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Pirates – The Ugly Truth

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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 popular Rapiers: good for duels Boarding 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 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 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) 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 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 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

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 taverns Some forced into it after pirate attacks—carpenters, 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).

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 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)

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 England Arm and sword flown by Edmund Cook, Thomas Tew, Christopher Moody

12 One of Christopher Moody’s flags
More Pirate Flags One of Christopher Moody’s flags Edward Low’s Flag Henry Avrey’s flags

13 Devil skeleton toasting while stabbing a heart
More Pirate Flags Blackbeard’s flag: Devil skeleton toasting while stabbing a heart Calico Jack’s flag Notice the resemblance between this flag and the flag from Pirates of the Caribbean

14 Two of Bartholomew Robert’s flags
More Pirate Flags The Jolly Roger: Jolie Rouge: Red or bloody flag “Old Roger”: the devil Two of Bartholomew Robert’s flags The 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 eight Surgeon: salary of pieces of eight Captain: 5-6 shares plus a salary Master’s 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!

17 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

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 Kidd Captain Stratton Sir 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 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! Captain Stratton wasn’t a pirate: a crooked captain who made furtive and underhanded deals with pirates He was captured for his deceptions Not 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 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)

21 Captain Kidd… 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 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. --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 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

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 Thames Kidd’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” 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

25 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

26 ---Edward Teach---Edward Thatch--- ---Edward Drummond---Edward Tach---
Blackbeard! Little is known: only of his 2 year reign of terror on the high seas Possibly sailed during Queen Anne’s War Possibly learned from Pirate Captain Hornigold Probably took Hornigold’s crew and ships in 1777 after Hornigold took a pardon Considered an amiable person, unless you gave him trouble AKA: ---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 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!” 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 demanded Captured French slave ship La Concorde and converted it to Queen Anne’s Revenge This 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 pardon While 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 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 Maynard’s forces Maynard’s men board and attack Blackbeard

31 Blackbeard’s Final Battle…
Blackbeard eventually overcome: either shot by Maynard or decapitated by a Scotsman under Maynard Maynard tied Blackbeard’s head to his Bowsprit and sailed for home Blackbeard’s body: 20 serious cuts and 5 shot Legend: Blackbeard’s headless body swam around the boat several times after it was dumped overboard Printed 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 him 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 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 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 Princes Alwilda (400ad) She didn’t 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 O’Malley 1500ad Cut her hair short for sailing After her husband died, “Granuaille” took control of her family’s fleet “Grany Imallye” eventually arrested Befriended Queen Elizabeth I who let her go

34 Pirate families Most pirates didn’t have families
Henry Avery had a wife and two kids William Kidd had a wife and two “Kidds” Blackbeard had 14 wives—maybe. Most pirates didn’t 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 male pirates on a ship (depending on size).

35 The End…

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