The Royal Armouries Museum
Want to know more about pirates, their exploits, and the world pirates inhabited and robbed? Then this lecture is for you! Everybody knows that pirates liked their gold and silver, and that they usually took this from Spanish towns and merchants. But how exactly did they justify this?
This lecture will explore the relationship between the fear felt by Jamaican colonists at their exposure to potential Spanish aggression, and the launching of the Welsh privateer Henry Morgan’s raid on Panama in 1670. I argue that the justification used by pirates and privateers was built on (and required) fear to be the dominant emotion within the society they sought to infiltrate. Pirates used this fear to persuade and coerce locals to support their attacks, and in turn this made pirates a ‘comfort blanket’ for English Jamaican colonists to hide behind when the threat of Spanish reprisals for English colonial ambitions (and their related pirate attacks) came knocking at Jamaica’s door.
You will leave this lecture understanding that there was more to piracy than gold and silver, and knowing more about the inter-imperial relations of the English and Spanish empires.
Image: Wiki Commons