The Brief History of Piracy
Piracy began more than 2000 years ago in Ancient Greece, when sea robbers started flocking around the trading routes.
These sea robbers challenged all those who passed from there and looted them mercilessly.
Piracy was at its peak between 1620 and 1720. That is why this period is also known as the golden age of piracy.
During this time, there have been different types of pirates, these being privateers, buccaneers, and corsairs.
Privateers were lawful pirates who were permitted by their government to attack and plunder the ships of enemy nations. The privateers in return shared their profits with the government.
Who was who on a pirate ship?
Everyone on a pirate ship had a position and a role to play.
Being on a pirate ship was less strict than being on board a Royal Navy or a merchant vessel of the time - but everyone one had their duties and they had to be done.
This just means that different men had different jobs to make sure that
There was a command structure, and different men had different jobs to make sure that everything went smoothly.
Can you find out what people did on a pirate ship?
Check out some of the websites listed below to see if you can find the answer.
What Did Pirates Eat?
Pirates went to sea for a long time and had a very hard time of it when it came to food. For the first couple of weeks there was meat, cheese, vegetables, eggs, and more. Chickens were kept for the eggs until they too were eaten. Cows were kept for the milk until the food supply was depleted and then they too were added to the table fare.
As the weeks and months went by, the food would spoil, rot, mold or go rancid.
Cooks would mask the taste of the rancid meats with plenty of herbs and spices. Vegetables and meat were usually pickled or salted to preserve the food. Ships on long voyages relied on biscuits, dried beans and salted beef to live.
For drinking, seamen chose beer or ale rather than water. Water did not last long on board before it turned slimy with green scum. A small amount of alcoholic spirits was sometimes added to a sailor’s water ration to kill the taste of the rancid water. This was called grog.
Rum, however, is the drink most associated with pirates as described in the book Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented molasses. Because it was inexpensive to produce, it was very popular in the Colonies as well as the Caribbean.
In the story Under the Black Ensign by L. Ron Hubbard, the marooned pirate Tom Bristol and Lady Jane breakfast on boucan.
Boucan is a French word for smoked meat that was slowly cured on a grate over a fire. Hunters on the island of Tortuga would dry their meat and sell it to ships captains. After a while these hunters became known as boucaniers (“barbecuers”).
The boucanier or buccaneers soon realized that the Spanish ships they were selling their wares to offered more source of wealth than the money they received for the cured meat. So the buccaneers turned pirate and took to the sea, attacking Spanish galleons and ships. English authors later used the same word to refer to pirates from the Caribbean area and, hence, “buccaneer” is now synonymous with pirate.
So, avast, me buckos, celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day like a real pirate would—and enjoy a hearty barbeque. Arr!
This website has some great film clips to watch. Great fun
Here are just a few pirate facts for you me hearties -
Why don't you write down some pirate facts of your own. Your welcome to use these to start with - but how many more can you find.
Make a scroll and tie it with ribbon as part of a pirate presentation. Can you find some interesting facts that not many people know?
The pirate Blackbeard was killed in a sword fight by a English naval officer in 1718
Pirates were very superstitious - for example they believed that wearing earrings would improve their eyesight.
From the 1500's Spanish galleons carrying treasure back to Spain from America were often attacked by pirates. One very famous example was Sir Francis Drake.
The Caribbean Sea was very popular with pirates because there are many small islands which gave the pirates places to hide.
In the 1650's, most pirates moved to a new hideout in Jamaica. A port called Port Royal was a wild place full of drunk pirates and runaway slaves.
Port Royal was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692.
Mutiny is the offence of the crew rising up and taking power from the captain.
A favourite drink of pirates was grog. Traditionally, grog was rum diluted with water or weak beer. It could be drunk cold or warm.
Blackbeard was them most feared of all pirates. He made himself appear ferocious during battles. He always had a least six loaded pistols, a cutlass and a musket with him.
Blackbeard wore a big feathered tricorn on his head. He had a large black beard and he would tie hemp into it and lit it during battle. He would also have lit cannon fuses ti3d under his tricorn. Anyone who saw him would say 'he looked like the devil'.
The most famous privateer was Francis Drake. He worked under secret orders from Queen Elizabeth the First.