Stede Bonnet had a good upbringing and was very well mannered.  It is rumored that it was his wife's constant nagging that drove him to run away and become a pirate.  He ran from his home around 1717, bought a sloop and rounded up a crew of 70.  He didn't know much about piracy, but he carried his good manners with him and became known as the "gentleman pirate."  He named his new sloop "Revenge" and set sail with his crew.
    Though he was greatly lacking in experience, he and his crew plundered several ships as they sailed the Virginia and Carolina coasts.  Soon after these successes, Bonnet's ship caught sight of none other than the infamous Blackbeard's ship.  The two agreed to become allies and oversee the activities of the two ships together.  Blackbeard, however, detected Bonnet's inexperience and devised a plan to take everything from him.  Blackbeard told Bonnet that it would be better if he sent one of his own lieutenants to take over command of Revenge while Bonnet went aboard Blackbeard's ship as a guest.  Bonnet spent most of his time wandering around in his morning gown and tending to his personal library.  Also during his stay on Blackbeard's ship, Bonnet participated in the siege of Charleston.
    After the siege, Blackbeard told Bonnet that he was going to take a pardon and told Bonnet to do the same.  Blackbeard also promised that, upon his Bonnet's return, Bonnet would again be in command of the Revenge.  Bonnet quickly agreed and set sail, along with a few crewmembers, for Bath, North Carolina to receive his pardon.  After learning of England declaring war on Spain, Bonnet returned to the spot where the ships were anchored.  However, Blackbeard had left, along with all of Bonnetís loot, only leaving Bonnet and empty ship.  Bonnet swore he would get revenge on Blackbeard.
    However, Bonnet was unsuccessful and he never met up with Blackbeard again.  It is said that he captured up to twelve ships while sailing the Atlantic coast.  In late September 1718, Bonnet had anchored his ship in Cape Fear to rest and clean the hull of his ship.  The Governor and Council of South Carolina had launched a huge attempt to find and destroy pirates just prior to when Bonnet anchored and his three ships were discovered on September 27.  There was a fierce five-hour battle and 42 casualties before Bonnet finally raised the white flag.
    Bonnet and his 33 crew members were returned to Charleston to be put on trial.  30 out the 34 pirates put on trial were found guilty of piracy and sentenced to death.  Stede Bonnet was one of them.  Bonnet was in prison for a while and wrote a passionate letter to the Governor, pleading for his life.  In the end, though, it was to no avail and Bonnet was hung at White Point on December 10.  His body was left hanging for four days as a warning to anyone who would consider piracy.

Home | Blackbeard | Calico Jack | Anne Bonny | Mary Read | Stede Bonnet | Bartholomew Roberts