Privateers who were loyal to England during the reign of Queen Anne established themselves in the Bahamas during the reign of King George I, ushering in the golden age of piracy. Learn about the political changes that caused these men to become pirates, the events that made it possible, and why it was so important to the British government that they were viewed by the public as dangerous criminals.
Most of the pirates of the Caribbean were based in Nassau, Bahamas. Here are the actual exploits of Blackbeard, Henry Jennings, Calico Jack, Anne Bonny, and the other Bahamas Pirates as they have been uncovered from historical research. While they may differ significantly from popular stories and what one may currently "know" about these pirates, these facts are nevertheless quite fascinating.
The researched history of each of the golden age pirates is used as the basis in writing their stories as a series of historical novels. License is taken by the author, Ronald Haines, to determine the motivations of these colorful characters since they are inferred by him from the facts, and the story lines then created to both fit and explain those facts.
The Pirates You Thought You Knew About
Pirate stories have always intrigued people, but stories you have heard so much about do not always coincide with the historical facts. Even in the early 18th century, while the pirates were still active in the Bahamas, tall tales were being told about them. Politically there were good reasons to brand them as dangerous criminals since many of them were against the Hanoverian King George and were supporters of the Stuart claim to the throne. It is possible that the real reason Woodes Rogers was sent to eliminate the pirate threat was not so much to protect trade but to prevent them from organizing a fleet of ships to sail against England.
This site examines the historical lives of the well known Bahamas pirates, separating fact from 300 years of embellishment of stories that were not quite accurate in the first place, and presenting them as accurately as research permits.
Pirates of the Bahamas, The Next Generation
While piracy had been virtually eliminated in the Bahamas by 1720, events during the years that followed created more and more friction between the new world colonies and the British government. Laws which had been ignored began to be enforced and taxes were increased to help pay for additional wars with Spain and France in the Caribbean. With the outbreak of hostilities, many of the descendants of the golden age pirates took letters of marque to become privateers. With the Royal Navy now concentrated around the base in Jamaica, the opportunity once again rose for pirates to establish themselves in the islands of the Bahamas. However, this generation of pirates also realized the profits to be gained from smuggling and they became of critical importance to the developing American colonies, as seen through the eyes of the fictional children of Anne Bonny, Mary Read and Jack Rackham in Pirates of the Bahamas.