The Info List - Pirate Round

--- Advertisement ---

The Pirate Round was a sailing route followed by certain mainly English pirates, during the late 17th century and early 18th century. The course led from the western Atlantic, parallel to the Cape Route around the southern tip of Africa, stopping at Madagascar, then on to targets such as the coast of Yemen
and India. The Pirate Round was briefly used again during the early 1720s. Pirates who followed the route are sometimes referred to as Roundsmen. The Pirate Round was largely co-extensive with the routes of the East India
Company ships, of Britain and other nations.


1 Geography 2 History of the Pirate Round

2.1 Initial burst of piracy 2.2 Interval of decline 2.3 Brief renaissance

3 See also 4 Footnotes 5 References

Geography[edit] The Pirate Round started from a variety of Atlantic ports, including Bermuda, Nassau, New York City, and La Coruña, depending on where the pirate crew initially assembled. The course then lay roughly south by southeast along the coast of Africa, frequently by way of the Madeira Islands. The pirates would then double the Cape of Good Hope, and sail through the Mozambique Channel to northern Madagascar. Pirates would frequently careen and refit their ships on Madagascar
and take on fresh provisions before proceeding onward toward their targets further north. Particularly important pirate bases on Madagascar
included the island of St. Mary's (often called by its French name, Île Sainte-Marie) and Ranter Bay, both on the northeastern side of the island. Pirates also utilized the nearby Comoros
islands in preparation for the final leg of their cruise. From Madagascar
or the Comoros, a number of profitable destinations were available to pirates. Most important were Perim
(a.k.a. Bab's Key) or Mocha at the mouth of the Red Sea. This was the ideal position for intercepting and robbing Mughal shipping, especially the lucrative traffic between Surat
and Mecca, carrying Muslim voyagers on the Hajj pilgrimage. Other pirates struck toward the Malabar and Coromandel coasts to rob Mughal merchants or richly laden East Indiamen. Pirates also might find East Indiamen
East Indiamen
at Réunion Island. If the cruise were successful, pirates might then return to the Atlantic by a similar route. Usually there would be a stop again at Madagascar
to reprovision, careen, and in some cases await the turning of the monsoon wind. History of the Pirate Round[edit] The Pirate Round was most active from about 1693 to 1700 and then again from about 1719 to 1721. It is described as follows by David Cordingly: "Some pirates made the additional journey around the Cape of Good Hope to the Indian Ocean and attacked ships loaded with the exotic products of India. . . . which came to be known as the Pirate Round.".[1] Jenifer G. Marx writes that "Ambitious sea outlaws began to leave for the East on what became known as the Pirate Round: a route that, for some thirty years beginning in 1690, linked ports in the Caribbean and the North American colonies with Madagascar."[2] Initial burst of piracy[edit] English piracy in the Indian Ocean goes back at least to King James I, but for most of the 17th century the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
was the principal target of English pirates. The Pirate Round proper as the main route of English pirates begins in 1693 with Thomas Tew. Tew's enormously successful cruise and low casualties attracted the attention of others and led to a flood of pirates following his route. Key to the initial success of the Pirate Round was the trade route between Adam Baldridge on Île Sainte-Marie
Île Sainte-Marie
and merchant Frederick Philipse in New York City. Baldridge bought naval stores, clothing, alcohol, and other necessaries from Philipse and supplied them to pirates in Madagascar. Baldridge's flight from Madagascar
in 1697 contributed to the subsequent decline of the Pirate Round. One of the most successful Roundsmen was Henry Every, who captured a ship personally owned by the emperor Aurangzeb
of India, looting more than ₤325,000. Aurangzeb's enraged reaction against the British East India
Company, and the Company's consequent appeals to Parliament for suppression of pirates, led to the disastrous decision to fund a privateer to hunt down the pirates. The privateer chosen, Captain William Kidd, turned Roundsman himself, unsuccessfully attacking Mughal ships and their British East Indiaman
East Indiaman
escorts, and capturing the unoffending neutral merchant vessel Quedagh Merchant, which Kidd seized on the basis of its French passes. Another notable rover on the Pirate Round was Robert Culliford, a longtime associate of Kidd, to whom most of Kidd's crew eventually deserted. The pirate cruises of John Bowen, Thomas Howard, Abraham Samuel and Thomas White in 1700 ended the Pirate Round's first period of popularity. Interval of decline[edit] From 1700 to 1718, the Pirate Round went into decline. The causes included the aforementioned loss of Baldridge's base on Madagascar, increased convoying and protection of Indian and Arab shipping in cooperation with heavily armed British East Indiamen, and the War of the Spanish Succession, which from 1701 to 1713 provided English seamen with legally sanctioned, less arduous opportunities for plunder in the naval and privateer services. The end of British participation in the war in 1713 led to an explosive increase in piracy in the Caribbean, but did not yet revive the Pirate Round. However, in 1718 Woodes Rogers
Woodes Rogers
pacified Nassau, while colonial Virginia
and South Carolina
South Carolina
prosecuted aggressive anti-pirate campaigns, destroying Blackbeard, Stede Bonnet
Stede Bonnet
and Richard Worley. Caribbean and Atlantic pirates began to seek safer hunting grounds, leading to a brief resurgence in the Pirate Round. Meanwhile, James Plaintain
James Plaintain
founded a new pirate base at Ranter Bay in Madagascar. Brief renaissance[edit] Among the last pirates to frequent Madagascar
waters from 1719 to 1721 were Edward England, John Taylor, Oliver La Buse and Christopher Condent. Taylor and La Buse reaped the greatest prize in the history of the Pirate Round, the plunder of the Portuguese East Indiaman
East Indiaman
Nossa Senhora Do Cabo at Réunion in 1721, netting diamonds and other treasures worth a total of about ₤800,000. Condent was also successful, although Edward England
Edward England
was marooned on the Comoros
by Taylor and La Buse and died not long after. Despite the successes of Taylor, La Buse, and Condent, the Pirate Round quickly declined again. The last great robber captains, Edward Low, George Lowther and Bartholomew Roberts, ignored the route. Plaintain left Madagascar
in 1728. The ever-tightening grip of the British East India
Company, competition from native Indian pirates, the end of the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
and the descent of India
into civil war may have contributed to this second, and final, abandonment of the Pirate Round. See also[edit]

in Somalia, for modern piracy in the same region


^ David Cordingly, Under the Black Flag: The Romance and Reality of Life Among the Pirates, New York: Random House, 1996, p. 89 ^ David Cordingly, ed. Pirates: A Worldwide Illustrated History, North Dighton, MA: World Publications Group, 1998, chapter 7, "The Pirate Round" by Jenifer G. Marx, p. 141.


Douglas Botting. The Pirates. Time-Life Books, 1978. J. Franklin Jameson. Privateering and Piracy
in the Colonial Period: Illustrative Documents.

v t e



Ancient Mediterranean Golden Age

Republic of Pirates Libertatia

21st century

Types of pirate

Privateers Buccaneers Corsairs Sindhi corsairs Timber pirate River pirate Brethren of the Coast Barbary pirates Moro pirates Wōkòu Vikings Ushkuiniks Narentines Cilician pirates Confederate privateer Baltic Slavic pirates Uskoks Cossack pirates Sea Beggars Sea Dogs Fillibusters


Caribbean Lake Nicaragua British Virgin Islands Strait of Malacca Somali Coast Sulu Sea Falcon Lake South China Coast Anglo-Turkish piracy Port Royal Tortuga Saint-Malo Barbary Coast Lundy Lagos Salé Spanish Main Gulf of Guinea Indonesia Barataria Bay Persian Gulf

Noted pirates

Mansel Alcantra Chui A-poo Louis-Michel Aury Joseph Baker Hayreddin Barbarossa Joseph Barss Samuel Bellamy Charlotte de Berry Black Caesar Blackbeard Eli Boggs Stede Bonnet Anne Bonny Hippolyte Bouchard Abshir Boyah Roche Braziliano Henri Caesar Roberto Cofresí William Dampier Liang Daoming Diabolito Peter Easton Henry Every Alexandre Exquemelin Vincenzo Gambi Charles Gibbs Pedro Gilbert Nathaniel Gordon Laurens de Graaf Michel de Grammont Calico Jack Rahmah ibn Jabir al-Jalahimah Zheng Jing Jørgen Jørgensen Shirahama Kenki William Kidd Fūma Kotarō Jean Lafitte Limahong Samuel Hall Lord John Hawkins Bully Hayes Piet Pieterszoon Hein Moses Cohen Henriques Albert W. Hicks Nicholas van Hoorn Benjamin Hornigold Pierre Lafitte Olivier Levasseur Edward Low Hendrick Lucifer John Newland Maffitt Samuel Mason Henry Morgan Shap Ng-tsai Gan Ning François l'Olonnais Samuel Pallache Lawrence Prince Cai Qian Redbeard Bartholomew Roberts Lai Choi San Dan Seavey Ching Shih Benito de Soto Klaus Störtebeker Henry Strangways Cheung Po Tsai Dominique You Wang Zhi Zheng Zhilong


Piracy Pirates By nationality Barbary pirates Female pirates Years in piracy Fictional pirates

Pirate ships

Adventure Galley Fancy Ganj-i-Sawai Queen Anne's Revenge Quedagh Merchant Saladin Whydah Gally Marquis of Havana Ambrose Light York

Pirate hunters

Pedro Menéndez de Avilés Angelo Emo Richard Avery Hornsby Jose Campuzano-Polanco Robert Maynard Chaloner Ogle Pompey Woodes Rogers David Porter James Brooke Miguel Enríquez (privateer)

Pirate battles and incidents

Jiajing wokou raids Turkish Abductions Chepo Expedition Battle of Mandab Strait Battle of Pianosa Blockade of Charleston Battle of Cape Fear River Battle of Ocracoke Inlet Capture of the William Sack of Campeche Attack on Veracruz Raid on Cartagena Battle of Cape Lopez Capture of the Fancy Persian Gulf Campaign Battle of New Orleans Anti- Piracy
in the Aegean Anti-piracy in the West Indies Capture of the Bravo Action of 9 November 1822 Capture of the El Mosquito Battle of Doro Passage Falklands Expedition Great Lakes Patrol Pirate attacks in Borneo Balanguingui Expedition Battle of Tysami Battle of Tonkin River Battle of Nam Quan Battle of Ty-ho Bay Battle of the Leotung Antelope incident North Star affair Battle off Mukah Salvador Pirates Battle of Boca Teacapan Capture of the Ambrose Light Irene incident 1985 Lahad Datu ambush Operation Enduring Freedom – HOA Action of 18 March 2006 Action of 3 June 2007 Action of 28 October 2007 Dai Hong Dan incident Operation Atalanta Carré d'As IV incident Action of 11 November 2008 Action of 9 April 2009 Maersk Alabama hijacking Operation Ocean Shield Action of 23 March 2010 Action of 1 April 2010 Action of 30 March 2010 Action of 5 April 2010 MV Moscow University hijacking Operation Dawn of Gulf of Aden Operation Dawn 8: Gulf of Aden Beluga Nomination incident Battle off Minicoy Island Quest incident MT Zafirah hijacking MT Orkim Harmony hijacking

Slave trade

African slave trade Atlantic slave trade Arab slave trade Barbary slave trade Blockade of Africa African Slave Trade Patrol Capture of the Providentia Capture of the Presidente Capture of the El Almirante Capture of the Marinerito Capture of the Veloz Passagera Capture of the Brillante Amistad Incident Capture of the Emanuela

Fictional pirates

Tom Ayrton Barbe Rouge Hector Barbossa Captain Blood Captain Crook Captain Flint José Gaspar Captain Hook Don Karnage Monkey D. Luffy Captain Nemo One Piece Captain Pugwash Red Rackham Captain Sabertooth Sandokan Long John Silver Jack Sparrow Captain Stingaree Roronoa Zoro


Truce of Ratisbon Piracy
Act 1698 Piracy
Act 1717 Piracy
Act 1837 Paris Declaration Respecting Maritime Law Child pirate Golden Age of Piracy Jolly Roger Walking the plank Treasure
map Buried treasure Pirate booty No purchase, no pay Marooning Pirate code Pirate utopia Victual Brothers Pirate Round Libertatia Sack of Baltimore A General History of the Pyrates Mutiny Pegleg Eyepatch Letter of marque Davy Jones' Locker Air pirate Space pirate


Pirates Privateers Timeline of piracy Pirate films Women in piracy Fictional pirates Pirates in popular culture List of ships attacked by Somali pirates


Island Facing the Flag On Stranger Tides Castaways of the Flying Dutchman The Angel's Command Voyage of Slave