Sailor, soldier, knight and Colonial governor, William Phips rose from poverty and hardship to fulfill a New England prophecy that he would ""stand before kings."" On borrowed funds, he built ships, then led expeditions to the Bahama Banks. When he finally found sunken treasure and recovered it, his wealth served ends that ambition had set: he was knighted by James II and achieved a measure of social standing. By something of a fluke, he captured the Nova Scotian stronghold of Port Royal for the English, loading to his appointment as the first royal governor of Massachusetts. His attempts to suppress the Salem witchcraft executions nearly brought about his downfall, and he died fighting to clear his name. His travels put him in touch with Dryden, Pepys, Cotton Mathor and other figures of the Restoration, and treasure-hunting even by itself makes a pretty good story, but Phips was not in fact a really heroic character, nor even a very able governor, and there is a certain futility about this biography's attempt to inflate his career out of all proportion.