Benjamin Hornigold

Benjamin Hornigold - Pirate (c1680 - 1719)

Benjamin Hornigold was a privateer turned pirate who went on to become a pirate hunter. Amongst his crew were Edward Teach and Samuel Bellamy, who would go on to be well known pirates in their own right. In more recent times he has appeared as a character in the US TV series Black Sails, and in the video game Assassins Creed.

This page details facts about Benjamin Hornigold's life and the events that shaped his history.

Benjamin Hornigold the Pirate - Fun Facts for Kids !

1: Although no records exist, it is suspected that Benjamin Hornigold was born around 1680, possibly in Norfolk.

2: It is believed that he was a privateer until the end of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1713.

3: In 1713 Benjamin Hornigold was attacking and plundering ships off New Providence, now known as the Bahamas, with a sloop. He was based at the capital Nassau where, along with a rival pirate Henry Jennings, he dominated the ‘Pirate’s Republic’. The 'Pirates Republic' was a place of safety, in Nassau, New Providence, which was run by pirates using their own code.


4: Benjamin Hornigold went on to command the ‘Ranger’, a 32 gun sloop. He made Edward ‘Blackbeard’ Teach his second in command and captain of the older sloop.

5: With this small fleet, Benjamin Hornigold went on to take three Merchant ships. A Portuguese ship carrying wine from Madeira, a ship from Bermuda carrying spirits and another ship carrying flour.

6: Benjamin Hornigold then went on to attack a pirate hunting merchant ship that had been sent by the Governor of South Carolina. The merchant ship escaped by grounding itself on Cat Cay in the Bahamas. By this time he was reported to have a fleet of five ships.

7: Benjamin Hornigold never attacked ships sailing under the British flag. It’s believed that his reason for this action was that, if he was caught, it would bolster a claim that he was privateering.

8: Benjamin Hornigold’s crews weren’t happy with this policy and, in late 1716, took a vote on whether, or not, to attack any ship they wanted. The crews voted for the change, with Hornigold voting against. As a result, Hornigold was replaced as captain by Samuel 'Black Sam' Bellamy.

9: It’s believed that Edward Teach was in another area at the time so didn’t find out about these events until he returned. It seems likely that this is the time when he and Benjamin Hornigold went their own ways.

10: Benjamin Hornigold carried on his piracy with a sloop and a small crew until December 1717 when he heard about the general pardon for pirates. The offer of a pardon was made by King George I, and was to last a year from 5th September 1717 until 5th September 1718.

11: In January 1718, Hornigold headed for Jamaica where he received a pardon from the Governor Woodes Rogers.

12: Hornigold was commissioned by Rogers to become a pirate hunter and go after his former colleagues. In December 1718 was commended to the London Board of Trade, by Rogers, for his efforts.

13: Hornigold died in 1719 when his ship was hit by a hurricane and wrecked on a reef in the Mexico area.

14: Benjamin Hornigold, alongside Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, Calico Jack, Mary Read and Charles Vane, has appeared as a character in the popular video game Assassins Creed IV, Black Flag. He also appears in the fictional TV series Black Sails. The series, a prequel to Robert Louis Stephenson’s Treasure Island, was released in the United States in 2014.

Mobile Website Menu

Privacy Statement

Cookie Policy

Copyright © 2018

Global Anchor Limited

Modified 2018