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Thomas Anstis - The Pirate

Claudia Miclaus May 13, 2019
The life of a pirate was anything but romantic. It was full of danger and disease, mutiny and murder, and the life of Captain Thomas Anstis is a classic example of just that.
During the period known as the Golden Age of Piracy, we run into a certain pirate by the name of Thomas Anstis. But before we talk about him, look at some facts about the pirate life. It was not romantic and filled with wonderful adventure, good food, good clothes and gold.
The life of a pirate was one where you had terrible food, there was rarely any gold because everything was used for buying rum. It was a life full of diseases and a pirate could not put his foot in a decent town for fear of being hanged.
The way that a pirate's life usually ended was violent. They were either hanged, shot, stabbed or drowned in their own drunkenness, except for the few that managed to get a pardon.
Thomas Anstis  lived in the 18th century and had the honor of serving under Captain Bart Roberts before going out on his own, and setting out on the course that would eventually lead to his death.
Because many pirates are forced into piracy, it would have been kind of hard to set out on his own, because the Captain at the time would not have let him. Hence Anstis conspired with other crew members to commit mutiny, so that they could go and be pirates the way that they wanted. Howell Davis was elected captain but he soon died.
That was when Bart Roberts was elected captain, and as his reputation suggests, he was extremely successful in his career, eventually building up a fleet of ships all under his command. That was when Anstis finally got to be a Captain for the first time. He was put in charge of a ship named Good Fortune .
Again Anstis was faced with the problem of getting out on his own and doing what he wanted. So one night, while the attention of the fleet was focused elsewhere, Anstis and his crew made a great escape and set out on their own.
They operated primarily in the Caribbean, where they raped the female passengers of the ships and tortured the rest. Some pirates (very few) actually had the reputation of being nice to their prisoners. When it came to the treatment of prisoners, Anstis had one of the worst reputations.
Eventually, near Bermuda, Anstis attacked a big treasure ship that was sailing for the Carolinas. After a long battle, they managed to take over the ship and outfit it with 32 guns. The HMS Morning Star was then handed over to John Fenn as Anstis thought his beloved Good Fortune was superior to the Morning Star.
Anstis' career as a pirate began to go downhill after that. His crew was not satisfied with him, and after continuous fighting amongst themselves, they decided to petition the King for a pardon.
Their claim was that they had been forced into piracy by Roberts and then Anstis. They holed up in an island in Cuba and began the long wait for the response, they waited for nine months with nothing more to eat than sea turtles, rice, and rum.
They were greatly disappointed in the reply that they got. Their plea for leniency had completely been ignored by the government, and so with nothing more to look forward to, they turned to the only thing that they knew - piracy.
Their luck soon changed though, and the Morning Star soon ran aground on the reefs. While the survivors were being rescued by the other ship, two Royal Navy vessels came upon the scene.
After barely escaping the Royal Navy, Anstis continued piracy, and started to capture several ships. He took their crew and managed to replace the ones that had been lost.
While one of the new ships was being repaired, another ship from the Royal Navy came upon the scene and again Anstis was forced to flee. He did not get far however. His crew shot him in his sleep and took prisoner all the sailors who were loyal to Anstis.