By Hand…

…is always better than mass-produced!

It’s no secret that I make Letters of Marque. Often, people have a hard time believing that each one is hand-lined, hand-written, aged and stamped all by me. It’s hard for people to comprehend that something so simple as a sheet of parchment can take forever to be done. So, I made a video of myself while I wrote one out. I skipped the boring parts, but you get the idea of it when you watch.

The Letters of Marque were government licenses giving sailors the right to be “legal” pirates during times of war. Unfortunately, when the war ended, many privateers, as they were called, were out of job and thus resorted to full-blown piracy. They would turn on anyone, not just their sovereign’s enemies, for a profit. A great example of this was the famous Blackbeard who got his start as a privateer during Queen Anne’s War. Hence, after the war was over, he named his ship the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Many countries offered Letters of Marque to their merchant sailors who wished to take their chances. It was an independent Navy that shared spoils and prizes with local ports. Perhaps two of the most famous English privateers around these parts are Robert Searle and Sir Francis Drake. Both ransacked Saint Augustine for the glory of their monarch. Meanwhile, Spain had their own privateers that sailed out of Cuba and Saint Augustine. One infamous man was Julio León Fandiño. Supposedly, he cut off the ear of an English “Pirate” and started the War of Jenkin’s Ear. He was known to sail from Saint Augustine and reaped a whole lot of hurt against English shipping routes in the new world.

Now, I vote for the Spanish more often than the English, but you see where I live. Too many Spanish in this town for me to say anything  to the contrary.

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Categories: History | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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