Today we glorify the scourge of the seas and remember that even the buc’neers and brigands of the seas had a code of honor
, be there any honor ‘mongst thieves and murd’rers.
Today we be abidin’ by the articles of Cap’n Henry Morgan:
- The fund of all payments under the articles is the stock of what is gotten by the expedition, following the same law as other pirates, that is, No prey, no pay.
- Compensation is provided the Captain for the use of his ship, and the salary of the carpenter, or shipwright, who mended, careened, and rigged the vessel (the latter usually about 150 pieces of eight). A sum for provisions and victuals is specified, usually 200 pieces of eight. A salary and compensation is specified for the surgeon and his medicine chest, usually 250 pieces of eight.
- A standard compensation is provided for maimed and mutilated buccaneers.
Shares of booty are provided as follows:
- “Thus they order for the loss of a right arm six hundred pieces of eight, or six slaves
- for the loss of a left arm five hundred pieces of eight, or five slaves
- for a right leg five hundred pieces of eight, or five slaves
- for the left leg four hundred pieces of eight, or four slaves
- for an eye one hundred pieces of eight, or one slave
- for a finger of the hand the same reward as for the eye.
“In the prizes they take, it is severely prohibited to every one to usurp anything, in particular to themselves. . . . Yea, they make a solemn oath to each other not to abscond, or conceal the least thing they find amongst the prey. If afterwards any one is found unfaithful, who has contravened the said oath, immediately he is separated and turned out of the society.”
- The Captain, or chief Commander, is allotted five or six portions to what the ordinary seamen have
- The Master’s Mate only two
- Officers proportionate to their employment.
- After whom they draw equal parts from the highest even to the lowest mariner, the boys not being omitted. For even these draw half a share, by reason that, when they happen to take a better vessel than their own, it is the duty of the boys to set fire to the ship or boat wherein they are, and then retire to the prize which they have taken.