Original pirate material (1670)

Captain Henry Morgan was that rare breakthrough pioneer who achieved mainstream success without selling out. His code became the benchmark for all other pirate crews.

Article 1 - No prey, no pay:

“ The fund of all payments under the articles is the stock of what is gotten by the expedition following the same law as other pirates.”

Article 2 - A standard compensation is provided for maimed and mutilated buccaneers:

‘Thus they order for the loss of an arm 600 pieces of eight, or six slaves*; for a leg 500 pieces of eight or five slaves; for an eye 100 pieces of eight, or one slave; for a finger of the hand the same rewards as for the eye.’

Article 3 - Shares of booty are provided as follows:

“The Captain or chief Commander is allotted five or six portions to what the ordinary seaman have; the Master’s Mate only two; and Officers proportionate to their employment. After whom they draw equal parts from the highest even to the lowest mariner, the boys not being ommitted.’

Article 4 - Trust cannot be take lightly;

‘In the prizes they take, it is severely prohibited to everyone to ursurp anything, in particular to themselves….Yea, they make a solemn oath to each other not to abscond or conceal the least thing they find amongst the prey. If afterwards any one is found unfaithful, who has contravene the said oath, immediately he is separated and turned out of society.

*This being one of the earliest codes, they hadn’t yet rewritten the rules of buying and selling salves, but later pirates would free slaves and bring them into the crew as equals.