Presentation on theme: "Pirates – The Ugly Truth A brief history of piracy."— Presentation transcript:
Pirates – The Ugly Truth A brief history of piracy.
What do you know about pirates? Did pirates have parrots? –Sure. Monkeys were popular, too! Did pirates have peg legs and hooks? –Yes, many lost limbs, but few had hooks. Did pirates grapple and swing from boat to boat? –Not really, usually ships would launch the long boats. But it happened. –They usually didnt swing from boat to boat; it doesnt work. –They didnt slide down sails with knives. Bartholomew Roberts
Pirates are evil thieves, murderers, liars, kidnappers, rapists, terrorists, and torture experts. There is no such thing as a good pirate. Please remember…
Did pirate ships get close together and fire cannons from just feet away? Its in all the cool pirate movies? –Maybe once, but that would be a really dumb maneuver. Were there any crazy pirates like the weird, little dude with grenades? –Some may have been little, many were crazy, but they did have grenades!
Did pirates make people walk the plank? –No, theres only one recorded instance of this, and historians are skeptical about it. A pirates favorite sword: –Cutlass: short but practical (keeps out of ropes) –Daggers were handy, broadswords popular –Rapiers: good for duels –Boarding axes and pikes popular as well
Did they shoot silverware out cannons? –Silverware, probably not. Nails, chains, other bits of shrapnel, sure. Did they use a lot of guns? –Yes, but guns were very unreliable. They became wet easily and wouldnt work. Most pirates carried several pistols. There were marksmen as well.
Its all about the booty… Practical and common plunder they stole: Food and water supplies Cloth for sails and markets Spare parts and pieces for the ship (masts, ropes, lumber, etc.) Slaves (to be sold or used) The treasure Big Score!: But very rare! Reales or Pesos: –Silver Spanish coins –The eight reales coin became known as pieces of eight Escudos: –Gold Spanish coins –The eight escudo coin became known as doubloon Ingot: –Gold or silver cast into a bar Treasure recovered by Barry Clifford from Black Sam Bellamys Whydah
Types of Pirates: Pirate or Privateer? Privateer: Has a legal commission from a government to attack and seize cargo from enemy vessels or villages Pirate: Illegal criminals who attacked and plundered any vessel or costal village Buccaneer: –Boucaner: French term for process of curing strips of meat over a barbeque –Buccaneers were thugs, outlaws, and hunters of wild oxen and pig on Hispaniola –Eventually left island after food shortages and being pushed out by authorities: took to the seas –Term for pirates in Caribbean region Corsair: –Pirates in the Mediterranean and European areas
The pirates life for me! Pirates became pirates for many reasons: Treasure! Gold! Jewels! A quick way to make it to the good life of wine, food, and luxury. Its all about the booty! An easy way to get money to spend in the brothels and taverns Some forced into it after pirate attackscarpenters, surgeons There were no jobs for sailors during times of peace The drink drove them to it –John Archer, before his hanging in 1724, admitted that strong drink had hardened him into committing crimes that were more bitter than death to him (Cordingly 193). –William White, before his execution on the same day, said that drunkenness had been his ruin, and he had been drunk when he was enticed aboard a pirate ship (Cordingly 193).
Captains of merchant and military vessels were cruel and pushed the crews too far! Edward Hamlin (crime unknown, date unknown) suffered flogging plus being fettered for 8 days to the deck of the ship Richard Baker (1734) became ill on Europa and became too weak to work on deck. The captain forced him to spend four hours at the helm, then a whipping, and 90 minutes of being tied to the mizzen mast. He died a few days later. I could wish that Masters of vessels would not use their men with so much severity, as so many of them do, which exposes us to great temptations. John Archer, 1724, before his execution. It was such dogs as he that put men on pyrating. John Phillips, 1722, at the trial of the crew of Bartholomew Roberts, regarding former officers known to starve the men. (Info taken from Cordingly, Under the Black Flag)
Pirate Flags Black = Quarter given (Well be gentle) Red = No quarter given (Well kill and possibly torture everyone on board) Typical skull and cross bones flown by Edward England Arm and sword flown by Edmund Cook, Thomas Tew, Christopher Moody
Henry Avreys flags More Pirate Flags One of Christopher Moodys flags Edward Lows Flag
More Pirate Flags Calico Jacks flag Notice the resemblance between this flag and the flag from Pirates of the Caribbean Blackbeards flag: Devil skeleton toasting while stabbing a heart
More Pirate Flags The Jolly Roger: Jolie Rouge: Red or bloody flag Old Roger: the devil Two of Bartholomew Roberts flags The two skulls represent two Caribbean island that fought against Roberts
Piratical Democracy? Pirates were democratic: They elected captains! They could rescind their choice! The crew determined the course of action: –Fight, retreat, go to Madagascar, go to New England: zig-zagged. The captain made sure the ship went smoothly: courses, battle positions, strategy, argument disputes, money, etc.
Articles and Contracts No prey, no pay! Pirates signed articles: contracts that determine duration and compensation: Carpenter or shipwright: salary of 100-150 pieces of eight Surgeon: salary of 200-250 pieces of eight Captain: 5-6 shares plus a salary Masters mate: 2 shares Crew: 1 share Any boys: ½ share Honest about making sure everyone had their fair share those who lied or concealed: turned out of the company!
Compensation for Injuries: Loss of starboard side arm: 600 pieces of eight Loss of portside arm: 500 pieces of eight Loss of starboard leg: 500 pieces of eight Loss of port leg: 400 pieces of eight Loss of an eye or finger: 100 pieces of eight
Buried Treasure and X-Marks the Spot! Pirates rarely ever buried their treasure. Most squandered their shares with drink and prostitutes. Some hoarded their shares to live the good life, but… most wasted it on drink and womenonly to have to ship out again for more loot. There are three recorded examples of buried treasure: Captain Kidd Captain Stratton Sir Francis Drake
The pirates who liked to dig… Captain Stratton wasnt a pirate: –a crooked captain who made furtive and underhanded deals with pirates –He was captured for his deceptions –Not a pirate: doesnt count as pirates buried treasure. Sir Francis Drake wasnt a pirate: –A privateer who had permission to plunder Spanish towns and ships. –Returned from a profitable attack on a mule train at Nombre de Dios –Drake found his ship sailed away after being attacked –He buried the treasure, went for the ship, and unburied it that afternoon. –Not a pirate, either!
The one who inspired stories of buried treasure… Captain William Kidd: Not a pirate, at least he would say he wasnt! Became a privateer –Wealthy businessmen and politicians paid for the outfitting of 34 gun Adventure Galley –Even King William III got in on the deal –Had permission to attack French pirate ships –Kidd decided to sail to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean Set sail in 1696 in Adventure Galley Captain Kidd ended up with a quickly-gathered crew of misfits and ex-pirates Expedition suffered nearly two years of bad weather, sickness, and a lack of prizes (plunder)
Captain Kidd… Jan. 30, 1698: Quedah Merchant. --Kidd flew a French flag: Quedah Merchant responded similarly, flying a French flag as well, despite belonging to Armenians. --Kidd had permission to attack French vessels. --Kidds ruse allowed him to attack on a technicality: --The captain was British --The boat belonged to a high Indian official --Kidd also attacked Sedgwick of the East India Trading Co. Kidd eventually dumped the rotting, damaged Adventure Galley and took the Quedah Merchant, renamed Adventure Prize Kidd had a few more adventures and associated with other pirates Kidd found out that England was unhappy with him and sent ships to arrest him Kidd sold Adventure Prize and goods, bought a sloop, sailed home to wife and kids in NY
Back in NY, Kidd dispersed funds to wife and friends A few witnesses saw some heavily-laden long boats launch from his sloop and land on Gardiners Island. Kidd arrested and sent to England, received no help from backers of his expedition Spent several year in solitary confinement on ships and in Newgate prison Charged with: –Piracy: he illegally attacked and plundered 5 ships –Walloping William Moore in the head with a bucket and killing him (Cordingly 183) Kidd had 2 weeks to prepare his defense –Asked for papers, but the license to attack French vessels was missing Captain Kidd…
Found guilty on all charges –My lord, it is a very hard sentence. For my part, I am the innocentest person of them all, only I have been sworn against by perjured persons (Cordingly 189). –Hanged at Execution Block in London, then his corpse was hung in chains at Tilbury Point on the Thames Kidds treasure amounted to nearly £400,000 (around $800K in US) but only £40,000 were found Captain Kidd…
A few other big scores* Black Sam Bellamy –Close to $400 million retrieved (modern value) from the wrecked Whydah Blackbeard –Capture more than 20 ships in pirate career –After his fall, £2,500 total, including the sale of his sloop, collected *Figures from Cordingly Artist conception of Black Sam Bellamy
Blackbeard: Truth or Legend? Invented persona of Blackbeard to scare people Had 14 wives and 40 kids Buried massive treasures Grew beard and tied it with bright ribbons to aid in persona Burned rope sticking from hat to look fearsome Chased down a British navel ship! Buried treasure at the Isles of Shoals Truth Legend
Little is known: only of his 2 year reign of terror on the high seas Possibly sailed during Queen Annes War Possibly learned from Pirate Captain Hornigold Probably took Hornigolds crew and ships in 1777 after Hornigold took a pardon Considered an amiable person, unless you gave him trouble Blackbeard! AKA: ---Edward Teach---Edward Thatch--- ---Edward Drummond---Edward Tach--- ---Edward Tash---
Isles of Shoals off the New Hampshire coast: –A great place for him to trade –Honeymooned with Martha (one of 14 wives) on Smuttynose Island –He left her there to guard a treasure –She died of illness, but many say his treasure is still there, as is the ghost of Martha who wails, You will come back! Blackbeard in NH! You Will Come Back by North Hamptons Terri DeMitchell is about this tale. Whats a mooncusser?
Captured French slave ship La Concorde and converted it to Queen Annes Revenge This was a big ship! 44+ guns! Wrecked havoc for two years! Battled 30 gun HMS Scarborough Blackbeard! Created a blockade around Charleston, SC, and held hostages he received the medicine he demanded
Blackbeards Gutsy Move-- Problem: 300 pirates in his fleet and he wants to retire. Ground QAR on shallows near Ocracoke Inlet (NC) Summoned Adventure to assist, which also got stuck Blackbeard sent Captain Bonnet and others to receive a pardon While they were gone, Blackbeard moved the treasure from QAR to Adventure and slipped away.
Blackbeards Final Battle… British Navy sent Robert Maynard after him Maynard lost one sloop in shoals, but the other kept going Dawn, Thur. Nov. 21 Maynard catches Blackbeard Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarter or take any from you. Blackbeard shoots a broadside, devastating Maynards forces Maynards men board and attack Blackbeard
Printed from The Boston News Letter: …one of Maynards men, being a Highlander, Engaged Teach with his broadsword, who gave Teach a cut on the neck, Teach saying well done lad; the Highlander replied, If it be not done well, Ill do it better. With that he gave him a second stroke, which cut off his head, laying it flat on his shoulder. Blackbeards Final Battle… Blackbeard eventually overcome: either shot by Maynard or decapitated by a Scotsman under Maynard Maynard tied Blackbeards head to his Bowsprit and sailed for home Blackbeards body: 20 serious cuts and 5 shot Legend: Blackbeards headless body swam around the boat several times after it was dumped overboard
Women pirates Anne Bonny:Anne Bonny: –Left her husband for pirate John Rackham (Calico Jack) –Had a child with him Mary Read:Mary Read: –Raised as a boy, fought in land armies and on ships –Joined with Anne and Calico Jack after her ship was captured Both sailed and fought dressed as men William was captured, the rest of the crew wanted to surrender, but Anne and Mary urged them to fight Both found guilty of piracy –Both escaped hanging because of pregnancy –Mary Read died of fever in prison –Anne Bonnys and her childs fate are unknown
A few other lady pirates: Princes AlwildaPrinces Alwilda (400ad) –She didnt want to marry Prince Alf of Denmark –She dressed as a man and stole a boat with some friends –When Prince Alf captured her, he also captured her heart! Grace OMalleyGrace OMalley 1500ad –Cut her hair short for sailing –After her husband died, Granuaille took control of her familys fleet –Grany Imallye eventually arrested –Befriended Queen Elizabeth I who let her go Mrs. ChengMrs. Cheng (Early 1800s) –Perhaps the most successful pirates ever! –Nearly 1,000 ships in her fleet! –Harsh and cruel: stiff punishments, no mercy to victims –China forced to hire ships from Europe to help stop her –Secured a treaty: pirates walk away with plunder but turn in boats and weapons –More than 17,000 pirates in her force
Pirate families Most pirates didnt have families Henry Avery had a wife and two kids William Kidd had a wife and two Kidds Blackbeard had 14 wivesmaybe. Most pirates didnt have time or were more interested in other women Considered bad luck to have women on board of any ship. (Caused problems: bunch of men + few women = fights!) There were anywhere from 30-200 male pirates on a ship (depending on size).