Stede Bonnet, The Aristocrat Pirate

A wealthy aristocrat and landowner from Barbados and Jacobite supporter, Stede Bonnet had a pirate ship, the 60 ton Revenge, custom built, intending to join the other pirate captains who were raising a fleet to support the cause.  His first encounter was with a Spanish warship, however, where he was wounded and lost several crewmembers. Confidence as a captain shaken, he sailed to Nassau where he fell in with Edward Thatch, aka Blackbeard.  Thatch took over captaincy of the Revenge and Bonnet remained on board as a gentleman at leisure.  This arrangement worked perfectly for Thatch because Stede Bonnet was able to provide him with the necessary introductions to the authorities in Carolina colony.

After Thatch captured the Concorde and renamed it the Queen Anne’s Revenge, he gave the captaincy of the Revenge to one of his underlings and parted ways with Bonnet.  Bonnet once again gained control of the Revenge after Thatch abandoned it, however, and also picked up several of Thatch’s crew.  He wanted to sail to St. Thomas to obtain a privateering commission but his crew outvoted him and they resumed piracy off the Carolina coast.  They were captured by pirate hunters and Bonnet was hanged in Charleston in December, 1718.