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Tamara Hughes | The Fascinating World of Pirates
Author Guest / January 13, 2015

In movies, books, and television, pirates are alpha personalities with a zest for adventure. They’re dangerous, highly skilled at fighting, and live by their own rules. And in many respects, these depictions are right. Hard to believe, but pirates typically did have their own code of honor. All who joined the crew were expected to “sign on the account,” as such agreeing to the laws of the ship. These laws were called the articles, and they included such things as mercy should be given to all who ask for it, that if the prisoners of a captured ship offered no resistance, they should be treated well, especially women. The articles also declared how all plunder would be distributed amongst the crew, because essentially the crew owned the ship. In fact, they elected their captain. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Almost honorable. And yet, as I did research on pirates, I found that sometimes they had bizarre habits and beliefs too. Let’s start with what they drank. Some of the recipes sound rather good, such as bombo, a mixture of rum, water, sugar, and nutmeg. Others, well…others were more unpalatable to me, like drinking rum with gunpowder. I can’t imagine that tasting…