Pirates brought wealth to the town of Southampton.


Pirates brought wealth to the town of Southampton.

The Mariner


The Mariner's Mirror.

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Pirates, Privateers & a Wedge of Gold

The mayors and burgesses of Southampton supplemented their incomes throughout the sixteenth century through privateering [Licensed attacks on enemy shipping] and by confiscating the goods of pirates [who attacked everyone's ships]. However this brought them into conflict with the Lord Admiral of England himself, Howard of Effingham, who thought the goods of pirates belonged to him. The dispute saw two mayors thrown into jail and a court case that raged as the Spanish Armada sailed up the English coast. It also saw the great Elizabethan seadogs such as Drake, Raleigh and Frobisher walking the streets of Southampton and bringing in their prize ships to the port. It led men of the town to sail across the Atlantic to the New World in search of gold and precious stones and began the romance of the pirates who might 'sing, swear, drab and kill men as freely as your cakemakers do flies'.