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 Pirates and Piracy

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PostSubject: Pirates and Piracy   Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:15 am

Pirates and Piracy


Hello, my name is Samantha K M Gosset. This is my essay on pirates and an explanation of piracy. But before all of the explanation of all that, I want to explain why I chose this subject to write about.
Pirates have always interested me, even while I was little. The adveture stories of what they did kept me reading and I always felt like I understood where some of them were coming from and why they took to piracy when they knew the price for it. So, later on in my life I got hold of a different book and started looking at the history of pirates, but was sad to find there was barely any information that I wanted to know in these books. So I opened my search and instead of looking for books, I started a web search. I began a long search to find the type of information I was after, it took severel hours before I found what I had been looking for. I was 8 when I first became interested in pirates and my love of them has never stopped. I still love the stories and pictures of pirates.
When I wanted to do a essay on something I was interested in, I chose something I knew I loved enough that I would write about it and not really hate the fact that I had to write it no matter how long, so my first and only choice was plain as day, Pirates and piracy. So, sit back and read through all the work I took to make up this paper about pirates and piracy. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing and researching it. You will notice every so often I will show two pieces with allmost the same information about the same time. If ou read it carefully enough you will see differences between them. Try to pin point them.


Sea robbers or men who attacked and robbed ships at sea were called Pirates. Many tales of pirates are romantice and have made being a pirate look more like fun, play, adventure and romance. People don't think of the true history of pirates nor think to look deeper into piracy. Some historiens have looked back and found out as much as they could, but most people want to keep believing the romantice version than the plain boring truth. But, if you look back it is thanks to pirates that our history is the way it is. Pirates changed our history by their adventures.

Now most people when they think of pirates and try to picture them, they will see, spanish galleons loaded with pieces of eight and new world wealth. When you ask for names of pirates the ones that most remember are Henry Morgan, Captain Kidd and the well known and hated, Blackbeard. They will imagine scenes of buried treasure and daring pirate fights in the spanish main. The so called Golden age of piracy, with which most of these pictures of piracy and pirate behaviour are associated with. The pirates golden years lasted from the reign of Queen Elizabeth the first in the 16th century until the early 19th century, when Europeans and American natives were meant to have put a end to pirates and piracy, but did they really put a end to piracy then? Or just make everyone believe so? The answer to those is no they did not put a end to it. There are still places where piracy still exists today in the modern age. Also there are other ways to be a pirate in this modern age, such as getting hold of music, dvd's and other things and copying them for mass distribution and charging others, saying they bought them and the copies are real. These people are called by some pirates, but think to yourself, what are they really doing? I call them thieves not pirates. For if you look at how pirates were then you would see fights and bloody battles and things like that, so why do some call thieves pirates? Is it because they don't know what else to call them? Is it because its the first word that comes into their heads? Or another reason? This I'm not sure on, when asking the people I know they called them thieves like I do, they see pirates the same way as I; and are not as interested in pirates and the history of pirates as I am.

The first pirates on record were in the early days of Greece and Rome, the pirates plagued the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. They became so powerful that they made their own pirate nation in Cilicia which is now a part of Turkey. It was only when Pompey the great sent a fleet of 270 ships that the pirates were driven out of the Mediterranean.
According to one history site I looked at, for the next thousand years thieves sailed out of African ports to molest ships. Those men were called Barbary corsairs. (A Corsair is the term refers to pirates or privateers who operated in the Mediterranean. The most recognized corsairs were from the Barbary Coast of North Africa (European crusaders named their Muslim enemies “Barbary Corsairs”). These corsairs were authorized by their governments to prey upon the shipping lanes of Christian countries. The Maltese Corsairs led the fight against the Turks, being led by the Knights of St. John. The Maltese Corsairs initially fought for religion, but after a while the rewards of piracy grew to greater appeal. Soon the Maltese Corsairs were full-fledged pirates, with no interest in religious ideals.)
By the 16th century the corsair's had established a pirate empire, the Barbary pirates cruised and ruled the African states. The most hated of all were called Renegados, they were Europeans who had become leaders of the turks. (Renegado is now more widely known as "a turn coat" and renege "to go back on ones word".)
The most famos Barbary corsair's were the two brothers, Barbarossa, also known as "red beard". They paid the Sultan of Tunisia one fifth of their booty and used Tunisia as a pirate headquarters. The Barbary corsairs continued to harress sea commerce until Algeria was captured by the French in 1830. Another active area was in the East, from Japan to India. But unfortunatly the history of the eastern pirates is not well known, but they held a island called Formosa which is now known as Taiwan as a hide-away until the 17th century.

Here is the same time frame but one is easier and has more information and is slightly different, see if you can see where and how.

Introduction to Piracy
The history of piracy dates back more than 3000 years, but its accurate account depends on the actual meaning of the word ‘pirate’. In English, the word piracy has many different meanings and its usage is still relatively new. Today, some uses of the word have no particular meaning at all. A meaning was first ascribed to the word piracy sometime before the XVII century. It appears that the word pirate (peirato) was first used in about 140 BC by the Roman historian Polybius. The Greek historian Plutarch, writing in about 100 A.D., gave the oldest clear definition of piracy. He described pirates as those who attack without legal authority not only ships, but also maritime cities. Piracy was described for the first time, among others, in Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey. For a great many years there remained no unambiguous definition of piracy. Norse riders of the 9th and 11th century AD were not considered pirates but rather, were called "Danes" or "Vikings". Another popular meaning of the word in medieval England was "sea thieves". The meaning of the word pirate most closely tied to the contemporary was established in the XVIII century AD. This definition dubbed pirates "outlaws" whom even persons who were not soldiers could kill. The first application of international law actually involved anti-pirate legislation. This is due to the fact that most pirate acts were committed outside the borders of any country.
Sometimes governments gave rights to the pirates to represent them in their wars. The most popular form was to give a license to a private sailor to attack enemy shipping on behalf of a specific king - Privateer. Very often a privateer when caught by the enemy was tried as an outlaw notwithstanding the license. Below we tried to outline a selective history of piracy, selective and arbitrary because there is so much that can be said about piracy and it is impossible to tell all. We hope that even this brief introduction will show the spirit and truth about the piracy the way we see it.


In piracy's golden age which was apparently somehwere in the 1500's, Elizabeth the first made pivateers (A privateer was a pirate who by commission or letter of marquee from the government was authorized to seize or destroy a merchant vessel of another nation. The privateer was used as a cheap means of weakening the enemy by frequenting shipping routes (avoiding the costs related to the maintenance and creation of a navy). In theory no Privateer with a letter of marquee could be charged with piracy, since it was recognized by international law. However, it was not uncommon for privateers to be charged and prosecuted for piracy by hostile nations. All occurrences of vessels captured by privateers had to be brought before an Admiralty Court where they were tried to ensure that their plunder was legal game.) of her best saliors, which included Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake. This of course meant that by queens orders they were allowed to attack other ships from other countries, especially Spain, though now war was in process. According to the books, Captain Kidd was another famous privateer at the time.
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PostSubject: Part two   Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:22 am

In the middle of the 17th century a special kind of pirate called a Buccaneer began to terroize sailors in the west indies (A Buccaneer was initially hunter’s of cattle and pigs on the Island of what is now known as Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Buccaneers got their name from the meaning of the French word "boucan" (which means barbecue), as they were frequently seen barbecuing their meat on grills (they learned this form of cooking from the Arawak Indians). The buccaneers were driven out by the Spanish, and the persecuted hunters banded with groups of runaway slaves, deserters, and others who hated the Spanish and sought vengeance on their vessels. The word buccaneer soon became common, and by the 17th century was used to describe pirates and privateers who had bases in the West Indies.) Many islands and harbours there made the perfect kind of hiding places for them.
Buccaneers were, according to some books, originally French, Dutch and English sailors. Many of the sailors had feld their homeland to escape the law, they first settled in Haiti, where they lived like gypsies. From the Indians whom already lived there the sailors learned a method to sun dry meat which was called "buccaning, thus they became known as Buccaneers. The Spanish, who controlled the Caribbean area at that time, drove the buccaneers away and many of them took to the sea again. They were united in their hatred of the Spanish, so the buccaneers formed a loose-knit organization known as the "Brethren of the coast" and attacked both ships and settlements on land. According to some the most successful buccaneer was Sir Henry Morgan, who himself was a welshman he had gone to the west indies as a young man. Under Moragn the buccaneers plundered Puerto Del Principe, which is now in Cuba, Portobelo now in Panama and Maracaibo now in Venezuela. Apparently his greatest feat was the sacking of Panama city in 1671.
Very few pirates could be called "gentlemen", but then look around today, most now a days can hardly be called gentlemen either. But back then there was a exception, Maj Stede Bonnet, who was a wealthy Barbados land owner who had turned pirate simply for the adventure. He was equipped with a ten gun sloop called the Renvenge and in 1717 he had began to raid ships off the Virginia coast. But alas, I have bad news, he ony enjoyed being a pirate for about a year. He was then hanged for piracy in 1718. Bonnet was a friend of Edward Teach, some also called him Thatch who was one of history's cruelest pirates. Can anyone hazard a guess to who this was? It is none other than Blackbeard. He wore his long black beard in braids and was known to put pieces of fuse line or material tied to his beard then set light to them to scare off the people of the ship he was attacking, making him look more to them like a demon which also so history tells us is how he fought. His crew feared him and so history portrays him, he fought like a demon and looked like one. Blackbeard had a long and prosperous career, he also had the protection of Charles Eden who was none other than Govenor of Carolina. But unfortunatly in 1718 Lieut. Gov. Alexander Spotswood of Virgina outfitted two sloops with crews and ordered them to put an end to blackbeard and his rein over the seas. They found and fought blackbeard who is said to have died in a fight with Lieut. Robert Maynard. And so ended the rein over the seas for the forous Blackbeard one of most well known of pirates.
Captain John Rackham is the next pirate I want to tell you about, he was more widely known as Calio Jack due to the striped trousaurs he wore. From 1718 till 1720 he was a captain, but in this short time he plundered many ships. He and his crew were captured by the crew of the government ship and brought to trial at St. Jago De La Veg, Jamaica. Among Racham's crew were two Women, Anne Bonny and Mary Read. It just turns out they are the only female pirates on record, but I wonder how many other females were pirates but just were never known about. Rackham was hanged in port Royal on November the 17th in 1720. Old style Buccaneering came to a sudden halt when the war of the Spanish Succession broke out in 1701. The pirates then became members of the navies of France and England.
When the war ended navies were disbanded and the ports of the world were filled with unemployed sailors. These men needed some means of support and I dare say were getting more and more annoyed that they couldn't get any work in the area they knew best, the sea and sailing. A temptation to piracy was the Spanish plate fleet. This flotilla brought supplies from Spain and returned with treasure collected from the Spanish colonies.
Another welshman called henry Jennings was the first to profit from the plate fleet, he had pirateered from Jamaica during the war. But in 1714 the plate fleet was wrecked on the tip of Florida in a hurricane. The Spaniards salvaged most of the treasure and dragged it ashore, Jennings heard of this and sailed to the site. The pirates captured and looted the Spanish garrison and sailed away with the treasure. This exploit made Jennings famous as "he who lifted the Spanish plate". Jennings and his fellow pirates expanned their operation, attacking ships from all countries. They established a base on New Providence island in the Bahamas. The pirate menace became so great that merchants then started to arm themselves and their convoys. British merchants began to demand that piracy be wiped out completely. So King George the first issued a proclamation of amnesty. He promised that any pirate who surrendered and agreed to give up iracy would be forgiven and allowed to keep their plunder. Now as you very likely know some pirates accepted the amnesty, but some did not and as you very likely can guess weren't impressed or happy with those that did. It is said some of the pirates that did acccept the amnesty couldn't keep away from the sea and returned back to it after awhile. The british government in 1717 snet Captain Woodes Rogers to supress the pirates who remained in the Bahamas. When he arrived at New Providence about 1,000 pirates were living there. Rogers blocked the harbour with two ships so that the out-laws could not escape, and as you can guess the pirates didn't give in without a fight, it was apparently a fierce fight. The pirates even set one of their own boats on fire and sailed it toward the English ships, which as you can guess were forced to retreat to sea away from the burning ship. Never the less, Rogers was finally able to take possession of the island.
To protect the American trade in the Mediterranean the United States were forced to fight two Barbary wars against the piratical states of North Africa between 1801 and 1815. It was in the second conflict that finally freed the Mediterranean for Amrican shipping. Jean Lafitta who died about 1826 was the last colourfull figure in the history of piracy, a patriot as well as a pirate, piravteer and smuggler. Lafitte was enorrmously successful, but eventually he too lost his land base and his power also began to dwindle. With him died the old pirate ways apparently.


Now, I have told you about some of the history one some pirates. I'm now going to explain how the ships were governed and everything else. Then I will tell you about my two favorite pirates of all, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, the two reccorded female pirates.

Each pirate captain was elected by all the crew, but he was only in complete command in a battle. At other times he would work as one of the crew. If he did not take loot he was taken out of power. Perhaps the more powerful person than the captain was the quartermaster, he too was elected and could be deposed if he failed to do his job well. It was the quartermasters duty to divide the loot, prisoners were also assigned to him until the crew decided what their fate would be. It was the quartermasters right to punish any pirate who did wrong.
A pirate sailed with the understanding that the rule was "no prey, no pay", this is because theywere more interested in loot than prisoners. Pirates used to set many crews free with their ships after taking their plunder, pirates only killed a few people. Prisoners were sometimes held for randsome or were set ashore, in other words marooned.
Most pirate crews had written rules that were strictly obeyed. Women were not to be brought on board and captured women were not to be molested. Shares of booty were agreed upon. Death was decreed for desertion or for theft of another mans possessions. A suspect was given a trial before he was punished.
A pirate sentenced to death often was set ashore on a derted island where he would die of thirst. He would be allowed a knife or pistol with one bullet so he could take his own life if he wanted to.
Although many pirate ships hoisted a black flag bearing a white skull and crossbones, no-ones flag was ever adopted by all pirates. Many pirates designed their own banners. Piracy was not, contrary to belief a romantice way of life but a serious business. This business had to be distoryed in order to permit the natural growth of nations. The almost complete Destuction of piracy was a milestone in the struggle for law and order.
Code of Conduct on a Pirate Ship:
The rules of each pirate captain were clearly stated to each member of the crew. There was little ambiguity about acceptable behavior among pirates on a typical pirate ship. When a rule was breached, the crew was often without pity or remorse in punishing a guilty crew member. Although in cases of particularly useful pirates such as skillful fighters, exceptions were inevitably made. Below, a sample code of conduct is provided. Outlined below is a sample.
Sample Code of Conduct:
Every man shall obey civil Command; the Captain shall have one full share and a half in all Prizes; the Master, Carpenter, Boatswain and Gunner shall have one Share and quarter.
If any man shall offer to run away, or keep any Secret from the Company, he shall be marroon'd with one Bottle of Powder, one Bottle of Water, one small Arm and shot.
If any Many shall steel any Thing in the Company, or game, to the Value of a Piece of Eight, he shall be marroon'd or shot.
If at any Time we should meet another Marrooner (that is Pyrate) that Man that shall sign his Articles without the Consent of our Company, shall suffer such Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit.
That Man that shall strike another whilst these Articles are in force, shall receive Mose's Law (that is 40 stripes lacking one) on the bare Back.
That Man that shall snap his Arms, or smoak Tobacco in the Hold, without a cap to his Pipe, or carry a Candle lighted without a Lanthorn, shall suffer the same Punishment as in the former Article.
That Man that shall not keep his Arms clean, fit for an Engagement, or neglect his Business, shall be cut off from his Share, and suffer such other Punishment as the Captain and the Company shall think fit.
If any Man shall lose a Joint in time of an Engagement he shall have 400 pieces of Eight; if a limb 800.
If at any time you meet with a prudent Woman, that Man that offers to meddle with her, without her Consent, shall suffer present Death.

Injury Compensation
It is safe to say that life as a pirate was a very hazardous one prone to serious injury and even death. Besides death, a pirate's worst fear was becoming disabled. If the injured pirate survived the amputation (see the pirate prosthetic section), and received proper medical attention (which was highly unlikely aboard a pirate ship) he received some sort of primitive substitute for his arm or limb (usually a spare plank, or sometimes nothing at all). For obvious reasons an injured pirate was no longer as effective as an able bodied seamen, and for the most part could no longer carry out his designated duties. Such pirates were compensated for their loss (quite adequately for their times, see illustration below). Actually, most pirate crews organized fairly sophisticated and favourable conditions for injured crew members. Injured pirates were not only compensated financially, but oftentimes they were also offered to do non-physically demanding work on the ship. Such work could include operating cannons, cooking meals, and washing the ship decks.
Ship Capture
How did pirates actually go about attacking an enemy vessel? When pirates commanded a superior vessel they could easily confront any victim with cannon fire, crippling the ship and stimulating a quick surrender. However, pirates rarely commanded superior vessels, in fact, most often pirates commanded small lightly armored but highly maneuverable ships. For this reason, pirates seldom relied on fire power. Instead, pirates generally preferred to quickly board the enemy ship, robbing of goods, and rapidly retreating. Often, pirates would be greatly outnumbered, but because pirates employed various scare tactics they paralyzed their victims with fear.
Rewards of Piracy

It is probably an obvious statement to say that the main force behind piracy, has always been the search for wealth. Pirates were able to acquire amazing riches, and goods, through their campaigns. The assets, of which the most noted, and often most prized were; gold and silver pieces, currency, jewelry, and precious stones. But the actual pirate booty, was acquired from looted merchant ships which usually included items such as linens, cloths, food, anchors, rope, and sometimes medical supplies. The cargo even included rare articles such as spices, sugar, indigo, and quinine.
The types of goods pillaged, depended on the type of ship encountered, therefore many pirates were very selective in the ship they attacked, to be certain that the booty received was worth the risks of battle. It was equally important for the captain to choose the most rewarding area to monitor. One such area was the Spanish Main, rewards of which attracted many pirates. It was a well known fact in the pirate archives, that the Spanish treasure fleet made frequent yearly visits to Portobello to load treasure from Peru, which was twice the yearly revenue of England's King, and often included 25 million pesos in the form of silver bars, and coins.
Choosing the right ship and the right cargo to pillage, was an essential part of any pirate ship captain’s duty, wishing to avoid mutiny. However, failing to attack a promising ship, could also result in a similar outcome, since most of his crew were sailing, for a share in the plundered goods.
Another concern was the actual method for dividing the assets acquired. The pirate code, stated that, any loot plundered, had to be shared out equally. Some treasure was more easily divided among the crew than others. For example, certain coins, such as pieces of eight were cut up into smaller change. However, jewels were not as easily divisible. Evidence of the dividing process, can be observed in the Pirate knife markings on some of the pirate loot, on exhibition in museums around the world.
The idea of buried treasure is mostly a mythical one, as it is romantically portrayed in books such as Treasure Island. One pirate however, who may have started the myth, and was known for burying his treasure was Captain Kidd. But even though some pirates may have hid their plunder in this way, a great deal more money was spent searching for it, than has ever been uncovered. Most pirates were extreme squanderers and rarely accumulated enough treasure to bury. Due to the danger and uncertainty of their profession, they were usually determined to live life for the present, and not save for the future.
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PostSubject: Part three   Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:24 am

Pirate Punishment

It would be an unfair statement to say that a lighthearted way of life in the 18th century was restricted to piracy. During this period, death was often sudden, in the midst of battle, by shipwreck, tavern brawls, disease, etc. But then, there was always death by ‘dancing the hempen jig’, a pirate’s term for a hanging, which awaited any pirate brought to trial, and sentenced.
Trials for piracy, were usually held in admiralty courts, tribunes, that had been founded in 1340’s in England, for trials concerning crimes committed beyond the high water mark. It was possible for a member of the pirate crew to turn King’s evidence and testify against his fellow pirates, for which a pardon was granted, but only after the others had been convicted. Once convicted, the pirate could be hanged any time ten days after the trial.
On the day of the hanging, the condemned pirates were led in a procession led by an officer carrying the Silver Oar, which symbolized the authority of the High Court of the Admiralty. The final destination was the gallows, which was usually positioned in a public place near the water, often at the low-tide mark. The entire event, like all hangings was a spectacle that drew large crowds.
Before the actual hanging, a chaplain usually gave a sermon, urging the convicted to profess their faith, and repent, before being hung. Often the sermon would also preach to the audience, using the pirates as prime examples of the degeneracy of a human soul After the sermon, the pirate was allowed to speak to the people before being swung off the cart beneath the gallows. In their last speech, before execution, some appeared to be repentant, some frightened, others surly, while there were those who told crude jokes to the crowds.
After the execution, the bodies of the less significant crew members, were buried face down, below the high water mark, or left hanging until three tides had passed over them. The bodies of the most notorious captains, were often embalmed in tar, encased in an iron framework or chains, and hung from a gibbet in a conspicuous place by the water edge, where they swayed in the wind, until nothing was left. This served as a frightening example to those leaning towards the tempting rewards of piracy.
The punishment for privateering was imprisonment, with the possibility of being released in a prisoner exchange. This however was not a favorable alternative to the noose since it often meant a prolonged death, in prison hulks, which were converted naval ships that were no longer seaworthy, or goals, which were usually damp and disease-ridden.


Life on Land
When the pirates returned from their plundering escapades, they were ready for fun. If returning from a successful voyage, the pirates quickly depleted their blood stained prizes in the local taverns, and alehouses. Often times, drunken pirates in their daze for pleasures, spent thousands of pieces-of-eight in a single night (in those days 10 pieces-of-eight bought a small herd of cattle!). Pleasures such as rum, food, wine, and gambling, made poor tavern masters rich overnight. In short, the pirates wasted in the taverns all they had earned, by giving themselves to all manner of voluptuousness they could afford. Life on land wasn't’t just fun and games. For the successful pirate it involved a heck of a lot of work. This work was carried out before the pirates were to sail again, and concerned preparing the ship for the next voyage, and making sure it was in good working order. After a long voyage, barnacles and seaweed would attach to the bottom of the vessel, and the bottom of the vessel would need to be careened (scraping debris from the bottom of the ship). After a good battle, sails, and rigging would also have to be replaced, or repaired. One of the most important tasks was to stock the ship well enough with fresh supplies of water and food for the next voyage.



Life at Sea
It’s safe to assume that life at sea was one great bore for pirates. A great contrast from land life: sailing meant weeks of boredom searching for prey, with only intermittent bursts of excitement as victims were sighted boarded and then plundered. With nothing to occupy the attention of bloodthirsty pirates, conflicts, and ultimately fights were common. It was at such times that the captain intervened, and controlled them with either fear or respect. The captain did not have the last word, as in many cases the pirate vessel was run democratically. As with any long voyage in those days, food preservation presented a major challenge for pirates. Pirates would stock up on bottled beer before a long voyage, as water would soon become undrinkable, due to its salty taste. The pirates primarily ate hard tack (long-lasting biscuits); although for longer voyages limes would be provided as a source of vitamin c. If they were lucky, the pirates would have a few hens on board the ship, which would provide both fresh eggs and meat. The pirates found a seemingly unlimited supply of meat with the turtles that thrived in the Caribbean. As well as being delicious, these turtles were easy prey for the pirates.

Why Flags
Although the original purpose of the pirate flag is unknown, it may have been designed to strike fear into the hearts of potential victims, and encourage a speedy surrender. The mere sight of the black and white flag probably sent chills down the spines of many a captain and crew; although the black flag was not as greatly feared as the red flag. The sight of a red flag meant that no mercy would be shown in battle.
Each pirate captain had a differently designed Jolly Roger (pirate flag). Often, the flags would show symbols of death and destruction. The name "Jolly Roger" is thought to have originated from a nickname for the devil, "Old Roger". However, it is more likely to have gotten its name from the French word for "pretty red", "Jolie Rouge". The classic design, skull and crossbones, was used to indicate in the captain's log the death of a sailor. It is suggested by experts that this is origin of the actual appearance of the Jolly Roger.

Origin of the Jolly Roger
The origin of the term "Jolly Roger" is not likely to have derived from the supposed French "jolie rouge", 'pretty red', because pirate flags did not come into common use for many years; and in any case the red flag of piracy was infrequently flown. The far more likely source is that the English commonly named their stud bulls "Roger", this word already being a term widely used for sexual intercourse, usually of a vigorous nature. One of the characteristics of pirates was their brutal treatment of female prisoners, who commonly were 'rogered at the rail' by one and all and then thrown overboard, to fend for themselves. The supposed history of the Jolly Roger is of a one with that old-time favourite of writers of piratical stories, "walking the plank". In fact there is no evidence that pirates ever made their victims walk the plank; there was far too much sport of another kind to be had. A favourite method of dealing with prisoners was to tie them to the mast and then pelt the unfortunate victim with broken bottles. Many other cruelties were also employed. The life of a pirate was, above all things, exquisitely wretched and boring; such that when prisoners were taken there was much gleeful anticipation among the pirate crew regarding the entertainment in store for them. It is most curious that the piratical life - nasty, short, and invariably brutish - has been so romanticised by literature.

Pirate Hooks
Pirate Hooks: Probably originated from the story "Peter Pan", specifically from the character "Captain Hook". It’s true that quite a few pirates lost a hand in battle, and it was not uncommon for a pirate to search for a useful substitute, which would be handy around the ship. A hook was relatively easy to construct from onboard ship materials, so it is highly probable (not certain) that in some cases it was used as a temporary or permanent prosthetic hand. A hook could be easily constructed from a wooden bowl placed over the stump with a hook fashioned from extra ship metal by the blacksmith. This combination could be strapped to the arm with some leather.

Peg Legs
Peg Legs: Probably originated from the story "Treasure Island", from the character "Long John Silver". The character does not a use a peg leg in the story; his use of crutches has been misrepresented and through time and Hollywood productions this pirate legend was formed. In real life, however, this stereotype holds a good deal of truth; although its use is exaggerated in the minds of many people. If a pirate were injured in the leg, amputation would in most cases be the only option to save him. If the pirate crew were educated enough, they would call upon the cook to cut the injured limb off (to prevent Gang Green, or infection). Doctors were uncommon aboard pirate ships, so often the ship’s cook would be called upon in the case of amputation. However, such crude operations were seldom successful, as the inexperienced "surgeon" could not stop the bleeding which followed. Although much less likely, the pirate might also die from infection. A substitute was later required for the missing leg, which was usually any free material on the ship, a long piece of wood, for instance.
Parrots
Parrots: Probably became widely thought of from the story "Treasure Island", specifically from the character "Long John Silver". There is a deal of controversy on this subject as many people suspect that pirates were much too practical to deal with pets. A parrot permanently stationed on the shoulder of a pirate would regularly generate a mess. As well, a parrot might get in the way of work, or be consumed during hard times at sea. So it is highly unlikely that having a parrot, or any pet for that matter, was too popular with pirates... Maybe some pirates dealt with their pet's messes just like some people today?

Typical Pirate Ships
Some of these vessels were in high esteem with the pirates for their agile maneuverability and speed. Others, for their size and brute force.
"Bilander" "Brigatine"
"Brig" "Dutch Hoy"
"Fishing Rark" "French Shallop"
"Snow" "Tartan"
"Galliot" "Herring Buss"
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PostSubject: Part four   Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:26 am

Ship Parts
Sails
Flying Jib
Jib
Fore Staysail
Fore Topsail
Foresail
Main Topsail
Mainsail
Rigging
Bowsprit
Fore Topmast
Foremast
Yard
Fore Boom
Mainmast
Main Topmast
Gaff
Shrouds
Main Boom
Hull
Stern
Mast Step
Keel
Forecastle Deck
Forecastle (Crew's Quarters)
Main Deck
Bulwarks
Hold
Hatch
Captain's Cabin
Quarter Deck
Rudder
Bulkhead



Now you do know the true history of the pirates and how they lived, how their ships were run and a load of other lots of information. I did get most of this information from a few sites, so I take no credit for alot of the information, I only have brought it together to explain pirates and piracy and tell everyone my favorite two pirates of all. Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

Mary Read was born in London, England in the late seventeenth century to the wife of a sea captain. Some historical documents claim that Mary Read was disguised as a boy so that her father would believe that she was his son, whom had died while Mary’s father was at sea, asserting that Mary Read was supposedly the by-product of an illicit affair that her mother had engaged in with an unknown man. Other documents state that Mary’s mother was a widow, and simply wished for her daughter to have all of the advantages offered to a man. Either way, history agrees that Mary Read lived her entire childhood as a boy.
Mary Read’s mothers’ deception apparently paid off, for after the death of her husband she was able to secure his company and holdings as an inheritance for his “son”, Mary. The little family was able to survive nicely for some time, until Mary’s early teen years, when the money ran out. At this time Mary was forced to procure employment in order to support herself and her mother. Still disguised as a boy, Mary found a job as a footboy to a wealthy French woman living in London. Mary was not happy in her position, and soon managed to run away. Being a girl who longed for excitement, Mary found new employment aboard a Man-o-War, but life on such a ship was not what she had expected.
After a few years of gruelling hardship and abuse, Mary managed to jump ship and joined the British military. At first a lowly foot soldier, Mary showed true bravery at the battle of Flanders and was soon promoted to the Horse Regiment. While in the Horse Regiment Mary became friends with another soldier, who believed her to be a man, and soon she found herself in love. Mary confessed her true gender to the man and he accepted her gladly. The two were wed posthaste. They bought out their commission in the military and together opened an inn by the name of The Three Horseshoes.
the first time Mary lived life as a woman, and she and her husband prospered and were happy for a time, but it was not to last. Mary’s husband died and, once again, Mary became a man. She left her inn and joined the military again, but the life of a soldier no longer brought her pleasure, perhaps because of sentiment for her deceased husband. Leaving the military, Mary hopped aboard a ship bound for the West Indies. While enroute, the ship she was on was attacked and captured by Captain Calico Jack Rackham and his pirate mistress, Anne Bonny.
Anne Bonny, a lusty woman if there ever was one, spied Mary Read in her men’s clothing and marked her as a new sexual conquest. Approaching what she thought was the young man, Anne was surprised to find another woman like herself, and the two became fast friends, with Anne swearing to keep Mary’s secret. The secret could not be kept for long, however. Captain Jack had become suspicious of all the time Anne had been spending with the young sailor and confronted the two, cutlass drawn. Mary Read was once again forced to reveal herself. Fortunately, the idea of two female pirates on his crew appealed to Rackham, and so Mary Read became the newest member aboard the ship.
During her tour aboard Rackham’s ship, Mary managed to fall in love once more, this time with a young sailor from a vessel captured by Rackham’s crew. The sailor soon had trouble on his hands, however, in the shape of a large, burly pirate of longstanding. Mary feared for her lover’s life when he was challenged to a duel by the strapping seaman, and so she took matters into her own hands. She challenged the big pirate to a duel herself, demanding satisfaction immediately. Pirate law was clear on this matter, and the quartermaster promptly rowed the two combatants ashore. Mary and the other pirate, armed with both cutlass and pistol, discharged their pistols first thing, both missing the other, then proceeded with an ambitious clash of blades. The larger pirate was the stronger of the two, but Mary was a quick girl, and brilliantly cunning. She studiously avoided the other pirate’s attacks, all the while waiting for him to make a mistake. It came when the pirate stumbled while lunging at her, and Mary immediately seized the opportunity. She ripped her shirt open, exposing her breasts to the man’s incredulous gaze. While he stood gaping, Mary swung her own cutlass and nearly decapitated him, killing him instantly.
With no one to duel but a dead man, Mary’s sailor love proposed to her and the two were married. Their wedded bliss did not last long, however, for soon after their nuptials Captain Jack, Anne Bonny, and Mary Read were taken prisoner. They were all tried for the charges of piracy at St. Jago de la Vega and subsequently sentenced to hang.
Mary Read and Anne Bonny were both pregnant at the time, and managed to receive stays of execution until after the births of their children. While this probably saved Anne Bonny’s life, it mattered nought for Mary Read, for she died while in prison in 1720, her unborn babe with her, of a fever causing malady.
Before she died Mary made a last statement to the court. She was heard proclaiming “As to hanging, it is no great hardship. For were it not for that, every cowardly fellow would turn pirate and so unfit the sea, that men of courage must starve." For Mary Read, who had always been a woman in a man’s world, in the end it all came down to courage.

But I found two biography's, one slightly different from the other. Take a look and see.

A Biography of Mary Read
Mary Read came to life as the illegitimate child of her mother, and was dressed as a boy to impersonate her deceased (legitimate) brother, to hide her mothers indiscretions from her sea-faring father. She was thus brought up as a boy, a disguise that she was to maintain the greater part of her life.
The military and naval adventures seemed to hold a fascination for her. Hence she chose to serve as a "Foot-boy" aboard a man-of-war until becoming a cadet in a regiment of foot, where "she behaved herself with a great deal of Bravery". She fell in love and married one of her messmates, whom she had informed of her secret female identity earlier. Together with her husband, she opened up a tavern, "The Three Horseshoes" near Breda Holland.
Her husband’s early death, and waning prosperity of the tavern, saw the young widow once again acquiring a male persona, and joining another regiment of foot, on garrison duty in Holland. There was however an interlude of peace, which caused Mary to grow restless. She made a resolution of seeking her fortune another way, and shipped out as a sailor aboard a Dutch vessel bound for the West Indies. The ship was stopped by pirates, and she being the only English ‘seaman’ on board, was allowed to travel with them. Soon after, she heard of a commission for privateers against the Spanish. Once aboard a privateer, Mary joined others of the crew in a rising against the ship’s captain.
Eventually she found herself under the command of Captain Calico Jack Rackham (thus called because of the striped material he used for his trousers). She held herself somewhat aloof from the rest of the Company, and was pretty much accepted as a man.
It was on this ship that she met Anne Bonny, who was Rackham’s mistress aboard, also disguised as a man. At first Anne Bonny mistook Mary to be a handsome young pirate, and begun to make advances, revealing her own sex. Thus Mary was forced to reveal that she was also a woman in disguise, to the great disappointment of Anne. But even so they became good friends quickly, but this closeness disturbed Jack Rackham to jealousy, that he threatened to slit the throat of Anne’s lover. In this way Rackham too was quickly made aware of Mary’s true identity.

So you see there are differences in the two histories about the same lady. The next is my favorite pirate and the one I am told I am most like. This I have been told many a time and in ways I do agree there are a few things her and I are the same on. I also recall in one of my lives being a pirate, but who knows, no-one can really tell one way or the other in truth. Anyway, this is my favorite pirate of all, Anne Bonny. Last for me to talk about, but not by far the least liked.

Anne Bonny, whether you believe her to have been a woman full of grit and gumption or a conscienceless criminal, is a fascinating historical figure. Amazingly, her appeal is due to what is not known about her as much as it is due to what facts are available. Historical documents support the notion that Anne Bonny was a headstrong, independent woman, and speculation points to a legendary and fearsomely courageous temperament. In any event, it is quite evident that Anne was a woman ahead of her time, for she broke convention during a period in history when women were expected to behave in a sedate, subservient manner. Subservient was a word that simply wasn’t in her vocabulary.
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PostSubject: Part five   Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:29 am

The exact date of Anne Bonny’s birth is not known, but it is believed that she was born illegitimately in County Cork, Ireland between 1697 and 1700 to the maid, Mary Brennen, who was in her father’s employ. Her father, William Cormac, had a legal practice in Kinsale that was ruined when his current wife made his adulterous affair public, and he was forced to leave Ireland in shame. Deciding to make a new start in a new world, William Cormac, along with the maid, Mary Brennan, and his baby daughter, Anne, traveled together to America. The little family settled around Charleston, South Carolina, which had a large shipping community at the time, and William, after presenting Mary Brennan to polite society as his wife and Anne as his legitimate daughter, started his legal practice again there. Apparently, William Cormac’s practice was quite successful, for soon he had enough to purchase his own plantation in Charleston, and the family was accepted by the upper crust of the community.
Anne grew to have a reputation among her peers as having a fierce and courageous temper, and a fiery disposition. She certainly had reason to be so. Her mother passed away during Anne’s teen years, and Anne took over the enormous responsibility of running her father’s large household. She did this with aplomb. However, one story claims she had an odd method of dealing with recalcitrant servants. Supposedly, she killed a serving maid in her father’s household for crossing her, but there are no concrete facts to support this story, and considering her mother’s background, this tale is unlikely. It is known that she did thrash a young man for trying to sexually assault her, and injured him badly enough that he had to take to his bed for several weeks. Anne was around fourteen years old at the time.
When Anne was sixteen years old she fell in love with a sea captain who had been courting her, unbeknownst to her father. The man’s name was James Bonny, and history proclaims him to have been either a penniless soldier or a small-time pirate at the time. William Cormac, upon discovering their romance, was not a happy man. He had long wished for Anne to become a respectable lady, marry a Charleston man of his choosing, and take her place in society as a plantation owner’s wife, as she was an heiress of some renown. Anne, however, had other ideas for her future. Anne was a headstrong girl who had long made her father despair over her tomboy antics. Anne longed for adventure and excitement, and was drawn to the unsavory sort of man that could be found at the wharves and ports of Charleston. It was here that Anne met James Bonny.
Anne and James Bonny were wed against her father’s will, for which he disowned her, costing them her dowry. Not wanting to stay in Charleston, the two moved to what was then called New Providence, now Nassau. New Providence was described as “a den of iniquity” and “a pirate’s paradise” and the descriptions were not far off the mark. At the time most of the community was made up of pirates and pirate’s paramours. This suited Anne just fine, and she made friends easily and quickly, one of whom was Pierre, a celebrated homosexual who ran a popular ladies establishment on the island and had the confidence of several important personages.
Marriage to James Bonny disagreed with Anne Bonny before long. At first she simply tired of being a dutiful wife and waiting for him to return from the sea, but even after he gave up pirating and began a career as an informer to Governor Woodes Rogers, turning in his pirate friends for a reward, Anne was still discontented. Most of her friends on the islands were pirates or earned their livelihoods from piracy, so Anne probably viewed her husband as a turncoat. Anne began seeing a wealthy man by the name of Chidley Bayard, and enjoyed traveling with him and spending his money, but she had trouble getting along with the type of people he kept as friends. At one ball that he took her to he introduced her to the sister-in-law of Governor Lawes of Jamaica and left them to entertain each other. The woman waited until Bayard had walked away and then made catty insinuations about Anne’s relationship with the man, then proclaimed that she didn’t consider Anne worth knowing and told her to stay away from her. Anne cheerfully told her she’d make sure there was quite a bit of distance between them and then proceeded to punch the woman in the mouth, knocking out two of her teeth in the process. This was the end of her friendship with Bayard, and she was once again bored. Anne began to cast her eye around for another means of escape, and the means presented itself to her in the person of Captain Jack Rackham, also known as Calico Jack. It is said that Jack was a flamboyantly handsome and debonair man that the ladies made much over, and after he offered Anne a chance to get away from her husband, along with the added benefit of high adventure, it didn’t take much more convincing for Anne to consent to run away with him. After disguising herself in men’s clothing they snuck aboard his ship and headed to sea.
Anne stayed in the guise of a man for some time, as most seagoing men of the time believed that a woman aboard a ship was bad luck. It is said that she was so vicious and fought so well with both pistol and cutlass that no one questioned her, anyway, and the one man that did challenge her lost his life to the tip of her cutlass. It is rumored that she gutted the man, and this likely went a long way towards ensuring that the rest of the crew gave her a wide birth and fearful respect. Soon, however, her sex became known to all, as she became pregnant. Agreeing that a pirate ship was no place to give birth to a baby, Jack sailed to Cuba, where he left Anne in the care of friends until she had the child. Sadly, the infant did not live, and Anne was heartbroken, believing that her lifestyle had contributed to her misfortune. As time passed her mental condition worsened. When Jack came back to collect her and the child he was saddened by the news and concerned about his lover’s condition. He took her back to New Providence to recover, taking the King’s pardon and temporarily giving up piracy to privateer on commission.
During Anne’s convalescence she learned from her old friend, Pierre, of a plot to assassinate Governor Woodes Rogers. Having met the man during her marriage to Bonny, Anne decided to warn him and saved his life. He was extremely grateful for her interference. Unfortunately, soon he was called upon to express his gratitude in a more tangible way, for James Bonny, who still lived on the island, had discovered that Anne and Jack Rackham were staying in his vicinity again and so he sent troops to arrest them both for piracy. When they were unceremoniously dragged before the governor in the middle of the night Bonny was almost hysterical in his rage, because they had been flaunting their affair under his nose, and he refused to be merciful. He wanted Jack and his wife to hang, and was afraid that Anne would kill him if she were set free.
Governor Woodes Rogers, remembering the favor Anne had so recently done him, decided to spare their lives. He commanded that Anne be flogged and returned to her rightful husband, and that Jack Rackham be set free. He believed this to be a lenient solution, but Anne was enraged at being treated like a piece of property and refused to be dictated to. The next evening Anne and Jack escaped to their ship and gleefully returned to a life of piracy, throwing all convention and reservations to the wind.
They continued on in this vein for several years, and their notoriety grew and grew. Amazingly enough, Anne was not the only woman on board Jack’s ship. There was one other, Mary Read, who also dressed in men’s clothing and was said to have been as brave and as dangerous as any male pirate on the sea. One of their shipmates was said to have proclaimed that both were “resolute and ready to board or undertake anything that was hazardous in the time of action”, and another stated that both of the women cursed and swore with the best of males, and never cringed at murder. Anne and Mary became fast friends, and were the first in battle and the first to volunteer in any boarding parties. They became well respected by their crew for their ferociousness, and were feared as well for their unpredictability.
In October of 1720 their life of piracy and adventure came to an end. Governor Lawes of Jamaica, the man with the spiteful sister-in-law, heard of their presence and sent troops to commandeer their ship and bring them to trial. Calico Jack and his crew were unprepared for the assault. The troops did not strike until the day after Jack had captured a commercial vessal, and he and all the men aboard ship were in a drunken stupor from their celebrations, leaving only Anne Bonny and Mary Read to fend off the attackers. The two women became so disgusted with the men for not fighting that they periodically turned their guns on their own crew before they were all captured.
Both women, along with Jack and the rest of the men, were condemned to hang, but received a stay of execution because they were both with child at the time. Mary Read did not live to hang. She died in prison, along with her unborn child. Anne, however, survived, and when Jack received permission to speak to her before his hanging, she said to him “I’m sorry, Jack, but if you had fought like a man you would not now be about to die like a dog. Do straighten yourself up!” Anne never was executed, and there is much speculation as to what her fate actually was. The most common story is that her father ransomed her back through his powerful connections, another was that she escaped with an unknown lover. One much-loved legend states that pirates up and down the coast collected with their guns pointed towards the governor’s estates, with the message “Let Anne Bonny go or feel the thunder of pirate guns from Port Royal to Kingston and back again!”
According to the book Mistress of the Seas by John Carlova, Anne, whose unborn child was fathered not by Jack but by a Dr. Michael Radcliffe, a man whose life Anne had saved and who dearly loved her and vowed to save her from the hangman’s noose, was granted a pardon by Governor Lawes on the condition that she leave the West Indies and never return. Carlova went on to proclaim that James Bonny had drowned in a hurricane, and Anne, now a widow, and Radcliffe were then married. Two days later they boarded a trading sloop bound for Norfolk, Virginia. There they were known to have joined a party of pioneers heading westward…and there is where the story of Anne Bonny came to an end.
What actually happened to Anne Bonny will probably never be known, but one fact remains: Anne Bonny was a woman who embraced life head on and then molded it to her own terms. Hero or villain, she left her rather impressive mark on history, and she should not be forgotten.

Once again I give you another piece that has parts that are different. See if you can find them.

Anne Bonny’s life was by far not as adventurous as Mary Read’s, but it had been a hard life. She was a bastard daughter of an attorney of Cork in Ireland, whose wife had left him because of his loose way of life. Her mother was a maid in his father’s household. In the beginning she was dressed as a boy, pretending to be the son of her father’s friends, who had been apprenticed to him to learn the legal business. Her father later put aside all pretensions and decided to live openly with his former maid. Needless to say this was at the time deleterious to his legal carrier, and he was forced to search for work elsewhere.
Her father, her mother, and she sailed for Carolina, where he was successful as a lawyer and merchant, and was thus able to buy a plantation. When her mother died, she took over the duties of her father’s housekeeper.
She grew up to be a hardy girl with a "fierce and courageous temper". She had a very fiery disposition, and was said to have killed a serving girl with a knife during one of her fits of rage, granted this was never proven. But it was common knowledge that she had thrashed a young man, who attempted to make uncalled-for advances. He was so badly injured that he was confined to his bed for several weeks.
Anne married James Bonny, a young seafarer, for which she was turned out of her father’s home, for whom the young man was "not worth a Groat". Her husband’s ambitions of inheriting a fortune were lost, and he took his wife to the West Indies looking for employment.
She met John "Calico Jack" Rackham on New Providence, who swept her away from her husband, and the two made their way to the sea, with Anne disguised in men’s clothing. After several months she became pregnant, and Rackham took her to friends in Cuba, who saw her through the pregnancy until term. Immediately after the child was born, she rejoined her lover at sea, there is no record of what became of her baby.
Despite their gender, Mary and Anne both made fierce pirates, and as many of their ship mates claimed, were "resolute and ready to board or undertake anything that was hazardous" in the time of action. A witness at their trial stated that the both of them cursed and swore with the best of males, and never cringed at murder. Their gender became known to the rest of their fellow crew, and the two would dress in women’s attire during moments of peace, and dressed in men’s jackets, trousers, with handkerchiefs tied around their heads, when the possibility of action arose. This costume after all was more suitable for fighting.
The two were captured on the ship of John Rackham, by a Captain Barnet, and tried at St. Jago de la Vega (modern Spanish Town, Jamaica). When asked if there should be any reason why sentence of death should not be passed on them, the two (still dressed in male clothing) pled pregnancy as a reason for temporarily escaping the noose. Pregnancy saved Mary Read from the gallows, but she died in "gaol" (jail) months later of a violent fever. Anne Bonny was also saved from the noose, but her fate has not been verified by historical standards. Most accounts support the tale of her reprieve which allowed her to live a very long life in anonymity in Colonial America.

Now do you see the differences? In my opinion, Anne Bonny was one of the best. Not only did she fight incredably well, but when most of the others died, she escaped and was never found again. She managed to completely disappear from records. Some say she changed her name and continued on with her piracy just under a different guise. Others say she continued on until she could no longer continue and was forced to settle. Some also say she went back to her child and may have had another lover and maybe had more children. But no-one can really know as according to others that have tried, the records were lost. So there is no way of really knowing what happened.
Now tell me this, after reading all of this, what do you now think of piracy? Did you see pirates as blood thirsty, cruel, rapers and cold blooded killers before? If you did, what do you now think of them?
I hope you enjoyed reading this and will leave comments answering the questions if you can or just saying what you thought of it. Maybe you have information you wish to share, if that is the case then please by all means post it. I look forward to reading the reply/ies.
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