The pirates are often misrepresented as barbarians and brutes. But that is far from the truth!
Code of Conduct
In 1706, pirates in Nassau, Bahamas came together and created what we know as the Republic of Pirates. It was to become a stronghold for the brotherhood of privateers situated on the New Providence island.
Ruled by pirates, of course, the word “republic” was not a formal one, yet, incarnated fear to whoever dared to venture on the island to establish British control.
The Republic of Pirates had its Code of Conduct to ensure the place would stay free of the Royal Navy and keep everyone “safe.” While pirates were outlaws, many misconceptions about them spread over the years.
The romanticized version of the Age of Piracy gave those privateers a poor, ridiculous reputation while others gave them a barbaric name. Both are wrong. The Republic of Pirates is one small proof of it.
The Code of the Republic
The timeline for the Age of Piracy lasted from 1650 to 1730. In the Bahamas. In 1696, a captain of many names came to port with a ship called the Fancy.
The privateer named Henry Every and Henry Avery, Jack Avery, or John Avery brought his loot from the Indian ships to Nassau. Of course, the captain had a plan in mind to establish the island as a paradise for pirates.
Even back then, it was easy to buy people, and Governor Nicholas Trott was no exception. The loot possessed enough gold, silver, and other treasure to buy the one man. That man he needed to have in his back pocket. With the stolen treasure and the Fancy. Everyone bought himself the island.
Despite the governors sometimes trying to oppress the pirates from the Republic of Pirates, they became more powerful and harder to keep in line as they grew in numbers and were knowledgeable people, often underestimated.
The Lawless Pirates
The absolute pirate control happened in 1706 when the island lost all its settlers. Ultimately, an attack followed from the Franco-Spanish fleet that first took place in 1703 and repeated itself three years later.
Nassau lost the English government, and pirates settled in without a second thought.
As a result, to ensure their ruling, pirates attacked both French and Spanish ships. Despite Nassau burning many times, pirates didn’t give up on their island. Nassau then became the possession of pirates, which now had their governors.
In conclusion, the Republic of Pirates was now in full motion.
The Republic of Pirates’ Rivalry
When the War of the Spanish Succession ended, privateers without jobs came to the Republic of Pirates to find new employment. Privateers turned to piracy to live, and it paid off despite the islands’ big rivalry.
Benjamin Hornigold is a name that rings a bell to many who enjoy history. He was Edward Teach’s mentor, yes, the one pirate who became Black Beard.
Hornigold also took Sam Bellamy and Stede Bonnet under his wing. Needless to say, he was a maker of successful pirate captains.
The rivalry among the Republic of Pirates was between Hornigold and a pirate named Henry Jennings.
Jennings was the teacher of Charles Vane, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and Calico Jack Rackham. Again, pirates that inspired fear and possessed a horrifying reputation, to say the least.
The Flying Gang
The rivalry was not enough to stop those pirates from becoming the infamous Flying Gang.
At the time of the exploits of those pirates, more than a thousand pirates lived in Nassau. They outnumbered the dwellers, which was in the hundred at the time.
The most known pirate of all time, Blackbeard, quickly became the Magistrate by vote from all dwellers. He was the one in command of the Republic of Pirates and defended its people. He enforced the law and maintained the order.
The many exploits of the Flying Gang in Providence, and Port Royal by attacking those salvaging various treasures and other worthy materials, brought more fortune to the Republic of Pirates.
Meanwhile, the pirate known as Thomas Barrow took his place as the Governor of Providence, promising to make it secondary Madagascar.
He planed on bringing less than a thousand men from Jamaica to settle in Providence and attack ships from the French and Spaniards. English ships often being overlooked unless attacked by them first.
Answering The British Call
The restraint of attacking ships incoming from the British islands vanished. The pirates were now at their highest peak and were now in command of fleets.
They took down frigates belonging to the Royal Navy itself with no sweat. Sadly, it was the beginning of the end. George the First named Woodes Rogers, Governor of the Bahamas, and ordered him to bring an end to piracy.
In the year 1718, Rogers reached Nassau with his fleet, outnumbered, the Republic of Pirates had no choice but to hear what the governor had to say.
Rogers had a royal pardon for all pirates ready to renounce their titles. It was a dark day when Benjamin Hornigold, mentor of Blackbeard, joined forces with Rogers.
Hornigold was now on the hunt to capture all pirates refusing to kneel before England.
Of course, the British rejoiced to have Benjamin Hornigold on their side, former pirate, privateer, father figure to Blackbeard. He was worth is weight in gold.
Moreover, Hornigold pursued his old mates with no remorse and regretted nothing.
The Age of Piracy
Some eluded the British, influential, and names inspiring fear such as Charles Vane, Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, and more escaped Hornigold.
However, the former mentor captured ten pirates, and it was on December 12th, 1718, in the morning, that nine pirates had their neck broken by the noose.
The public hanging ensured British control over Nassau. It ended the Republic of Pirates in the Bahamas.
Despite those who fled, and kept their piracy going strong, the haven was gone. The Caribbean remained the stronghold for them, and the Golden Age of Piracy started.