- Holidays and Celebrations»
- Unofficial Holidays
Plundering the Calendar!!
In the spirit of giving modern-day pirate enthusiasts plenty of chances to crack open the rum bottle, I have done extensive research into the events of the real-life pirates and their greatest accomplishments.
Behold, me mateys, every month you have a chance to host yer own pirate soirée!
The Throne of the Pirate King, Henry Morgan
Pirates of the Winter Months
6 January, 1671- Henry Morgan and 1,400 men cross the Isthmus of Panama and come to Panama City, one of the Spanish Main's richest treasure ports. After defeating the better-armed but less experienced defenders, the pirates sacked the town. But they did not make anywhere near as much as they anticipated because the bulk of Panama's treasure had already been loaded onto a ship bound for Spain.
10 February, 1722- After a hugely successful three year career which saw the taking of over 470 ships, Bartholomew Roberts met his end at the hands of pirate hunters in Cape Lopez. Dressed in his finest red coat wearing a huge golden crucifix plundered from an unfortunate clergymen, Roberts was killed just as the battle began by grapeshot. To avoid his body being put on display, his crew tied his body to weights and heaved it overboard.
Soo... Who's our designated helmsman?
Vote ye Swabs!!!
Which season is best for celebrating piracy?
Spring has sprung... Load the cannons!!
8 March, 1702- This particular day saw the birth of one of the greatest and most interesting pirates of all time: Anne Bonny. Born the illegitimate child of a wealthy and well-respected father and the maid, Bonny's legend has been handed down over the years as probably the prettiest scoundrel ever to wield a cutlass. She ran off to sea as a young woman as the mistress of pirate Calico Jack Rackham and, oddly enough, she would soon find herself sailing with another female pirate, Mary Read!
11 April 1713- The Peace of Utrecht is signed. Until this time, a lot of buccaneers were able to raid and pillage the ships of enemy countries in the 12-year long Queen Anne's War between England, France, Holland, and Spain. They were privateers, pirates acting as patriots with the approval and protection of their native nation. The Peace of Utrecht brought an end to that and landed hundreds of privateers out of a job. Thus was born the pure pirate, to whom the ships of every nation were fair game.
23 May, 1701- Few pirates had a rougher time of it than William Kidd, a Scottish captain who originally set out as a pirate hunter sponsored by some of the most powerful men in England. Unfortunately for him, his quest as a privateer failed and he soon succumbed to the temptations of sea roving. When we returned to America, the first thing the British authorities did was clap him in irons and confiscate the little treasure he managed to gather. He was then used in political power plays for several months before finally being hanged as a pirate. His corpse was put on display in a gibbet outside London.
The ultimate beach bunny!
Summer Plunder... Grab the sunblock and the cutlass!
7 June, 1692- Port Royal Jamaica was once arguably the pirate capital of the Caribbean. It was called "The Wickedest City on Earth". That changed in 1692 when a massive earthquake destroyed much of the city and killed hundreds either by drowning or crushing or disease. Many robe-wearing dotards claimed it was God's judgment. In any case, Port Royal was never the same again.
31 July 1588- Sir Francis Drake, working for the British monarchy itself, managed to completely repulse the huge Spanish Armada which was trying to stage an invasion on England. Using cannons, fire ships and guts, Drake saved England. To the Spanish he still remains a pirate in history, while he remains an English hero.
August 1695-Captain Henry Every and five other pirate captains overtook the Grand Moghul of India's pilgrim fleet around this time, taking a huge amount of treasure and committing some of the worst atrocities in the history of piracy against their defeated prisoners. Each man made about 1,000 pounds in gold and jewels, equivalent (or so I am told) to several years' pay by modern standards. The incident strained relations between the British East India Company and India. But Every would get his just deserts, dying poor after being cheated out of his money by a pawn broker.
Chart a course for revelry!
Rum Under the Golden Leaves
27 September, 1718- Often called "The Gentleman Pirate" because of his gentile background before turning to piracy, Stede Bonnet was probably among the worst pirates alive. When he sailed with Blackbeard, the devilish giant more or less took over Bonnet's ship and crew before cutting him loose. Bonnet was caught by the authorities in the Cape Fear River, tried, and hanged without mercy. Alas, not everyone makes a good pirate, my friends!
October, 1723- George Lowther , mentor to the barbaric Captain Low, started his career by taking over the slave ship he worked on. He took a number of ships before being tracked down by William Moore of the HMS Eagle. Lowther chose to end his own life rather than be taken captive to be made an example of.
22 November, 1718- This holiday commemorates the epic final stand of Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, when he faced the daring British Lieutenant Robert Maynard in Ocracoke Inlet. It took several men, five gunshot wounds and over twenty lacerations to finally bring the bearded devil down. Maynard decapitated Teach and took his head as a trophy. They say Blackbeard's headless corpse swam several times around the ship before vanishing.
Learn a thing or two, ya bilge rats!!!
Frankincense, myrrh, and GOLD!!!!!
23 December, 1814- Gulf of Mexico pirate Jean Lafitte had a tumultuous relationship with the United States government, but sided with them in the War of 1812. He helped the young country win the Battle of New Orleans and won full pardon for all acts of piracy.