winning maritime historian, John Amrhein, Jr., published Treasure Island: The Untold Story which is derived from forgotten documents discovered in the archives of Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States.
Treasure Island would later inspire Walt Disney to create the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World. Owen Lloyd's legacy has spanned centuries. So, November 13 is also remembered as Treasure Island Day.
John Amrhein, Jr.
SOURCE John Amrhein, Jr.