For the Love of a Pirate

For the Love of a Pirate

Monday, October 12, 2020

The latest and best researched movie about Olivier Levasseur

Check out Jacques Gasser's movie on Olivier Levasseur!

If you need English translation, click on settings once to activate the subtitles, then again for translation. It'll take you through a list of languages. 




La Buse, L'or Maudit des Pirates 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

For the Love of a Pirate being released this month!

 The official release date of my first novel, For the Love of a Pirate, will be on September 22nd. 

I'm looking forward to trying my hand at fiction. I hope you enjoy the book!



For the Love of a Pirate



Thursday, July 30, 2020

Songs sung in 1700: John Barleycorn Must Die

Hello all! I was researching songs sung around 1700 and came across this one, which was recorded by the group Traffic and was a hit song for them. I hope you find the hostory behind it as interesting as I did!



Other Religions Paganism and Wicca

The Legend of John Barleycorn


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John Barleycorn symbolizes not only the harvest, but the products made from it as well. Michael Interisano / Design Pics / Getty Images


Patti Wigington

Updated July 02, 2019

In English folklore, John Barleycorn is a character who represents the crop of barley harvested each autumn. Equally as important, he symbolizes the wonderful drinks which can be made from barley—beer and whiskey—and their effects. In the traditional folksong, John Barleycorn, the character of John Barleycorn endures all kinds of indignities, most of which correspond to the cyclic nature of planting, growing, harvesting, and then death.

Did You Know?

  • Versions of the song John Barleycorn date back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, but there is evidence that it was sung for many years before that.
  • Sir James Frazer cites John Barleycorn as proof that there was once a Pagan cult in England that worshipped a god of vegetation, who was sacrificed in order to bring fertility to the fields.
  • In early Anglo Saxon Paganism, there was a figure called Beowa, associated with the threshing of the grain, and agriculture in general. 


Robert Burns and the Barleycorn Legend

Although written versions of the song date back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, there is evidence that it was sung for years before that. There are a number of different versions, but the most well-known one is the Robert Burns version, in which John Barleycorn is portrayed as an almost Christ-like figure, suffering greatly before finally dying so that others may live.

Believe it or not, there's even a John Barleycorn Society at Dartmouth, which says, "A version of the song is included in the Bannatyne Manuscript of 1568, and English broadside versions from the 17th century are common. Robert Burns published his own version in 1782, and modern versions abound.​"

The lyrics to the Robert Burns version of the song are as follows:

There was three kings into the east,
three kings both great and high,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn must die.

They took a plough and plough'd him down,
put clods upon his head,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.

But the cheerful Spring came kindly on'
and show'rs began to fall.
John Barleycorn got up again,
and sore surprised them all.

The sultry suns of Summer came,
and he grew thick and strong;
his head well arm'd wi' pointed spears,
that no one should him wrong.

The sober Autumn enter'd mild,
when he grew wan and pale;
his bendin' joints and drooping head
show'd he began to fail.

His colour sicken'd more and more,
and he faded into age;
and then his enemies began
to show their deadly rage.

They took a weapon, long and sharp,
and cut him by the knee;
they ty'd him fast upon a cart,
like a rogue for forgerie.

They laid him down upon his back,
and cudgell'd him full sore.
they hung him up before the storm,
and turn'd him o'er and o'er.

They filled up a darksome pit
with water to the brim,
they heav'd in John Barleycorn.
There, let him sink or swim!

They laid him upon the floor,
to work him farther woe;
and still, as signs of life appear'd,
they toss'd him to and fro.

They wasted o'er a scorching flame
the marrow of his bones;
but a miller us'd him worst of all,
for he crush'd him between two stones.

And they hae taen his very hero blood
and drank it round and round;
and still the more and more they drank,
their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
of noble enterprise;
for if you do but taste his blood,
'twill make your courage rise.

'Twill make a man forget his woe;
'twill heighten all his joy;
'twill make the widow's heart to sing,
tho the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
each man a glass in hand;
and may his great posterity
ne'er fail in old Scotland!

Early Pagan Influences

 In The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer cites John Barleycorn as proof that there was once a Pagan cult in England that worshipped a god of vegetation, who was sacrificed in order to bring fertility to the fields. This ties into the related story of the Wicker Man, who is burned in effigy. Ultimately, the character of John Barleycorn is a metaphor for the spirit of grain, grown healthy and hale during the summer, chopped down and slaughtered in his prime, and then processed into beer and whiskey so he can live once more.

The Beowulf Connection

In early Anglo Saxon Paganism, there was a similar figure called Beowa, or Bēow, and like John Barleycorn, he is associated with the threshing of the grain, and agriculture in general. The word beowa is the Old English word for—you guessed it!—barley. Some scholars have suggested that Beowa is the inspiration for the titular character in the epic poem Beowulf, and other theorize that Beowa is directly linked to John Barleycorn. In Looking for the Lost Gods of England, Kathleen Herbert suggests that they are in fact the same figure known by different names hundreds of years apart.


  • Bruce, Alexander. “Scyld and Scef: Expanding the Analogies.” Routledge, 2002, doi:10.4324/9781315860947.
  • Herbert, Kathleen. Looking for the Lost Gods of England. Anglo-Saxon Books, 2010.
  • Watts, Susan. The Symbolism of Querns and Millstones. museum/publikasjoner/susan-watts.pdf.



Here is the traffic version of the song which was recorded on July 1st of 1970:



Thursday, June 11, 2020

What did people eat in the 18th Century?

Hey all! I came across this article while browsing Facebook and thought it was worth sharing. While probably most of us have thought about how cool it would be to take a quick trip back in time to see what Golden Age pirates were really like, I bet most of us would not be prepared for just how different things like what foods they ate would be.  
I know I would have trouble eating some of this stuff!

Modern-day scrapple

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Deposition with description of Paulsgrave Williams

The capture of the vessel Tryal has always been accredited to Paulsgrave Williams. Even though this deposition doesn't specifically name him, it does include a bit of a description of his ship and of the man himself. For that [art alone this deposition stands out as there are almost never physical descriptions of the pirates in these depositions! 
I left in most of the original spelling from the deposition for authenticity. 

"Deposition of John Lucas, Master of the Ship Tryal of Brighthelmstone of Great Britain before John Hart, Governor of Maryland". Annapolis. April 13, 1717. Colonial Office Papers 5/1318 no.16iii.
John Hart Esqr., Captain Generall, Governor & Vice Admiral of the Province of Maryland etc. To all to whom these presents shall come,
            Know ye that on the thirteenth day of Aprill Anno Domini Seventeen Hundred and seventeen came before me John Lucas Master of the Ship Tryal of Brighthelmstone of Great Britain, and deposed on ye Holy Evangelist of Almighty God that on Tuesday the ninth Instant about six of ye clock in the morning he being with his sd. ship & compy consisting of seven men & two boys about three Leagues to ye East South East of Cape Henry as he was standing into ye Capes of Virginia, he saw a Sloop lying under the Land, which _____ bore down to him, and commanded their boat on board them, Acquainting him at the same time that they were Pyrates, and threatning that if he not immediately comply they would sink his Ship. Whereupon he the sd. Capt. John Lucas went with his boat & four hands on board the sd. Pyrate's vessell where he and his men that went with him, were forcibly & against their wills detained from seven of the clock in the morning, until three in the afternoon, when & not before he the sd. John Lucas was permitted to go with his boat & men on board his said ship. That severall of the Pyrate's crew went on board his Ship and remained on board her till about Six of the Clock in ye afternoon And then as he supposes the Pyrates Spying a Ship coming out of the Capes and being afraid, stood off with their Sloop to Sea, Commanding him the sd. John Lucas with his Ship and Saylors to follow after them, upon the ______ of his and his Saylors lives. But the sd. John Lucas finding the wind spring up did not obey them but ran into the Capes and so got away from them with his said Ship & Company.

            The sd. John Lucas further deposed that as soon as he came on board his ship, he was told by his Mate and Sailors, that the Pyrates had been aboard her, whilst he was detained on board their Sloop near nine hours & had rumaged her hold, and had taken from on board her three Boat's Lading of goods, and thrown severall things overboard _____ as boxes, trunks & a Chest of Drawers etc. Besides which he does not know of any other damage done to the sd. Ship's Lading, and that he himself nor any other Person whatsoever by his knowledge or procurement, directly or indirectly hath not done, committed or suffered any Wast or Imbezelment of any part of the sd. ship's Cargo. And the sd. John Lucas Further deposed that the sd. Pyrate's Vessell was a Sloop seemingly of New England built, about the burthen of fourty or fifty tuns her Quarter  being spotted with blew and yellow, as likewise her stern spotted with blew, and having no windows, That her Mast was sprung at the head and near the deck and that She had old patcht sails, That they had a St. _______ Jack hoisted at the Boltspritt and that the sd. Sloop had twelve guns, Six on carriages, four in Swivells and two more in the hold, and seem'd to be mann'd ______ about fourty men, most of which seemed to be English, & Especially the Pyrate's Captain, who was a middlesized man of a dark brown complexion wearing a peruke That he the sd. John Lucas observed there were Five Frenchmen, five Negros & an Indian on board the sd. Pirate's sloop.

Tune in to my interview with Phil Johnson!

Tune in to my interview with Phil Johnson!
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