Once upon a time, the world felt much larger than it is today. Seas stretched as far as the eye could see, adventure sailed with the tide and life was what you made of it. It was a time rife with mystery and danger. A time now labeled the “Golden Age of Piracy,” and it took place right here in the Maritimes. Though many thought it a bygone era, the events that took place on January 20th, 2024, in Canada’s coastal province of Newfoundland have dredged up some secrets thought to be lost with the tide.


On that eventful day, Wanda Blackmore said her son came rushing through the door shouting that a mysterious shadow appeared on the shore after a storm raged through the province. What could it be? A Whale? A large rock? No. It was the ghostly remains of a ship from those halcyon days of yore.


Whether the ship was pirate in origin remains to be determined. However, it does appear the ship may have been built in the 1800’s, according to Neil Burgess of the Shipwreck Preservation Society, based on the construction techniques he observed.


If that estimate is correct, then the ship hailed from the period immediately following the “Golden Age of Piracy,” and potentially fallen victim to the reminiscence of it. 


For some context, let us wind our clocks back to the late 1600s. The “Golden Age of Piracy” took place between 1690 to 1730, and had a deep connection to the Maritimes. During this time Nova Scotia was still undergoing the process of colonization by European settlers. This, in turn, made it a convenient place for pirate crews to take shelter, refit themselves, and prepare for the stormy seas and vicious authority figures awaiting them.


This era had many pirates brave the seas and whilst many of their stories lie at the very depths of the waters they sailed, there are those whose infamous names sent chills down the spines of those to be considered the “elite.”


When talking about those that haunted the nightmares of the Maritimes’ wealthy, you’d be remiss not to mention the name of Captain Edward “Ned” Low. Before Captain Edward Low took to the seas, many pirates were known as cruel, but Captain Low took that term to new heights. As a sadist who revelled in violence Captain Ned Low armed himself with a fleet of loyal men that had the firepower to back it up. He and his crews terrorized the transatlantic shipping routes for years spreading a reputation of fear through Atlantic communities. His power and veracity was so well known that the governor of Louisburg took it upon himself to double-up on naval security on the coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in fear of one day seeing Captain Edward Low’s jolly roger floating offshore. Having looted over 100 ships and having brought Atlantic trade routes to a halt on many occasions, Captain Edward “Ned” Low became the poster boy for the need to control piracy. Low’s accomplishments in piracy were only rivaled by that of the legendary “Black Bart Roberts.”


Though Captain Edward Low was a force to be reckoned with, he was not the only pirating legend to sail the shores of the East Coast. Enter “The Scourge of the Western Atlantic,” Captain Peter Easton. Known for plunging the east coast into chaos, Captain Easton’s power was so bone chillingly strong that it forced the king to bend his knee to the victims of Easton’s pirating crimes.


Having possessed a fleet of over 40 ships Easton’s power was renowned across the Atlantic. Though his strength wasn’t the only thing Captain Easton was known for. He also proved to be cunning and hard to catch. As the king sent a squadron of capable young navy soldiers to apprehend the Captain, they unfortunately were unable to as Captain Easton was tipped off and managed to escape with his 10 best ships and crews. 


Where did they go, you may ask? Well, Captain Easton and his crew took off to the shores of Newfoundland! Whilst there, he demanded paid tributes from fishing vessels on the grand banks and eventually built a flourishing trade route of his own. Having fortified many cities along the coast of Newfoundland, Captain Easton took aim at the Spanish colonies of the Caribbean and their treasure galleons, managing to even capture the San Sebastian, a ship considered to be one of the richest prizes ever captured by a pirate.


So, what is this mystery ship that washed ashore in 2024? Is it the remains of a crew that dared to cross blades with Captain Edward “Ned” Low? Is it the husk of a Spanish ship that fell victim to Captain Easton? Or is it the Corpse of a boat that fell to any number of other crews during the “Golden Age of Piracy?” Only time will tell the story that has yet to be heard.

Related Posts