Gay pirate stories

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The lesbian and gay pirates of the 17th century lived a strangely egalitarian life, with health insurance and even same-sex civil partnerships. Piracy was a world apart, and one where homosexual couples may have been the norm, not the exception.

Captains on navy and merchant ships must have accepted, if not engaged in, gay sex. It may even have been useful to them, reducing tensions and resentment and increasing the bond between men. But technically it was illegal in many navies. Pirates often recruited their crews from the merchant and military ships they attacked, where sailors would already be having sex with each other. Pirates consciously separated themselves from the rest of society. Some engaged in salt-water baptisms, gave themselves new names or toasted each other with seawater to mark their new life together.

At such times one might see them thumping their chests, as if they wanted to arouse some remorse in their hearts, something they had become scarcely capable of. Most of our modern pirate myths stem from the Golden Age of Piracy, from the s to the s. This period was the inspiration for the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise.

It was born on the island of Hispaniola which is nowadays Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. BySpain had abandoned its colonies in the impoverished north of the island. So runaway slaves, mutinous soldiers and sailors, almost anyone who had a reason to hide, could find safe Gay pirate stories there. Many of them were protestants, either French Huguenots or English, and therefore fiercely opposed Gay pirate stories the Catholic Spanish.

Together, they formed a society which they dubbed the Brethren of the Coast. It was an almost entirely male society, so they lived in same-sex couples. Two men would disappear into the tropical forests for between six months and two years. When they emerged, they would be dressed in animal skins and covered in blood. Then they would sell smoked meats and hides to passing ships.

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They may have turned to piracy to subsidise this meagre income. But the Spanish tried to wipe out not only the buccaneers but the animals they hunted. And this just made them more dependent on piracy. Eventually, the Spanish persecution forced the buccaneers to move to the smaller island of Tortuga, off the north coast of Hispaniola.

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This was more defensible but had even Gay pirate stories natural resources. So piracy became their main source of income. Tortuga was split between French and English colonies. That played into the buccaneers hands. So they either turned a blind eye to anti-Spanish piracy or even encouraged it.

State-sponsored piracy was nothing new. In fact, there is a long history of privateers. This is when a government grants people the right to attack merchant ships from another country. The buccaneers did cause them one problem though. There were far too many men on this island and too few women. Tortuga was obviously deeply homosocial and probably openly homosexual.

The authorities had a plan for this. French governor Jean Le Vasseur apparently arranged for up to 1, female prostitutes and petty criminals to be shipped from Paris to the island. Brutal sexism was at play. Le Vasseur believed the women would be a civilising influence.

The same-sex couples were established by now, so they shared everything. And one woman between two was plenty.

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If one married, they simply became bisexual buccaneers in three-way relationships. Captain Morgan is now most famous for being the face on a bottle of rum. But the real Captain Henry Morgan was a privateer — a state-sponsored pirate. And before he Gay pirate stories Panama in the s, he drew up an amazing contract for his crew. If they lost a hand or foot in the battle, they would get pieces of eight compensation. Both legs were worth 1, pieces of eight, for one eye and 2, if they became totally blind. A form of same-sex civil unions, called matelotage, was also common.

But it went deeper than that. If one matelot died, his partner inherited his property and share of the booty. In battle, they fought as a team and died together. It appears the partnership was often, if not always, sexual. The contemporary writer Captain Johnson, who may be the same person as Daniel Defoe, records the depth of these pairings. He says one pirate turned privateer drowned rather than abandon his closest friend on a sinking vessel. A small of women also became pirates.

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Mary Read and Anne Bonny are the most famous. Both had a clear masculine side. Mary had gone by the name of Mark since childhood. She had a fierce temper and, aged 13, she allegedly stabbed a servant girl with a table knife. Read dressed as a man to get work at sea.

But pirates took a ship she was on and forced her to them. Meanwhile Bonny had traveled to the Bahamas and started mingling with pirates in the local taverns. Shortly after, Read ed them too. Initially Bonny and Read each assumed the other was a man. But Bonny eventually told Read she was a woman and attracted to her.

Read then revealed she was also a woman. That is when they probably started to have a sexual relationship. Rackham was jealous of Read, as he thought Read was a man with des on his lover, Bonny. But Bonny reassured him by explaining Read was a woman. Together the three stole a ship from Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. They recruited a crew and captured many ships around Jamaica, amassing plenty of treasure. That left Bonny and Read and one other crew member to take on the boarding party.

Read allegedly shot at the other pirates when they refused to defend themselves. Eventually the pirate hunters overwhelmed them. Bonny and Read, however, escaped immediate execution as they were both pregnant. Read died of a fever in prison. Bonny may have survived as she disappears from history. Captain Bartholomew Roberts is the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy, Gay pirate stories over Gay pirate stories between and He had been an officer on a merchant ship off the coast of Ghana when pirates seized the vessel and forced him to them.

Initially he was a reluctant recruit. But the pirate captain, Howell Davis, soon realised Roberts was a great navigator and persuaded him. Piracy was an attractive alternative to the harsh conditions and poor wages on a merchant ship. Within six weeks of him ing, Davis was dead and the crew elected Roberts to be their captain. Roberts avoided the company of women on shore and preferred tea to rum. His crew may have found the former less surprising than the latter. Clause six of this banned women — and boys — from ship.

Presumably both would have created jealousy and started fights. It re:. If any man were to be found seducing any of the latter sex, and carried her to sea, disguised, he was to suffer death. Roberts had a famous affair was with a surgeon called George Wilson who volunteered to the pirates when they took his ship.

Gay pirate stories

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