Meet the pirates
In this module you will find out about the motivations of men and women who became pirates and life at sea on board a pirate ship. We will look at the clichés, myths and realities of pirate life.
Bartholomew Roberts claimed that service on a pirate ship was better than in the navy or a merchant ship as the crew received plenty of food and drink and had a say in the voyage. But he also warned that most pirates only had short careers:
"In an honest service, there is thin Commons, low wages and hard labour, in this, plenty and saiety, liberty and ease, liberty and power… No a merry life and a short one shall be my motto"
Anne Bonny and Mary Read both served as pirates on a ship commanded by John Rackam. They were noted for fighting bravely and after they were captured and tried, Bonny was allowed to visit Rackam, her lover and told him that:
"she was sorry to see him there, but if he had fought like a Man, he need not have been hang'd like a Dog."