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52 votes
Accepted

Did pirates really drink a lot of rum?

Rum was easily obtained in the sugarcane rich Caribbean and olden day South Seas Pirates, who would drink anything they could get their hands on if it had a kick, were associated with the drinking of ...
41 votes
Accepted

Why did piracy thrive in the late 17th and early 18th centuries?

The creation and expansion of European empires during the Age of Discovery resulted in the expansion of trade routes to new colonies and trading posts across the world. The vast areas of these trade ...
  • 18.1k
28 votes

What ships did pirates use in ancient Greece and Rome?

I don't think that it is possible to generalise. I don't doubt that ancient pirates did re-purpose civilian ships in most cases. Indeed, it is said that even sailors on merchant ships which had been ...
  • 76.4k
27 votes

Did pirates really drink a lot of rum?

Historical evidence suggests, and I am writing from the wiki article of origin of Rum, that during the late 16th and early 17th century, sugarcane plantation slaves in the Caribbean islands discovered ...
18 votes

Did pirates really drink a lot of rum?

Origins and availability or the drink aside (this was covered by Rico and the Major already)... life on a sailing ship was hard. Especially ships prepared for combat -- like a navy's warships -- had ...
  • 12.2k
16 votes
Accepted

Were there ever actual organizations of pirates?

Its been two years since this question was scribed, and nobody else be bringn' it up, so perhaps now be th' time to be tellin' th' tale o' th' Red Flag Fleet. It be also th' tale o' Cheng I Sao, th' ...
  • 111k
12 votes

Was there a dry dock available to pirate ships during the golden age of piracy?

No. It's one thing to set up a pirates den with brothels, gambling and bars. Quite another to set up and run successfully a harbour with extended port facilities. Find a remote spot. Build some shacks....
  • 17.9k
11 votes
Accepted

What date did Henry Morgan capture his most famous flagship, the "Satisfaction"?

Le Cerf Volant, a 14-gun warship, was probably captured in late December 1668 (New Style date) by Edward Collier while commanding the Oxford. Collier seized the French ship at Cow island while it was ...
9 votes

Did a letter of marque give actual protection in the middle ages?

Like much legistation, the role of the letter of marque evolved from it's initial inception to it's eventual demise. The original purpose of the letter of marque and reprisal (to use the full title),...
  • 18.1k
9 votes

What ships did pirates use in ancient Greece and Rome?

Keep in mind that "heavy military ships" were rare -- most galleys were triremes or smaller designs -- biremes, penteconters, liburna. Their construction was well within the capabilities of small ...
7 votes

When was the last US letter of marque issued?

The last time the United States Congress issued a letter of Marque and Reprisal was during the War of 1812. The last time they considered it was during Andrew Jackson's administration. The Declaration ...
6 votes
Accepted

Identify the caricatured countries in an illustration about the XYZ affair

The description of the print on the British Museum site includes the following explanation of that part of the picture: The scene is on the coast near the Channel. Across the water is 'Shakespeare'...
  • 76.4k
5 votes

What date did Henry Morgan capture his most famous flagship, the "Satisfaction"?

As near as I can find, the Cour Volant was captured by Edward Collier in December 1668 at the Isle à la Vache, off the harbour of Aux Cayes in Hispaniola. Collier was, at that point commander of the ...
  • 76.4k
5 votes
Accepted

How many Manila Galleons were sacked and by whom?

Four. At least known captures, and these were by British privateers. The Dutch were also engaged with the Spanish treasure fleet at times (Battles of La Naval de Manila), but it appears these actions ...
  • 34.3k
5 votes

What ships did pirates use in ancient Greece and Rome?

The pirates used the "same" ships as everyone else. Or at least similar types such as galleys. In those times, there was (practically) no such thing as "heavy" or dedicated military ships. (OK, a few ...
  • 103k
5 votes

Why is there a statue of Francis Drake in Coquimbo, Chile?

The statue/monument to Drake is modern, and apparently was commissioned by the municipality of Coquimbo sometime in the last 30 years. The nearby City of La Serena was opposed to building a statue to ...
  • 51
5 votes

Were there ever actual organizations of pirates?

The Victual brothers, a fourteenth and fifteenth century group first organised to aid King Albert when he tried to defend against Queen Margaret in a war for the Swedish crown. They can arguably have ...
  • 5,431
4 votes

Did pirates really drink a lot of rum?

The pirates, as well as regular navy sailors drank what was available. For example, the British sailors had regular rations of beer or wine. When this was not available, they drank rum or whatever was ...
  • 37.5k
3 votes

Did pirates call themselves pirates?

De Americaensche zee-roovers In 1678 Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin published "De Americaensche zee-roovers". A reprint of the original Dutch text can be found at The Digital Library for Dutch ...
3 votes

Has there been a recorded account of a cabin boy inspiring mutiny on board a ship?

Courtesy of a bit of a phase of mine where I was inexplicably interested in the topic of mutiny I've done a fair bit of reading on the subject and I have to say I'm not aware of this ever having ...
3 votes

When did Comino become depopulated?

I know this question is very old but I thought it deserved an answer because the speculation is quite inaccurate. Comino was inhabited up till very recently, probably up till the early 1990s. People ...
2 votes

Did a letter of marque give actual protection in the middle ages?

A "letter of marque" protected a privateer only against his home state (the one that issued the letter). In effect, it was a "peace treaty" between the two; the privateer "lays off" the ships of his ...
  • 103k
2 votes

Did a letter of marque give actual protection in the middle ages?

I only know about this for the late eighteen and early nineteenth centuries, when a letter of marque would usually give you protection from ships belonging to the country that issued it. Usually, not ...
  • 28.3k
1 vote

Why did piracy thrive in the late 17th and early 18th centuries?

Prior to the invention of an accurate chronometer, a ship wishing to visit an isolated island would need to either sail to the correct latitude from a position known to be to the east of the island ...
  • 131
1 vote

Did pirates really drink a lot of rum?

Interest only: Standard disclaimers: Correlation does not imply causation, YMMV, do not bend staple fold or mutilate, IANAL, DTTAH: But Googles NGram viewer returns the following interesting curve ...

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