When the takings from the Spanish Main started to decline, many pirates shifted to the Indian Ocean. They were lured by the treasure fleets of the Indian Moghul and the merchantmen of the British, French and Dutch east India companies.
English pirate Henry Avery became notorious for capturing the Indian Moghul’s ship Gang-i-Sawai, which was carrying pilgrims and treasure from Surat to Mecca.
Most of the pirates hid out around the island of Madagascar, off the East Coast of Africa. The island was in the ideal place for raiding European trade routes to India, and Muslim pilgrimage routes to the Red Sea.
Madagascar was a wild, tropical island that had not been colonised by Europeans, so it was safe for outlaws. However, the ever-wary pirates created a small fortified base on St Mary’s Island, a small island off the north-east coast of Madagascar.
East Indiamen ships were the favourite target of pirates as they carried such goods as: gold, silver, fine china, silks and spices. Coffee and tea were also valuable items.
If you’re interested in pirates we’ve got heaps and heaps of books in the library for you. You can either go to the 910.4 section of the non fiction collection at your library, or you can search for pirates on the catalogue here!