HI127 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Stede Bonnet, Escapism, William Rhett

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29 Jul 2016
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Golden Age IV: Stede Bonnet
What was his significance in the Golden Age of piracy?
Themes: Failures/Successes, Social Background? Politics/Jacobitism, Slavery
Early Life
Born in Barbados, his grandfather was one of the first settlers of Barbados. We are quite
certain that he was born in 1688
The Bonnets owned a sugar plantation; he came from a wealthy family. The plantation
would have also owned slaves
He received a liberal education, was groomed to take over the plantation
He married well: Mary Allenby
- Their first child died, really effected his mental state
1716: The pirate threat was becoming real for plantation owners
He did not take the same stance on pirates.
Bonnet and the pirate:
He decided to become a pirate
He had enough money to either buy a ship or have one built for him (the Revenge)
He hired a crew (possibly Jacobite) and paid them a wage!! This was extremely unusual
Library? Not common at all
Why did he become a pirate? Depression? Escapism?
North America:
He had his ship sail north. Perhaps because people in the Caribbean would have
recognize him. He was successful near Virginia
His crew felt that Charleston (SC) would be a good second engagement
Charleston/Charles Town was similar to Barbados in that it had sugar plantations (Slave
plantations).
First Victim: Thomas Porter and Second Victim: Joseph Palmer
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