Caribbean Pirates Trivia Quiz
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The rise of piracy
Caribbean sea piracy had its heyday in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Which of the following contributed most to its rise?
B) Lack of other employment for sailors
C) Leniency towards pirates in often-corrupt courts
D) The failure by merchant fleets to arm their ships adequately
Skull and crossbones
The “skull and crossbones” flag was often used by pirates in real life, and nearly always used by pirates in fiction. What was the flag’s special nickname?
Letter of marque
What was a “letter of marque”?
B) A formal threat of violence unless monies are paid
C) A license to attack another country’s ships at will
D) A promise of safe passage through pirate waters
Davy Jones’ locker
Where was Davy Jones’ locker?
B) In a notorious Spanish prison
C) Inside a person’s own heart
D) Wherever the ship’s treasure was buried
Henry Morgan (1635-1688)
One of the most famous Caribbean buccaneers was Henry Morgan. After years of swashbuckling on both sides of the law, what was his occupation in middle age?
B) Military adviser to merchant shippers
C) Popular public lecturer
D) Rum merchant
Blackbeard (Edward Teach) was a giant of a man with a mane of black hair and — his trademark — a luxuriant black beard. What did Blackbeard do as a special ploy to make himself more fearsome in battle?
B) Roared a pirate battle song he had composed himself
C) Spat tobacco juice into his opponent’s face and eyes
D) Used two cutlasses simultaneously, one in each hand
Two of the most famous female pirates were Anne Bonny and Mary Read. Both sailed with “Calico Jack” Rackham. When they were condemned with Rackham in Jamaica in 1720, how did the two women escape hanging?
B) Both were pregnant at the time of their capture
C) Some of Rackham’s shipmates helped them break out of prison
D) The law allowing execution of women was ruled unconstitutional
In the film The Princess Bride, there is much discussion of “the dread pirate Roberts”. Such a pirate existed in real life. What was his first name?
Woodes Rogers (1679-1732)
Starting in 1708, a former merchant named Woodes Rogers made a fortune harrying Spanish shipping under a “letter of marque”. He then switched to a different line of work. What was it?
B) Establishing new diplomatic ties with Spain
C) Improving the quality of navigation charts
D) Reducing Caribbean piracy
Like many pirates in fiction, Long John Silver in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island keeps a parrot. What is the parrot’s name?
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