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Pirate Imagery in the Rare Book Collection – Day 1

We are all gearing up for Pirates Pack the Park this weekend at The Mariners’ Museum and so I thought I’d share some of the Pirate treasures we have in the Library for each day leading up to the big event.
In The Pirates Own Book or authentic narratives of the lives, exploits, and executions of the most celebrated sea robbers, I’ll be sharing some of the illustrations and bits of history that still make the pirates from long ago so intriguing.
Here are two pirates for today:
Alwilda, the female pirate

Alwilda, daughter of the Gothic King Synardus, chose the life of a pirate when her father arranged her marriage to Alf, the Prince of Denmark. She sailed away with a crew of women all disguised as men and eventually came across another crew mourning the loss of their Captain. The crew was so enamored with her character that they chose her as their new Captain and gradually became a stronger power.
This power attracted the attention of Prince Alf, her would-be husband, who was ordered to interfere with this growing force. In the gulf of Finland, Alf boarded her vessel, killed most of her crew and finally seized her without knowing who she was. After removing her disguise, he finally recognized her as Alwilda and convinced her to take his hand in marriage while on board her vessel. They later shared his wealth and throne in Denmark (Page 14).

(Is that where the Pirates of the Caribbean got that awkward, swash-buckling marriage scene?)

The pirates striking off the arm of Capt. Babcock.
Captain Babcock, of the English brig, Shannon, was on a voyage from Bombay to Bussorah when he was attacked near the islands of Polior and Kenn. The crew of the Shannon resisted and so it was decided by the pirates that a (body) part from each crew member would be put to the sword. One pirate claimed to see Captain Babcock fire upon others with his musket, so they thought it was only right that he “forfeit the arm by which this act of resistance was committed”. It says in this book that it was sliced off with one stroke of a sabre and the captain had to thrust his bleeding stump into warm clarified butter to stop himself from bleeding to death (page 42).
Although there won’t be any conveniently located pots of clarified butter for your bloody stump, I’m sure there will be plenty of other delicious condiments to accompany all of the tasty treats you will find in the food trucks during the Pirate event. And don’t worry, there will be first responders if you somehow get a bloody stump at this family friendly event.
Come on out to see what’s going on at The Mariners’ Museum Pirates Pack the Park event on Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 10am – 5pm.
Who knows? You might find your Alwilda or your Alf among +14,000 pirates!
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