Port Royal: The Sunken Pirate City in Jamaica

InterestingShitPublished: July 22, 2017Updated: July 23, 2017190 plays$0.27 earned
Published: July 22, 2017Updated: July 23, 2017

The greatest pirate story in history isn't the newest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It happened almost three centuries ago in the city of Port Royal, Jamaica.

Port Royal had a world wide reputation as being “The most wicked and sinful city in the world”. Back in the 17th century, Jamaica was a British colony and part of the Caribbean trading routes. Since it was economically the most important port in all of the English colonies, the Governor of the settlement enlisted the “services” of a pirate group called “Brethren of the Coast”, which included names like Blackbeard and Captain Henry Morgan (sound familiar?). Their job was to protect the bounty which made Port Royal the richest colony of the British empire.

How did they do that? By attacking the Spanish ships, as the Spanish shipping interests were considered to be a threat to the growth of the town.

All privateers were sanctioned by the British crown with an official letter (a Pirate license), which obligated them to pay a portion of all booty to the town government. But even with this tax that they had to pay, privateers could spend up to two to three times the annual wage of a plantation worker's wage in a single night, because money was not something they were short on. Even though the city had a cathedral and several churches, about a quarter of it was bars and brothels, so you can probably guess where they spent all that gold.

What was once the second biggest city in the New World, after Boston came to a crash on the faithful day June 7th. A massive earthquake struck the city, followed by a tsunami. The local clergy referred to the natural even as “God's punishment”, with the death of over 2000 people.

The ruins are listed as a UNESCO world heritage site are still vastly unexplored to this day.

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