Piracy in the Caribbean
The Golden Age of piracy-
Piracy in the Caribbean began in the 16th century and later ended in the 1830’s. The golden age of piracy occurred from the 1650’s to the 1730’s. During this period, shipments of valuable cargo from Europe increased. Many men and women turned to piracy to live the life of freedom and to benefit off of the riches gained by leading a pirate's life. Many pirates recruited crew members from ships they captured. Very few reluctantly joined a pirate's crew, especially if they worked for little or no pay on a merchant or cargo ship. Despite the anarchy portrayed by pirates, there were rules to be obeyed. For instance, crew members could not steal from one another and women could not come aboard a pirate ship. Pirates had to follow every rule or else they faced punishment. ...view middle of the document...
After a fierce battle in which he made a stand with candle smoke rising from his beard, he was overtaken by the Royal Navy and beheaded. His head was then raised upon a stake as a warning to other pirates near Virginia’s Hampton River.
Francois L’Ononnais (French)- L’Olonnais humbly began as a poor man, working on a plantation in America as an indentured servant. After he turned to piracy, he was then known for the viciousness he showed to his vanquished, as well as his success in raiding many towns (he was one of the most successful pirates on land attacks) and capturing many ships. Amongst his most successful plunders was the town of Maracaibo, Venezuela, where he ravaged and stole his way into historical infamy, gaining some 200,000 Spanish dollars. His sadistic, bloodthirsty streak was predominant in his career, for he is said to have eaten a Spanish soldier’s heart during one of his many attacks. His own death, however, was equally as gruesome. L’Olonnais and his crew lodged their ship on a sandbar off the coast of Panama and weren’t able to break free. Upon venturing onto land in search of food, they were captured by the local tribe and devoured.
Bartholomew Roberts “Black Bart” (Welsh)- Roberts’ crew admired his adventurist courage, calling him “pistol proof” - though he had been forced into piracy, having once been an officer on board a ship that was captured by the pirate Howell Davis. After taking over, Roberts’ navigational skills, charisma, and bravado painted him golden the eyes of his men. He plundered over 400 ships, a grandiose record to be sure, and captained well-armored ships in every endeavor. He died in a vigorous battle against British Captain Chaloner Ogle; his death left many of his faithful followers and admirers reeling. Even the Royal Navy itself was stunned.