[Ansteorra] RE: Pirates, Privateers, etc...

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Tue Sep 13 09:58:42 PDT 2005

Generally being a pirate/raider wasn't a full time profession. The  
Norse for instance, were often traders. However, like many traders,  
they weren't above turning to piracy and raiding when that benefit to  
risk ratio was better for that than trading.

It really isn't until rather late in period that you start to see  
standing navies and purpose built warships. Much of the earlier naval  
fleets would have been converted merchantmen commandeered for the war  
effort. When cannons started to be used on shipboard, merchantmen  
often carried a few cannon for self-protection. These same cannon can  
be used for offensive as well as defensive purposes.

So when the "pirates" weren't being pirates, they were traders,  
fisherman, sailors, adventurers etc. Sort of like state legislators. :-)

Of course, as with much of what we study, the time period and  
geographical area is so large that exceptions to absolutes are often  
easy to find.


On Sep 13, 2005, at 11:16 AM, Robin Lindsey wrote:

> This small thought occurred to me while reading the posts:  What did
> Privateers do when they didn't have Letters of Marque?  There had  
> to be
> times when business was slow, and with piracy being a hanging offense,
> well, what did they do?
> I'm throwing this out there becasue if you're not a Privateer since  
> you
> have no letter, and Pirate is inaccurate (and apparently  
> distasteful), then
> what?
> Lady Moira Lindsay
> Wife of a small landowner

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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