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Black Sails Wiki
Royal Lion
Lion under fire.PNG
Vital statistics
Port Nassau
Owner Benjamin Hornigold (Deceased)
Captain Benjamin Hornigold (Deceased)
Crew Royal Lion Crew (70+ men)
Passengers {{{passengers}}}
Status Partially sunk
Type Square rigger
Weapons At least 20 cannons
Battles Seizure of Fort Nassau
Affiliation Pirate Brethren
First appearance VIII.
"Jesus Christ, Ben, why are your men firing on their own ship?"
Eleanor Guthrie to Benjamin Hornigold[src]

The Royal Lion is a pirate ship captained by Benjamin Hornigold. The name Royal Lion is a nod to the Jacobite political sympathies among Hornigold's crew (to which Mr. Gates refers when he mentions "his man in Edinburgh").



Benjamin Hornigold and his men supported James Stuart, a claimant to the throne of England. They fled England, and Hornigold promised them that they would be  soldiers again, fighting as part of a rebel navy to restore the rightful king. 

Season One[]

James Flint knows that in order to take the Urca de Lima, he will need a second ship to help in the battle. He sends Gates to speak with Benjamin Hornigold, and to ask him for a ship. Hornigold loans the ship to Flint, with several terms including Gates being put as captain of the Royal Lion during this mission. Hornigold is uncertain that his men trust him as they once did, for they have been pirates a long time and he believes they are realizing that they are just thieves awaiting a noose. 

Gates is convinced by Jack Rackham and is able to get Flint to agree to using the Ranger as consort instead. After the Boarding of the Andromache, Mr. Scott is among the slaves freed from the hold. He joins the crew of the Royal Lion after Hornigold offers, and explains to Eleanor that he cannot sit back and watch her go down what he sees as a self destructive path.

 Charles Vane successfully takes over the fort with the aid of his new crew. They assault it coming from the interior, and slaughter the crew to a man. Vane then has them fire the fort's guns on the ship. This causes confusion in Nassau, as they believe that Hornigold's men are firing on their own ship. Half the foremast topples and the ship partially sinks as a result of the damage from the fort's guns. 

Hornigold plans on retaking the fort, and assembles 250 men to do so. However, Eleanor tells Vane about the tunnels beneath the fort that Hornigold had planned on using to launch a surprise attack.

Season Two[]

Despite losing both their ship and the fort, several dozen men still remain with Hornigold. Scott has some difficulty integrating into the crew, likely due to their anger towards Eleanor for destroying their chance to reclaim the fort. Hornigold then forms an alliance with Flint, who fears that Vane would use his position to extort him for the Urca de Lima gold should he successfully capture it. With their combined crews as well as men pledged from sister crews, their numbers reach 140-150.

Former Crew[]




  • In real-world history, Benjamin Hornigold never had a ship called the Royal Lion. The last ship he sailed was actually a sloop called the Benjamin.
  • While Hornigold's flag is shown to be two white swords crossed over a black field, in several shots in episode VIII., it is seen flying a red flag.