The Golden Age of Piracy

It was Queen Anne’s war that led to the golden age of piracy.   At the end of the war there was still hostility between the British and Spanish in the Caribbean and they continued to attack each others vessels. The Spanish navy preyed on British merchants coming in and out of Jamaica, and in response many recently unemployed British sailors and ex-privateers turned pirate.


During the war the British capital of the Bahamas, Nassau, was destroyed by the Spanish, so after the war it became an ideal refuge and was taken over by Benjamin Hornigold as a pirate base.

Harbour Island

John Cockram, another pirate and friend of Benjamin Hornigold, set up fencing operation on nearby Harbour Island to enable pirates to find legitimate markets for their booty.


In Jamaica, Governor Archibald Hamilton recruited sailors who were no longer employed by the British navy and created his own privateer navy to continue attacking Spanish merchant vessels.