Pirates in Period - Was [Ansteorra] Apology from Nasir al-Fayyid

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Thu Sep 8 22:02:16 PDT 2005

On Sep 8, 2005, at 10:57 PM, Eadric Anstapa wrote:
> Stefan li Rous wrote:
>> And the English and the  Spanish had rather different opinions of  
>> Sir Francis Drake. To one, a  hero. To the other, an evil pirate.
> I think the difference, and the reason some people have problems  
> with "pirates", and no problem with Sir Francis Drake,  is that Sir  
> Francis Drake didn't go around proclaiming himself as a "pirate".   
> He certainly had a rapacious appetite for treasure, particularly   
> Spanish treasure, but he would have described himself as a  
> Navigator, a Sea Captain, a hero in the fight against the Armada,  
> and at times as a Privateer of the Queen of England.
> Never would you call yourself a pirate in front of law abiding  
> citizenry for piracy was a criminal act, but privateering was not  
> only legal, it was commissioned by the government.  The actions  
> they carried out may have been virtually the same but the  
> consequences faced by a pirate in court (courts of law or courts of  
> nobles) were very different than those of a privateer.
> Even Gráinne O'Malley who was no doubt one of the greatest pirates  
> (individuals) of the late SCA period (male or female) and never had  
> the legitimacy of being a privateer was described by Lord Deputy  
> Sir Henry Sidney, when she appeared before him in 1576 in Galway,   
> as a 'most famous feminine sea captain' and 'a notorious woman in  
> all the coasts of Ireland'.  A rose by any other name does not  
> smell half as sweet.
> Having confessed pirates around would be considered unseemly, but  
> having notorious sea captains and privateers around might be  
> considered somewhat daring.
> -EA

Had the Spanish caught Drake, I doubt they'd have worried over the  
difference between "privateer" and "pirate".

But you make a good point about folks in the SCA declaring themselves  
"Pirates". They should find another title to describe themselves  
with. There are ways to indicate your true profession, if you wish  
to, without being blatant about it. I'm just an opportunistic trader.  
I'm an "honest" merchant. Or better, find out what the pirates of  
your era and culture actually called themselves or what others called  
them. "His Majesty King Philip of Spain calls us pirates, but truly  
we are but explorers of that sea they call the Pacific".

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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