Most pirates had strict rules
They also took them very seriously. If you broke a rule, you just might be thrown overboard or kicked off the ship the next time they stopped somewhere. Some of the rules were: You don’t steal from a fellow pirate, candles needed to be blown out by 8, every man must keep his weapons clean and ready for battle ALWAYS, disputes are not to be settled on the ship. All quarrels must be settled on land.
Not all pirates were men
There were a handful of famous female pirates as well. Anne Bonny is possibly the most famous of them all. Both her and Mary Read were the only two women to be convicted of piracy during the ‘Golden Age of Piracy.’
Unfortunately for treasure hunters, it seems that the idea that pirates buried their treasure is mostly the result of tall tales and fiction. Most pirates chose to spend their ‘winnings’ immediately.
About the treasure…
What we know as pirate ‘treasure’ was very rarely gold coins and riches. Most of the time these treasures came in the form of food, fabric, cocoa, and booze. The majority of these treasures would go bad if buried.
Short Term Career
The career of a pirate never lasted very long. Between battles, terrifying oceans, and being on the run from the law, a pirate usually only stayed ‘in the game’ for several years at most. Even Blackbeard was only active for a few years.
Piracy was a popular choice
Pirates came from all social classes. Not everyone became a pirate out of necessity. In fact, William Kidd, a pirate who was of a high social status, became a pirate while on a pirate hunting exhibition.
The term ‘Davy Jones’ Locker’ has been around since the 1700s. While there isn’t a clear answer as to where the term came from, one theory is that Davy Jones was a deranged pub owner who would kidnap sailors.
Walk the plank
Walking the plank was very rarely used as a punishment on a pirate ship. A far more common punishment was “Keelhauling”, in which you were tied to a rope that was looped underneath the ship, thrown overboard, and dragged under and back out the other side.
Gold & Gems
Pirates loved their jewelry. They especially loved earrings. Why? Most pirates believed that having precious metals pierced in your ears gave you better eyesight.
A man who was considered to be unlucky on a pirate ship was known as a ‘Jonah.’ Once deemed a Jonah, you would be thrown overboard. This term has been around since 1611.
What’s in a name
The name ‘pirate’ stems from the Latin word “pirata” which means sea robber. Makes sense.
The first documented case of piracy took place in 14th century B.C. , when a group known as “the Sea Peoples” raided and attacked both Aegean and Mediterranean ships.
The Ancient Greeks considered Piracy to be an honourable profession.
Almost every pirate drank ‘Grog,’ a mixture of rum, water, lemon juice, and sugar.
Pirates often patrolled areas that narrowed into sea channels that funneled ships containing valuable goods into predictable routes. Major routes included: The English Channel, Gibraltar, and the Strait of Malacca.
The first pirate to be hanged, drawn, and quartered for the crime of piracy was William Maurice.
All Around the World
While the pirates of the Atlantic and the Caribbean seem to be the most famous, pirates of the Mediterranean always had as many or more pirates throughout any given point in time during the golden age of piracy.
Follow the cheese
When the Caribbean started to dwindle, pirates started focusing on the Indian Ocean and the Coast of Spain. These areas often were used as routes for ships carrying high value goods like silk.
Pirates often chose not to kill the crews that they captured. This was because they understood that if they became known for killing everyone they captured, people would fight to the death during raids, ultimately making it harder on the pirates.