Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A beginner's guide to Medieval and Renaissance piracy, part 5

So what is the prize treasure for a pirate? Why, anything that could be on a ship! On John Cabbie's first raid, he found wool, gold and wine in the hold. In 1493, Pope Alexander VI granted a blessed edict that made all the lands west of the Cape Verde islands apart of Spain. In the sixteenth century, the Spanish started to ship gold and silver from the New World. This made other nations very mad. Sir Francis Drake and his cousin Sir John Hawkins took advantage of this and raided the treasure galleons coming form the New World, also called the Spanish Main. It was a trend that lasted into the Golden Age.

After a pirate got his treasure, what happened to it? Burying it was out of the question. If it was alcohol, it was consumed. Food was eaten. Money was spent at the next port. Other goods were sold. Pirates offered goods of high quality at cheap prices.

Friends, foes, and fate next time on A Pirate's Life.

(From "So you want to be a pirate," my SCA pirate class.)

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