26 Nov Pirates Laws
Nine complete or nearly complete sets of articles on pirates have survived, mainly from Charles Johnson`s A General History of the Pyrates, first published in 1724, and records preserved by the trials of the Admiralty courts during the pirate trials.  A subcode of Henry Morgan is preserved in Alexander Exquemelin`s 1678 book The Buccaneers of America. It is known that many other pirates had objects; Late 17th century articles by George Cusack and Nicholas Clough have also been preserved intact. One of the reasons why few pirate items have survived is that pirates who were about to be captured or surrendered often burned or threw their items overboard to prevent the papers from being used against them in court. Did you know that pirates had rules and rules of conduct expected of all crew members? These “handshake agreements” regulated everything from employment issues to work behaviour and compensation, and even rules regarding the proportion of property seized. Read below to learn more about pirate rules and codes of conduct: The Pirate Code of Conduct consisted of a series of agreements between the pirate captain and crew, called articles. The Pirate Code of Conduct was necessary because pirates were not governed by other rules such as naval regulations. Pirate captains have been elected and could lose their positions due to abuse of power. The captain enjoyed few privileges: even the Scallywags had their standards. Among the most successful pirates in history is Bartholomew “Black Bart” Roberts (1682-1722), a Welsh marauder who worked with one of his many crews in 1722 to draft the following statutes.
Some may seem remarkably progressive to modern readers, while others certainly won`t. If you had been on board Roberts` ship (the Royal Fortune), would you still agree with them? In addition to the new volunteer recruits that pirate crews gathered in ports (and after boarding the navy), recalcitrant members were sometimes forced into piracy. This happened mainly to experienced craftsmen such as sailors and craftsmen who did not want to free pirate crews. The big point of contention with the new recruits was the signing of the Pirate Code article. As the authorities had no mercy for the pirates, whose names they identified in the pirate code article, some pirate members asked to be “forced to sign” in order to protest their innocence, while others simply refused to sign their names and chose to leave an identifying mark (such as the sign of the cross). Men captured on pirate ships had a much better chance of surviving trials if the authorities caught them. The Code was established in the classical era of piracy by Morgan and Bartholomew at the second session of the Brethren Tribunal.   It was recorded in a ledger, the Codex Pirata, which was preserved at Shipwreck Cove and protected by the codekeeper.  One of the prerequisites for becoming a pirate king was that the applicant had to swear by the code.  According to the Second Court, the Pirate Code was used as a code of conduct among pirates.  What happens if you break the rules? You would be blocked or killed! These pirates didn`t play! Hopefully, they will count backwards first from five, and only then will they resort to such severe punishments.
I. The fund of all payments under the articles is the stock of what is received from the shipment according to the same law as other pirates, i.e.: no loot, no reward. Of so many pirate codes used on the seas during the golden age of piracy, only four surviving sets remain today. This small number of surviving items dates back to the custom of burning or throwing pirate code pages overboard when pirates felt threatened by authorities (usually near a ship`s surrender). Since the beginning of the sailing era, ship`s crew members and officers on merchant ships have begun to devise various forms of “handshake” agreements that settle various things regarding employment matters such as conditions of conduct, job descriptions, payments, and share of wealth after particularly successful commercial voyages or discoveries during sea voyages. As the pirate era stretched from the Mediterranean, the North and Baltic Seas and the China Sea to an organized profession in which dozens of ships and hundreds and hundreds of people began to seek wealth and fame as pirates, pirate crews began to develop their forms of behavior that were to be followed. Pirate codes and rules were romanticized in the following decades and centuries after the heyday of the golden age of pirates, but in their original form, they represented the crucial document that kept many pirate crews organized and operational. So if you ever think that piracy would put you above the law, remember that even hackers followed certain rules and the consequences of disobedience could be even more serious than breaking government laws! After the start of a pirate voyage, new recruits from captured ships sometimes signed the articles, in some cases voluntarily, in others under threat of torture or death. Valuable seafarers such as carpenters and seafarers were particularly likely to sign articles under duress and were rarely released, whether they wanted to or not. In some cases, even volunteer recruits asked the pirates to pretend to force them to sign so they could claim they would be forced if captured by the law.
 In general, men who did not sign the statutes were much more likely to be acquitted by the court if they were covered by the law. Despite their reputation for lawless violators, pirates have always had a code of conduct aboard their ships. “But who would be crazy enough to impose strict rules on a bunch of offenders?!” I hear you crying. Find out below: Each crew member was asked to sign or mark the items and then take an oath of allegiance or honor. The oath was sometimes taken on a Bible, but John Phillips` men, who did not have a Bible, swore with an axe.  Legend has it that other pirates swore by crossed pistols, swords, a human skull or a cannon. This law officially introduced the signatory to pirate occupation and generally gave him the right to vote for officers and other “affairs of the moment”, to bear arms and to have his share of the plunder.