Dorian Lasseter

Master Gunner of the Private Ship of War, Archangel. Born near Meelick, Ireland, the second son of a shipwright in October of 1670.

Dorian’s father moved the family when he was 3 years old (Spring 1674) to Galway bay for work, then at age 7 (Summer 1678), they moved once more to the northeast coast of Ireland, near Belfast, again following after employment. Whilst a lad, Dorian helped his father in the shipyards, and learned much about ships. As he got older, he grew adventurous and helped take small boats and ships out and across the channel to the Scottish/English coast.

He was soon making his own way in the world as an able seaman aboard merchants on routes between Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, France, Spain, Portugal and all points in between. For his adventurous spirit this routine became monotonous, so in the Spring of 1688, at the ripe old age of 17, he took a berth on a Blackbirder headed to the Slave Coast and then to the Caribbean. This proved too much for him in the cruelties that man can bestow on another being. The only good that came from this journey was the teaching of the sword and firelock by some of the old hands aboard. When the ship arrived in Barbados, he left her, not even stopping to collect his wages. He returned to the merchant sailors’ life for the next three years (1689-92), becoming first mate on the ‘Suzanna’. Not a year had passed since his appointment when he was accosted in an English port, knocked unconscious and taken aboard a ship of war (1693). Now pressed into service under the English crown, he was at first very contemptuous of his new masters. After a year of laboring as an able seaman, he was moved to another ship with a captain worth his salt. This ship was run differently and he became tempered to life on a warship. In the next few years he moved up in rank and became a value to his ship, he was eventually transferred around to other ships, landing him on a Sloop-of-War, of which he was the Master Gunner and Master-at-Arms.

Dorian Lasseter, Master Gunner & Adam Cyphers, Armourer (kneeling)
Working on lead aprons for the great guns

Finally, he was able to contact his family only to find that hard times had befallen them. In his absence the local English overlords had found little use for his father’s ability and his older brother had disappeared as well. He began sending some of his wages home, trying to keep his family out of debt. One fateful day he received a package, six months old. His father had passed on, after being worked to death to make ends meet under the English tyranny in Ireland. He also found that not one penny he sent had reached them. He became embittered from this news and soon was on report for excessive drunkenness. Several months had passed when he found himself transferred onto a frigate, under a tyrant of a captain and his officers. They looked upon his Irish bloodline as if he were a lower being, treating him as such. His heat for the English tyrants grew and his anger smoldered until finally after being blamed for another mans slacking of duty, he lost control of himself and struck the second mate. He was put in irons and held there till they could reach port and convene a trial of which he knew he would be found guilty and hanged. As luck would have it, he had sympathizers aboard. Oddly, Barbados was their destination. They dropped anchor that evening and were to hold the trial at daylight. In the darkest hours, he was set free to find his own way ashore. From there he was able to make his way off the island and work his way around the Caribbean and other parts of the world. He now finds himself employed on a Privateer, the Archangel, as a Master Gunner once again.

Some questioned Dorian’s choice of serving under another English sea captain. Dorian’s reply always is “Because it depends on the man, the conversation with the man. The right conversation can tell a lot. Captain Sterling has seen many sides of human nature. He has seen the very dark side and it has left a mark on him. He seems worth taking the chance…”

An expert swordsman, Dorian instructs the Archangel officers. Here with Quartermaster Roberts

C.Madden copyright 2011


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