Local Pirate Captured In The Area!

bonnetThe pirate known as Stede Bonnet was captured at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, right by the town of Southport, NC (20 minutes from The Winds). He was taken to Charleston, SC and hung along with his crew!faceThe following is an excerpt from “Infamous Pirates” the book written by Miller Pope, Illustrator, historian and author (and founder of The Winds Resort Beach Club on Ocean Isle Beach, NC).

This, the second in a series of historically accurate and lushly illustrated pirate books, relates the incredible lives of some of history’s most infamous pirates.

Each pirate ’s story features a unique illustration of the pirate. Visit MillerPope.com to see more and purchase his books!

Stede Bonnet, “The gentleman pirate”
Stede Bonnet was the most unlikely pirate of them all. He had been an army major before becoming a wealthy sugar plantation owner and he was among the best society on the island of Barbados. For some reason he left all this and bought a ship, hired a crew and embarked on a career of piracy.

piratesIn pirate circles it was unheard of to buy a ship instead of just stealing one. He recruited about seventy destitute seamen from the taverns and grogshops of Barbados.

Bonnet was a landlubber with virtually no knowledge of the sea. He explained that he had purchased his ship for pursuing inter-island trade and for several days his ship remained at anchor. But one night, he raised sail without a word to his friends or his wife and slipped out to sea, bound for the Virginia Capes. There he captured a few vessels.

The first of these were only plundered, but the last ship named the Turbes was burned. From then on every Barbadian ship taken by him was burned, as if he wanted leave his mark.

Bonnet captured more prizes off the New England Coast and returned to the south. Meanwhile however, the crew, were slowly becoming hostile because of Bonnet’s inexperience. During this time of increasing hostilities Bonnet anchored his ship, the Revenge, in the Bay of Honduras. There he encountered the Queen Anne’s Revenge under the command of Edward Teach, nicknamed “Blackbeard”. The two pirates quickly became friends and this odd duo, consisting of a veteran and an amateur, decided to join forces.

This was a big mistake for Bonnet because when Teach became aware of Bonnet’s inexperience, he invited Bonnet aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge, where Bonnet became almost a prisoner.

Teach tried to convince Bonnet that he would be more comfortable in the spacious quarters of the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Teach told him that a man of his education and mannerisms, should not undergo the rigors of commanding a ship like the Revenge. Soon one of Blackbeard’s lieutenants assumed command of the Revenge. Bonnet could do little about the matter. The Revenge’s new master gained the crew’s confidence quickly stifled any threat of mutiny by imposing stern discipline.

Bonnet eventually convinced Blackbeard to allow him to assume command of the Revenge again. The two parted company soon after that.

Bonnet sailed his ship to the town of Bath and turned himself in to the Governor of North Carolina, Charles Eden, as a reformed pirate. Despite this act however Bonnet still had a yen for Piracy and resumed scouring the sea for prey until his capture at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, near a quaint little town called Southport.

A narrow road that parallels the river heading north from the town center crosses a small creek after a short distance.

Beside the creek, almost unnoticed, rests a small marker with a metal plaque bearing the following inscription:

“BONNET’S CREEK . . . Stede Bonnet, the ‘Gentleman Pirate’ used the mouth of this creek as a hide-out for his vessel, the Royal James formerly called Revenge. Here on September 26, 1718, the great Battle of the Sand Bars was fought between the pirates and the men sent to capture them under the command of Col. William Rhett aboard the Henry and Sea Nymph. After a twenty-four hour battle there were nineteen men killed, twenty-three wounded, and Bonnet, with the remains of his pirate crew, surrendered. On November 8,1718, twenty-nine pirates were hanged in Charleston, S.C.’”

A few weeks later, Gentleman Stede Bonnet holding a cluster of flowers in his manacled hands, met the same fate as his crewmembers on the gallows.

infamousIf you enjoyed this excerpt click here to read more about Miller Pope and his other books. You can purchase his books right at the website: MillerPope.com

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