Pirate Benjamin Hornigold was an Englishman that was both a pirate and a pirate hunter during the latter part of the Golden Age of Piracy. At one point, he worked closely with Edward Teach, better known as “Blackbeard,” who was his second in command. Benjamin Hornigold was a Caribbean privateer who turned to piracy after the conclusion of the War of the Spanish Succession. He later worked as a pirate hunter as well. Read more below about Benjamin Hornigold, one of the Golden Age of Piracy’s most notable pirates.
Tutor to Blackbeard
Born in England in 1680, Benjamin Hornigold began his pirate career in 1713. At that time, he started attacking merchant ships in the Bahamas. He was so active that he even helped to establish what was known as a “Republic of Pirates” in Nassau. Later, in 1717 Hornigold became Captain of a heavily-armed ship known as the Ranger. As Captain, he appointed Edward Teach (Blackbeard), as his second-in-command. Blackbeard is one of the most famous pirates of all time. Described by others as a kind and skilled captain, Hornigold often treated prisoners better than other pirates. Later, he gave up piracy and became a pirate hunter for the Governor of the Bahamas.
Skilled Captain and Pirate Hunter
When the War of Spanish Succession ended, Hornigold sailed from New Providence and became a pirate captain. Known as a skilled captain, his crew was composed of many talented and hardworking pirates. In fact, several of his crew later became more successful than he was. For example, Samuel Bellamy and Blackbeard both worked in Hornigold’s pirate crew at one time. When Hornigold first met Blackbeard, he saw his potential and rewarded him with his own vessel and small crew. Later, in 1717, they sailed together as partners. Together, they easily plundered and captured numerous ships in the Caribbean. One such conquest was a rich French Dutch Flute known as “Concorde.” The capture of Concorde is regarded as one of Hornigold’s greatest achievements as a pirate.
Tragedy in the Caribbean
In general, Pirate Benjamin Hornigold spent the majority of his short life in the Caribbean. There, he successfully captured many vessels as a pirate. Later, Woodes Rogers became the governor of the Bahamas and offered pirates a pardon from the King. Hornigold decided to take amnesty and left Blackbeard and the other pirates. He consequently moved to New Providence and became a faithful servant for Rogers. Rogers employed him as a pirate hunter and thought very highly of Horingold. Although his main target was Pirate Charles Vane, he never was able to capture him. However, Hornigold did catch many other pirates that were hanged for the crime of piracy. In 1719, Hornigold decided to take a trading voyage to Mexico. Tragically, his ship hit a coral reef at sea and he drowned at sea along with his entire crew.
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