Tar Bucket Bill

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About Tar Bucket Bill

  • Rank
    Deck Hand
  • Birthday 03/20/1955

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Interests
    Pillagin', plunderin', riflin', lootin', kidnappin', ravagin' and splicin' the mainbrace whenever I can. Hehe.
  1. Rackham's skeleton

    Very true. I've worked with real human skulls at an archaeological site. Some portions of them were less durable than others. I have a good quality medical school type plastic skeleton on a stand in the closet .... er ..... uh ..... rather in the basement that I have had for years. And it's still going strong. I drag it out for display during Halloween season. The 4th quality Bucky skeletons that you can buy various places online are fairly good for a much less expensive alternative. But if you're going to do one up like those in POTC, then you won't be able to tell much quality difference at all. The Bucky skeletons are a staple skeleton for haunted house attractions and the like. -Tar Bucket Bill
  2. Rackham's skeleton

    While that skeleton hanging in the POTC may REPRESENT Rackham, it's most definitely not the real skeleton of Rackham. Rackham was hanged at Gallows Point in Port Royal on Nov. 18, 1720 and then gibbeted along with another crew member on Deadman's Cay which is near Gun Cay and just a bit away almost due south of Fort Charles. Four months later, pirate Charles Vane was also hanged [on Gallows Point again?] and then gibbeted on Gun Cay. So there they were, two former shipmates swingin' in the breeze within sight of each other. Gibbeted pirates often remained gibbeted for several years. This means that their body was put into a metal gibbet cage and hung from a gibbet, NOT hanged to rot on a rope as depicted in POTC. In the case of Captain Kidd, I have read various accounts from 2 to 20 years. In 1722 in Port Royal there was a severe storm, and this was followed by a hurricane and two earthquakes in that same year. According to an article entitled "Two West Indian Amazons" [about Anne Bonny and Mary Read] on page 61 of the "ALL YEAR ROUND: A WEEKLY JOURNAL" in 1895, the gibbeted remains of Rackham were swept away by the hurricane in 1722. So, it might be possible his gibbet cage, or parts of it, may still be rusting away somewhere in the bay buried under centuries of sediment and encrustations. There is also archaeological evidence that shows that gibbeted criminals were also sometimes buried still in their gibbet cages. I'm guessing that Captain Kidd was probably buried in his gibbet cage somewhere near Tilbury Point or Tilbury Fort. After being gibbeted --- if there was much left --- a pirate was often consigned to an unmarked grave somewhere, possibly still in his gibbet cage. I have read that the idea was to not grant the criminal a burial on consecrated holy church grounds, but was meant as a punishment for the criminal's eternal soul as well. I have read that this type of burial was feared back then due to the religious beliefs at this time. Sir Henry Morgan was buried in a cemetery on Port Royal. When the earthquake struck in 1692, that portion of land was one of the parts of Port Royal that slumped into the sea. That area has been silted over during the centuries and I think is now under new dry land. So maybe his grave is still there but only much deeper and farther out from the original burial site. By the way, Deadman's Cay was renamed and is now called Rackham's Cay. The earliest map I have seen "Rackham's Cay" is about 1736. Or was it 1756? I cannot exactly recall. I have also seen a very early map of Port Royal online that shows that Deadman's Cay may have been originally named "Gun Cay" before being called "Deadman's Cay". On that map there are TWO "Gun Cays" side by side. This also makes me think that they never changed the name of the "Gun Cay" where Vane was gibbeted. Did they rename the other "Gun Cay" to "Deadman's Cay" because so many executed criminals were gibbeted there? I don't know, but it makes me think so. Rackham's Cay is barely under water these days. Gun Cay is still above the water. Having a bit of movie special effects knowledge and educational study from movie special effects artist Dick Smith, I can tell you that real skeletons have often been used in movies by special effects people. He used them in movies such as "Scanners" and "Ghost Story". Tom Savini used them in movies such as "Creepshow". When I was studying under Dick Smith in the late 1980s I could have ordered a real skeleton from the Carolina Biological laboratory supply company, but they were insanely expensive. I think maybe about $500 at the time. I believe many of the skeletons there were imported from India. Laws soon changed, and real skeletons are no longer being offered for sale, and maybe not even imported into the United States. That's not to say that the two skeletons hanging in the POTC are not real. They could be the high quality plastic ones now offered for sale by the scientific lab supply places. Or they could be real ones that Disney Studios have had and reused and redressed in movies for decades. It's difficult to say without talking to the movie prop master or crew involved with the production. Special effects people will even go to the trouble to sculpt human skeletons and various human bones out of clay and then mold and cast them in plaster or plastic or something. I hope this long-winded post helps answer some questions. -Tar Bucket Bill
  3. Pirate Museum in Nassau Bahamas

    Littleneckhalfshell, I'm interested in the proper naval cannon carriages of the time. Can you show me where to look for examples? Is there a good website that shows the difference in carriages of the different time periods? I wish I could afford to go to Nassau and some of the surrounding islands to see pirate related things. My sister went there on her honeymoon back in the 1960s. -Tar Bucket Bill
  4. Captain Kidd's Ship found

    Yes, I think he tentatively has identified the wreck site of the Adventure Galley due to a ballast pile, some burnt wood and an oar lock. Plus, the fact that the area matches a spot on an old 1700s French map that identifies a careening area at the Ilot Madame in the Baie des Forbans of Ile Sainte Marie. I'm not sure of the exact location of the careening area on the Ilot Madame, but I have a good idea. I've been looking for a diagram or map of the careening area and Adventure Galley, Fiery Dragon, Mocha Frigate, and Ruparelle [renamed November] wreck sites in the bay, but have had no luck finding anything yet. With all of the pirate ships that he has found in that bay, they could be excavating for years. -Tar Bucket Bill
  5. Were English cast iron cannon barrels of the GOAP period [and later] painted with black oil-based paint, blackened, or Japanned, or something else entirely? My next question would be about what the mixture was for any of these coatings. A friend of mine wishes to duplicate the proper finish on a Traditions .69 caliber naval cannon barrel. I think right now he's just leaning toward the black oil-based paint finish, whatever that proper mixture would be. I haven't really found any sources other than possibly coated with a black oil-based paint, or blackened. That's kind of vague, since no details to their proper mixtures or procedures were given. Not sure what "blackening" entails on a large cannon barrel, unless that means heating the barrel super hot and then dipping in oil. Thanks for the input. -Tar Bucket Bill
  6. Captain Kidd's Letter of Marque

    There is a photo in books and online of Captain Kidd's original Letter of Marque [privateering commission] that I'm sure many of you are familiar with. Does anyone know of a larger readable version of it? And does anyone know of a correct word for word transcription of it? The transcription I keep seeing online is obviously incorrect with the sole use of "Robert Kidd" throughout the transcription. One can plainly see "William Kidd" in a couple of places on the original vellum document. There are also other discrepencies in the trascripition I have been seeing online. It looks like the original vellum document has been badly trimmed for some unknown reason. King William III's large seal is cut off from where it had been hanging at the bottom, as are the decorative sides of the document. The blue British Revenue Stamp is still affixed to the left side of the document, but I cannot make out the embossed seal and the number of shillings and pence. Nor can I see if the revenue stamp has the silver tag with reverse crown helping to affix the stamp to the vellum document. I'd also like to know the size of this original document, if anyone knows where to find this information. Other similar documents are quite large --- roughly about 33" x 29". And one final question: Where is the original of Captain Kidd's Letter of Mark kept? The Lords of the Admiralty also granted Kidd with a privateering commission, but I do not know what this document looks like. Thanks for any assistance any of you can provide. -Tar Bucket Bill
  7. GAoP Flintlock Pistol Kits

    Aye, it is I! I wasn't in Newgate Prison or anything. At least not yet. I've been on a lee financial shore though. -Tar Bucket Bill
  8. Barry Clifford and Madagascar

    Yes. There are accounts of Dirk Shivers' "Fiery Dragon" and Robert Culliford's "Mocha Frigate" being set side-by-side in the narrows of the approach and set afire and sunk to restrict access to the harbor by the English Navy, and the ploy seemed to have worked. And Mr. Clifford's team did find evidence of 2 ships in the narrow portion of harbor side-by-side. Then there is evidence of a third ship at the spot on a small island at the opening of the harbor where is was popular to careen ships. I am hoping that it's a strong possibility of being Kidd's "Adventure Galley". Anyway, it sounds like the harbor is an artifact rich site. -Tar Bucket Bill
  9. Barry Clifford and Madagascar

    The "Pirate Island" documentary was very fun to watch. If Mr. Clifford positively identifies "The Adventure Galley", it will be very interesting to see what kind of artifacts are brought up from her. However, it sounds like Kidd had his crew salvage all kinds of stuff from "Adventure Galley" to help fit out and supply the "Quedagh Merchant" / "Adventure Prize" before leaving the island of Isle Ste. Marie for the Caribbean. Plus, Kidd burned the "Adventure Galley" to salvage its scrap metal and iron. So says Richard Zacks in "The Pirate Hunter". Hopefully Mr. Clifford will find some interesting bits of it. -Tar Bucket Bill
  10. Historically Accurate Rum

    What about Prichard's Fine Rum? http://www.prichardsdistillery.com/ Their website claims to use the same rum making techniques used for hundreds of years. They use premium grade "A molasses. They claim to make "an accurate recreation of America's first distilled spirit". They also say, "Prichard’s Fine Rum is the first authentic American Rum to be distilled in the United States since the early days of America’s history." I have never had the opportunity to try it yet but would like to. Has anyone here tried it? -Tar Bucket Bill
  11. GAoP Flintlock Pistol Kits

    I have a Loyalist Arms 1690 doglock pistol in .64 calibre that I would like to possibly rework. It is however my first experience with a flintlock piece. I've had the lock out of the stock, and I've had the barrel out, and the ramrod holder out, and the butt cap off. I have not yet tried to remove the trigger and trigger guard yet though. Not difficult to take apart and put back together at all so far. However, I have not attempted to take ANY parts off of the lock yet since there are 3 different springs and I don't know what kind of tension they put on the other parts while trying to put it back together. I do not have a spring vise yet for the main spring. Loyalist Arms told me the stock is made of rosewood. A friend told me that there probably were stocks made of rosewood back then. Any know? I would have preferred English walnut, but it was made in India, and I think rosewood is a more common wood there. Is a stock in English walnut just like this rosewood stock available somewhere? I don't know how to inlet a stock for the lock, so that could be very tough. But anyway, what kind of reworking of parts do you suggest be done to this piece to make it look and function much better? -Tar Bucket Bill
  12. Period hanging methods?

    WARNING: If you are easily offended by graphic descriptions of death and dying or squeamish, please do not read this! If I recall correctly, Captain Kidd was carted to the gallows which was placed between the tides on the Thames, because between the tides was within the perview of the Admiralty Court for crimes on the ocean. They often stopped and let him drink alcohol on the way from the prison to the gallows, so he became quite drunk. It was a journey across part of London. When they reached the gallows at Execution Dock in Wapping on the Thames he was then placed upon a collapsible platform with others to be hanged and the rope placed around his neck, his hands tied probably to the front, but the feet not tied.Sometimes a white hood was placed over the head. The executioner then collapsed the platform, thus letting the condemned dangle and do the "hempen jig". The feet and legs, being not tied, would often kick about in this "hempen jig" to the delight of the public. Kidd's rope broke and he fell to the ground. They raised a ladder to the gallows and forced him to climb the ladder and then "turned him off" the ladder to let him dangle and expire to complete the execution. It could often take 15 or 2o minutes for someone to strangle to death this way. Tongues bitten and blood streaming from mouths. Cheers would be raised when a wet spot formed at the crotch of the executed upon death. They would be left to hang about half an hour. Sometimes taken down and tied to a post to let three tides wash over the body. About a day and half? And then, if they were pirates, they would often be consigned an unknown, unconsecrated grave. Or in Captain Kidd's case, they slathered him with pitch or tar, encased him in a gibbet cage and hanged him from a gibbet at a place near Tilbury Fort several miles upstream for maybe about 3 years. Poor buggers executed for treason often had it much worse though. Execution for treason often entailed drawing, hanging and quartering. There. I TOLD you not to read it. Tar Bucket Bill
  13. Brigand's Grove - Aug. 13th & 14th

    OH,say it ain't so!!! -Tar Bucket Bill Huzzah! Thanks for your diligence Michael! -Tar Bucket Bill
  14. Brigand's Grove - Aug. 13th & 14th

    OH,say it ain't so!!! -Tar Bucket Bill
  15. Brigand's Grove - Aug. 13th & 14th

    Anything definitive yet? The registration form on the website is still a 2010 form. The June 1st deadline is fast approaching --- if that is when the 2011 deadline is. We would need to mail out our registrations and $5.oo checks this week, so that we are registered in time. -Tar Bucket Bill