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Famous pirates for research projects

Discussion in 'The Blind Parrot' started by CapitainDams, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. Ravenheart

    Ravenheart Native Obfuscator

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    <b>Samuel Bellamy</b>

    Samual Bellamy, later to be called "Black Bellamy", was known to be one of the most active freebooters. As legend has it that he was a young English sailor, who traveled to the new world colonies to seek his fortune. He found a wealthy sponsor to finance an expedition South, to search for sunken Spanish treasure. This proved to be unsuccessful, and Bellamy returned home `empty-handed`, and married.

    He soon however, left his wife and family behind in a town near Canterbury to sail the seas once more. As many notorious pirates before him, Bellamy served as an apprentice with Benjamin Hornigold, who was known for his generosity to prisoners, and reluctance to plunder English ships. Bellamy was elected as captain when Hornigold was deposed.

    Bellamy proved to be a most successful pirate, mainly in the West Indies. He was known to entertain his crew with flowery orations, of which he considered himself quite the master. The concerned for the `well-being` of his prisoners, but he favored his crew’s `well-being` above all else, not to evoke any sinister feelings among them.

    His growing carrier came to an abrupt end in April 1717, off Cape Cod, when his fleet was hit by an intense storm, completely capsizing and destroying his ship, the Whydah. Two men survived this tragedy, one disappeared in history, while the other, Thomas Davis, lived on to pass down the intense account of the shipwreck to Cape Cod folklore.
     
  2. Ravenheart

    Ravenheart Native Obfuscator

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    <b>Anne Bonny</b>

    Anne Bonny, whether you believe her to have been a woman full of grit and gumption or a conscienceless criminal, is a fascinating historical figure. Amazingly, her appeal is due to what is not known about her as much as it is due to what facts are available. Historical documents support the notion that Anne Bonny was a headstrong, independent woman, and speculation points to a legendary and fearsomely courageous temperament. In any event, it is quite evident that Anne was a woman ahead of her time, for she broke convention during a period in history when women were expected to behave in a sedate, subservient manner. Subservient was a word that simply wasn’t in her vocabulary.

    The exact date of Anne Bonny’s birth is not known, but it is believed that she was born illegitimately in County Cork, Ireland between 1697 and 1700 to the maid, Mary Brennen, who was in her father’s employ. Her father, William Cormac, had a legal practice in Kinsale that was ruined when his current wife made his adulterous affair public, and he was forced to leave Ireland in shame. Deciding to make a new start in a new world, William Cormac, along with the maid, Mary Brennan, and his baby daughter, Anne, traveled together to America. The little family settled around Charleston, South Carolina, which had a large shipping community at the time, and William, after presenting Mary Brennan to polite society as his wife and Anne as his legitimate daughter, started his legal practice again there. Apparently, William Cormac’s practice was quite successful, for soon he had enough to purchase his own plantation in Charleston, and the family was accepted by the upper crust of the community.

    Anne grew to have a reputation among her peers as having a fierce and courageous temper, and a fiery disposition. She certainly had reason to be so. Her mother passed away during Anne’s teen years, and Anne took over the enormous responsibility of running her father’s large household. She did this with aplomb. However, one story claims she had an odd method of dealing with recalcitrant servants. Supposedly, she killed a serving maid in her father’s household for crossing her, but there are no concrete facts to support this story, and considering her mother’s background, this tale is unlikely. It is known that she did thrash a young man for trying to sexually assault her, and injured him badly enough that he had to take to his bed for several weeks. Anne was around fourteen years old at the time.

    When Anne was sixteen years old she fell in love with a sea captain who had been courting her, unbeknownst to her father. The man’s name was James Bonny, and history proclaims him to have been either a penniless soldier or a `small-time` pirate at the time. William Cormac, upon discovering their romance, was not a happy man. He had long wished for Anne to become a respectable lady, marry a Charleston man of his choosing, and take her place in society as a plantation owner’s wife, as she was an heiress of some renown. Anne, however, had other ideas for her future. Anne was a headstrong girl who had long made her father despair over her tomboy antics. Anne longed for adventure and excitement, and was drawn to the unsavory sort of man that could be found at the wharves and ports of Charleston. It was here that Anne met James Bonny.

    Anne and James Bonny were wed against her father’s will, for which he disowned her, costing them her dowry. Not wanting to stay in Charleston, the two moved to what was then called New Providence, now Nassau. New Providence was described as “a den of iniquity” and “a pirate’s paradise” and the descriptions were not far off the mark. At the time most of the community was made up of pirates and pirate’s paramours. This suited Anne just fine, and she made friends easily and quickly, one of whom was Pierre, a celebrated homosexual who ran a popular ladies establishment on the island and had the confidence of several important personages.

    Marriage to James Bonny disagreed with Anne Bonny before long. At first she simply tired of being a dutiful wife and waiting for him to return from the sea, but even after he gave up pirating and began a career as an informer to Governor Woodes Rogers, turning in his pirate friends for a reward, Anne was still discontented. Most of her friends on the islands were pirates or earned their livelihoods from piracy, so Anne probably viewed her husband as a turncoat. Anne began seeing a wealthy man by the name of Chidley Bayard, and enjoyed traveling with him and spending his money, but she had trouble getting along with the type of people he kept as friends. At one ball that he took her to he introduced her to the `sister-in`-law of Governor Lawes of Jamaica and left them to entertain each other. The woman waited until Bayard had walked away and then made catty insinuations about Anne’s relationship with the man, then proclaimed that she didn’t consider Anne worth knowing and told her to stay away from her. Anne cheerfully told her she’d make sure there was quite a bit of distance between them and then proceeded to punch the woman in the mouth, knocking out two of her teeth in the process. This was the end of her friendship with Bayard, and she was once again bored. Anne began to cast her eye around for another means of escape, and the means presented itself to her in the person of Captain Jack Rackham, also known as Calico Jack. It is said that Jack was a flamboyantly handsome and debonair man that the ladies made much over, and after he offered Anne a chance to get away from her husband, along with the added benefit of high adventure, it didn’t take much more convincing for Anne to consent to run away with him. After disguising herself in men’s clothing they snuck aboard his ship and headed to sea.

    Anne stayed in the guise of a man for some time, as most seagoing men of the time believed that a woman aboard a ship was bad luck. It is said that she was so vicious and fought so well with both pistol and cutlass that no one questioned her, anyway, and the one man that did challenge her lost his life to the tip of her cutlass. It is rumored that she gutted the man, and this likely went a long way towards ensuring that the rest of the crew gave her a wide birth and fearful respect. Soon, however, her sex became known to all, as she became pregnant. Agreeing that a pirate ship was no place to give birth to a baby, Jack sailed to Cuba, where he left Anne in the care of friends until she had the child. Sadly, the infant did not live, and Anne was heartbroken, believing that her lifestyle had contributed to her misfortune. As time passed her mental condition worsened. When Jack came back to collect her and the child he was saddened by the news and concerned about his lover’s condition. He took her back to New Providence to recover, taking the King’s pardon and temporarily giving up piracy to privateer on commission.

    During Anne’s convalescence she learned from her old friend, Pierre, of a plot to assassinate Governor Woodes Rogers. Having met the man during her marriage to Bonny, Anne decided to warn him and saved his life. He was extremely grateful for her interference. Unfortunately, soon he was called upon to express his gratitude in a more tangible way, for James Bonny, who still lived on the island, had discovered that Anne and Jack Rackham were staying in his vicinity again and so he sent troops to arrest them both for piracy. When they were unceremoniously dragged before the governor in the middle of the night Bonny was almost hysterical in his rage, because they had been flaunting their affair under his nose, and he refused to be merciful. He wanted Jack and his wife to hang, and was afraid that Anne would kill him if she were set free.

    Governor Woodes Rogers, remembering the favor Anne had so recently done him, decided to spare their lives. He commanded that Anne be flogged and returned to her rightful husband, and that Jack Rackham be set free. He believed this to be a lenient solution, but Anne was enraged at being treated like a piece of property and refused to be dictated to. The next evening Anne and Jack escaped to their ship and gleefully returned to a life of piracy, throwing all convention and reservations to the wind.

    They continued on in this vein for several years, and their notoriety grew and grew. Amazingly enough, Anne was not the only woman on board Jack’s ship. There was one other, Mary Read, who also dressed in men’s clothing and was said to have been as brave and as dangerous as any male pirate on the sea. One of their shipmates was said to have proclaimed that both were “resolute and ready to board or undertake anything that was hazardous in the time of action”, and another stated that both of the women cursed and swore with the best of males, and never cringed at murder. Anne and Mary became fast friends, and were the first in battle and the first to volunteer in any boarding parties. They became well respected by their crew for their ferociousness, and were feared as well for their unpredictability.

    In October of 1720 their life of piracy and adventure came to an end. Governor Lawes of Jamaica, the man with the spiteful `sister-in`-law, heard of their presence and sent troops to commandeer their ship and bring them to trial. Calico Jack and his crew were unprepared for the assault. The troops did not strike until the day after Jack had captured a commercial vessal, and he and all the men aboard ship were in a drunken stupor from their celebrations, leaving only Anne Bonny and Mary Read to fend off the attackers. The two women became so disgusted with the men for not fighting that they periodically turned their guns on their own crew before they were all captured.

    Both women, along with Jack and the rest of the men, were condemned to hang, but received a stay of execution because they were both with child at the time. Mary Read did not live to hang. She died in prison, along with her unborn child. Anne, however, survived, and when Jack received permission to speak to her before his hanging, she said to him “I’m sorry, Jack, but if you had fought like a man you would not now be about to die like a dog. Do straighten yourself up!” Anne never was executed, and there is much speculation as to what her fate actually was. The most common story is that her father ransomed her back through his powerful connections, another was that she escaped with an unknown lover. One `much-loved` legend states that pirates up and down the coast collected with their guns pointed towards the governor’s estates, with the message “Let Anne Bonny go or feel the thunder of pirate guns from Port Royal to Kingston and back again!”

    According to the book Mistress of the Seas by John Carlova, Anne, whose unborn child was fathered not by Jack but by a Dr. Michael Radcliffe, a man whose life Anne had saved and who dearly loved her and vowed to save her from the hangman’s noose, was granted a pardon by Governor Lawes on the condition that she leave the West Indies and never return. Carlova went on to proclaim that James Bonny had drowned in a hurricane, and Anne, now a widow, and Radcliffe were then married. Two days later they boarded a trading sloop bound for Norfolk, Virginia. There they were known to have joined a party of pioneers heading westward…and there is where the story of Anne Bonny came to an end.

    What actually happened to Anne Bonny will probably never be known, but one fact remains: Anne Bonny was a woman who embraced life head on and then molded it to her own terms. Hero or villain, she left her rather impressive mark on history, and she should not be forgotten.
     
  3. CapitainDams

    CapitainDams Pirate Spirit Crew's Captain

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    Very nice job mate!!!

    I'm too busy for write now. Cursed school!!! <img src="http://www.piratesahoy.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/urgh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":urgh" border="0" alt="urgh.gif" />
    It's great you can!! <img src="http://www.piratesahoy.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/william.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":will" border="0" alt="william.gif" />
     
  4. SirChristopherMings

    SirChristopherMings Corrupter of Words Storm Modder

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    Great reports! <img src="http://www.piratesahoy.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/par-ty.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":cheers" border="0" alt="par-ty.gif" />
     
  5. CatalinaThePirate

    CatalinaThePirate Unholy Terror, Storm Modder

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    <img src="http://www.piratesahoy.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/onya.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":onya" border="0" alt="onya.gif" /> You guys are wearing me out! <img src="http://www.piratesahoy.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/onya.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":onya" border="0" alt="onya.gif" />

    Excellent work, thanks!!! <img src="http://www.piratesahoy.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_praise.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":bow" border="0" alt="icon_praise.gif" />
     
  6. Ravenheart

    Ravenheart Native Obfuscator

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    Yeah but i'm starting school again <img src="http://www.piratesahoy.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/mad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":c" border="0" alt="mad.gif" />
     
  7. CatalinaThePirate

    CatalinaThePirate Unholy Terror, Storm Modder

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    Well sounds like you could teach them a thing or two, hm? <img src="http://www.piratesahoy.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_mrgreen1.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":cheeky" border="0" alt="icon_mrgreen1.gif" />
     
  8. Meigger

    Meigger 1000th Member Man

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    Very informative. <img src="http://www.piratesahoy.com/forum/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/onya.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":onya" border="0" alt="onya.gif" />
     
  9. Barbarossa

    Barbarossa Powder Monkey

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    Dragut (Turgut Reis)

    One of the greatest seamen of the XVIth Century, Turgut, the son of a farmhand by the name of Veli, was born in Menteshe in 1485.

    As a youth, intelligent, strong and reckless by nature, Turgut joined a corsair's ship and very soon became captain of his own galleon.
    This courrageous seaman, well-known to Europeans as Dragut, joined Khair-ed-din Barbarossa and had his share of glory at the great victory of Prevesa.

    In 1540, he was caught by Giovanetto Doria - the nephew of the celebrated Admiral - on a beach at Sardinia while he was landing spoils to divide among his officers... He then served as a chained oarsman for three years in enemy Galleys.
    In 1543, Khair-ed-din Barbarossa- blockaded Genoa and threatened to completely burn the town unless Turgut - and his companion Salih Reis - were released, gaining thereby the freedom of his two captains.

    Free again, Turgut became the most feared, elusive, and invincible captain of the Mediterranean.
    Turgut also gained numerous victories in the service of the Ottoman Empire and added Tripoli to his victories.
    His adversaires tried to slur his prestige with the Sultan, and, by so doing, they were able to prevent Turgut from rising to the rank of Kaptan Pasha.

    At eighty, Turgut took part in the capture of Malta and was fatally wounded by being struck in the head by a splintered rock.

    (Click on the pictures to enlarge)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
  10. Meigger

    Meigger 1000th Member Man

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    Interesting write-up. Thanks for posting it. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/par-ty.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":cheers" border="0" alt="par-ty.gif" />
     
  11. CapitainDams

    CapitainDams Pirate Spirit Crew's Captain

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    Nice!

    And great pictures.
     
  12. SirChristopherMings

    SirChristopherMings Corrupter of Words Storm Modder

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    Nice report! <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/me.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":onya" border="0" alt="me.gif" />

    Sorry, I couldn't resist the urge to play with one of the pictures .....

    <img src="http://www.pix8.net/pro/pic/332ZK34H/841890.jpg" border="0" alt="IPB Image" />
     
  13. Barbarossa

    Barbarossa Powder Monkey

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    Uluj Ali Rais (Uluç Ali Reis)

    Ali Pasha, another of the great seamen of the XVI Century. He was successsful in maintaining - after Barbarossas and Turguts - the Turkish domination over the Mediterranean.

    When, after successive victories, the Turkish Fleet met with a decisive defeat at Lepanto, KILIÇ Ali Pasha - Ochialu to the Europeans - not only managed to escape with his fleet intact but carried away as trophies a captured Venetian Galley and the battle flag of the Grand Master of Malta. He was then nicknamed KILIÇ - "the sword".

    KILIÇ Ali served for sixteen years as Kaptan Pasha and under his command the Turkish shipyards built a powerful new fleet.
    Ali Pasha fought successfully against the Spanish and recaptured Tunis from them. He also gained victories over the Venetians.
    This great seaman died in Istanbul on 21st June 1587.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
  14. Meigger

    Meigger 1000th Member Man

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    Another good write-up. You should post some good reading <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/bookish.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":mm" border="0" alt="bookish.gif" /> sources in the book reading section. Think some here would be interested in reading about some of the Mediterranean seaman. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/par-ty.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":cheers" border="0" alt="par-ty.gif" />
     
  15. Barbarossa

    Barbarossa Powder Monkey

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    Removed
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  16. SuoiveD

    SuoiveD Aussie Pirate Storm Modder

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    <b>FLETCHER CHRISTIAN</b>

    (September 25, 1764 - October 3, 1793) was a Master's Mate on board the Bounty during William Bligh's fateful voyage to Tahiti for breadfruit plants. It was Christian who seized command of the Bounty from Bligh in 1789.
    Christian was born at the Moorland Close farmstead, Cockermouth, in Cumberland, England, into a prosperous family originally from the Isle of Man. When Christian was eighteen, his father died, and the young man went to sea in order to support his family.

    Christian sailed to Jamaica twice with Bligh. After the mutiny, he attempted to build a colony on Tubuai, but the mutineers terrorized the natives. Abandoning Tubuai, he stopped briefly in Tahiti where he married Maimiti on June 16, 1789. She was the daughter of the chief, at Tahiti he dropped off sixteen crewmen. These sixteen included four Bligh loyalists who had been left behind on the Bounty and two who had neither participated in nor resisted the mutiny. The remaining nine mutineers, six Tahitian men, and eleven Tahitian women then settled on Pitcairn Island where they stripped the Bounty of all that could be floated ashore before Matthew Quintal set it on fire.

    This sexual imbalance, combined with the effective enslavement of the Taihitian men by the mutineers, led to insurrection and the deaths of most of the men.
    British sailors visiting the island in 1814 found only one mutineer, John Adams, still alive along with nine Tahitian women. The mutineers who had perished had, however, already had children with their Tahitian wives. Most of these children were still living.

    Adams and Maimiti claimed Christian had been murdered during the conflict between the Tahitian men and the mutineers. Along with Christian, four other mutineers and all six of the Tahitian men who had come to the island were killed in the conflict. One of the four surviving mutineers fell off a cliff while intoxicated and was killed, and Quintal was later killed by the remaining two mutineers after he attacked them.

    Christian was survived by Maimiti and his son, Thursday October Christian (Born 1790), who is the ancestor of almost everybody surnamed Christian on Pitcairn and Norfolk Islands, as well as the many descendants who have moved to Australia and New Zealand. Besides Thursday October, Fletcher Christian also had a younger son named Charles Christian (Born 1792) and a daughter Mary Ann Christian (Born 1793).

    Rumours have persisted for more than two hundred years that Christian's murder may have been faked, that he had left the island, and that he made it back to England.

    <img src="http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b395/goldenlab/POTC2/FletcherChristian.jpg" border="0" alt="IPB Image" />
    <b>Fletcher Christian</b>
     
  17. jakub

    jakub Landlubber

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    If he sailed with Bligh he probably also sailed with Flinders. Hey Suoived do u know that australian movie that like 4 hours long and its about the convicts who came to australia but escaped into the blue mountains and ate them selves...cant remeber the title but its from the 70s i think. Very famous.
     
  18. SuoiveD

    SuoiveD Aussie Pirate Storm Modder

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    The only convict cannibal I know about is Alexander Pearce, but it was in Tasmania not the Blue Mountains.

    <u>Alexander Pearce: convict and cannibal</u>

    Just four years after he was transported to Van Diemen’s Land for stealing six pairs of shoes, Irishman Alexander Pearce (d.1824) was hanged for murder.
    The story of Pearce is contained in a narrative by Reverend Robert Knopwood (1763–1838), who interrogated the convict in 1824.
    In 1822, Pearce and seven other convicts escaped from the penal colony of Macquarie Harbour and headed east across the mountains toward Hobart.
    Three men dropped out. After 15 days without food, the remaining members of the party began to kill, and eat, each other. Pearce was the only survivor. He made his way to the Derwent River, where he joined some bushrangers.
    Pearce was later captured but the authorities did not believe his grisly story. He was sent back to Macquarie Harbour, escaped again and once more reverted to cannibalism. Again he was captured. This time he was sentenced to death.
     
  19. Jack Black

    Jack Black Freebooter Storm Modder

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    After the forum hack the whole post about the german pirate Klaus Störtebeker and his pirate companionship called "The Victual Brothers" or later "The Likedeelers" was gone. I luckily found the text in my basket so I can recover it. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/me.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":onya" border="0" alt="me.gif" />
    So here we go again.



    <!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><u><b>The Victual Brothers / Likedeelers</b></u><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    The Victual Brothers resp. Vitalians or Vitalian Brotherhood (swedish: fetaliebröder; vitaliebröder, german: Vitalienbrüder; Viktualienbrüder, polish: bracia witalijscy) were a companionship of privateers. They were hired in 1392 by the Dukes of Mecklenburg to fight against Denmark, because the Danish Queen Margaret I had imprisoned Albrecht of Mecklenburg and his son to subdue the kingdom of Sweden. Albrecht was King of Sweden since 1364 and Duke of Mecklenburg since 1383.

    When Queen Margaret and Albrecht of Mecklenburg were battling for Scandinavian supremacy and Margaret's forces had besieged Stockholm, privateers named Victual Brothers acceded sea-war-activities and the shipping of goods to keep the city supplied with food. The name Victual Brothers is derivated from the Latin word "victualia" which means provisions and refers to their first mission, which was to bring supplies to the besieged town of Stockholm.
    Victual Brothers were organised as a brotherhood or guild and attracted people from all over Europe. Their main naval enemy in 1392 was the powerful Hanseatic town of Lübeck, which supported Denmark. Apart from Lübeck, the Hanseatic League encouraged the Victual Brothers at first. Most of the Hanseatic towns had no desire to see Denmark victorious, because its location was strategic for the defence of the seaways. For several years from 1392 on the Victual Brothers were a strong power to be reckoned with in the Baltic Sea. They had safe harbours in the cities of Rostock, Ribnitz, Wismar and Stralsund. Soon they went their own way, more or less turning to open piracy and coast robbery. In 1393 they sacked the town of Bergen for the first time and in 1394 they conquered Malmö. They also plundered Åbo, Vyborg, Faxeholm, Styresholm and Korsholm and occupied parts of Frisia and Schleswig for some time.
    At the climax of their power the Victual Brothers occupied Gotland in 1394 to set up a stronghold headquarters on their own in Visby. On the whole Baltic Sea maritime-trade collapsed and the herring industry suffered from their depredations. Queen Margaret even turned to King Richard II seeking to charter some English ships to combat the pirates. From 1395 on Queen Margaret gained the upper hand politically. She united Denmark, Sweden and Norway and formed the Kalmar Union. Therefore the Hanseatic League was forced to cooperate with her, evading its eventual decline. At the same time the Victual Brothers went on impartially raiding everyone. Their famous shibboleth was "<i>God's friends and the whole world's enemies.</i>"

    Queen Margaret and King Albert of Sweden conceded Gotland to the allied Teutonic Order as a pledge (similar to a fiefdom). The two rulers and the Hanseatic League expected that the Teutonic Knights would challenge the Victual Brothers on Gotland island to wipe them out and to destroy their fortified sanctuary. An invasion army under Konrad von Jungingen, the Grand Master of the Order, conquered the island in 1398, destroyed Visby and drove the Victual Brothers out of Gotland. Many of the Victual Brothers managed to escaped and some of them returned home.
    After the Victual Brothers's expulsion from Gotland in 1398 the Hanseatic League tried repeatedly to end the anarchy in the Baltic Sea, but with little luck. Many discharged Victual Brothers remained at sea. When they lost their influence in the Gulf of Bothnia, the Gulf of Finland and Gotland, they operated from the Schlei, the mouth of the river Ems and from other locations in Friesland. The successors of the Victual Brothers gave themselves the name Likedeelers (literally "equal sharers"), which means that they divide their loot in equal parts and every crewmember got the same share. They expanded their field of activities into the North Sea and along the Atlantic coastline, raiding Brabant, France and as far south as Spain. Their most famous leaders were the captains Klaus Störtebeker and Godeke Michels.



    <!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b><u>Klaus Störtebeker</u></b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    Klaus Störtebeker could be born around 1360 in Wismar; he died 20th October 1401 in Hamburg. Klaus Störtebeker was a leader and the best known representative of a companionship of privateers known as the Victual Brothers or later the Likedeelers.

    A large number of myths and legends surround what little facts exist on Klaus Störtebekers life. The real origin of Klaus Störtebeker is unknown. There are more than twenty possible different birthplaces that were mentioned in the literature. But the most plausible source is the "<i>Liber Proscriptorum</i>" from the city of Wismar. The "<i>Liber Proscriptorum</i>" is a kind of book, where all judgements put down to writing.
    In year 1380 two men were banned from the city of Wismar on account of a tavern brawl. They beat up a third young men, broke him several bones and knock him out two of his front teeth. The victim was named "Nicolao (or Nikolaus) Stortebeker". It is highly possible that this young men was later known as Klaus Störtebeker.

    Even the name Störtebeker could be only a nickname meaning "empty the mug with one gulp" in old German. The moniker refers to the pirate's supposed ability to empty a four-liter mug of beer in one gulp. At this time, pirates and other fugitives from the law often adopted a colorful nom de guerre. He got his name allegedly because he could swill down four litres of beer without taking the beaker from his mouth, but it might be a family name from Wismar. The Low German word "Störtebeker" means in English: "Down the drink of the beaker". ("Störten" means the same as the Old English word "styrtan").

    First time Klaus Störtebeker namly mentioned connected with piracy was in the year 1394 in a statement of claim from Henry Bolingbroke, later known as Henry IV. King of England. He complains about the robbery of several ships and goods by the Victual Brothers and claim compensation from the danish Queen. The name Klaus Störtebeker were mentioned 14 times in different spellings. The only name that was mentioned more often in this statement was the name Goddekin Mighel which is highly probable Störtebekers companion Godeke Michels.

    Queen Margaret of Denmark and King Albert of Sweden conceded Gotland to the allied Teutonic Order as a pledge (similar to a fiefdom). The two rulers and the Hanseatic League expected that the Teutonic Knights would challenge the Victual Brothers on Gotland island to wipe them out and to destroy their fortified sanctuary. They also feared an alliance between the Victual Brothers and the new formed union between Poland and Lithuania. So the Tetonic Orders Grand Master, Konrad von Jungingen, gathered a huge fleet of 84 ships to eridicate the pirates. On March 21st, 1398 he landed on Gotland with 4000 men and 400 horses. On April 5th, 1398 the battle was over. The city of Visby was destroyed but many Victual Brothers managed to escape.

    Störtebecker entered public consciousness around 1398, after the expulsion of the Victual Brothers from the Baltic island of Gotland.
    During the following years Störtebeker and some of his fellow captains (the most famous of whom were Godeke Michels, Hennig Wichmann and Magister Wigbold) captured hanseatic ships no matter their origin.
    A millitary operation against the pirates in the North Sea in spring 1400 organized by the hanseatic city of Hamburg forced Klaus Störtebeker to flee to Holland. His companion Godeke Michels flee to Norway but return later in 1400 to join up the Likedeelers and his companion Störtebeker again.
    In Holland Störtebeker signed a agreement or treaty with Duke Albrecht of Holland that guaranteed him and 114 of his men the full protection of the Duke. By order of Duke Albrecht, Klaus Störtebeker sail to Helgoland, a small island in the North Sea, which has become his stronghold from where he starts again capturing hanseatic ships. Especially the tradelines between Hamburg and England where his prefered hunting areas. He was so succesfull, that the city of Hamburg decided again to start a millitary operation against Störtebeker.

    In 1401 a large fleet from the city of Hamburg led by Simon of Utrecht caught up with Störtebeker's force near Helgoland. According to some stories Störtebeker's ship had been disabled by a traitor who cast molten lead into the links of the chain which held the rudder of Störtebeker's ship. Störtebeker and his crew were ultimately overcome and brought to Hamburg where they were condemned to death. Legend has it that Störtebeker offered a chain of gold long enough to enclose the whole town of Hamburg in exchange for his life and freedom. But the mayor of Hamburg refused his offering and Störtebeker and all of his 73 companions were sentenced to death and were beheaded outside of Hamburg. Among them was Godeke Michels, the companion of Klaus Störtebeker.
    But the huge treasure of the Likedeelers was still missing so the city of Hamburg sold his ship to private person who give it to a shipwright or a carpenter to wreck it. When he starts sawing the masts he discover some hard material inside the masts. The first mast was filled with gold, the second was filled with silver and the third was filled with copper. The lost treasure of the Likedeelers were found. With the gold the owner of the ship make a crown for the tower of the Hamburgian St. Kathrines Church.
    <img src="http://foto.arcor-online.net/palb/alben/34/2801134/1280_3363303964353438.jpg" border="0" alt="IPB Image" />

    The most famous legend of Störtebeker is about the execution itself. It is said that Störtebeker asked the mayor of Hamburg to release as many of his companions as he could walk past after being beheaded. The rather riskless request was granted. After he was beheaded Störtebeker's body allegedly got up and walked past twelve of Störtebeker's companions before the body was tripped by the executioner by throwing a block of wood to his feet. The twelve men however were executed along with all of the others and the knocked off heads of the 73 men were spiked along the river Elbe as a warning for other pirates.

    In 1878 some spiked skulls where found on a construction site outside the city of Hamburg. With high probability that are the skulls of Klaus Störtebeker and his Likedeelers. One skull fit very well with the discription in the "<i>Liber Proscriptorum</i>" from Wismar. Remember the knocked out teeth?
    <img src="http://foto.arcor-online.net/palb/alben/34/2801134/1280_6533616638643766.jpg" border="0" alt="IPB Image" />
    The scientist believe that the left skull was the head of Klaus Störtebeker and right one could be the head of his companion Godeke Michels.

    CSI- like many forensic and criminal experts try to reconstruct the face from this skull.
    They work over two years to give him a face.
    And that's what they think Klaus Störtebeker looked like. Nice guy, huh?
    <img src="http://foto.arcor-online.net/palb/alben/34/2801134/1280_3332343464656231.jpg" border="0" alt="IPB Image" />
    Btw it is not a mask for real human. It is a puppets head. And it is not proven that this guy was truly Klaus Störtebeker but he was surely one of the Likedeelers maybe Klaus Störtebeker himself.
     
  20. Meigger

    Meigger 1000th Member Man

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    Glad you found your very interesting articles. And thanks for reposting. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/par-ty.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":cheers" border="0" alt="par-ty.gif" />
     

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