Ahoy, mates ~

When a crew joined up with a pirate vessel each man signed or made his mark on the Ship's Articles. What were these? Very simply they were a code of conduct and rule of law which clearly stated both profits and punishments that could be expected on board. Here are three examples of such articles, from the records of Bartholomew Roberts, John Phillips and a lesser-known captain named Thomas Tew.

Upon reading them one becomes aware that these men lived hard lives, and that the articles were not to be signed lightly. Punishments were apt to be quick and severe. However, in the tiny world of a ship far at sea order must be maintained, for there was little room for discord or lawlessness among crewmates. Enjoy your read, and good luck with period spelling. :-)



Bartholomew Roberts' Articles