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Bonnet, Stede (?–1718)

Bonnet, Stede (?–1718)

Stede Bonnet (d. 1718), British pirate. A retired officer and successful Barbados planter, Major Bonnet was an unlikely, latecoming pirate. His decision to turn to piracy has been attributed both to the desire to flee a nagging wife and to Bonnet's own mental instability. Captaining the Revenge (later the Royal James), he plundered several ships along the Atlantic seaboard before briefly joining the infamous Blackbeard (Edward Teach) in August 1717. At Blackbeard's suggestion, he surrendered to the King's Pardon (offered by Britain's King George I) in September, only to find that Blackbeard had used the occasion of his capitulation to steal his loot. Abandoning plans to privateer in the war against Spain, he unsuccessfully pursued Blackbeard, then recommenced pirating off the Carolina coast. Captured twice (he escaped the first time) by Colonel William Rhet, he was brought to trial, sentenced, and hanged in Charleston.

See alsoPiracy .


Captain Charles Johnson [Daniel Defoe?], A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates, edited by Arthur L. Layward (1926), pp. 67-84.

Robert E. Lee, Blackbeard the Pirate: A Reappraisal of His Life and Times, 2d ed. (1976), pp. 30-33, 37-39, 52-53.

Additional Bibliography

Johnson, Charles. Pirates. London: Creation, 1999.

Zepke, Terrance. Pirates of the Carolinas. Sarasota, FL: Pineapple Press, 2005.

                                       Philippe L. Seiler

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