J'Beard the Pirate Welcomes Ye

To aPirates Life


 One of the most predominant myths about pirates is the belief that they were all a bunch of evil men completely lacking in any moral standards or beliefs. This was simply not true. Yes some pirates were rapists and murders, and some were truly sadistic killers. But most pirates were not much different in their moral beliefs then the other sailors of their time. Some worked as privateers and some on military ships before becoming pirates. Furthermore, not all buccaneers volunteered to serve as pirates of their choosing. Some were pressed men who were forced into serving when their ships were captured by pirates. Other men were abducted in ports and forced to join the pirates crew. (Note: Abducting seamen in ports to serve aboard naval warships was also a common practice in the military back then. As was the use of black slaves to do some of the back breaking manual labor and dangerous tasks aboard ship.) Not to try and justify their actions but in a world of poverty and little opportunity for most, some found in the brutal life of piracy a risk worth taking.

The majority of these pirates were by nature rebellious and lazy. However they took their work quite seriously, and in most cases before a crew would sail off on a voyage, a set of written articles was drawn up which every member of the ships company was expected to sign. These articles regulated the distribution of plunder among the crew, the scale of compensation for injuries received in battle, and set out the basic rules for shipboard life and the punishments for those who broke the rules. The written articles varied from one ship to another but most were generally very similar. These articles were well needed as pirates were tough and ruthless men, notorious for their foul language, and prolonged bouts of drinking, which frequently led to quarrels and violence. They came together in a rather uneasy partnership, attracted by the lure of plunder and the desire for an easy life.