Pirate Hunter, The Life of Captain Woodes Rogers

Captain Woodes Rogers was an adventurer in the Golden Age of Piracy, a name of some familiarity but where few really know much about this real-life seaman and colonial Governor. This book looks closely at the swashbuckling career of a colourful character and the wild times in which he lived – Very Highly Recommended.

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NAME: Pirate Hunter, The Life of Captain Woodes Rogers
FILE: R2970
AUTHOR: Graham A Thomas
PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword
BINDING: soft back
PRICE: £12.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Golden Age of Piracy, privateers, pirates, seaman, circumnavigation, 
naval warfare, rewards, wooden warships, age of sail, Spain, France, Netherlands, 
corsairs, Captain Woodes Rogers, Caribbean, merchant ships, naval vessels, colonies, 
colonial Governors

ISBN: 1-52676-077-0

IMAGE: B2970.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y5q7y7cv
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: Captain Woodes Rogers was an adventurer in the Golden Age of 
Piracy, a name of some familiarity but where few really know much about this real-
life seaman and colonial Governor. This book looks closely at the swashbuckling 
career of a colourful character and the wild times in which he lived –    Very 
Highly Recommended.

The description of the period of naval history as the Golden Age of Piracy has 
captured the imagination of generations and some of the bloodiest seamen ever to 
set sail have become folk heroes. Their trade was cruel and bloody, the casualty rate 
was very high, and the suppression of piracy as bloody as the act. Captain Woodes 
Rogers lived in these times, his name appears and many readers will recognize it 
even if they know very little about the man and his deeds and achievements. The 
author has provided an exciting expose of a larger than life character.

Piracy has always been a confusing subject. Before the 15th Century, many nations 
had only very small standing navies. When war threatened, merchant ships were 
taken from trade and armed to become warships. As long as the sword, bow and 
spear were the primary weapons, it took little effort to convert a merchant vessel 
into a warship. Cannon changed all that and raised the cost. It also meant that more 
planning was needed to prepare for future conflicts. The result was that nations 
depended still on auxiliary warships, where the crews were seamen outside any 
formal military organization. They were funded by merchants and speculators and 
they often had a peacetime role as protectors of merchant ships from criminals.

The basis of the auxiliary was the Letters of Mark or Authorities of Compensation 
and Retribution which authorized a ship and crew to take and sell any ships of a 
particular type, nation or activity, and sell the ship and contents in compensation 
of the auxiliary crew. Captains like Francis Drake sailed under such authorities often 
issued by the French Huguenots in La Rochelle, usually against the Spanish shipping. 
That led to fleets of corsairs, French, English and Scottish, sailing together to attack 
the Spanish gold and silver ships that brought riches from the Americas to the 
Spanish Exchequer. The only thing to distinguish between a Privateer sailing under 
Letters of Mark and a pirate very little. A ship could sail under an authority that was 
based on a state of war that might have ceased to exist by the time the privateers 
reached their hunting grounds. Many privateers operated under rules of war but 
deliberately continued in periods of peace because they needed or wanted the money. 
Others were criminals who might from time to time serve a particular country's 
interests legitimately.

By the 16th Century, the Americas were seeing new countries breaking the Spanish/
Portuguese monopoly of the Americas, Merchant shipping was increasing between 
the new colonies and their home countries and piracy in the Caribbean and along the 
North American East Coast had become endemic. This continued through the 18th 
Century and into the 19th Century, but as the 19th Century unfolded countries began 
to concentrate on standing fleets managed by Admiralties and regarded any other 
type of warship as a pirate.

Woodes Roger was an adventurer and explorer, circumnavigating the world and 
with a mission to attack the Spanish in American and Caribbean waters. This 
provides a tense and exciting narrative for the author to recount. Exactly where 
Woodes Rogers was along a line of naval hero, privateer, pirate and pirate catcher at 
any point in his career is open to interpretation. He was one of many British seamen 
engaged in this range of endeavours and what marks him out was his appointment as 
governor of the Bahamas by George I. He was as ruthless as a privateer as he was as 
a pirate-hunter and his history makes entertaining reading. The author has also 
included an interesting photo-plate section in illustration.