The Incorrigible Harriet Dumont

Pirates who’ve inspired me, part 3: Captain Peter Blood


An honest, brave and just man forced into piracy by the tyranny, politics and cruelty that couldn’t break him, becoming a captain upholding the democratic ideals of the pirate ship, ultimately fighting for justice and freedom … what’s not to love about that fairy tale? When you hear the word ”swashbuckling”, I hope your mind’s eye immediately sees a laughing Errol Flynn – otherwise, you have some catching up to do!

”Up that rigging, you monkeys! Aloft! There’s no chains to hold you now. Break out those sails and watch them fill with the wind that’s carrying us all to freedom!”

Dr. Peter Blood: My business was with his wounds, not his politics.
Baron Jeffreys: Did you know the law that any person who does knowingly receive, harbor, comfort or succor a rebel is as guilty as if he himself bore arms?
Dr. Peter Blood: I only knew my sacred duty as a physician.
Baron Jeffreys: Your sacred duty, rogue, is to your king!
Dr. Peter Blood: I thought it was to my fellow man.”

Crewman: We’re sinking! What should we do?
Captain Blood: Do? We’ll board another ship that’s not sinking!”

Captain Blood: We, the undersigned, are men without a country. Outlaws in our own land and homeless outcasts in any other. Desperate men, we go to seek a desperate fortune. Therefore, we do, here and now, band ourselves into a brotherhood of buccaneers… to practice the trade of piracy on the high seas. We, the hunted, will now hunt! Therefore, to that end, we enter into the following Articles of Agreement: First: We pledge ourselves to be bound together as brothers in a life and death friendship, sharing alike in fortune and in trouble.” [detailed list of recompense for injuries etc] ”If a man conceal any treasure captured or fail to place it in the general fund, he shall be marooned. Set ashore on a deserted isle, and there left with a bottle of water, a loaf of bread and a pistol with one load. If a man shall be drunk on duty he shall recieve the same fate. And if a man shall molest a woman captive against her will… he, too, shall receive the same punishment. These Articles entered into this 20th day of June, in the year 1687.”