LUCAS, RICHARD, of Rotherhithe (London), HBC captain; b. c. 1656.
Lucas may have been in the company’s service by 1673 although he is first mentioned in its records in 1678 as second mate and gunner on the Prince Rupert (Capt. Richard Power). He returned to England on the John and Alexander in 1679 and sailed next year on the Prudent Mary (Capt. Richard Greenway). High adventure seemed to be his lot, for the Prudent Mary was wrecked off Tetherley’s Island in James Bay just after setting out homeward.
With much larger reward in view, Lucas accepted command of an interloping ship (i.e., one trespassing on the HBC’s monopoly) in 1682, thus heightening suspicion that he had hidden some of the Prudent Mary’s most valuable beaver for his own use. It was 1683 when the interloping vessel the Expectation sailed with Lucas in command, only to be captured by Capt. Nehemiah Walker, who “clapt” Lucas and crew on board and brought them to England. When this series of events led to suit in the High Court of Admiralty Lucas turned witness on behalf of the Company which promptly re-engaged him.
Commanding the Owner’s Goodwill in 1685 he met two French vessels with their capture, the Perpetuana Merchant, refused to strike or come on board, and escaped, reaching the Bay with damaged rigging. Deciding that he could profit himself better than in the Company’s service, he asked for release in 1686 and was given a certificate for “true and faithful service.”