Raiders and Rebels: A History of the Golden Age of Piracy

Raiders and Rebels: A History of the Golden Age of Piracy

Frank Sherry

Language: English

Pages: 322

ISBN: 0061572845

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

I he most authoritative history of piracy, Frank Sherry's rich and colorful account reveals the rise and fall of the real "raiders and rebels" who terrorized the seas. From 1692 to 1725 pirates sailed the oceans of the world, plundering ships laden with the riches of India, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. Often portrayed as larger-than-life characters, these outlaw figures and their bloodthirsty exploits have long been immortalized in fiction and film. But beneath the legends is the true story of these brigands—often common men and women escaping the social and economic restrictions of 18th-century Europe and America. Their activities threatened the beginnings of world trade and jeopardized the security of empires. And together, the author argues, they fashioned a surprisingly democratic society powerful enough to defy the world.

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so heady. Perhaps, having conquered one kingdom, he now began to yearn for another. Perhaps he merely decided that he was no longer willing to risk his life, or the lives of his beloved Holy Eleanora and their children, to maintain his throne. Whatever the case, King John Plantain, sometime toward the end of the 1720s, made up his mind to forsake his hard-won kingdom. He ordered a sloop built for his use. Then, with Holy Eleanora and his children and all the ill-gotten riches he could cram

army had come forward to do him justice. He had been granted the rank of an infantry captain and placed on half pay. The king had also come forward to grant him a pension for his work on behalf of the nation. In 1728, with his honor intact and his purse revived, Rogers had been reappointed governor of the Bahamas, where pirates had not been seen for years. In 1729 he returned to Nassau again, this time accompanied by his family and at an annual salary of £400. When he resumed his labors as

that resolute fighting men could take it for themselves. As the 1690s ran out, the pirate war burned in full conflagration. In the wake of Every, English and colonial pirates infested the Indian Ocean. The Red Sea became a pirate lake. Ships with names like Resolution, John and Rebecca, (which belonged to the New York City merchant prince Frederick Philipse), Portsmouth Adventure, The Charming Mary, Pelican, and a dozen others, all manned by tough ex-privateers and mutineers from both the

ships were caught and burned off Cherbourg. France had lost a third of her fleet, and the English and Dutch had proved to themselves that they could, after all, defeat Louis XIV. Although by the following year the French Channel fleet once again numbered more than seventy ships, it never again reached the fighting capabilities it had enjoyed at Beachy Head. Further, after the battle of La Hogue, the French fleet never seriously contemplated invasion of England. For the English, however, this

king would also empower him to capture French ships, since England and France were at war. Thus, they assured their chosen captain, there would be plenty of opportunity for him to capture plunder even if pirate vessels eluded him. It seems very clear that as his private conversations with Bellomont and Livingston proceeded, Kidd gained the distinct impression that he would be given great latitude in carrying out his mission. If he should find it necessary to commit any “irregularities” in the

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