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Bermuda is also known ad the Devil's Island. As Pirate havens go, Bermuda played a small role, compared to islands closer to the Spanish Main. Bermuda consists of seven main islands and over 150 smaller islets. It was first charted by the Spaniards around 1515 and pretty much ignored until, by chance, an English ship with over 150 people aboard were blown off course and ship wrecked by a hurricane. Having no way off the island, they decided it was as good a place as any to settle.

While not along the trade route between the Main and Spain, it did work nicely as a stop over between the Azores and North America, particularly South Carolina. This being the case, the British made it a permanent colony. Assuming the Spanish may not like this, they also put a temporary military garrison there. In the 1600's and up to 1734, Bermuda was instrumental in the African slave trade. On more than one occasion, slaves in Bermuda out numbered settlers and violent rebellions were put down. In 1734, England outlawed slavery and the colony of Bermuda followed the Crown. However, slaves were still smuggled through Bermuda on their way to the American colonies.

The reefs and numerous small islands made a nice safe haven for pirates but its location was not exactly on the trade route between Spain and the Main. This caused a few problems for the settlers in Bermuda, in that pirates, being a lazy lot, would occasionally sack Bermuda rather than venture out to the trade lanes. However from 1701 onwards, Britain considered Bermuda vital to its New World interests and therefore made it a permanent military post of the Royal Navy and Army. From that point on, this made Bermuda a place where Pirates were more likely to be hanged than welcomed. For this reason, the pirates around Bermuda were more likely to turn to smuggling rather than sacking and plundering.

Bermuda would later act as a staging area for blockade runners during the American Civil War and still later as rendevous for Rum-Runners during the Prohibition era.

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The only author and editor of all pages on the site. Most of what I write about is based on years of book reading on the topic. My first web page was published back in 1994.

Updated: 04 September 2022