The Constitution Of The Pirate Republic

Pirate Code of Conduct

The Pirate Code of Conduct
The Pirate Code of Conduct! A Pirate ship required a level of discipline and a Pirate Code of Conduct. The Pirate Code of Conduct was an important agreement between the Pirate Captain and his crew. The Pirate Code of Conduct consisted of a number of agreements between the Captain and pirate crew which were called Articles. The Pirate Code of Conduct was necessary as pirates were not governed by any other rules such as Naval regulations. Pirate captains were elected and could lose their position for abuse of their authority. The captain enjoyed few privileges:

"The Captain or any other Officer is allowed no more [food] than another man, nay,
the Captain cannot keep his Cabbin to himself."

The Pirate Code of Conduct
An example of the Pirate Code of Conduct dealt with the following subjects:

  • Pirate Code of Conduct 1 - Equal Voting Rights

  • Pirate Code of Conduct 2 - Fair share of the loot and pirates punishments for those who cheated

  • Pirate Code of Conduct 3 - Gambling was banned

  • Pirate Code of Conduct 4 - No lights at night - a pirates sleep should not be disturbed

  • Pirate Code of Conduct 5 - Each pirate was responsible for the upkeep of their weapons

  • Pirate Code of Conduct 6 - No Boys or women allowed on board

  • Pirate Code of Conduct 7 - Penalty for Desertion

  • Pirate Code of Conduct 8 - No fighting between pirates on board the ship

  • Pirate Code of Conduct 9 - A Pension according to the severity of wounds

  • Pirate Code of Conduct 10 - Shares of the loot or booty

  • Pirate Code of Conduct 11 - Musicians available to play when required!

These Pirate codes of conduct ensured a well-run and harmonious ship!

The Pirate Code of Conduct - Bartholomew Roberts Shipboard Articles 1721
A specific Pirate Code of Conduct was agreed by Bartholomew Roberts' in the Shipboard Articles of 1721.
Bartholomew Roberts, also known as "Black Bart" or "Black Barty", was one of the most successful pirates, The following Code of Conduct was agreed by Bartholomew Roberts and his Pirate Crew - an important element of the success of this particular Pirate

Pirate Code of Conduct
Bartholomew Roberts Shipboard Articles 1721

  • ARTICLE I - Every man shall have an equal vote in affairs of moment. He shall have an equal title to the fresh provisions or strong liquors at any time seized, and shall use them at pleasure unless a scarcity may make it necessary for the common good that a retrenchment may be voted.

  • ARTICLE II - Every man shall be called fairly in turn by the list on board of prizes,
    because over and above their proper share, they are allowed a shift of clothes. But if they defraud the company to the value of even one dollar in plate, jewels or money, they shall be marooned. If any man rob another he shall have his nose and ears slit, and be put ashore where he shall be sure to encounter hardships.

  • ARTICLE III - None shall game for money either with dice or cards.

  • ARTICLE IV - The lights and candles should be put out at eight at night, and if any of the crew desire to drink after that hour they shall sit upon the open deck without lights.

  • ARTICLE V - Each man shall keep his piece, cutlass and pistols at all times clean and ready for action.

  • ARTICLE VI - No boy or woman to be allowed amongst them. If any man shall be found seducing any of the latter sex and carrying her to sea in disguise he shall suffer death.

  • ARTICLE VII - He that shall desert the ship or his quarters in time of battle shall be punished by death or marooning.

  • ARTICLE VIII - None shall strike another on board the ship, but every man's quarrel shall be ended on shore by sword or pistol in this manner. At the word of command from the quartermaster, each man being previously placed back to back, shall turn and fire immediately. If any man do not, the quartermaster shall knock the piece out of his hand. If both miss their aim they shall take to their cutlasses, and he that draweth first blood shall be declared the victor.

  • ARTICLE IX - No man shall talk of breaking up their way of living till each has a share of l,000. Every man who shall become a cripple or lose a limb in the service shall have 800 pieces of eight from the common stock and for lesser hurts proportionately.

  • ARTICLE X - The captain and the quartermaster shall each receive two shares of a prize, the master gunner and boatswain, one and one half shares, all other officers one and one quarter, and private gentlemen of fortune one share each.

  • ARTICLE XI - The musicians shall have rest on the Sabbath Day only by right. On all other days by favour only.

  •  

Here is Lowther's Code, as set down by Captain Johnson:

  • The Captain is to have two full Shares; the Master is to have one share and a half; the Doctor, Mate, Gunner & Boatswain, one Share and a quarter.
  • He that shall be found Guilty of taking up any unlawful Weapon on Board the Privateer, or any Prize, by us taken, so as to strike or abuse one another, in any regard, shall suffer what Punishment the Captain and Majority of the Company shall think fit.
  • He that shall be found Guilty of Cowardice, in the Time of Engagement, shall suffer what punishment the Captain and Majority shall think fit.
  • If any Gold, Jewels, Silver, &c. be found on Board of any Prizes, to the value of a Piece of Eight ; & the Finder do not deliver it to the Quarter-Master, in the Space of 24 Hours, shall suffer what Punishment the Captain and Majority shall think fit.
  • He that is found Guilty of Gaming, or Defrauding another to the Value of a Shilling, shall suffer what Punishment the Captain and Majority of the Company shall think fit.
  • He that shall have the Misfortune to lose a Limb, in time of Engagement, shall have the sum of one hundred and fifty Pounds Sterling, and remain with the Company as long as he shall think fit.
  • Good Quarters will be given when called for.
  • He that sees a Sail first, shall have the best Pistol, or Small-Arm, on Board her.

The Rules of a Pirate's Code

Pirate codes often contained similar rules, no matter which captain and crew developed them.

  • Fighting between crew members could be punished by death or marooning both men.
  • Pirates who brought women disguised as men aboard ship were threatened with death.
  • Sexual assault was punished with death.
  • Drinking during watch was punished by death.
  • Gambling for money was forbidden.
  • Musicians had to play every day, with rest only on Sundays 

The following is a charter drawn up by the crew of a pirate captain named Bartholemew Roberts:

  1. Every man shall have an equal vote in affairs of moment. He shall have an equal title to the fresh provisions or strong liquors at any time seized, and shall use them at pleasure unless a scarcity makes it necessary for the common good that a retrenchment may be voted.
  2. Every man shall be called fairly in turn by the list on board of prizes, because over and above their proper share, they are allowed a shift of clothes. but if they defraud the company to the value of even one dollar in plate, jewels or money, they shall be marooned. If any man rob another he shall have his nose and ears slit, and be put ashore where he shall be sure to encounter hardships.
  3. None shall game for money, either with dice or cards.
  4. The lights and candles shall be put out at eight at night, and if any of the crew desire to drink after that hour they shall sit upon the open deck without lights.
  5. Each man shall keep his piece, cutlass and pistols at all times clean and ready for action.
  6. No boy or woman to be allowed amongst them. If any man shall be found seducing one of the latter sex and carrying her to sea in disguise, he shall suffer death.
  7. He that shall desert the ship or his quarters in time of battle shall be punished by death or marooning.
  8. None shall strike another aboard the ship, but every man’s quarrel shall be ended on shore by sword or pistol in this manner: at the word of command from the Quartermaster, each man being previously placed back to back, shall turn and fire immediately. If any man do not, the Quartermaster shall knock the piece out of his hand. If both miss their aim, they shall take to their cutlasses, and he that draws first blood shall be declared the victor.
  9. No man shall talk of breaking up their way of living till each has a share of £1,000. Every man who shall become a cripple or lose a limb in the service shall have eight hundred pieces of eight from the common stock, and for lesser hurts proportionately.
  10. The Captain and the Quartermaster shall each receive two shares of a prize, the Master Gunner and Boatswain, one and one quarter, and private gentlemen of fortune one share each.
  11. The musicians shall have rest on the Sabbath Day only, by right, on all other days, by favor only.
 

Pirate’s Code Of Conduct.

No fighting on board ship.

No gambling with cards and dice on board ship.

No women on board ship.

All weapons and pirates to be ready for battle at all time.

Every pirate gets equal amounts of food and drink.

Every pirate gets equal amounts of all loot captured, except for the Captain and the Quartermaster who get twice as much, or any pirate who loses an arm or leg in a fight, he gets an extra half.

Every pirate gets to vote on where the ship goes and what the crew does.

Every pirate does what the Captain or Quartermaster says.

Aha, this be the Code of Conduct for The Pirate Ship, it maybe different on another ship, me Hearty.

 

 

Comments