Edward England is today remembered as one of the famous pirate captains of the "Golden Age of Piracy" who met his end by trying to be generous and to spare the life of captured Scottish seamen James Macrae. During his years of activity in 1717-1720 he forged his fame in the waters of Caribbean and Africa sailing on the ships "The Royal James", "Fancy" and "Pearl", sailing under the iconic black Jolly Roger flag with the skull and two crossed thigh bones.
Edward was born in Ireland, and almost nothing about his youth was recorded in known history. Earliest known fact about him was his short tenure as a shipmate on a small trading sloop in the waters around Jamaica. There he became captured by the pirates of Captain Christopher Winter and forced to join them. After becoming accustomed to the pirate life, England found himself in dilemma. Much of Winters crew decided to take Kings Pardon, but he decided that he wants to remain pirate. Soon after, England's stronghold became under attack from the forces of former privateer and the governor of BahamasWoodes Rogers. Seeing the force that was against him, England decided to set sails for Africa where he spent remainder of his pirate career.
Before start of the 1719 he managed to collect fleet of several pirate ships, all the time plundering trade ships in his flagship "Royal James". One of his most successful periods happened during his siege of coast of Cape Corso in Africa, where he destroyed several ships and managed to capture few pirate ships. Around that time two ships from his fleet separated from him ("Queen Anne's Revenge" and the "Flying King") and went to Caribbean.
During 1720 he harassed trade ships around the routes near Madagascar, most notably two English and one Dutch ship from East Indies Company. During that fight, ship of Scottish captain James Macrae managed to put heroic resistance to the fleet of Edward England pirates.
After a fierce battle England managed to capture all opposing ships, but Captain Macrae managed to escape to the nearbuy small island. After surviving several days on this island, Macrae finally surrendered to the pirates that searched for him. Every member of England's crew demanded instant death of Macrae for the death of over 90 pirates in the combat, but England did not agree. After several hours of persuasion, he managed to gain the trust of his first mate John Taylor and delay Macrae's execution. Angry because of this decision, crew of Edward England became angry, and mutiny that ensued left captain England and his three close followers marooned on the lonely island.
Against all odds, England managed to build a ship and sail to the nearby Saint Augustine 's Bay on Madagascar. Although he managed to survive the trip, he died soon after that in late 1720 as a poor man and a beggar.