Monday, August 28, 2017

World Events During Piracy's Golden Age

Part I

The dates of the Golden Age of Piracy have never been exact. Some people calculate that this period began sometime in the mid 1600’s, and it has been said to last as long as 1760. For my own use, I list the Golden Age of Piracy as beginning 1690, the start of Henry Avery’s adventures, and ending with the death of William Fly in 1725.

That makes 35 years of piracy. Pirates were very busy during these years. But the rest of the world was busy, too. Let’s take a look at what was going on outside the Caribbean. (For purposes of this article, I have chosen not to inclued most military events.)

January – The clarinet is invented in Nuremberg Germany

July – A French landing party raids and burns Teignmouth in Devon, England. Despite this success, plans for a full invasion are scrapped, and Teignmouth is the last-ever French attack on England.

August – The East India Company establishes a trading post in what is now Calcutta, India.

December – The planet Uranus is first sighted and recorded, by John Flamsteed

Leisler's Rebellion – German American militia leader Jacob Leister seized control of the southern part of the English colony of New York. Late in the year, England sent a new governor with troops, to the colony. They re-captured the colony, and Leister was convicted of treason and hanged.

The Spanish Inquisition condemned and forcibly baptized 219 xuetas (forcibly converted ethnic Jews) in Palma, Majorca. When 37 tried to escape the island, they were burned alive at the stake.

The Salem Witch Trials

June 7 – The Jamaica earthquake. An earthquake and related tsunami destroyed Port Royal, capital of Jamaica, and submerge a major part of it; an estimated 2,000 people were immediately killed, 2,300 injured, and a probable additional 2,000 died from the diseases which ravage the island in the following months. The capital of Jamaica was then moved to Kingston.

Slaves staged an uprising on the island of Barbados. The revolt was crushed by the authorities.

College of William and Mary in the colony of Virginia was given a Royal Charter from King William III and Queen Mary II of England.

Queen Mary II of England died of smallpox at the age of 32, leaving her husband King William III to rule alone and without an heir. Mary's sister Princess Anne was summoned back to court (having been banished after a violent disagreement with the queen), as his official heiress.

Queen Mary
The voyage of English slave ship Hannibal (part of the Atlantic slave trade out of Benin) ended with the death of nearly half of the 692 slaves aboard.

English pirate Henry Every perpetrates one of the most profitable raids in history, with the capture of the Grand Mughal ship Ganj-i-Sawai. In response, Emperor Aurangzeb threatens to put an end to all English trading in India.

Gold discovered in Brazil

Facing competition with fabrics from India, English manufacturers called for an embargo on Indian cloth, and silk weavers picketed the House of Commons of England.

The Inquisition burns a number of Marrano Jews in Évora, Portugal.

The end of the last independent indigenous nation in the Americas as Nojpetén, capital of the Itza Maya Kingdom falls to the Spanish.

The Royal African Company loses its monopoly on the slave trade

First offshore lighthouse illuminated in England

First English patent on a steam engine.

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville founded the first European settlement in the Mississippi River Valley, at Fort Maurepas (now Ocean Springs, Mississippi).

Pirate Captain William Kidd was arrested and imprisoned in Boston, Massachusetts.

William Dampier's expedition to Australia, in HMS Roebuck, reached Dirk Hartog Island, at the mouth of what he calls Shark Bay in Western Australia, and he began to produce the first detailed record of Australian flora and fauna

William Dampier
William Penn (Member of the Quaker faith and founder of Pennsylvania) begins monthly meetings for blacks, advocating emancipation.

Beginning of the War of Spanish Succession (also called Queen Anne’s War.) Sometimes called the first worldwide war, naval engagements will be a training ground for thousands of young men who will eventually become pirates.

In Japan, the young daimyōs Asano Naganori is ordered to commit seppuku (ritual suicide). A group of samurai of his service begin planning to avenge his death – creating the legend of the 47 Ronin.

Death of deposed King James II of England (James VII of Scotland) during exile in France. His supporters, the Jacobites, turn to his son James Francis Edward Stuart, whom they recognize as James VIII and III. Louis XIV of France, the Papal States and Spain also recognize him as the “rightful heir.”

Yale University chartered in Connecticut.

King William of England dies, and is succeeded by Queen Anne.

Queen Anne

 Icelandic census – the first complete census of any country.

Revenge of the 47 Ronin.

The Man in the Iron Mask dies in the Bastille. – Yes, this was a real thing: The man was arrested in about 1670, and his name and face remain unknown.

English colonists from the Province of Carolina and their native allies staged a series of brutal raids against a largely pacific population of Apalachee natives in Spanish Florida.

First Mardi Gras held in the capital of Louisiana (Mobile, not yet New Orleans.)

First publication of the Boston News Letter – first newspaper in the Americas.

Thomas Darley purchases the bay Arabian horse Darley Arabian in Syria, and ships him to stand at stud in England. The Darley will become the most important foundation sire of all modern thoroughbred racing bloodstock.

To be continued...


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