The pirate Benjamin Hornigold once raided a merchant ship just to steal the hats from the ship’s crew because his crew had gotten too drunk the night before and had thrown their hats overboard.

The hat-hungry Hornigold

In 1717, Hornigold hunted down a merchant ship off the coast of Honduras.

When they boarded the ship, Hornigold explained that he and his crew had gotten wasted the night before and thrown their hats into the sea.

Hornigold organized small raids, using sailing canoes and a small ship to attack larger vessels.

Hornigold barely escaped in a small ship with his most loyal crewmen.


Source: https://www.history101.com/pirate-benjamin-hornigold-raided-ship/

Infamous pirate Benjamin Hornigold once raided a ship just for their hats

Benjamin Hornigold was a prolific pirate. The golden age of pirating was wrapping up around 1730, and Hornigold was there to finish it with a bang. Talk about a heck of a name by the way. Like all pirates, he was randy for gold. When he wasn’t looting booty, he was snatching hats off the heads of helpless sailors.

The hat-hungry Hornigold

In 1717, Hornigold hunted down a merchant ship off the coast of Honduras. When they boarded the ship, Hornigold explained that he and his crew had gotten wasted the night before and thrown their hats into the sea.

They needed new ones and intended to get them the only way they knew how: raiding. The merchants begged desperately for their lives. To their surprise, they got what they wanted. Hornigold let the bare-headed merchants continue on their journey.

Before the hat thievery

Hornigold started his pirating career with more profit-oriented goals. He began by looting merchant vessels off the coast of New Providence, the most densely populated island in the Bahamas. Hornigold organized small raids, using sailing canoes and a small ship to attack larger vessels.

He built a reputation quickly. By 1717, he was at the head of a 30-gun ship named “Ranger.” At the time, it was the most heavily armed ship in the Bahamas. His crew of 350 hardened men terrorized and pillaged every non-British merchant ship they could get their hands on.

Ruthless but loyal

Hornigold claimed to be a defender of British economic policies. He never attacked British ships. In November of 1717, Hornigold’s crew decided they couldn’t care less about Britain. They overthrew him and began pillaging ships under any flag.

Hornigold barely escaped in a small ship with his most loyal crewmen. For his loyalty to the crown, Hornigold was pardoned by King George and the governor of Jamaica. Hornigold was recruited as a pirate hunter and spent the last 18 months of his sailing career chasing his former allies. His ship wrecked in a storm. Hornigold was never seen again.
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