Privateers, Buccaneers and Pirates

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    Privateers, BuccaneersPrivateers, Buccaneersand Piratesand Pirates

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    PrivateersPrivateers

    During war, countries gave permission calledDuring war, countries gave permission calledLetters of Marque to owners of private vessels toLetters of Marque to owners of private vessels towage war against enemy ships .wage war against enemy ships .The first group of Privateers were the French, and The first group of Privateers were the French, and were called Corsaires They regularly attacked were called Corsaires They regularly attacked Spanish Ships in the Florida Channel and boldly Spanish Ships in the Florida Channel and boldly attacked settlements in Cuba, Hispaniola and attacked settlements in Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.Puerto Rico.

    Privateers were allowed to keep most, and Privateers were allowed to keep most, and sometimes all, of the captured ships and thesometimes all, of the captured ships and thevaluables on them.valuables on them.

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    England joined France as she too was still veryEngland joined France as she too was still very jealous of the wealth and power Spain had jealous of the wealth and power Spain hadassumed through her expanding empire.assumed through her expanding empire.England relied heavily on privateering in her England relied heavily on privateering in her attempt to break Spains stronghold,attempt to break Spains stronghold,encouraging Privateers to attack Spains ships.encouraging Privateers to attack Spains ships.

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    In addition to Privateers roaming the seas of the Caribbean,In addition to Privateers roaming the seas of the Caribbean,Buccaneers also sailed throughout the islands.Buccaneers also sailed throughout the islands.The original The original boucaniers boucaniers were based on northern Hispaniola.were based on northern Hispaniola.They were considered wild men from France, Holland andThey were considered wild men from France, Holland andEngland, who hunted wild cattle and dried the meat over open firesEngland, who hunted wild cattle and dried the meat over open firescalledcalled boucans. boucans. They sold this meat, along with hides to passingThey sold this meat, along with hides to passingships.ships.Sir Henry Morgan was probably the best known of all theSir Henry Morgan was probably the best known of all thebuccaneers. He was born in Wales and travelled as a sailor tobuccaneers. He was born in Wales and travelled as a sailor toJamaica. He began to mix with the buccaneers and eventuallyJamaica. He began to mix with the buccaneers and eventuallymoved up the ranks, assuming the position of Commander. Hemoved up the ranks, assuming the position of Commander. Hehad a crew of seven hundred, many of whom came from Thehad a crew of seven hundred, many of whom came from TheBahamas. Morgan is well known for his expedition to Panama inBahamas. Morgan is well known for his expedition to Panama in1670 where he destroyed the city and left with a large booty1670 where he destroyed the city and left with a large bootyincluding 433,000 pounds of silver! Following a mutiny from hisincluding 433,000 pounds of silver! Following a mutiny from hiscrew, Morgan turned to living honestly, and eventually becamecrew, Morgan turned to living honestly, and eventually becameGovernor of Jamaica.Governor of Jamaica.

    Buccaneers

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    As time went on, the decline of the wild herds,As time went on, the decline of the wild herds,overcrowding, and the opposition of the Spaniards ledovercrowding, and the opposition of the Spaniards ledthe buccaneers to live less of hunting and more off thethe buccaneers to live less of hunting and more off theriches from Spanish ships they robbed in retaliation for riches from Spanish ships they robbed in retaliation for Spains opposition to them. Eventually they moved toSpains opposition to them. Eventually they moved toTortuga, off the coast of Hispaniola.Tortuga, off the coast of Hispaniola.Meantime, the Privateers who had originally been givenMeantime, the Privateers who had originally been givenpermission to attack ships through Letters of Marque,permission to attack ships through Letters of Marque,

    found that there were fewer enemy ships sailing thefound that there were fewer enemy ships sailing theCaribbean, so they took matters into their own handsCaribbean, so they took matters into their own handsand attacked any ship without permission. This actionand attacked any ship without permission. This actionmade them pirates.made them pirates.

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    Pirates inPirates inThe BahamasThe Bahamas

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    As surely as spiders abound where there areAs surely as spiders abound where there arenooks and crannies, so have pirates sprung upnooks and crannies, so have pirates sprung up

    whenever there is a nest of islands offeringwhenever there is a nest of islands offeringcreeks and shallows, headlands rocks and reefscreeks and shallows, headlands rocks and reefs facilities, in short, for lurking, for surprise, for facilities, in short, for lurking, for surprise, for attack, for escape.attack, for escape.

    Craton, A History of TheBahamas

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    Pirate communities were almost exclusively malePirate communities were almost exclusively male(though we do have the reports of the activities of Ann(though we do have the reports of the activities of AnnBonney and Mary Read) with pirates being on averageBonney and Mary Read) with pirates being on averagebetween 25 and 30 years of age. Pirates were, for thebetween 25 and 30 years of age. Pirates were, for the

    most part, volunteers who were recruited from themost part, volunteers who were recruited from thelower ranks of sailors on merchant and naval ships.lower ranks of sailors on merchant and naval ships.Most of these men were badly treated and wereMost of these men were badly treated and wererejected by society, so a life of piracy, with its promiserejected by society, so a life of piracy, with its promiseof instant wealth, was very attractive. It is believed thatof instant wealth, was very attractive. It is believed thatsome 1400 pirates roamed the seas of The Bahamassome 1400 pirates roamed the seas of The Bahamasduring the height of piracy.during the height of piracy.

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    Pirates operated under strict codes of honour Pirates operated under strict codes of honour and did not tolerate too much drunkenness,and did not tolerate too much drunkenness,sex, gambling, and fighting on board thesex, gambling, and fighting on board the

    ships. These were essentially on shoreships. These were essentially on shoreactivities. Pirate captains were elected andactivities. Pirate captains were elected andruled by consensus. They did not enjoy veryruled by consensus. They did not enjoy verymany extra privileges over the other pirates.many extra privileges over the other pirates.Allocation of the shares of booty was equalAllocation of the shares of booty was equaland was far more fair than that on naval ships.and was far more fair than that on naval ships.

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    Some well known piratesSome well known pirates

    Edward TeachEdward Teach

    He was born in Bristol, EnglandHe was born in Bristol, EnglandKnown as Black beard whoKnown as Black beard whoplaited his beard and tied it upplaited his beard and tied it upwith red ribbons. Also, as awith red ribbons. Also, as ascare tactic, had burning cordsscare tactic, had burning cordsunder his hat.under his hat.His ship was known as His ship was known as QueenQueen

    Annes Revenge Annes Revenge

    which he hadwhich he had

    captured from the Frenchcaptured from the FrenchHe died in a battle on 21He died in a battle on 21 stst November, 1718November, 1718

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    Black Beards ship theBlack Beards ship theQueen AnnesQueen AnnesRevengeRevenge

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    Stede BonnetStede BonnetWas an army officer and never commanded a shipWas an army officer and never commanded a shipLived in Barbados on his plantationLived in Barbados on his plantationObtained a ship, the Revenge and fitted it with guns and men, tellingObtained a ship, the Revenge and fitted it with guns and men, tellingeveryone that he was going to trade legitimately and simply had theeveryone that he was going to trade legitimately and simply had theguns for protection.guns for protection.Left home and never went back. He plundered the Caribbean coastsLeft home and never went back. He plundered the Caribbean coastsas far as Virginia. He later became known as Captain Thomas.as far as Virginia. He later became known as Captain Thomas.He accepted a pardon but this was short-lived. He returned to a life of He accepted a pardon but this was short-lived. He returned to a life of piracy on a new ship, The Royal James.piracy on a new ship, The Royal James.He was captured in South Carolina and hanged in November, 1718He was captured in South Carolina and hanged in November, 1718Other pirates who frequented The Bahamas were Benjamin Hornigold,Other pirates who frequented The Bahamas were Benjamin Hornigold,John Augur and Charles VaneJohn Augur and Charles Vane

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    Female PiratesFemale Pirates

    Anne Bonney Anne Bonney Was born in Ireland and moved Was born in Ireland and moved to America when her father took to America when her father took over a plantation in Carolinaover a plantation in Carolina

    Disowned by her father becauseDisowned by her father becauseshe secretly married a young she secretly married a young sailor sailor Husband left when he found out Husband left when he found out she was penniless.she was penniless.

    Anne joined up with John Anne joined up with JohnRackham Calico Jack and Rackham Calico Jack and became a piratebecame a pirateEventually was caught and Eventually was caught and sentenced to hang but wassentenced to hang but wasspared because she wasspared because she was

    pregnant. pregnant.

    Mary Read Mary Read Lived most of her life as a boyLived most of her life as a boyWas born in London and worked asWas born in London and worked asa foot soldier at age of 13a foot soldier at age of 13Later ran away and stole on board aLater ran away and stole on board aman-o-war ship. Eventually sheman-o-war ship. Eventually shewould join Calico Jack and becomewould join Calico Jack and becomea pirate on his ship. She, along witha pirate on his ship. She, along withCalico Jack and Anne BonneyCalico Jack and Anne Bonneyterrorized the Caribbeanterrorized the CaribbeanEventually she was taken prisoner Eventually she was taken prisoner along with Calico Jack andalong with Calico Jack andsentenced to hang. She died of sentenced to hang. She died of fever while in prison before thefever while in prison before thesentence could be carried outsentence could be carried outSome historians believe she was aSome historians believe she was afictitious character.fictitious character.

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