Life of a Pirate
Learning all about the skullduggery, malice, terror, opportunism and legends of outlaws like Edward "Blackbeard" Teach, John ‘Calico Jack' Rackham, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Captain Henry Morgan (who went on to become Governor of Jamaica!), Bartholomew "Black Bart" Roberts, "Black" Sam Bellamy, and the golden age of buccaneers, privateers and pirates...
The most famous of all Spanish gold coins was the Spanish Doubloon. Minted by hand from 1651 to 1773 in the Americas, they were carried on Spanish galleons throughout the Caribbean and the world to trade for desirable commodities such as silks and spices. The coin featured the coat of arms of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and weighed about 7 grams. Pirates who could intercept a galleon en route to its trading destination were highly likely to score some very valuable booty!
Individual Gold and Silver Escudo Doubloon Replicas
The tiny island of Tortuga, or Ile de la Tortue (Turtle Island), is situated just north of Haiti (then called Hispaniola). It became a pirate port in 1625 and was a safe harbor from which the French pirates could perform silent and brutal attacks on Spanish vessels sailing throughout the Caribbean. By 1642, it was the pirate capital of the Caribbean, welcoming many famous pirates such as Henry Morgan. By 1688, the pirates had moved on to the richer Port Royal, Jamaica.
The Coast of Haiti
Diver discovers the underwater ruins of a Port Royal, Jamaica pirate tavern. From National Geographic's "Wicked Pirate City". Port Royal was notorious for its gaudy displays of wealth and loose morals and was a popular homeport for the English and Dutch privateers turned pirates who used the city as their main base during the heyday of the Caribbean pirates in the 17th century. Pirates from around the world came to Port Royal from waters as far away as Madagascar.
Deep Blue Marine salvages the wreck of a Spanish Galleon from about1535 in the waters off the Dominican Republic. The stunning treasure trove believed to be worth millions of dollars is thought to be the oldest discovered shipwreck in the Caribbean. They believe that the 50-foot ship was heading back to Spain from the New World sometime in the 16th century when a hurricane sank it, with the loss of up to 45 lives.
"DISCOVERY: Have explorers found Sir Francis Drake's body?" Explorers have found two ships off the coast of Panama and think they might be close to finding the body of the legendary sailor Sir Francis Drake. Drake, who was born in 1540 and died of dysentery, was a privateer and naval war hero under Queen Elizabeth I, who called him "my pirate." He was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe, and he terrorized Spain's New World empire.
"Ah, the pirate life: Tobacco, ale — and fine dinnerware; Excavation of Caribbean hideout shows drinking was favorite pastime when ashore". Interesting article about a settlement called the "Barcadares," a name derived from the Spanish word for "landing place", located 15 miles up the Belize River, in territory controlled by the Spanish. The records indicate that a good portion of its occupants were pirates taking a pause from life at sea.
The pirate's "cutlass". Almost all of a pirate's weapons were plunders from seized ships and were the most coveted items of booty, but this sharp-edged weapon was usually a weapon of choice. Cutlasses allowed pirates the needed mobility to climb aboard another ship during battle.
What is a pirate sword | Pirate saber sword, Hanger & Small sword
"The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire" by Susan Ronald. Dubbed the "pirate queen" by the Vatican and Spain's Philip II, she employed a network of daring merchants, brazen adventurers, astronomer philosophers, and her stalwart Privy Council to anchor her throne—and in doing so, planted the seedlings of an empire that would ultimately cover two-fifths of the world. This one is a great read!
The second Jolly Roger used by Bartholomew "Black Bart" Roberts showed Roberts standing on two skulls. ABH stood for "A Barbadian's Head" and AMH for "A Martiniquian's Head." Roberts had bad encounters with people from both Barbados and Martinique so he vowed revenge on the islands. Roberts was a Welsh pirate who raided ships off America and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy based on vessels captured.
"Treasures of the Spanish Main: Shipwrecked Galleons in the New World" by John Christopher Fine. In the 1600s and 1700s, Spain dominated the seas with its fleet of galleons. Coming from the New World, these ships held gold, silver, and treasures beyond imagining. The seaway between Spain and the New World was dubbed “The Golden Highway.” On their journeys back across the seas, many ships were wrecked on reefs or destroyed by hurricanes. The watery depths now hold their treasures.
"The Pirates Laffitte: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf" by William C. Davis. At large during the most colorful period in New Orleans' history, from just after the Louisiana Purchase through the War of 1812, privateers Jean and Pierre Laffite made life hell for Spanish merchants on the Gulf. Pirates to the U.S. Navy officers who chased them, the brothers became important members of a filibustering syndicate that included lawyers, bankers, merchants, and corrupt U.S. officials.
The Caribbean & routes along the coastlines of Africa & North America were popular pirate haunts. Throughout the Spanish Main, Spaniards were busy looting the vast resources of the Aztecs & shipping the gold & artifacts back to Spain. They became prey to pirates & privateers of enemy countries such as England, France & Holland. Pirates were notorious for spending their ill-gained wealth on liquor and prostitutes, often gambling the remainder of their treasure away.
Pirate Encyclopedia: Pirate Treasure
Coin from Isla de Muerto dated 1677. This coin was from a Spanish ship that was fighting a pirate fleet in 1681. When the ship hit a reef, the Spanish set the ship aflame to prevent the pirates from getting the treasure. The pirates “thanked” the Spanish by killing every one of them and making this the “Island of the Dead”. Neither the Spanish nor Pirates were able to salvage the treasure.