Charles Vane, a pirate, was known for being cruel. He looked down on not only his enemies but also his own sailors. Life for a pirate was of no value: this made everyone who ever met him want to die.
Life of Charles Vane
There is almost little information on one of history’s most cruel pirates’ upbringing and youth. Charles Vane was born in England around 1640, according to records. It is unclear where he came from or what he did. Vane was most likely born into a poor family. In an attempt to escape poverty, Charles turned to the sailors. According to some sources, Vane used to live a law-abiding existence. But then something unexpected happened, and everything was turned upside down.
It is widely assumed that Charles took part in the plunder of the Spanish flotilla while boarding the pirate Henry Jennings’ ship. Several ships of the Silver Fleet, filled with gold and valuable stones, sunk in 1715 during a violent storm. The Spaniards then decided to bring the treasure to the surface. When the pirates learned of the trip, they did not strike right away. They waited for the Spaniards to raise everything before attacking.
Vane’s head was the first easy victim. He understood that cruelty is a lucrative industry. He then turned to robbery. Charles acquired his own ship and crew, which he used to terrorize all life in the Bahamas. Vane was known for his cruel disrespect for human life. Without a doubt, he handled both opponents and members of his squad with ease.
Even in those distant times, unjustified cruelty sparked outrage and condemnation. On the other hand, Vane carefully and diligently worked on his image. He delighted that he was regarded as the cruelest pirate. Of course, such conduct would not go undetected by the authorities. And the Bahamas’ governor decided to put a stop to the ruthless robber. A squadron was sent to track down the pirate.
Vane was eventually discovered in a quiet harbor on the island of New Providence, which was part of the Bahamas, by a government fleet led by Captain Rogers. The pirate was given amnesty if he surrendered. Of course, Charles refused. Then Rogers closed off the bay, which was full of pirate ships. After waiting for the night, Vane and his associates planted a bomb on one of the ships. He also managed to sneak past Rogers’ squadron on a boat, taking advantage of the chaos. It was already too late when the British recognized what had happened. Charles was able to get away. And he came up empty-handed. Rogers had no option but to declare defeat and deliver the terrible news to the governor.
The betrayal of Charles Yeats, Vane’s assistant
Of course, the pirate had no intention of entangling with robbery. That accomplishment, on the contrary, further reinforced his sense of superiority over others. Vane took the Barbados vessel and went hunting after escaping from the island of New Providence. His team numbered twenty-five persons at the time. Pirates started robbing ships from both Spain and England. There was enough loot to go around, and there was plenty for everyone.
On the other hand, Vane did not have a good connection with his main assistant, Charles Yeats. Charles humiliated him in front of the whole squad and thrashed him regularly. Yeats eventually grew tired of it. The pirate decided to flee the captain and seek a royal pardon.
Meanwhile, the pirates arrived on the South Carolina coast in quest of fresh victims. The pirates arrived at the beach and decided to take a break. Yeats stole the vessel and vanished into the mouth of the North Edisto River, taking advantage of the thieves’ drunkenness. He then proceeded to the closest village, surrendered to the authorities, and returned the ship to its rightful owner. After that, he was granted amnesty.
Vane, enraged by the betrayal, had no idea. He thought Yeats would come and plead for forgiveness in a few days. On the other hand, the pirates discovered that a punitive expedition had been sent to the location of their camp, which the local ruler had outfitted. Vane had no option but to go to Ocracoke Island in the north.
Vane encountered the great Edward Teach in the bay, according to history. Pirates swiftly came up with a common language. They threw a huge celebration that lasted about a week as proof of their successful friendship.
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Riot in the ship
Charles led his troops north after saying his goodbyes to Blackbeard. On a fresh ship, the pirates approached Long Island. They intended to make a pit stop, but a French ship was in the way. The decision to attack was decided. The pirates raised a black flag, fired a broadside, and sailed away. Vane quickly understood he faced a full-fledged navy, not a weak merchant ship. It was highly dangerous to get into contact with him. The pirates voted in favor of attacking, but Charles used his veto as captain. The thieves then retreated.
On the other hand, the pirates did not forgive Vane’s cowardice. They sparked a riot and forced the captain to resign. He was not killed. A boat, firearms, and supplies were supplied to Charles and the few thieves who spoke out against the boarding. They were then instructed to go “free swimming.”
Vane’s luck was on his side. He and his crew made it to Jamaica and took control of the ship. After some time, Charles went hunting again with a fresh gang of criminals. But suddenly, the pirate’s fortunes changed. Off the shore of the island of Bonaca, his ship got trapped in a violent storm. The ship sank, and the thieves perished. Vane was just able to make it out alive. He reached a little deserted island off the coast of Honduras, grabbing a piece of a ship.
The death of Charles Vane
For a pirate, the days were dull and uninteresting. Fishers would sometimes visit the island to refill freshwater supplies. None of them, however, wanted to bring Vane along. A ship led by Captain Holford once took a look at the island. Holford was a former pirate who defected and was granted amnesty by the government. Regrettably, he was familiar with Vane and was well aware of his cruelty and quarrelsomeness. The captain declined to help Charles when he pleaded for it. Vane, he was certain, would reciprocate the favor by causing a disturbance aboard the ship and attempting to seize it for himself.
Charles was on his own once again. True, another ship neared the island after a while. Because the captain was unfamiliar with Vane, he agreed to assist him and added him to the squad. Charles’ luck seemed to shine on him once again. However, the pirate’s delight was short-lived.
The captain turned out to be familiar with Holford. They met while on vacation in Jamaica. Holford identified Vane, who informed his colleague about the sailor who had brought a dark past to his crew. The captain issued an arrest warrant for Charles’ arrest.
Vane was tried in Jamaica in March 1720. He was convicted of piracy, and robbery, including several killings. They were also given the death penalty. Charles was executed on March 29, 1721. His body was placed at the entrance to Port Royal, soaked in pitch and tied in chains, to scare other sea pirates.