Pirates made their money by attacking and raiding other ships, often these were merchant ships carrying cargo. Although many pirates would steal from any ship they could. The earliest recorded pirates were the mysterious Sea Peoples from the 14th Century BC. This is a list of 10 facts about pirates that might shock you.
They Didn’t Live Long
Pirates didn’t have very long lifespans. Being a pirate was a hard life. They were constantly fighting with enemies, and with each other. Some people would only last weeks as a pirate, and three years was considered a long career. Some of the biggest dangers to pirates came from diseases like scurvy, and disputes among themselves. Although, the conditions weren’t necessarily better in the jobs they left. Many jobs people worked during the Golden Age of Piracy, had hellish working conditions. Working those jobs would have been torture, and probably dangerous. If they became pirates, they may die more quickly, but at least they’d be free, and often treated more fairly. Their short lifespans is probably one of the least surprising facts about pirates.
Where They Came From
Pirates came from all different backgrounds and classes. Many suffered through horrific working conditions before joining a pirate crew. However, many were also working good jobs before becoming pirates. It was common for pirate captains to have been naval officers or soldiers before their lives took a piratical turn. Some of them were even rich, and had comfortable lives before becoming pirates.
Captain Blackbeard Was Real
Blackbeard was one of the most famous pirate captains of all time. He ruled his ship through a ruthless tyranny; his men were all too afraid to challenge him. He was known to randomly shoot members of his crew, and carried 12 pistols on him at all times. Randomly shooting them reminded everyone who was in charge. His 12 pistols each had 1 shot, which made it so he could shoot continuously without having to reload.
William Kidd’s Buried Treasure Found?
William Kidd was a famous pirate who made a fortune plundering ships. Kidd wasn’t just a pirate, but also a privateer, who was hired by the King of England to plunder French, and Spanish ships. While in Madagascar searching for ships to plunder he went through a period where he could no longer pay his crew. Tensions were high, and everybody was getting emotional. This is when Kidd killed one of his crew mates by throwing an iron bucket at his head. The King ordered him to come back to face the consequences. He refused, and simply started robbing ships for treasure.This is when he started being hunted by warships.
He later abandoned his crew and burned down his ship. Kidd had already taken as much treasure as he could from the ship, and escaped on a sloop. He buried his treasure on an island. This was so he could exchange the location of the treasure for a full pardon. However, this deal never worked out. Instead Kidd was captured, and put in solitary confinement. The treasure was lost for 300 years, but a man named Barry Clifford has found a 50kg silver bar which is believed to be part of Kidd’s lost treasure. It was presented to the President of Madagascar.
They Didn’t Walk The Plank
When pirates did something wrong, they didn’t usually walk the plank as a punishment, although it may have happened a few times. Pirates who did something wrong were more likely to whipped, dunked (attached to the Yard Arm, and dropped into the water), sold into slavery, or marooned on an island. Pirates had rules and regulations aboard their ships, and anyone who broke these rules would be punished severely. Walking the plank is probably the most famous of the fake facts about pirates.
The Sea Peoples
One of the most mysterious facts about pirates is their origin.The Sea Peoples are the oldest known pirates in history. They attacked ancient Egypt and other parts of the East Mediterranean. The Sea Peoples appeared around the 14th century, and it still isn’t known where they came from. They were a seafaring people who raided coastal towns and cities. The Egyptians wrote about the Sea Peoples, but they’re mostly a mystery. They didn’t just work as pirates, but also mercenaries. It’s been recorded that they even worked for the Egyptians and the Hittites. This is one of the least known facts about pirates. When people think of pirates, they usually think of ones from the Golden Age of Piracy.
The Golden Age of Piracy
From 1650 to 1730 there was a massive outbreak of piracy, this is known as the Golden Age of Piracy. Many of the most famous pirates of all time, including Blackbeard, Henry Morgan, William Kidd, and Jack Rackham became famous during this time. There were three major outbursts during the golden age, the buccaneering period of 1630 to 1680, the Pirate Round of the 1690’s, and the Post-Spanish Succession period, from 1716 to 1726.
There Were Many Types Of Pirates
From Charles Vane, who was a violent captain hated by his crew, to Black Sam Bellamy, a pirate famous for his generosity, and known as Robin Hood, there was a wide variety of pirates. Vane was an incredibly violent captain. He originally worked under Henry Jennings, but started his own crew. His crew despised him so much, that they eventually marooned him on an island. He was captured, and hanged In 1791. Although Black Sam only operated for a year, he captured 53 ships, making him the wealthiest pirate in history. He was known for his magnanimity, and became known as the “Prince of Pirates”. There was also Stede Bonnet, who was a rich landowner before turning to piracy, solely for the adventure it would entail.
Vikings Were Actually Pirates
The word Viking literally means pirate. Vikings would go on long voyages raiding and pillaging villages and towns. They brought back gold and plunder which made them very popular when they returned home. As pirates go Vikings actually had surprisingly good reputations. They were considered more honest than many other pirates, and better fighters. The Vikings came from Scandinavia and are famous for their raids of monasteries in England, and the countless invasions of European countries. As pirates go the Vikings were probably some of the most skilled at fighting.
Who Pirates Feared The Most
Blackbeard was the fearsome pirate of all time, so the man he killed him must have struck fear into the hearts of pirates all over the seas. Lt. Maynard was given command of two sloops, Ranger and Jane by Governor Spotswood. After departing, he managed to catch up with Blackbeard in only 3 days. He had managed to get to Blackbeard when most of his men were separated from him. However, even though Maynard outnumbered him three to one, he was smart enough to tell most of his men to hide below deck. This made it appear that he had very few men. Blackbeard saw this,and decided to board his ship, thinking he could overwhelm him with numbers. Maynard’s men poured out from below deck, and ambushed Blackbeard.
Maynard and Blackbeard found themselves in hand-to-hand combat. They both shot at each other, Blackbeard missed, but Maynard landed a shot. Unfortunately, it only wounded him. Blackbeard charged at Maynard, and even managed to break his sword. Maynard might have died, had it not been for one of his men who jumped on Blackbeard and attacked him. This gave Maynard the chance he needed to finally kill Blackbeard. Considering he took down the most fearsome pirate of all time, it’s hard to imagine anyone pirates feared more than Lt. Maynard.