Tartan Jack

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Everything posted by Tartan Jack

  1. I was tuning in to watch yet another "the real history behind pirates of the Caribbean" show, this time on the Smithsonian channel. This one is called: "The Real Story: Pirates of the Caribbean." Well, . . . This one was different. They interview Angus Konstam, the English weapons expert that is on so many of the better British-made history shows, and some bloke sitting in the great cabin of some boat- named E T Fox. I wasn't expecting much, as most of these kinda shows are pretty basic and sometimes not particularly well shot or edited. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see our own Ed Foxe there. (I pointed out to my wife "Hey, THAT is the Ed Fox I've talked about all these years and am finally meeting in-person next weekend." She said "he's younger than I expected. Better looking too." Not sure what to think of that last part . . . ) The show itself is hands-down one of the BEST one of this type I've seen. The interviews were decently edited together (I'm sure the interviewees know of great stuff that was left out) and not too chopped-up in comparison to other ones I've seen. Visually, the show edits new-shot stuff with scenes from previous shows (like the one on the Essex chasing the slaver in the early 1800s) and even National Geographic's "Blackbeard: Terror at Sea" film. It all was edited together fairly seamlessly, esp. for a show of this type. They also interview one of the PotC writers (who actually knows the history too). There is also footage from the PotC film series, which relates to the overall theme of the show. Content-wise, it is an excellent primer and focuses primarily on Blackbeard, while being on 17-teens pirates in general. The show is aimed at giving the historical background that the PotC films are based in and telling the true reality behind it. While some parts I find to be a stretched connection, they handle them well. The only real complaints is how they edited the part around Fox when discussing Jolly Roger flags, implying he supports how they framed the shows description of them when he would nauance it FAR more. Basically they show a bunch of flags (the "classic" set) that Fox debunks on: http://www.bonaventure.org.uk/ed/flags.htm and intercut Fox talking about how they used recognized symbols of death and how they were used. That struck me a bit (basically because I know Fox and have discussed flags with him many, many times with him over the last half-decade or so. This article discusses the point of the show: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/smallscreen/news/article_1635274.php/Smithsonian-s-The-Real-Story-brings-untold-tales-from-blockbuster-films-May-15 Still, a decently done show and a good bridge between PotC and the actual activities of the 17-teens pirates. I wish I could see the un-edited interviews . . . that would have been better. I know that the Smithsonian Channel isn't a very widely known channel, so here is the on-line video of the show: http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/site/sn/video/player/latest-videos/related/the-real-story-pirates-of-the-caribbean-full-episode/900357858001/ Edit: Oh, and the actually ship they are on when discussing weapons and techniques (the black one) is Foxe's workplace, the Brixton "Golden Hind"
  2. Religion on Pirate Ships?

    I've been wondering about the religious beliefs of those on pirate ships. Often they are portrayed as Godless, yet we have examples (thinking specifically of Roberts and his associates) of overtly Christian practices on pirate ships. Also, a number of authors I have read mention the Catholic vs. Protestant grouping of pirates/privateers. Primarily, they are discussing the Irish and the French, where Catholics went toward the Spanish side (or French royalist), while the Huguenots and other "Reformed" groups rallied more to the English and Dutch side (who where usually on the same-side in this period). So, based on YOUR readings, what have you found? Were the pirates "God-fearing men," by the standards of the day (as were most of the population)? Were they a godless horde, as writers like to portray? A real mix? Something else? (This should be an interesting discussion)
  3. Who is What?

    I was talking (well chat texting) Red Wake and wondered who was what part of the crew. He suggested I make a thread with that question, so as everyone could say (my interpretation).
  4. Name the Captain

    Thanks. Good to know. Am I in the fiction? Any assigned roles or just "seaman?" [Edit: should have mostly been a PM. Please respond that way.)
  5. Name the Captain

    Just offering an idea. I'll shut up now and depart . . . The name was for documentation, figuring it could be a snickering joke as another name was substituted. Not interested, fine by me. Oh, and I WANTED to partake, but life and work (got a job in retail soon after I met Mission- the related requirement destroys my weekends) prevented it. Not by choice . . .
  6. sutler or pyrate

    SutlerJohn delivers even the odd-request in a reasonable time. I love my 2' long quakers.
  7. Name the Captain

    Though I am not actually part of the Mercury goings on, though friends w/ all of them . . . I HAVE to throw this in: Hermes McHugh. Why? Hermes: the Greek name of the messenger god Mercury (Roman). McHugh: Derived as a British name inspired by the chemical name of the element mercury Hg. Plus, sometimes McHugh is abbreviated as McHg. Plus, Hermes McHugh sounds plausible for the period w/o being to bluntly the play on the name "Mercury" that it actually is.
  8. HMS Bounty crew abandons ship

    Thanks for those. It makes it even more real . . . HATE to see it, though. My heart goes out to them all.
  9. What's in a Name?

    Ships: Best to look at ship lists, as there are MANY on this site in the Capt Twill section The names are too varied to list any conventions . . . Hoped for results Hoped for blessing or safety A person, place, or combination Animal Poetic Mythical or legendary allusion Political or social message Some are seemingly random . . . the meaning lost in time I'll have to let someone else add meat to those bones.
  10. What's in a Name?

    For places, many names were rooted in something. In the Colonies, towns were named after: Physical traits: Long Cane, White Point, Oyster Point (where Charleston, SC's Battery is today), Little River, Leveland Variations of native names: Saluda, Cataba, Pee Dee, Jalapa Named after specific people, often ruling monarchs: Jamestown, Charles Towne/Charleston, Williamstown, Williamsburg, Georgetown (post period) Named after a hoped for blessed future or prosaic: Port Royal, Providence, Hope, Pleasure, LightTown, Prosperity, Columbia, Mount Pleasant, PromisedLand, Greenwood (derived from the RobinHood stories) After a specific place "Back home" or a variation: Plymouth, Tidmouth, Birmingham, Darlington, New Sterling, New Perth, Newberry, Dublin, Loundon, Jedburg, Abbeville, Beaufort Some are cryptic to outsiders, but are based directly on the specific history of that town: Six-Mile, Union, Ninety-Six, North, Due West, Corner, Frog Level ALL of those are all actual places in South Carolina, founded between 1680 and 1770, mostly in the early 1700s. Naming convention didn't change that much between 1700 and the American Revolution, so that is a good representation.
  11. What's in a Name?

    Cookies? I want one! As for names: Personal names where largely biblical at the time for Christians, which the Boston names mentioned in the first part reflects. Eunice is the name of the mother of Timothy (the young man who worked under Paul in evangelism), as mentioned in the Epistle of Timothy (2 Timothy 1:5). The same us true across Europe, each in the appropriate language translation. For example, Jahannan (Hebrew for "God is Gracious) became: John, Sean, Ian, Jean, Juan, Ivan, Johann (German, with Hans and Jan as variations), Giovanni, Jovan, and many more. (out of curiousity, I typed "John Language variations" in google just now-> this wiki showed by that illustrates my point: http://en.wikipedia....hn_(given_name) ) In the 1500s-1700s, John was so common in Scotland that it spawned the switch of "Jack" (derived from Jacob) into a nickname for John and the usage of "Jock" for Scots (there is a bit of history involving the James-line of kings in that too, but not needed here). Other names come from past kings and heroes that pasted into common usage, like Charles (from Charlemagne), Arthur (from the KIng Arthur legends, which was probably a title rather than an actual name-> like ***** the Arthur, originally based on a real person's exploits, as it appeared suddenly and commonly in the 500s as s given name), Edward, Richard, William and many, many more. Last names are largely the same as in the US, just much, much more isolated in place-of-usage. From a surname, one could often tell where a person was from. If you go or are from a place with deep roots, the surnames around you are also common in the early 1700s. In my small town and the one just below it, the most common surnames are: Cooper, Bishop, Jacobs, Rogers, Musgrove, Hall, Vaughn, Stewart, Kitchens, Suber (a HUGE extended African-American family), Todd, Wilson, Neel, Banks, Wallace, Renwick, Allan, and others of Scottish or English origin. The Scottish part was an Associate Presbyterian group moving together from Antrim Co, Ireland around 1770 (and some that came just afterwards) I also know folks with the name Parr, Bland, Young, King, Moore, and others. There was also a HUGE German Lutheran settlement from Saxony in the 1760s, bringing the names Boozer, Bedenbaugh, Halfacre, Shealy, and a bunch more that pretty much ID one from a particular county in South Carolina, but are common enough here that most think nothing of it. Not far was a large French Huguenot settlement, so there French-rooted names are extremely common- even if they think they are English or "Scotch-Irish" in origin. My own roots include a number of those family names. The names also now overlap and seem "common" where I live, even if many are rather odd and "unique" elsewhere. So, picking a name for literature or a persona, look into settlement areas and specific towns-of-origin for surnames. Also, remember that in trading cities, people were almost just as mixed as today, as people DID move around in the period and travel and settle far from home. That said, settlers often moved in-clump to areas, so the names of an area often reflected where they came from.
  12. HMS Bounty Sinks Off North Carolina Coast

    My prayers are with the survivors, missing and the dead, and their families. This is very, very sad news.
  13. Accents and language

    Besides that . . . There is a question as to what the "English" accent actually was in the early 1700s. In fact, is was FAR more diverse than today (even with all the various accents presently IN England. A/The prominent idea is that the various east coast and mountain/Appalachian American accents may be far more like the colonial-era British accents than anything in Britain today besides small community-specific ones that survived. The theory is that the more interaction with other accents and languages, the more an accent changes. Meanwhile, the inverse is also true, meaning that the more closed-off and remote an area is, the less it changes and mutates. By that basis, the accents in England today are more a product of the Victorian and Edwardian eras than anything else, while the American ones in more remote remained more in a stasis until the 1930s-1950s. Why? Well, people moved to the remote "frontier" areas and pretty much stayed with each other and the accents didn't change much or not at all in the remote, former colonial areas. Yet, in the "home country," the British Empire brought a massive seismic shift in accents. If that theory is accurate, then the various region and local accents of the Eastern American settlements are reflective of the accents spoken at the period of settlement- being maintained from the place-of-origin as people moved as communities from the home areas to the colonies. That accounts for the literally hundreds of specific "Southern" accents from Louisiana, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, the Virginias, and the "old" towns of Maryland and the very specific "New England" accents from the Philly to Maine.
  14. Pirate razees

    Good point. The later frigate was a merger of the frigate and galley concept. At this time, there were more differences than just oars/sweeps and no sweeps, despite them looking a lot alike.
  15. Pirate razees

    IF I recall correctly, that is basically taking a commercial/trading vessel and making it "frigate-like" in deck configuration. That primary consisted of razing (cutting down) the fore and aft parts above the deck, lowering the center-of-gravity and allowing guns (cannon) to be used where they otherwise wouldn't have been able to operate due to space and the deck-strength itself. Also, there is the "knocking down" of internal partitions. that is mainly for 2 purposes: 1) allowing the gun crews freedom of movement without hitting a non-structural wall and 2) allowing crew to quickly move around during battle. Those are the same reason combat vessels of the era were configured that way, esp. small ones. Small vessels, like sloops-of-war and frigates had to be optimized for combat movement of the crew, of which many pirates had been during Queen Anne's War (The War of Spanish Succession). As the idea was for a pirate ship/vessel to operate, functionally, as a privateer commerce-raider. Accordingly, the crews set out to covert their vessels into what they knew worked well.
  16. Movie Prop Collectors selling original PoTC stuff

    Neat stuff. On this stuff, I am a bit of mixed mind. It's neat it gets out to the public, as opposed to being in a props storeroom or storehouse or being destroyed. But, I wish it was in a public display rather than on a collector's home or office shelf.
  17. When was the Golden Age of Piracy?

    One of the WORST monikers we are stuck with . . . Dark Ages. It completely misrepresents the period. GAoP is much better than that!
  18. When was the Golden Age of Piracy?

    Never thought I would see anyone reference the assault on Fort Noherooka in North Carolina (where hundreds of Tuscarora Indians were killed and hundreds taken prisoner and sold into slavery). Dr. Larry Tise at East Carolina University is actually working on getting public awareness of that event since next year is the 300 aniversary of it (I've been working on it with him) Anyway, I love stuff like that Kevin, for it adds so much context to the pirate events of the time. Some writers on pirate history make pirate history feel like it took place in a vacuum and had minimal influence from the outside world. Thank goodness recent scholarship on pirates is finally tying in the politics of early eighteenth century world into this. Recent work by Ed Fox and Arne Bialewshewski have discussed the role of the Jacobite rebellions within the pirate world for example. Thank you for pursuing such history Mr. Duffus, and I hope to see some publications on the subject soon. But back to the thread topic of Defining the Golden Age of Piracy. Has anyone proposed that maybe we should do away with the term "Golden Age" outright? I feel like by this point in pirate historiography that the term "Golden Age of Piracy" has almost lost its meaning and is used to give the era a romantic feel to it (and an easier way in which to remember when this all took place). I think a more interesting question that might help people undestand and learn more about history during the period is - what allowed and what caused pirates to go sea, do so in large numbers, and operate over significant periods of time from the 16th to early 19th centuries? If answered correctly, one can learn a lot about the development of colonies, economics, politics, and more during this very important period in world history. What? History doesn't happen in a vacuum? Events in one place affect others? Really?
  19. The Sea Peoples!

    Oh and the term "sea peoples" is a typical Egyptian written description of foreign peoples. Their hieroglyphics are quite blunt and rather NOT politically correct. They termed the peoples that lived south, up the Nile (the African-Africans) the "kinky-head peoples" and another culture the "stinky peoples." There were others that were even worse! NONE of the names were what the other peoples called themselves or what other records would have had. The ancient Egyptians were a rather odd and interesting culture! There are theories linking the SeaPeoples to all sorts other cultures, which have varying degrees of probability. I'm convinced that the SeaPeople ARE the superpower culture behind Plato's Atlantis, but one that was fractured and broken in one massive volcanic explosion, which also decimated their entire Aegean-based settlement. The tsunami moved the palace in Crete many feet back and wiped out anything actually on the coast. The same was for the entire sea basin. But, as that WAS the main settlement areas for a sea-based culture. There are also LONG lasting legends of the origins of the Scoto-Irish (the Scots were immigrants from Ireland in the mid first millennium AD, who merged with the Picts already in the Northern part of the Britain island) were originally from Egypt. That is taken further back that they were royal Sea People refugees who intermarried with Pharoah's family then left with Egyptian blessing, by sea, to settle a new area-> Spain then Ireland. Obviously, only the leaders would have been royals, but the idea was that the rest were those under their leadership. The coracle technology is one of the tangible links between the Sea Peoples and ancient Ireland . . . Today, the Egyptian connection of Ireland was discounted as complete myth, but is being revisited as having some truth-> the debate is how much.
  20. What are you reading right now ?

    I know this will sound either cool or nutty on here, but I've been rereading "Batman: The Long Halloween" and its sequel "Batman: The Dark Victory," mainly because they are Nolan's primary inspiration for his Batman series, along with various other Batman stories (esp. Knightfall/KnightQuest/KnightEnd for this summer's "Dark Knight Rises" film. Rereading them, I realize how much dialogue was adapted straight from The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, esp. in The Dark Knight. Oh, and I am a HUGE Batman and Joker fan . . .
  21. The Sea Peoples!

    The surviving parts in Crete overlapped the later Egyptians and the Mycean Greeks, but in a much diminished form from the pre-Thera period, when they were THE dominant superpower of the Mediterranean Sea. Of course, when your capital and (most likely) central records are incinerated and blown to pieces, due to it being built in middle of the caldera on Thera/Santorini . . . that doesn't help them being less "mysterious," would it . . . At one time, I read A LOT about them. But, it's been a LONG time (15 years) and they were Bill's private/personal books and papers. I don't have access anymore. I don't even have an idea of where those might even BE now! (Edit: reading primary sources from pre-standardized spelling days plays HELL on one's spelling- despite your best efforts.
  22. The Sea Peoples!

    One of my professors in college (and seminary) was a top-scholar on near-east (esp. Egyptian and Israel/Paelstine areas). We discussed the Sea People over the years a number of times.' He didn't publish much, but studied under John Bright, student of the famous Dr. Albright. My prof was Dr Bill Kyrkendall. (If I remembered that spelling correctly) His ABSOLUTE certainty: The Sea Peoples were the people Thera/Santorini and Crete made refugees when the Thera volcano blew up is 1500 BC. The refugees that fled to Egypt, their major trading partner and rival, who settled the Sea People in modern day Israel. They became known as the Philistines there. Their "old" civilization is now commonly termed the "Minoans" (after King Minos in Greek myth/legend) and probably inspired Plato's "Atlantis" in 600 BC (900 years after Thera-go-boom). He backed it up with a HUGE amount of evidence, the most convincing for him is that the little bit of Philistine linguistics we know and the little bit of Minoan linguistics we know dove-tail together perfectly (he was primarily an ancient near-eastern linguist). The topic was one of his favorites and he brought it up whenever he could make it relevant (which is quite a bit in early Egyptian, Greek, and Hebrew/Israelite history during classes). He pasted away a decade ago. He was an AMAZING man, friend, and a breathtaking scholar who saw history as more real than anyone I've met. He inspired many of the ways I view history. One of my professors in college (and seminary) was a top-scholar on near-east (esp. Egyptian and Israel/Paelstine areas). We discussed the Sea People over the years a number of times.' He didn't publish much, but studied under John Bright, student of the famous Dr. Albright. My prof was Dr Bill Kyrkendall. (If I remembered that spelling correctly) His ABSOLUTE certainty: The Sea Peoples were the people Thera/Santorini and Crete made refugees when the Thera volcano blew up is 1500 BC. The refugees that fled to Egypt, their major trading partner and rival, who settled the Sea People in modern day Israel. They became known as the Philistines there. Their "old" civilization is now commonly termed the "Minoans" (after King Minos in Greek myth/legend) and probably inspired Plato's "Atlantis" in 600 BC (900 years after Thera-go-boom). He backed it up with a HUGE amount of evidence, the most convincing for him is that the little bit of Philistine linguistics we know and the little bit of Minoan linguistics we know dove-tail together perfectly (he was primarily an ancient near-eastern linguist). The topic was one of his favorites and he brought it up whenever he could make it relevant (which is quite a bit in early Egyptian, Greek, and Hebrew/Israelite history during classes). He passed away a decade ago. He was an AMAZING man, friend, and a breathtaking scholar who saw history as more real than anyone I've met. He inspired many of the ways I view history.
  23. Cutlass or knife in the teeth?

    The ruffian who clambers over the gunwale with the blade of his weapon clamped between his teeth is one of the iconic images of piracy. Those aren't exactly the same thing. One is the climbing up and over of part of the ship, while the other is standing in the middle of a fight. On the middle of a fight, having quick access to the "next weapon" is quite useful when gunpowder weapons were one-shot (not enough time to bother to reload). The shots below are easily that-> what is in the teeth is the next go-to weapon that would be useful after what's in the hand is used. Yet, while climbing up and over from one ship/boat/craft to another is another matter and has other dangers such as random human limbs in fairly close proximity, any ladders or other "help" made of rope, and the fact that a blade and handle sticking out is able to snag other stuff on the way (like when anyone turns their neck while the 2-anchor points are moving on the waves) makes the use of anything longer than single-edged knife more dangerous than helpful. Plus, anything short is more practical in a sheathed storage close-at-hand, but not in the mouth.
  24. Pusser's IS the British Navy rum, for those who don't realize it. When the Royal Navy stopped buying all of it, the manufacturer got permission to sell the rum to the general public. Whether Pusser's rum gradually changed over its 300 year time as THE RN rum, due to changing tastes of time, or stayed the same (as Pusser's says) is a matter of debate. The present Pusser's IS the stuff used in WW1 and WW2, maybe earlier (how early?).
  25. Gaop pirate nationalities.....

    This can't edit feature can be frustrating . . . I forgot to mention the legal issue at the core of the 1850s trials mentioned on page 2. At the time, it was illegal in South Carolina to teach a slave to read and write above a rudimentary level (one reason being the fear of slave revolt on coastal plantations). There was a series of prosecutions in the Upstate and Catawba River Valley areas where people and institutions were giving high school and even college and seminary educations to slaves, which they legally "owned" . . . Is that pro, anti-slavery, or something else entirely? The point of the posts was to highlight the "gray" areas around what was a legal institution of the GAoP that is seen as entirely evil and wrong today. Even then, when legal and common, there were many shades between "for" and "against." Now, THAT makes me very, very curious as to the place of the "Negro" and "African" folks on pirate ships. Where in this huge range were they? Did it vary widely? (I suspect it did) If you are willing to answer on here, Foxe, what is said about slaves, slavery, and "Africans" (or the like) in relevant period wills and articles? I'm curious.