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Unnamed Road, Pirates Well Settlement, The Bahamas
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Welcome to the Authentic Pirate Living History Group, a small corner of Facebook for those who would like to "get it right" to hide from Hollywood and pop-culture "sexy" pirate girls. This is a place for discussion of the history and material culture of real, historical, pirates of the "Golden Age" (however you choose to define it, but for now let's say European/American pirates, 1690-1725 ish) and their portrayal at living history and educational events. Feel free to invite other like minded friends.

Anyone posting pictures of themselves in Jack Sparrow outfits or typing in "pyratese" will be mercilessly mocked and jeered. Please leave your bucket boots at the door.

If you have a specific question, it may already have been asked, and it's recommended that you have a quick browse through this document to see links to previous discussions. There is no harm, however in asking a question again, even if it's been answered before, because research here is ever ongoing, and it's likely that something new could be added.

Tuesday September 19th, 2017 - 9:43 pm

The latest transcription available - the following are letters of petition and negotiation between former associates of Bartholomew Roberts: Thomas Anstis and the pirates of Morning Star and Good Fortune.

Quest for Blackbeard - now 25% OFF PRINT FORMATS only at:
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The latest transcription available - the following are letters of petition and negotiation between former associates of Bartholomew Roberts: Thomas Anstis and the pirates of Morning Star and Good Fortune. for Blackbeard - now 25% OFF PRINT FORMATS only at:

Tuesday September 19th, 2017 - 3:43 pm

Does anyone happen to have 1690's - 1720's lyrics to Over the Hills and Far away please? ... See MoreSee Less

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Multiple versions on YouTube

Tuesday September 19th, 2017 - 12:14 pm

What currencies were used in the Caribbean during the GaoP? Did taverns for example except currencies from different countries, as there were obviously Spanish, French, Dutch and English colonists and shipping dotted throughout the area? Or would each port or colony only accept its own motherlands national currency? ... See MoreSee Less

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The value of currency in different parts of the new world vary from colony to Colony and port to port. Coins were valued by weight and availability from one place to another in the world. In the end gold is gold and silver is silver but I don't have enough of the information at my fingertips right now because I'm at work

I aksed a similar question about 18th cent. currency and about the exchange rates. David Fictum helped me out with that one and says it was generally 4s and 6d for 8 reales. But there is also an issue of wieght, as William said. I suppose during this period, though, Spanish currency may have been more popular due to the pirates fishing the wrecks of the 1715 treasure fleet

It would probably depond on who you were spending the money with. Spanish, English, French, Dutch currencies were fairly common, though Spian was the only nation minting money in the Caribbean at the time. But coins from all over the world made their way into the area.

The Spanish dollar and it's parts (pieces of eight) was the preferred coin of the realm.

contraband surely

It was in one of the many books on the subject,but apparently the piece of eight was acceptable even as far afield as London,much as US dollars were acceptable virtually anywhere outside of Europe while I was at sea myself.People will find a way despite any petty restrictions imposed by the ruling classes.

I remember reading a site in-depth years ago that showed how much more money a person stood to make in one port versus another because of the flexibility of value. For instance, some goods were worth more in ports that did not regularly receive such Goods. A Smuggler or pirate stood to make more money sometimes by traveling further to sell such Goods. This changed the value of standardized coins from one place to another.

There were also times when there was much more gold in one place than silver so silver would sometimes outpace the value of gold on rare occasions

There was a chronic shortage of coinage in the Americas, especially lower-denominations so anything available was used.

Very interesting. I take it that would mean that coins from say the beginning of the Golden Age of Piracy were still in circulation at the close of it? Did they have the turn around on coins that we do these days with newer coins invalidating old ones or would it not matter if it went on the content of the precious metals in the coin itself?

I have often wondered that myself

Definitely, in 1797 a fleet of British ships was wrecked on Chelsie beach and hundreds of Spanish coins from that wreck(pieces of eight) have been recovered bearing dates from the 1600's. I have one from the Piedmont dated 1673. Spanish coins were circulated and excepted in the US until 1857. The blacks in the West Indies preferred the old French sous coins called black dogs. Money was truly scarce and was officially mutilated in order to keep it from leaving the islands.

There have been entire books written about coinage of the early modern era, and it can get pretty intricate. But, in the circumstances of the currency-scarce New world, Spanish currency became common. Most British colonies saw people using both British and Spanish coinage, and exchange rates between the two received a lot of attention.

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Monday September 18th, 2017 - 11:42 pm

Something I've been musing over for a while is how did pirate society work? What would day to day life be like in Nassau, for example. In Assassin's Creed 4 and Black Sails, Nassau is portrayed as some sort of paradise that includes taverns and (more prominant in Black Sails) a brothel. As Nassau was abandoned and slowly taken over by pirates, I suppose buildings already standing could be repurposed as taverns, inns, brothels etc. I can only imagine that working by pirates stealing the rum, tobacco and other commodities from ships and raids and then selling them to merchants and innkeepers on Nassau who then resell them in smaller quantities to the pirates. Or would pirates just keep what they wanted and sell the rest? There would have had to have been some form of community or something.

Was their a heiracy? The internet would have you believe that Charles Vane, Edward Teach and Benjamin Hornigold imposed themselves as governors of the town. Was it down to them, possibly, to organize how things were run.

Up unt now, my thoughts on dailey life in Nassau have been similar to how I'd spend a typical weekend. I'll wake up, head down to the pub to have a few drinks, move to another pub that sells good food and then settle in to the night listening to a band (if there is one) with some more drinks. I suppose a would-be pirate would head to a tavern to join a crew or start his own that way.

Sorry for the long rambly post. But in 7 years I haven't been able to find things on this topic other than movies and video games
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If the source doesn't originate from the time period, it doesn't hold much water when trying to determine what life was like. Our expectations, attitudes, and gut feelings are generally irrelevant; similarities in what we want history to be and what it actually was tend to be coincidental. Look to their own words. Ed Fox has a great little book on that very thing, and a whole pile of journals survive which describe and relate what people saw like those of Edward Coxere and Samuel Pepys.

Start here, then hit up his bibliographies and all of the sources Dan mentioned:

I would have to imagine life in Nassau would have been very much like life in Port Royal thirty or forty years earlier. It's simply human nature to debauch one's self when the opportunity arises and when there is no law around.

Remember - Black Sails has only the tiniest kernal of truth in it. History tells us that the Guthrie (sp?) Family was a prominent trader in Nassau but merchants came from all over to trade with the pirates. I assume that most transaction took place by the shipload... after all, the pirates were in a hurry to party. I also assume that there were fewer actual brothels than you might imagine. It would be far too easy for the women to work independantly and make more money.

You forgot Jack Rackham in that group... Hornigold, Thatch, Rackham, and Vane who made up "The Flying Gang"

The idea of wandering around pleasant alehouses and enjoying a quite pint at will is almost certainly total fantasy. The towns under control of national governments were probably to modern eyes fairly unpleasent places, those who had lost the forces of law and order (such as it was) and been taken over by pirates would have been probably been akin to a modern African shantytown, run in effect by a local gangleader or even at times when the top position was disputed, unoccupied or whatever a complete anarchy. The assumption that you had a bed to get up from is unlikely unless you had money, and if you did you would likely to be robbed in short order, and quite possibly killed in the process, unless you were a known and obvious part of the gang in charge. Anything that needed organisation like food supplies, water, sanitation etc would probably have declined to rock bottom even from the low standards of the period as soon as official control was lost.

The vision of a period 'Biker Rally' soon falls apart without the boring jobs local government did even then.....

Nah pretty much just anarchy

Apparently,excavations at Port Royal show that although the place was described as the wickedest city on Earth,it seemed remarkably well supplied with churches and even a synagogue as well as numerous ale houses and taverns etc..One outstanding discovery was that everyone who was trading anything at all had two sets of measures,obviously one for buying and one for selling,so despite some outward,at least,respectability,just about everyone in the place was on the fiddle one way or the other.I would suspect that then as now,there would be the bad parts of town you kept out of unless you were the right type to be there and the nice parts of town that always seemed to have some arrangements in place to keep things that way.

Having seen how quickly things like Biker rallies/Festivals etc can start to unravel when something basic fails , rain, toilets fail etc... Having a "nice part of town" in the end relies on there being a structure of law and order enforced by big men with weapons: when everybody thinks they are big and have weapons, not going to happen.

I have often thought that the mechanics of how the land-based pirate communities like Nassau really worked is something which has not been covered in nearly enough detail. Unfortunately, having looked at most of the sources which might give us an insight I doubt that enough information is available to really form a decent picture. For a more general approach to how pirate society functioned, may I humbly recommend my own work:

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Monday September 18th, 2017 - 8:08 pm

Before everyone gets excited for Talk Like A Pirate Day tomorrow, just a reminder... ... See MoreSee Less

Before everyone gets excited for Talk Like A Pirate Day tomorrow, just a reminder...

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So, that would be a no???

I have to share this!

You seen a dog holding a set of keys anywhere….?

US Marines- hunting pirates since 1805. 😉

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Monday September 18th, 2017 - 10:46 am

Hello all, I am looking for help and or suggestions regarding foot wear. My question is: what would have been worn during the Revolutionary War period? I have several ancestors that were involved on ships during this time, and I would really like to build an outfit around this time to honor them. I have a pair of buckle shoes, but was wondering if gaiters would have been popular with sailors as they were with land based troops? I also have a pair of knee high leather boots, not the bucket boots, that I could use as well, but not sure if they would be appropriate. Any help would be greatly appreciated. ... See MoreSee Less

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No boots . Gaiters were to keep land based stuff outta your shoes , so probably not .

I had an interesting discussion with one of the cobblers at Williamsburg a few years ago about sailor footwear during the period. The gentleman I spoke with was working on a pair of high quality dancing shoes for a gentleman of the period. Those were quite soft soled compared to the hard sole buckle shoes we are familiar with and usually buy in the living history community. He said that their research indicated sailors would use a more soft soled shoe like that if they had them at all, of a buckle or sometimes tied type. It made climbing the ratlines and laying out along the yard's footropes less hazardous. Knowing how the typical hardsole buckle shoes will often have you doing a skate routine on hardwood floors, I can certainly see a practical basis for that. Also low sided; you needed ankle flexibility, thus no gaiters either.

The subject of sailors' footwear during the Revolutionary War has been covered to some extent on this blog:

One thing to remember is that the soleing bends are not the same now as they were then and I suspect (as a shoemaker) the soles were not as hard and especially not as hard as modern mass produced historic shoes.

Thanks for all the info. Looking through the British Tars, there seems to be a lot of period pictures depicting buckle shoes. There is also a step by step guide that shows how to buckle your shoes in order to get them off quickly in order to go aloft. I need to read more about this, but it was my understanding that this was just speculation.

The book "Patriots, Privateers, and Pirates of the American Revolution" is a good starting point.

A UK naval group I supply with kit (Deeds). A few of their members have brought up 'Deck Shoes' as a possible. Would these be the rope shoes referred to above? I've not researched these myself (yet) so cannot name any sources other than what the group has asked me to look into. The way I had it described was like an C18th Espadrille.

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Monday September 18th, 2017 - 9:41 am

Do you think GAoP pirates could've taken narcotics like cannabis, cocaine and opium? Were they around in this era? ... See MoreSee Less

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Yes. Opium definitely was. Cocaine is new-world, so not certain. Marijuana is middle-eastern (trivia: Hash and Assassin have the same root word), and could have been.

Supposedly the tobacco being grown in the colonies contained a thc like property and was referred to as jovial weed.

Cannabis is not a narcotic..IJS

Didn't they also have laudinum available as well

The narcotic qualities of cannabis were first noted by an Englishman in the 1670s when Captain Knox of the East India Company presented a paper to the Royal Society. However, despite the fact that it was definitely known, there is no evidence of widespread cannabis use until much later, and certainly no record that I've ever seen of pirates using it.

Furthermore, in Black Sails, Charles Vane takes to smoking opium. Someone commented that opium wasn't smoked in this period. (I can't remember how they said it was taken, possibly by eating the leaves but I can't remember 100%)

But because that was added to the show it led me to ask this

Sure they were and prevalent with some of the Islands frequented by the Pirates.

It should be noted that for cocaine, the leaves had been chewed for thousands o' years to feel their effects but the cocaine we know today, which is the medicalized (singled out molecule) version, was attained in the late 1800s.

If around Madagascar there could be Khat from Sudan, Betlenut from India

We discussed this topic several years ago: and we tackled it on reddit a long time ago too: A lot of it is just "No" and some people with a lot of wishful thinking.

Why use other drugs, especially unfamiliar ones used by foreigners, in a society already awash in nicotine and alcohol?

I think it was arround, & they did. I just don't think it was a big deal back then. They had other concerns.

I'll reiterate this one more time, and it's a point that I've had to repeat online several times. Adam Cripps law: Evidence, or it's just conjecture.I've been through this subject several times before, and all I keep on seeing is conjecture getting thrown at the wall without evidence and people hoping it will stick. The evidence hasn't surfaced to demonstrate the idea pirates engaged in drug use beyond tobacco and alcohol on any notable level.

It was a query originally at the top of the post, not everyone was on this page three years ago to see the resultant conversations.

Not that this is directly associated with pirates directly, but archaeology and testing on pipes found on the property of William Shakespeare showed that four of the pipes had traces of cannabis in them. So the use during the time period would be correct, however the historical presence in the trade lanes was not significant enough since it was not illegal, grew naturally, and had been accepted for eons.

The Shakespeare argument - not the first time I've heard it brought up while trying to discuss pirates that came well over half a century later. (remember, we're 1690-1725 here). Most people who bring it up the "Shakespeare's hash" thing don't know that this report is mostly a sensationalized news story and that it was never confirmed. Most other news sites that reported on this were simply setting up click bait.

A quote from the actual study, not the press version... "Unequivocal evidence for Cannabis has not been obtained. This may be attribut- able to difficulties associated with the effects of heating, and problems in identi- fying traces of cannabinoids in old sam- ples. Specimens WS-7C, WS-9, and 1912.6 all have substances associated with m/z values of 314, potentially indicative of cannabidiol, which is a product of heating Cannabis.7 These specimens and samples WS-3, WS-5A, WS-8, WS-10 and 1912.8 registered m/z values of 193, 231, 238, 243, 258, 295, 299 and/or 310, but the intensities of the readings were too low to provide certain identifications. The results are suggestive but do not prove the presence of Cannabis."

Found this one online: "A lot of people point to the hemp plantations of 17th century America, like the ones at the colony of Jamestown, as the origins of cannabis in America. But hemp's not the cannabis you smoke. So is there any real connection between weed as we know it and the colonies? It's important, first of all, to differentiate between the different types of cannabis. There are four species within the genus. One is cannabis sativa L, and that's what we call hemp. That's what was grown in both the British colonies on the East Coast and by the French in Quebec. But hemp is less than one percent THC, so you really can't get stoned off of hemp. It was used for bales and ropes and sometimes paper and clothing and things like that [and that's all].The other species of cannabis are cannabis sativa (without the L), which is much higher in THC and has become much more potent over the years. [Then there's] cannabis indica and ... cannabis ruderalis , the last of which was discovered by a Russian scientist in 1923. But that one's almost invisible.So yes, there was hemp grown in the colonies. But as far as I know, no smokeable weed. "

But then this one, same page: "When and where did weed as a narcotic enter the New World? It [was] brought to the Americas by the Portuguese, who took it to Brazil, and again by the British, who took it to Jamaica. In both cases, it was used to pacify slaves.How did people there go from seeing weed as a tool of slavery to seeing it as a fun drug? Well, it doesn't take a big leap of logic. You had cannabis being grown by the British East India company. [They] grew it in Bengal and India and exported it to Guyana, South Africa, and Jamaica. [They] taxed it heavily and encouraged its plantation well after slavery ended there.It was sold in company stores in Jamaica [for instance] well up into the 20 th century. Slave-like conditions persisted in the sugar cane fields [there] well into the 20 th century, when there was this widespread mechanization of sugar cane production. Until the production of sugar cane ended, I think people were smoking cannabis for much the same reasons. It just became part of Jamaican culture [and in other places it was grown and smoked from the slave-era on]. "

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Sunday September 17th, 2017 - 6:14 pm

Hi guys, a quick couple questions about costume. Firstly, waistcoats/ vests (No idea what they were called during the GAoP, I'd imagine Westkitt or something similar) I saw a play last night about Queen Anne and in it one male character had on a waistcoat that was very long in the front, it came down to just above the knee however it was hip length in the back. It was my understanding that waistcoats of this period were long at the back at front to great a skirt like silloheutte. Were these two styles interchangable or was the costume at fault here?

Secondly, the trousers I wear in costume are similar in style to slops and are made from black material similar to velvet. They have a drawstring waist and no elastic. The absence of elastic is certainly correct but what about the string?
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Celia Stabler Vencil

I'm not sure if the "shorter in the back" waistcoats (weskit is a Victorian term, so waistcoat is the proper term) have any provenance in any era of history. They certainly don't have any provenance in the GAoP that I have seen evidence of yet.I believe the "shorter in the back" waistcoat phenomenon comes from a popular pirate themed costume pattern from a major pattern company (I can't recall if it is McCall or Simplicity). Waistcoats of the era did come in both short (think suit jacket length) or long (usually just above the knee) forms, and either sleeved, or unsleeved (although I have yet to see good evidence of unsleeved short waistcoats), but all panels, front and back on a single waistcoat should be of the same length.Drawstrings are also not to my knowledge something that is period. They (as far as I know) came to prominence in (modern?) theatre for the sake of fitting the same garment to potentially many different actors/actresses for a role.

" I have yet to see good evidence of unsleeved short waistcoats" the Dussart guys for one. THough it is an assumption they are sleeveless since they are wearing coats.

Sleeved coats prevent that from being good evidence then. 😀I don't discount the possibility, but it is a fair assertion that there is not readily available evidence for it (unless someone has some clear images of uncoated people wearing short waistcoats without sleeves).

Sunday September 17th, 2017 - 9:09 am

Thanks for adding me to this interesting site. ... See MoreSee Less

Sunday September 17th, 2017 - 3:23 am

Here's one. Staring into my cup of coffee this morning whilse giving it a stir and thought.... "I wonder if pyrates enjoyed a good cup of coffee on a cold morning". Now I know coffee was an excellent prizes to sell on once captured but do you think they actually sat down had a brew? :D. Just a thought ... See MoreSee Less

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Depends on the where. Until the colonies started chaffing at British rule, they drank tea. It's only when it got too expensive that coffee was used as a substitute. Coffee was also much more a middle-eastern thing. So Barbary Pirates definitely, Madagascar pirates... possibly. GOAP pirates? Eh... probably not?

There is a good CW article about the history of coffee in the colonies. I'll look around for it.

There was some mention of this during a radio 4 program on the history of tea etc. which did mention the early importing of tea,from what I remember of it the classic Chinese green "gunpowder" tea was the first kind available,the darker black teas were a later export.It was an expensive drink at first and I think they did say that it was considered a valuable prize if taken by pirates and other raiders.For anyone considering a little touch of authenticity at future events,the lumps of cane sugar as would have been around at the time are still available in Chinese grocery stores here in the UK.

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Saturday September 16th, 2017 - 11:59 am

An image of some of the participants in St Augustine's yearly commemoration of the 1668 raid there by English privateer Robert Searle. This coming version (March 3rd weekend) will feature longboats as well. A variety of dress interpretations are evident. ... See MoreSee Less

An image of some of the participants in St Augustines yearly commemoration of the 1668 raid there by English privateer Robert Searle. This coming version (March 3rd weekend) will feature longboats as well. A variety of dress interpretations are evident.

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I cannot wait

It will be the 350th anniversary of the raid and the 20th anniversary of the reenactment. Altho our Captain is no longer with us, we will press on with the greatest event ever.

Planning to attend!

I need to make it to saint augustine soon. Never been there.

Marvelous place, full of history. The event looks dramatic. (Chart is of an earlier English attack).

The "Golden Witch" hopes to be there in the flotilla to be commodore'd by Florida cruise ship captain (and a deeply respected and seasoned re-enactor) Scott Padeni.

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Saturday September 16th, 2017 - 11:48 am

Bit of Saturday shopping done! Looking forward to these coming in! Ed Fox ... See MoreSee Less

Bit of Saturday shopping done! Looking forward to these coming in! Ed Fox

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Cool, I hope you enjoy them 🙂 (In Their Own Words is the best thing I've ever done.)

Saturday September 16th, 2017 - 2:58 am

Hi guys! I was wondering if there's some specific type of earrings that some pirates wore. I'd be very glad if you help me out.
(Sorry if my question is too stupid, I just really wanted to be sure! Haha.)
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Previously on this group:'s a lot there, but short and to the point - there is no type of earring pirates wore, because wearing earrings wasn't in fashion during the period and neither was it a maritime tradition of the period. Evidence of the period is extremely sparse to support the idea, limited pretty much to one Dutch artist with a couple images and a newspaper entry regarding a North African descended man. Meanwhile, there are many other depictions and probate inventories for mariners that do not note/show any earrings. It's nowhere near established as any kind of norm (especially in Britain). Trying to do so would require someone to find it first.

I'll have to look that up later, it worked last night. I took them right off my list in the files section.

The links won't load for me either, but yeah, essentially what David said. Unless you're specifically portraying a Dutchman (and there were VERY few Dutch pirates in the 'golden age') then no earrings is the way to go.

That's strange, they appear to be gone. I randomly checked the other threads I have linked, but they still appear to be there. It's as if someone just deleted those two posts. The internet fails us again. As consolation, here are a few posts that at some point discuss the issue with some notability:

Thank you very much, guys! 🙂

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Thursday September 14th, 2017 - 6:12 pm

What swords do you use for reenactment/ living history. I'm trying to have my own custom built and I'm looking for inspiration on what is accurate. Now of course I'd just look it up on Google Images but sometimes that can be a bit sketchy.

I do however have an idea of the kind of sword I would like but as a sword fan in general, I would love to see other people's swords.
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I designed this sword myself and was thinking about having it commissioned

This is a stock photo of the one I use. (I don't have mine handy for a pic atm) It's a generic early to mid 18thC style as seen in Neumann's "Swords and Blades..."

all u need is a barbeque and a hammer and an anvil and

Since I live with a bladesmith, I'm lucky!

I have 5 swords correct to the era (if you are willing to stretch things a decade or two in either direction), one modified cheap import, 2 off-the-rack, and 2 custom.I have used two of the swords (they are rebated/thick-edge blunts for stage combat), and to be honest, I carry a sword at events significantly less than I wear one.Not trying to tell you what to do, but the whole "swords are cool" thing is a very long standing curse for reenactors (a curse I have succumbed to by the fact I own 5 of them)

A friendly reminder to all potential posters to please keep questions and comment relevant to the purpose of this page, Authentic Pirate Living History 1690-1730, and please check the pinned post if you have questions about the range and focus.

Ring and She'll 17th century hanger..

Armour Class in Scotland! Long waiting list but worth it. Mortuary Hilt

I had the one I use the most often made by Ben Potter out of California. It's based on a 1690's English blade I found in Swords and Blades of the American Revolution.

This one,from Armourclass

And this one.

And this.

This. Modified Windlass Steel cutlass.

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Baltasar HC shared International Hoist the Colours Day's post to the group: Authentic Pirate Living History 1690-1730.
Baltasar HC

Thursday September 14th, 2017 - 3:10 pm

All for a bit of fun mates. I run this page and event but try to keep an equilibrium of 'hollywood and authenticity'. Hope you join us for the day 🙂 (virtually)IHTCD 2017!!!. Not long to go mates. Now celebrating our 4th year! As usual, the Jolly Roger competition will be open for entries and votes one month before the event (25th Sept). More details about the competition will be announced on that day! ... See MoreSee Less

All for a bit of fun mates. I run this page and event but try to keep an equilibrium of hollywood and authenticity. Hope you join us for the day :) (virtually)

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Here are the colours I'm hoisting


Our physical flag is 6x9 painted canvas, so it needs a good stiff wind to really fly.

So, is this a good time to talk about historical pirate flags?

This is my flag, made of dense heavy cotton percale, sewn on both sides. It's been flown aloft a few times. 😉

I read somewhere that the early pirates used a solid yellow, red, or sometimes black flag to falsely signal other ships that they are under quarantine from a deadly disease. This would trick navy ships into staying clear and allowing the pirates to escape. This later became the basis for the Jolly Roger. Can any of you clarify this story

Neither yellow, red, nor black, were established as quarantine flags by the GAoP, so the explanation is false. However, all three colours were used by pirates and there is *some* evidence which suggests that yellow was the predominant pirate flag up to 1718 or so. George Shelvocke reportedly ordered the flag of the Holy Roman Empire (yellow with a black eagle) to be hoisted in order to pretend to be a pirate, because he believed that pirates used a yellow flag with a black skeleton as their flag.

In the Disney movie "Swiss Family Robinson", recently shown on TCM, there is a scene where pirates sailing a junk are thwarted from their attack by Robinson hoisting a yellow flag with a black spot. It was explained that the flag was a quarantine signal for some dread disease. Thus, a trope is born.

What about the black flag meaning "give no quarter" is that a myth too?

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Thursday September 14th, 2017 - 1:18 am

Were maps/ charts ever written or drawn on to mark out destinations or to measure distances?

I'll give you an example. About 2 years ago, I bought a map of Florida as I was studying the 1715 treasure fleet. I made little X's to mark where treasure had been sighted (No, not because of the infamous troupe of 'X marks the spot' Just because an X is the easiest mark to make) I also circled towns that were of interedt to me to holiday in and also drew arrows between places I wanted to go with journey times written in.

To my mind I would think that no, this wasn't done as maps would've been too expensive to deface in this way and that navigators would sooner use a logbook with map references.
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I agree. Logbooks were more important than maps. You had maps at different scales for different uses and you might forget which map you marked.

Much earlier, but it demonstrates the need of a rutter. A chart would give you bearings and soundings as well as bottom composition. A rutter gave you piloting instructions. They were personal notes:

Tuesday September 5th, 2017 - 10:43 pm

Who here wears period eye wear, and what do you use? ... See MoreSee Less

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So that makes these innaccurate, then. Which is a shame

I made a safety concession with glasses and bought a late 1700s-early 1800s pair, as they had a hook go over the ear. I am considered to be legally bound without glasses, so I definitely need them. With having to bend over a cannon for demonstrations, I didnt want to risk my glasses falling off in front of the muzzle.

It be a patch over my left eye.

Adam Cripps made a period correct leather framed pair.

I have a pair of 18th century sliding-temple glasses that I use when I have to read small print.


These are a pair of brass spectacles based on pairs from the 17th century. Made by Period Glasses iir, yep here is their link

Eye patch!!! Arrrrg (jk)

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Tuesday September 5th, 2017 - 6:27 pm

Hi guys. Can anyone confirm the use of these. The appear several times in Back Sails and also (probably to the point of excess) in Pirates of the Caribbean..

If they were indeed around during this period, can anyone point me to a reliable UK based seller? Please and thank you
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Hi guys. Can anyone confirm the use of these. The appear several times in Back Sails and also (probably to the point of excess) in Pirates of the Caribbean..
If they were indeed around during this period, can anyone point me to a reliable UK based seller? Please and thank you

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Onion bottles are correct for the time.

I got my onion bottles from there:

My research shows that they were popular on ships due to their wider base, but mostly used for wine. For GAoP, I needed a second opinion

Wine but i keep rum in it

Master Harlow , any supplier (late 1600s & most of the 1700s ) to the reenacting hobby should bee able to sell you repro onion bottles . If all else fails , lotsa' suppliers in the U S of A . The shipping isn't THAT prohibitive .

Here's my full collection as is. I accept that these are not accurate. The tall green bottles are old port bottles and the tall brown ones are cider bottles. There's a few wine and prosseco bottles in there too.

This past summer I did a one day event at the Pequot Research Center in CT. It was raining hard in the morning so the director gave us a tour of the archaeology labs. They had several onion bottles unearthed at sites in and around the area. These bottles all dated back to the King Phillips War (some bottles where discovered in digs around Mystic and Turners Falls, both active King Philips War sites). Extant evidence that places onion bottles in the new england colonies well before the GAOP.

Short necked ones were earlier than the long necks. Mallet bottles were also appropriate for early to mid 1700s i believe. Case bottles came a bit later.

Bottle shapes with dates. Case bottles were also around in the 17th century

Pusser's Rum use an 18th Century style of bottle.

I've got a cobalt blue onion bottle I got from the United States National Park Web page Jamestown link but at the moment they are not blowing them for Web sales. Look on they have them currently not sure out of where though

The Wasa museum and the other ship museum in Kalmar have quite a number of period bottles. I think that they are on their website too.

by Peter Goebel , Goosebay Workshop - historic reproduction Bottle Stand . Can paint or japan it , glue a felt pad on the bottom and turn your bottle stand into a period " coaster " . you can now slide or coast your bottle across the table . Dated 1690-1770 . copper $55 USD . I have one , really nice piece , as is all Peter's work .

onion bottles, yeah definitely something of the 18th century. Look at any contemporary sketches and drawings and you will find them.

David Hill has been working on bottles recently

If Ms. Pointer sells it , it's correct .

William Troy Turner you would know

Don't drink out of these bottles especially if they have iridescence. Layers of glass might be flaking off the inside and you might swallow them. They are Dutch bottles. and actually might date to the pirate era

Funny enough, they phased out the use of these bottles in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in favor of more recognizable wine bottle shaped bottles. A shame too, the marooned beach scene in the first film is all the better for having onion bottles included.

I have a couple of Jamestown glass bottles I would part with if you are still looking.

Currently sold by Plimoth Plantation, "modeled after a historical artifact discovered in Jamestown, VA, between 1680 and 1730."

The bestest in the UK, possibly anywhere, are made by the Georgian Glass makers.

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