A Woman Shipowner
Agnes Cowty was a successful woman shipowner in Dundee. Fellow Scottish merchants had been suffering heavy depredations by English pirates operating in the English Channel. After two particularly heavy losses they petitioned King James and with his help the English Court and were awarded partial compensation. In 1582 Agnes Cowty’s ships were captured and two sons killed in an attack by pirates. She was supported in her efforts to gain compensation by the other Dundee merchants and despite much delay and obstruction by the English authorities she was ultimately successful.