Buccaneers, swashbucklers, pirates, privateers ...

They all sailed "the Spanish Main" during the days of frigates and sloops, brigs, schooners and galleons.

The heyday of the buccaneers was from circa 1650-1725 when working either individually or in great pirate fleets out of strongholds like Port Royal of Jamaica, they raided as far north as Canada and as far south as Brazil and equatorial Africa. Their targets of choice were not only Spanish treasure galleons and rich merchant vessels but also coastal towns and cities in Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela and the many small but valuable islands of the Greater and Lesser Antilles chains of the Caribbean Sea. Though mainly a 17th and 18th century phenomenon, piracy in the Caribbean did have a brief resurgence around 1820 before disappearing.

Some swashbucklers operated legally, by commission, in time of war such as the privateers (private vessels licensed by their government with a "letter of marque" to prey upon enemy commerce) which abounded during the naval wars of the 1600s, the American Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. Others were entirely outside the law. Still others moved in and out of legality with ease as the circumstances suited them.

They were Englishmen, Scotsmen, Welshmen, Dutchmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards, Portuguese, Danes, Americans, Indians and Africans. Some were loyal to their king, some to their fellow buccaneers and some only to themselves. Some had impeccable manners, some were implacable thugs. Now and again they would gather and celebrate the success of a great raid from which all returned laden with booty.

But in 2013 it was all in good fun with We Make History's annual Buccaneers' Ball!

Yohoho...  Avast there matey... Pieces of eight, pieces of eight... Dance a proper jig or walk the plank.  Booty for all and plunder a'plenty.  Shiver me timbers and boarders away... A r r r r ...

Piratical or seafaring attire was encouraged such as piratical or nautical attire or any historic attire from the 1650s to the 1820s. Pirate, buccaneer, beachcomber, sailor, naval officer, explorer or castaway looks were all welcome as was modern dress but with piratical touches such as a bandana over the head or an eye patch.

Music was lively and the dancing an enjoyable mix of simple historic styles. A traditional tribute was given to Noah - the first great seafarer!


Now... please allow us to state the obvious.

The real pirates of history were not nice people.

No one wants to recreate negative aspects of their behavior or activities in any actual or literal sense.

But after 300 years of time passage, the idea of a 17th or 18th century pirate has become a mere caricature, a light hearted bit of play acting which many have a good time with.

For us the idea of the Buccaneers' Ball is simply to "open things up a bit" with an unusual theme for our guests to enjoy and in which to exercise their creativity and imaginations.


Join Ye Crew!

Seafarers sail in on the high tide arriving in their most colourful garb for the merriment of the annual Buccaneers' Ball. They hail from many charted lands - as well as parts unknown. All captains have agreed to a truce for the evening and laughter is heartily interspersed with tales of the sea.

With the sound of the fiddle, the telling of sea tales is abruptly finished, swords slip back into scabbards to be stowed safely away and a cheerful chorus of ARRRRRRR accompanies the Buccaneers into the Great Hall.



Fashion Pirates

Every year the editors of BQ (that's Buccaneers' Quarterly for you landlubbers) are on hand to applaud established seafaring fashion icons while keeping a "lookout" for new talent as well. Whether on gangplank or runway, strolling the quarterdeck or pivoting on the catwalk these "Vogue Rogues" are making a fashion statement.

A R R R R R R R R R R R R R R !

Ahoy There!

My Dearest Dred Cap'n Scott,

Ahoy!  I wish 't express me appreciation fer a most enjoy'ble diversion!  I cou' see many a smile amon' me shipmates -- 'specially this young lady buc' wearin' yella' who 'ad th' most charmin' countenance!  I know sh' makes her pirate parents proud!

I was mos' impressed with 'ow so many dress'd so elegan'ly fer th' occasion.  But who'm I kiddin?  We know th' crew of We Make History 's anythin' but a scurvy lot!

Thank'ye and ye' family most kindly, I say wit' me most courtly bow (I 'ave been accepted a' court, for all 'tis worth.)!


Ye Friend, Shipmate, & Humble Servant,

Capt. Bartholomew Burgundy

aboard the "Wayward Star"

Plymouth, England


Please also see our Etiquette & Expectations page as well as our "All About Us" page.




Click here for

Buccaneer Lore    18th Century Fashion

Visit the

2011 Buccaneers' Ball    2009 Buccaneers' Ball    2008 Buccaneers' Ball    2007 Buccaneers' Ball

2006 Buccaneers' Ball    2005 Buccaneers' Ball

Message in a Bottle

Email to the Captain's Cabin

Return to Port

We Make History



All content 2005-2013 We Make History   All Rights Reserved