The Golden Age of Piracy
end of the seventeenth century saw the greatest outburst of
piracy in the history of seafaring.
Ironically called “the Golden Age of Piracy”, the era
lasted from around 1700 until 1730.
Although the most troubled area was the Caribbean, piracy
was also rife off the Eastern seaboard of America, in the Indian
Ocean and off the West Coast of Africa (where the “Pirate
Round” followed the trade routes from India to America via
their own time, pirates such as Blackbeard and Bartholomew
Roberts now seem larger than life.
What we really know of them is surprisingly little, the
recollections of ex-pirates, former victims, naval officers who
encountered them or the records of courtrooms and confessions.
One other source is the book
“A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the
most notorious Pyrates”.
The author, alleged to be Charles Johnston had extensive
first-hand knowledge of piracy, and it is suggested that
Johnston was the nom-de-plume for Daniel Defoe, ex-privateer and
author of “Robinson
was the result of circumstances – valuable cargoes were being
shipped across the Atlantic, including gold, silver, and slaves.
Meanwhile, a long period of conflict between England,
France and Spain had been resolved, allowing the respective
Navies to downsize and leaving ports full of unemployed sailors
with no job prospects. Most pirates were American or English, and lack of strong
colonial government made the American coast an ideal pirate
judicial and naval pressure put and end to the outbreak, and by
1730 it was all but over. Although
later outbreaks of piracy occurred, this short era would remain
lodged in popular culture as the “Golden Age of Piracy”.
Golden Age of Piracy
of the Caribbean