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Map created by Robert Louis Stevenson
Long John Silver finding the skeleton of seaman Allardyce, illustration by Georges Roux, 1885

Captain J. Flint (first name never given in full in the novel) was the fictional[1] captain of a Pirate ship, the Walrus, in the novel Treasure Island of the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894). It is a certainty that Stevenson knew the book A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates (1724) by Captain Charles Johnson[2] and that he used some themes and characters from it.

Flint was responsible for burying an enormous treasure (approximately £700,000) on an island located in the Spanish Main in which he was assisted by six of his crew-members. After the treasure was buried, he murdered all six of them and left the corpse of Allardyce with outstretched arms pointing to the location of the treasure.

The location of the treasure was marked by Flint on a map dated 1750 that was entrusted to his first mate William "Billy" Bones, and later into the hands of the hero of the novel, Jim Hawkins.

The only person Flint was said to fear was his quartermaster John Silver, who later even called his parrot "Captain Flint" in mockery.

Flint is said to have died at the Pirates' House an inn in the American city of Savannah, shouting for Darby M`Graw - fetch aft the rum... His death was said in the book to have been caused by the effects of rum. The inscription on the map suggests that he died in 1754.

In other works

Although Flint was only rather briefly mentioned in the novel Treasure Island, he was shown several times in film versions of the story.

Flint has a major part in the 1934 prequel "The Porto Bello Gold", by A. D. Howden Smith, which depicts the way that the treasure was captured from a Spanish galleon. In this version, Flint is described as having started his piratical career as the junior partner of Andrew Murray, an idealistic Jacobite turned pirate, who is not referenced in Stevenson's original book. Flint gradually becomes the dominant partner. The book describes how Flint secretly buries the treasure which would, a generation later, be recovered by the protagonists of Stevenson's classic "Treasure Island".

Flint is also mentioned in the novel Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie: Here is Bill Jukes, every inch of him tattooed, the same Bill Jukes who got six dozen on the WALRUS from Flint before he would drop the bag of moidores.

In Arthur Ransome's book Swallows and Amazons, the Blacketts' uncle James Turner is nicknamed Captain Flint by the Swallows. This is because they believed that he looked like a retired pirate and took the name from Treasure Island. He is nearly always referred to by this name in the rest of the books.[3]

Captain Flint also was to be seen in a glimpse in the animated feature-film Treasure Planet by Disney. In this film, the character was known as Nathaniel Flint, a space pirate of non-human origins whose reputation was legendary for leading his ship and crew to plundering merchant ships, infamously appearing and disappearing without a trace, and eventually burying his treasure (called by many 'Flint's Trove' and/or 'the loot of a thousand worlds') inside the giant alien mechanism known as Treasure Planet.

When Harry Potter first goes to Hogwarts, Marcus Flint is the leader of the Slytherin Quidditch team, and thus "Captain Flint."


  1. ^ Flint may have been based on a real person. According to French author Pierre Mac Orlan, Flint is mentioned by a certain M. C. Whitehead in his Life of the English Thieves and Pirates. Mac Orlan wrote this in his introduction for a French translation of Captain Johnson's General History of the pyrates in 1921 (see Pierre Mac Orlan, A Bord de L'Etoile Matutine, Gallimard, coll. folio, Paris, 1983, p. 208 (French language))
  2. ^ Thought by some to be a pen name for Daniel Defoe
  3. ^ Hardyment, Christina (1984) Arthur Ransome and Capt. Flint's Trunk. London: Jonathan Cape

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