Steward of the Fort (formerly)
|Status||Deceased (Killed by Flint)|
|Ships|| Royal Lion|
|Relationships|| Dufresne (Partner-in-crime/Quartermaster; deceased)|
|Appearances|| First: III.|
|Portrayed by||Patrick Lyster|
|Gallery||Benjamin Hornigold Gallery|
- "No matter how many lies we tell ourselves or how many stories we convince ourselves we're a part of...we're all just thieves awaiting a noose."
- ―Benjamin Hornigold[src]
Captain Benjamin Hornigold was one of the pirate captains who operated in the Bahamas during the early eighteenth century. As one of the most influential pirates on New Providence Island, he had control over Fort Nassau, protecting the bay and the entrance to the harbour. He was one of the founding members of the Consortium, the loose coalition of pirates and merchants that hoped to preserve the semi-independent Pirates' Republic in the Bahamas. However, the situation changed when Captain Charles Vane took control of Hornigold's fort. After betraying the pirates with Dufresne and rejoining the English, he was finally killed by Flint in the battle on the Maroon Island.
Upon arriving in Nassau at some point before 1715 following Queen Anne's War, he was able to gain respect among his fellow pirates, proving himself capable enough to become one of the leaders of New Providence Island. He was revered as the de facto "governor" of the island and resided at the abandoned English fort overlooking the town.
He captained the Royal Lion. Most of his men were supporters of James Stuart, the Jacobite pretender to the throne of England. Unlike his men, who still thought they were part of some rebel navy fighting for the rightful king, Hornigold understood they were just a bunch of thieves.
At some point, Hornigold took a prize near Boston. losing six men in the fight. On that ship he found a chair which was once in the Plymouth office of Sir Francis Drake. It became a prized possession.
In 1707, Eleanor Guthrie decided to solidify her power and take over the fencing operation her father had left in the care of Mr. Scott. She convinced Hornigold to turn against Edward Teach, the most feared pirate on the island, by promising him control of Fort Nassau, giving Hornigold a position of immense power on the island.
In 1715, Captain Flint's quartermaster Gates approached Hornigold and asked him to hand over the captaincy of his ship, the Royal Lion, to Gates, so that Flint could have an entire fleet to attack the Urca de Lima, the biggest Spanish treasure galleon in the Americas. When Gates arrives, he complains about having to climb a lot of stairs to meet Hornigold in his tower sitting in his old chair. Hornigold asks his crewman, Phillip, if he knows the history of the chair. Hornigold explains that the chair was taken in a prize off the coast of Boston, and once sat in the office of Francis Drake. Hornigold jokes that if Gates touches the chair, Phillip should shoot him.
The two then discuss how it was once a laughable idea for a pirate to try and take a treasure galleon. Hornigold originally thinks that he is to be the consort, but Gates explains that he will captain the ship. and Ben's crew. Every man will get a share and Hornigold will get two personally. Hornigold agreed to the proposition. However, he also voices his worries about his crew's faith in him. Gates asks if he has heard any news from his friends in Edinburgh, and Hornigold replies that the last he heard, James Francis Edward Stuart had fled to France and they were calling him "the Pretender" now. He explains to Gates that he promised his men that if they remained by his side, they would be soldiers fighting in a rebel navy to restore a rightful king. Now, Hornigold believes that they are all realizing the uncomfortable truth that they are thieves awaiting the noose.
After the events the lead to Charles Vane losing his crew and ship, Hornigold goes to Mr. Scott to warn him of the growing discontent and fear among the other captains on the island. He tells him that Lilywhite, a local captain known for his openly speaking against Richard Guthrie and his daughter, is attracting a larger crowd now that what he is saying is starting to come to pass.
Not long after this, Richard Guthrie tells the captains that he is a fugitive from the law, and he will no longer be able to deal with the captains, and that any money owed or credited is gone. This leads to the assembly of a mob outside the bar in which Eleanor works. In order to keep the peace, Hornigold and his men come to stand guard at the inn, ensuring the mob keeps its distance. Hornigold suggests to Eleanor that it would be best to just give them their money and let it die down, even offering to loan her some money if she is short. She instead calls a meeting with the two most and two least successful captains, Frasier, a local appraiser and merchant, and Captain Hornigold. At the meeting she proposes that the seven of them restart her father's business. Frasier, the two successful captains, and Naft all agree it is possible and that they are willing, while Geoffrey Lawrence is unsure and offended by the idea that his ship (one of the least successful) be moved from pirating to transporting the stolen good. On asking Hornigold if he accepts the arrangement, Hornigold admits it is an almost perfect plan, but tells Eleanor he will only support her if she removes the block on Vane. He explains that as long she blocks Vane, the captains will hate and fear her. On top of that, anybody supporting her is at risk of retaliation from the rest of the captains and their crews. He then informs her she has until nightfall to agree, or he and his men will leave.
After waiting several hours for Eleanor to give him an answer. Eleanor finally contents and lifts the ban on Vane. Hornigold promises to give the good news to Lilywhite.
Several days later, Flint returns from his voyage, along with over thirty slaves and most of the cannon from the Andromache. As Mr. Scott is leaving the slaves after meeting with them and giving them food, Hornigold asks Scott if he can think of any way to control Eleanor and keep her from doing anything reckless. Scott points out that Hamund and the rest of Vane's crew have vanished, and they both know they did not just leave the island as the rumours say. Scott continues to say that Eleanor had them killed because giving lifting the ban was seen by Eleanor as backing down and admitting she was wrong. At this, Hornigold agrees that it would be impossible to control her and that all they can do is guide her and hope for the best.
The next day, Hornigold is on the beach with the rest of the Consortium to see off Lawrence as he heads out for the fist time as a "legitimate businessman". As they are saying goodbye, the cannon from Hornigold's fort fire into the harbour. Hornigold is quickly able to gather over two hundred men ready to storm the fort and retake it, but is stopped by Eleanor when Vane tells her he wants to talk. When Eleanor returns, she tells Hornigold that Vane has control of the fort, and, as a result, Nassau. She tells him that Vane's terms of peace was Hornigold's spot on the Consortium. When Hornigold says that they can still take the fort from the secret entrance, she tells him that she told Vane about it, infuriating Hornigold. He storms off, furious that everything was just stolen from him.
Season Two Edit
Hornigold is camped on the beach in a small shack when Captain Flint returns to Nassau. Flint is shocked when he learns about what transpired with the fort, and goes to see Eleanor. Before he returns, Hornigold asks John Silver how he can be unconcerned about standing by Flint when they set sail, Gates had Flint's ear and Silver was "ballast." Now, Silver is in that position and Gates is dead at Flint's hand. Silver replies that he has five million reasons to stay by Flint's side. When Flint returns, he agrees that Eleanor is not in her right head about Vane. He agrees to join forces with Flint on their journey back to the wreck of the Urca, because they will need at least one more ship to defeat the Spanish soldiers guarding the treasure. However, in order to safely return the Urca gold, they must first neutralize the threat posed by Vane and the fortress.
They send a messenger to Vane, ordering him to abandon the fort before dawn, or they will attack with the Man O’ War. With information from Hornigold, they moor the ship where the fortress cannot place its batteries. They spend the day planning for the assault. Before dawn, Flint and Hornigold open fire on the fortress, eventually breaching its walls. Flint calls for a cease-fire and commands that the men move ashore to storm the fortress.
On shore, Flint learns from Mrs. Barlow that Vane has captured Abigail Ashe, the daughter of the Governor of Carolina. She persuades Flint that he must take Abigail from Vane, and return her safely to Charles Town, in return for pardoning all the pirates of Nassau. Flint and Vane eventually negotiate the return of Abigail, in return for standing down his men from attacking the fort.
When Hornigold learns that Flint plans to allow Vane to keep the fort, he challenges Flint for captaincy of the combined crew. Just before the vote is to take place, the men left to spy on the Urca gold return, claiming that the Spanish returned and took every piece of gold off the beach. As a result, Hornigold’s faction completely fades away.
Flint retains captaincy, and Hornigold, Dufresne and eight others are thrown off the crew. However, Dufresne learned from Billy Bones that the English would grant ten pardons for capturing Flint and bringing him to the English forces on Harbour Island. With Flint out of reach, they instead take Eleanor Guthrie prisoner, and deliver her to Harbour Island. They are granted the ten pardons.
Season Three Edit
In the months since the end of the events of Season Two, Captain Hornigold and his crew have become pirate-hunters, sanctioned by the Royal Navy. They can grant pardons for all pirates, as a precursor for the imminent arrival of Governor Woodes Rogers and an English fleet in Nassau, intent on re-establishing English governance.
Hornigold captures the ship of pirate Captain Hallendale, and pardons all the pirates except the captain. Hallendale is left chained in his cabin on the abandoned ship as a trap for other pirates. Eventually, Captain Flint and the Walrus investigate the ship. Hornigold approaches and offers them all pardons. Flint convinces the crew to reject the pardons and escape into a terrible storm. Hornigold meets up with Rogers’s fleet, and although shocked to see Eleanor onboard, explains that Flint was driven into a storm and is presumed dead.
Arriving in Nassau, they find a resolute defence flying the flag of Blackbeard. Eleanor convinces Rogers to send Hornigold into the port to make a pardon address. Much to the leading pirates' chagrin, most accept, with only Blackbeard, Vane, Jack Rackham, and Anne Bonny fleeing Nassau. The Governor has removed all resistance from the port, and recovered most of the Spanish gold.
Rogers eventually captures the last of the Spanish gold which was converted into pearls, and Rackham, the man who stole it. He prepares to deliver them to the Spanish, departing Nassau in a convoy accompanied by a large contingent of armed soldiers.
Eleanor and Max learn that Flint plans to ambush the convoy. They have no luck convincing the Governor’s men of a plot, so Eleanor turns to Hornigold. He is already eager to settle the score with Flint for Dufresne’s brutal end at John Silver’s hand. Although Hornigold is sceptical at first, he eventually sees merit in her reasoning, believing the Walrus lies in wait on the horizon. Hornigold is too late to prevent Flint capturing the cache and Rackham, but chases the Walrus as far as the Maroon Island. However, Flint and Silver pull a daring move to turn the ship's broadside on Hornigold. With a small army of ex-slaves amassed on the beach, Hornigold is forced to fall back.
Hornigold returns to the island accompanying an overwhelming English fleet. After clearing the beach, one of Flint’s men, Dobbs, seems to betray him. However, Dobbs leads them into an ambush, where Flint’s concealed men begin slaughtering the English soldiers. In the ensuing chaos, Hornigold kills Dobbs, but Flint shoots him fatally in the chest and proudly stands over Hornigold's dying body.
Hornigold is a grizzled old veteran of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14), and a privateer-turned-pirate. It is said that half the men in Nassau have sailed under him at one point or another. They respect him as much, if not more, than any other captain. He is a realist who appreciates that the Golden Age of Pirates is almost over. However, when Flint and Eleanor refuse to help return him to his rightful role as steward of the fort, he feels betrayed and justified in handing Eleanor over to the English and turning pirate-hunter.
"After fifty years at sea, you're the only man I've ever met who's gotten dumber with age." Hornigold to Gates in III.
"I've been a captain of men at sea going on three decades, survived a war with Spain, an insurrection against a queen, a decade as an outlaw in a place where the weak and the dead are one and the same." Hornigold to Flint in XIV.
"A man asks for your trust, he asks and offers you things in the future. And the brighter those things may be, the more you must ask yourself, "What is it they are intended to blind me to in the present?" It's no surprise that that man wants to shift your attention to the future. To the things he says he can give you. To the hardships he can remove. A most shining future it would have to be for him to blind you to the cowardly and devious acts of his past... theft, betrayal, lies, murder!"- Hornigold's speech at the election in XV.
"You don't know that man, Major, but I do. He's quite capable of what you suggest and more." Hornigold tries to convince Major Rollins that Flint would sacrifice over 50 of his men just to entice them into an ambush.
- Benjamin Hornigold was, in real life, one of the primary establishing members of the Pirate Republic of Nassau. He was captain to Edward Teach and taught him everything he knew about pirating. In the show, this relationship is never mentioned.
- The historical Hornigold was really known not to attack British ships, apparently to maintain the legal defence that he was a privateer operating against England's enemies in the War of the Spanish Succession.
- He was historically killed by drowning when his ship was wrecked on a reef during the 1719 hurricane season.