September 21, sometime in the Baroque Era, with a touch of present day.
Written with penmanship of Sarabande, the sister of the captain of the Phantom Acoustique, and a “good” pyrate, in her own right.
Ahoy. This past Monday was “Talk Like a Pyrate” day. If yer a lover of pyrates, then I’m sure the day came as a real celebration, with cannon blasts and jolly livin’ and all! You durns’t hold back in yer banquet ‘n’ drinks, did ye?
But if you love to speak like a pyrate, play like a pyrate, ‘n celebrate the life o’ one, how much do y’actually know about the real livin’ pyrates in history?
Do y’know John Rackham? He be a true pyrate, but didn’t start that o’way. He began as a quartermaster under Cap’n Vane, but when Vane prov’d to the rest o’the crew to be an incompetent leader -‘e refused to seize a French man-of-war which Rackham said was a great claim to plunder- the crew then voted to put Rackham in charge because ‘e knew what they wanted and was willin’ to go all the way in terms o’pyracy. John Rackham became the captain, and led ‘is crew to plunder many Carribean ships before they retired to Cuba. That, of course, does not tell for Rackham’s fate, as he later hired a new crew, only to eventually be caught, tried and hung fer his crimes.
I’m sure you’ve at least heard th’alias name of Captain Edward Teach; known by th’name “Blackbeard”. He fought in the Queen Anne’s war, but didn’t ‘av a ship of his own until ‘e was under the command of Captain Hornigold. Upon th’ frustrations of t’crew over the fact that Hornigold would n’er pillage a British ship, no matter how rich’n spoils, the crew demoted ther cap’n and appoint’d Teach as their new master. Hornigold was allowed to retire where he rec’d a pardon; but Captain Teach and his crew went on to make a terrible name: the dread Captain Blackbeard.
Blackbeard’s name can be a real conversation piece, if y’know what to debate. Was ‘is blood-seekin’ ferocity a bite or all bark?
Despite ‘is surely reputation, there’s no record of th’terror being witnessed first-hand. There’s no story of which ‘e tortured a captive or murdered a captain or misbehavin’ crew. Most likely his appearance itself -seeming as if he came from the very depths of Hell t’ torment the seas- struck such fear n’is opponents that they complied with whatever ‘e willed.
To any good boatswaine or first mate or rigger, they may even notice th’good that Blackbeard has dealt t’ the seas, the caring acts towards humanity that he extended to fellow mankind. Captain Teach took the infamous Stede Bonnet under his wing when he saw that t’crew was on the verge of mutiny; with the permission of Captain Bonnet, Teach took charge o’ t’ship and taught the nobleman-turned-pyrate how to plunder to ‘is crew’s liking.
In another instance, right before ‘is final retirement, Captain Teach’d only attack an’ pillage a ship when ‘is crew was low on provisions, and ‘e would only take what t’crew needed to reach their destination.
That’s right, Jabber. I can speak o’ him next.
Cap’n William Kidd is a pyrate t’ be heard of. Possibly the most famous pyrate, an’ you’re sure to know ‘im, even if y’don’t recognize t’name. Y’see, William Kidd is well-known fer the treasure that ‘e buried, whether it b’fer a bargaining tool fer ‘is own freedom or simply to’ keep the spoils for himself.
Captain Kidd began his adventures in King William’s war. He was a privateer, with a commission by Lord Bellamont and others, t’protect the seas and plunder any ship that’d fly a French flag.
Kidd had no intention to turn t’piracy, but a great misfortune caused ‘is fate t’turn for the worse. He attack’d a moorish ship -that be an Indian ship- but the cap’n of t’merchant ship was an Englishman. ‘Tis attack and the decision t’ keep the spoils fer his crew, made Kidd fall out of the graces o’ the English courts.
Lord Bellamont was suspected of being a part of t’ betrayal, since ‘e was indeed one who invested in the privateer’s commission of reprisals, so to clear ‘is name Lord Bellamont conspired against William Kidd, luring him out ‘n’ turning ‘im in.
Kidd pleaded ‘imself as innocent, claiming that his crew was mutinous pyrates who held him at gunpoint and threatened him to get them what they wanted. ‘is words fell on deaf ears, and he was sentenced to death with a hanging, which was a typical fate for pyrates of that time.
If yer a pyrate lovin’ book reader like I am, then you’ld best be investin’ some time to check out The History and Lives of all the most Notorious Pirates and their Crews, also titled, simply Pirates by Johnson, Charles, fl. It’s not a lively-like read, but it be telling some stories of livin’ pyrates in history. Also, if y’like t’speak like a pyrate, try huntin’ up The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues, by George Choundas. It be rightly entertainin to learn a bit o’pyrate lingo, none the least.
People say that dead man tells no tales, but there are too many pyrates with stories t’be told fer that to be true, eh Jabber? Here. Take a fig fer yerself, me dear friend.