Sunday, 11 September 2016

Some Observations on the Methods by Which Pirates Carry'd Weapons, With Illustrations.

Some Observations on the Methods by Which
Pirates Carry'd Weapons,
With Illustrations.
The Pirate Brethren Articles on The Art of Reenacting.

Plus some images I have collected.

Pistol with belt hook.

To answer Keith H. Burgess's question specifically about the Blackbeard image - an artist hired by the author of Charles Johnson's "General History of Piracy" in 1724 used a description in Johnson's text to create the image. The problem is that no other document corroborates Johnson's description. Johnson's work with Blackbeard is highly questioned since there are plenty of questionable or outright proven wrong parts of the Blackbeard chapter - not to mention that none of Johnson's descriptions of any pirate captains have ever been corroborated. There is a strong chance that Johnson invented his description of Blackbeard from thin air. I cover this issue at the end of my Blackbeard's Firsts article: https://csphistorical.com/.../the-firsts-of-blackbeard.../

To sum up my findings from over the years, the most common way for a sailor or pirate to carry his pistol or pistols during this time appears to be stuck into a belt or girdle, often with the aid of a belt hook. The use of holsters should be approached with great caution - the evidence regarding them is sketchy and not well understood as of this time. I tend to see a bias in people these days towards trying to come up with holsters since our society has been so engulfed in American Westerns where practically all guns are kept in holsters. The most accurate thing to do is to simply stick to having pistols in belts/girdles.

David Fictum.
(My thanks to David Fictum & Matty Bottles for their contribution to this blog post).

Image: What Not To Do! Photo with kind permission of Matty Bottles.


Gorges Smythe said...

We used to sell belt hooks at the muzzleloader store where I worked, but they were probably less than half as long as that one!

John Wooldridge said...

Quite the dapper gents ye old pirates judging by the pics.