Buccaneers were typically a type of privateering or freelance sailors peculiar to the Caribbean Sea in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. This was the period of time when the West Indies was being colonized by Spain. It was an opportune period for these sailors as they could ply their trade from any point of land that they could get to, unlike the sailing vessels of England that had to remain at port to unload their cargo. However, it was not until the mid eighteen hundreds that the first recorded voyage of a Buccaneer ship into English waters was undertaken.
On Sunday, the third of October, after a hard and dry winter with little wind, Thomas Blyton published his Register of Shipping. In this book, he included a letter from Christopher Columbus, who described the islands of Barbados and Guadeloupe as 'the last of the old voyages' in that the regular season there had only thirty-eight days. This gave the buccaneer's plenty of time to plan their voyage. On October fourth, the first of the Pirates of the Caribbean sailed from the town of St. Thomas to Barbados with a full complement of mariners and sailors. They were not to return for four more months.
The buccaneers now changed their name from buccaneers to pirates. One of their number was Robert Barlow, who is said to have been the first one to suggest that the new name would be Pirates of the Caribbean. Their new home was now Saint Thomas, which meant that the regular season was now open. On Friday, the third of October they departed for Trinidad. When they reached the island, they re-named the island of New Providence, which was their plan all along.
On Sunday, October fourth, the buccaneers of the Caribbean met their opposition in force. At the head of the column was Captain William Williams, who was known as 'The Fighting Captain' because of his tenacious attitude and tenacity in battle. He was also a masterful seaman, and he and his crew of about thirteen men had very light gear, including just what we would call spoons. These spoons, or stingles, as they were called in that era, would be of two sizes – large and small. This was not a lot of gear for the men to lug around, but it certainly kept them light and could be used for a variety of actions on the island. But perhaps most importantly, it was the teeth of this weapon that would do the damage!
In the meantime, there had been other events on Barbados that had meant more work for the buccaneers. A year before, the Virgin Islands was being colonized and to keep up with the demand for saltpetre and gunpowder on some of the islands, larger quantities of tobacco had to be brought in. And on October third the regular season opened on the island of Barbados, and a deal was struck that brought in more work. First came the regular teaming up of mariners from all over England that came every night, and then there was the idea of putting together a rowing team from the Virgin Islands that left for Barbados daily to bring back saltpetre and gun powder. Finally, a large ship with provisions for the whole year was brought in to provide the teams with a place to sleep. This meant that they would have plenty of time to get to know each other well enough to form lasting bonds and friendships.
The buccaneers' next plan was to make an all-out effort to capture the prize which the Virgin Islands stood to gain. But they underestimated the Loyalists who had formed a troop of horsemen and engineers from the Bahamas who were experts at defending any assault from the shore. They attacked the shipping line and won a huge victory which rained down terrible damage on the island and drove the Englishmen from the island. The buccaneers' next attempt to take the prize was not successful, but they were able to hold out until the final day of November and suffered one less loss than the English did.
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Buccaneer symbols are widely recognized as a pirate ship's insignia. Originally used on the hangers of buccaneers, these emblems have since become a very popular design with sailors, yacht owners and mariners. The image of buccaneers, a group of ashore fishermen, crossing the seven seas on a small boat is the inspiration for the ...