Presentation on theme: "Pirates – The Ugly Truth"— Presentation transcript:
1 Pirates – The Ugly Truth A brief history of piracy.
2 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 didn’t swing from boat to boat; it doesn’t work.They didn’t slide down sails with knives.Bartholomew Roberts
3 Please remember…Pirates are evil thieves, murderers, liars, kidnappers, rapists, terrorists, and torture experts.There is no such thing as a “good pirate.”
4 Did pirate ships get close together and fire cannons from just feet away? It’s 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!
5 Did pirates make people walk the plank? No, there’s only one recorded instance of this, and historians are skeptical about it.A pirate’s favorite sword:Cutlass : short but practical (keeps out of ropes)Daggers were handy, broadswords popularRapiers: good for duelsBoarding axes and pikes popular as well
6 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 wouldn’t work. Most pirates carried several pistols. There were marksmen as well.
7 It’s all about the booty… The treasure “Big Score!”: But very rare!Reales or Pesos:Silver Spanish coinsThe “eight reales” coin became known as “pieces of eight”Escudos:Gold Spanish coinsThe “eight escudo” coin became known as “doubloon”Ingot:Gold or silver cast into a barPractical and common plunder they stole:Food and water suppliesCloth for sails and marketsSpare parts and pieces for the ship (masts, ropes, lumber, etc.)Slaves (to be sold or used)Treasure recovered by Barry Clifford from “Black Sam” Bellamy’s Whydah
8 Types of Pirates: Pirate or Privateer? Buccaneer: Boucaner: French term for process of curing strips of meat over a barbequeBuccaneers were thugs, outlaws, and hunters of wild oxen and pig on HispaniolaEventually left island after food shortages and being pushed out by authorities: took to the seasTerm for pirates in Caribbean regionCorsair:Pirates in the Mediterranean and European areasPirate or Privateer?Privateer: Has a legal commission from a government to attack and seize cargo from enemy vessels or villagesPirate: Illegal criminals who attacked and plundered any vessel or costal village
9 The pirate’s 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. It’s all about the booty!An easy way to get money to spend in the brothels and tavernsSome forced into it after pirate attacks—carpenters, surgeonsThere were no jobs for sailors during times of peaceThe drink drove them to itJohn 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).
10 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 shipRichard 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)
11 Pirate Flags Black = Quarter given (We’ll be “gentle”) Red = No quarter given (We’ll kill and possibly torture everyone on board)Typical skull and cross bones flown by Edward EnglandArm and sword flown by Edmund Cook, Thomas Tew, Christopher Moody
12 One of Christopher Moody’s flags More Pirate FlagsOne of Christopher Moody’s flagsEdward Low’s FlagHenry Avrey’s flags
13 Devil skeleton toasting while stabbing a heart More Pirate FlagsBlackbeard’s flag:Devil skeleton toasting while stabbing a heartCalico Jack’s flagNotice the resemblance between this flag and the flag from Pirates of the Caribbean
14 Two of Bartholomew Robert’s flags More Pirate FlagsThe Jolly Roger:Jolie Rouge: Red or bloody flag“Old Roger”: the devilTwo of Bartholomew Robert’s flagsThe two skulls represent two Caribbean island that fought against Roberts
15 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.Piratical Democracy?
16 Articles and Contracts “No prey, no pay!”Pirates signed articles: contracts that determine duration and compensation:Carpenter or shipwright: salary of pieces of eightSurgeon: salary of pieces of eightCaptain: 5-6 shares plus a salaryMaster’s mate: 2 sharesCrew: 1 shareAny boys: ½ shareHonest about making sure everyone had their “fair share”—those who lied or concealed: turned out of the company!
17 Compensation for Injuries: Loss of starboard side arm: 600 pieces of eightLoss of portside arm: 500 pieces of eightLoss of starboard leg: 500 pieces of eightLoss of port leg: 400 pieces of eightLoss of an eye or finger: 100 pieces of eight
18 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 women only to have to ship out again for more loot.There are three recorded examples of buried treasure:Captain KiddCaptain StrattonSir Francis Drake
19 The pirates who liked to dig… Sir Francis Drake wasn’t 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 DiosDrake found his ship sailed away after being attackedHe buried the treasure, went for the ship, and unburied it that afternoon.Not a pirate, either!Captain Stratton wasn’t a pirate:a crooked captain who made furtive and underhanded deals with piratesHe was captured for his deceptionsNot a pirate: doesn’t count as pirate’s buried treasure.
20 The one who inspired stories of buried treasure… Captain William Kidd:Not a pirate, at least he would say he wasn’t!Became a privateerWealthy businessmen and politicians paid for the outfitting of 34 gun Adventure GalleyEven King William III got in on the dealHad permission to attack French pirate shipsKidd decided to sail to the Red Sea and the Indian OceanSet sail in 1696 in Adventure GalleyCaptain Kidd ended up with a quickly-gathered crew of misfits and ex-piratesExpedition suffered nearly two years of bad weather, sickness, and a lack of prizes (plunder)
21 Captain Kidd…Kidd eventually dumped the rotting, damaged Adventure Galley and took the Quedah Merchant, renamed Adventure PrizeKidd had a few more adventures and associated with other piratesKidd found out that England was unhappy with him and sent ships to arrest himKidd sold Adventure Prize and goods, bought a sloop, sailed home to wife and kids in NYJan. 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.--Kidd’s 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.
22 Captain Kidd… 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 expeditionSpent several year in solitary confinement on ships and in Newgate prisonCharged with:Piracy: he illegally attacked and plundered 5 shipsWalloping William Moore in the head with a bucket and killing him (Cordingly 183)Kidd had 2 weeks to prepare his defenseAsked for papers, but the license to attack French vessels was missing
23 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 ThamesKidd’s treasure amounted to nearly £400,000 (around $800K in US) but only £40,000 were found
24 A few other big scores* “Black Sam” Bellamy Blackbeard Artist conception of “Black Sam” Bellamy“Black Sam” BellamyClose to $400 million retrieved (modern value) from the wrecked WhydahBlackbeardCapture more than 20 ships in pirate careerAfter his fall, £2,500 total, including the sale of his sloop, collected*Figures from Cordingly
25 Blackbeard: Truth or Legend? Invented persona of “Blackbeard” to scare peopleHad 14 wives and 40 kidsBuried massive treasuresGrew beard and tied it with bright ribbons to aid in personaBurned rope sticking from hat to look fearsomeChased down a British navel ship!Buried treasure at the Isles of Shoals
26 ---Edward Teach---Edward Thatch--- ---Edward Drummond---Edward Tach--- Blackbeard!Little is known: only of his 2 year reign of terror on the high seasPossibly sailed during Queen Anne’s WarPossibly learned from Pirate Captain HornigoldProbably took Hornigold’s crew and ships in 1777 after Hornigold took a pardonConsidered an amiable person, unless you gave him troubleAKA:---Edward Teach---Edward Thatch------Edward Drummond---Edward Tach------Edward Tash---
27 Blackbeard in NH! Isles of Shoals off the New Hampshire coast: A great place for him to tradeHoneymooned with Martha (one of 14 wives) on Smuttynose IslandHe left her there to guard a treasureShe died of illness, but many say his treasure is still there, as is the ghost of Martha who wails, “You will come back!”You Will Come Back by North Hampton’s Terri DeMitchell is about this tale.What’s a “mooncusser”?
28 Blackbeard!Created a blockade around Charleston, SC, and held hostages he received the medicine he demandedCaptured French slave ship La Concorde and converted it to Queen Anne’s RevengeThis was a big ship! 44+ guns!Wrecked havoc for two years!Battled 30 gun HMS Scarborough
29 Blackbeard’s 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 pardonWhile they were gone, Blackbeard moved the treasure from QAR to Adventure and slipped away.
30 Blackbeard’s Final Battle… British Navy sent Robert Maynard after himMaynard lost one sloop in shoals, but the other kept goingDawn, Thur. Nov. 21Maynard catches Blackbeard“Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarter or take any from you.”Blackbeard shoots a broadside, devastating Maynard’s forcesMaynard’s men board and attack Blackbeard
31 Blackbeard’s Final Battle… Blackbeard eventually overcome: either shot by Maynard or decapitated by a Scotsman under MaynardMaynard tied Blackbeard’s head to his Bowsprit and sailed for homeBlackbeard’s body: 20 serious cuts and 5 shotLegend: Blackbeard’s headless body swam around the boat several times after it was dumped overboardPrinted from The Boston News Letter:…one of Maynard’s 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, I’ll do it better. With that he gave him a second stroke, which cut off his head, laying it flat on his shoulder.
32 Women pirates Anne Bonny: Left her husband for pirate John Rackham (“Calico Jack”)Had a child with himMary Read:Raised as a boy, fought in land armies and on shipsJoined with Anne and Calico Jack after her ship was capturedBoth sailed and fought dressed as menWilliam was captured, the rest of the crew wanted to surrender, but Anne and Mary urged them to fightBoth found guilty of piracyBoth escaped hanging because of pregnancyMary Read died of fever in prisonAnne Bonny’s and her child’s fate are unknown
33 A few other lady pirates: Mrs. Cheng (Early 1800’s)Perhaps the most successful pirates ever!Nearly 1,000 ships in her fleet!Harsh and cruel: stiff punishments, no mercy to victimsChina forced to hire ships from Europe to help stop herSecured a treaty: pirates walk away with plunder but turn in boats and weaponsMore than 17,000 pirates in her forcePrinces Alwilda (400ad)She didn’t want to marry Prince Alf of DenmarkShe dressed as a man and stole a boat with some friendsWhen Prince Alf captured her, he also captured her heart!Grace O’Malley 1500adCut her hair short for sailingAfter her husband died, “Granuaille” took control of her family’s fleet“Grany Imallye” eventually arrestedBefriended Queen Elizabeth I who let her go
34 Pirate families Most pirates didn’t have families Henry Avery had a wife and two kidsWilliam Kidd had a wife and two “Kidds”Blackbeard had 14 wives—maybe.Most pirates didn’t have time or were more interested in “other” womenConsidered bad luck to have women on board of any ship. (Caused problems: bunch of men + few women = fights!)There were anywhere from male pirates on a ship (depending on size).