Charles Vane Uncertain Pirate Origins

Charles Vane his origins are uncertain.

Pirate with a gun sparksAnother of the others, who toured the waters of the Caribbean, was Charles Vane. His origins are uncertain, but it is known that he served aboard one of the ships of the Scottish privateer Lord Archibald Hamilton. Later he made his own brig (a boat with a square or round sail and two masts, the main and the ratchet. At that time, he had up to 15 oars per side) called the Ranger. He became leader of the Republic of Pirates in Nassau, where he carried his reputation as a torturer, bloodthirsty and arbitrary forged from the sea. Even with his own men, he did not abide by the code of piracy. His navigation skills and military strategy enabled his formidable reign of terror.

Change your ways or face the consequences.

Pirate ships with the moon in a bayWhen King George I issued the Edict of Forgiveness, a pardon for all pirates who decided to return to an honest life, it is said that Charles repudiated the idea. The king then sent the frigate HMS Fénix to Nassau with the captain in an attempt to convince him to change his ways. The effort was in vain, so Charles set up a brulote (old boat loaded with explosives) as the answer. In a couple of weeks, he prepared himself with Calico Jack and Eduard England for the next  Pirate hit.

sunset with the moon and Pirate shipsCalico Jack operated in the Bahamas during the War of the Spanish Succession. Later, in a ragged attack on a frigate that turned out to be a French Navy ship, Vane abandoned his men, leading to his deposition. With a small group of pirates, he seized five boats and went to the Bay of Honduras via the Windward Islands but a hurricane left him shipwrecked for several days until he was found by a British ship. Vane was discovered and taken to Jamaica in the Caribbean, where he was tried and hanged. Shortly after his death, the golden age of piracy came to an end. Today, Charles Vane is now a character in video games and movies. His legend continues.

Calico Jack

Scull and crossbones flag with redCharles Vane was followed by Jack Rackham, also known as “Calico” Jack, for the patterned cotton cloth (calico) he wore. He countered her little naval knowledge and physical fighting skills, cunningly employing backstabbing diplomacy. Calico Jack is associated as the first pirate to hoist and terrorize the Jolly Roger, the black skull flag with two cross-shaped tibiae, the insignia of piracy. However, it is claimed that each pirate had their own variation of the same flag.