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Why did Pirates wear earrings?

The tradition of wearing earrings goes back to days when earrings weren’t thought of as jewelry but were worn as amulets to protect you from evil spirits. This carried over to pirates who believed that earrings could help them to see better and could actually improve their eyesight.


 

 

Pirate Code of Honor
author unknown


  ARTICLE 1:  Every man shall obey civil command; the captain shall have one full share and a half in all prizes. the Master, Carpenter, Boatswain, and Gunner shall have one share and quarter.


ARTICLE 2:   If any man shall offer to run away, or keep any secret from the Company, he shall be marooned with one bottle of powder, one bottle of Water, one small Arm, and shot.


ARTICLE 3:  If any Man shall steal any Thing in the Company, or game, to the value of a piece of Eight, he shall be Marooned or shot.


ARTICLE 4:  If at any Time we should meet at another Marooner (that is, Pirate) that man shall sign his Articles without Consent of our Company, shall suffer such Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit.


ARTICLE 5:   That a man that shall strike another, whilst these Articles are in force, shall receive Moses Law (that is 40 Stripes lacking one) on the bare Back.


ARTICLE 6:   That Man that shall snap his Arms, or smoke Tobacco in the Hold, without cap to his Pipe, or carry a candle lighted without lanthorn, shall suffer the same Punishment as in the former Article.


ARTICLE 7:   That Man that shall not keep his Arms clean, fit for an Engagement, or neglect his Business, shall be cut off from his Share, and suffer such other Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit


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ARTICLE 8:   If any man shall lose a joint in time of Engagement, shall have 400 Pieces of Eight: if a limb, 800.


ARTICLE 9:   If at any time you meet with a prudent Woman, that Man that offers to meddle with her, without her Consent, shall suffer Death.

 

 

Popular Punishments
author unknown


MAN OVERBOARD:  This form of punishment is fairly self-explanatory. The accused is simply tossed off of the moving ship and left for dead. A common variation to this theme is for the accused to be towed by a rope behind the ship until he dies from hypothermia and exhaustion.

MAROONING:  This punishment usually consisted of leaving the accused stranded on a small, deserted island or a tiny raft to die. Many times the accused was left with a small pistol in order to kill himself before he was eaten by sharks or perished from sunstroke or starvation. (Suicide was considered a more honorable death to the pirates.) Marooning was the popular choice of punishment for deserters.

CAT O' NINE TAILS:  This flogging technique is frequently referred to as Moses's Law (40 stripes lacking one). The name comes from the number of lashes that Jesus receives from Herod in the Bible. The quartermaster is the only individual who administered floggings with the cat o' nine tails, and it was frequently used as punishment for striking other crewmembers, or other less heinous crimes. This was one of the few punishments that did not lead to death, though it was quite barbaric. The cat o' nine tails was usually an unwound rope whip of nine strands, the ends of which varied. Sometimes the ends were tarred knots, and sometimes fish hooks or musket balls were placed on the end to inflict more pain on the accused. After the beating, the raw skin was sometimes covered with salt and vinegar for further punishment.

DUNKING:  This punishment entailed being endlessly dunked in the ocean and alternately suspended above the ocean for hours. It wasn't as popular as the other punishments.

 

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