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"There are whispers among my flock that a ship of the Royal Navy docked in Harbour Island recently."

The Royal Navy, also known as His or Her Majesty's Navy,  is the principal naval warfare force of the British Empire. Ships of the Royal Navy bear the prefix HMS, meaning His or Her Majesty's Ship.


The Royal Navy is controlled by the Office of the Admiralty in Whitehall. The lords commissioners of the Admiralty are known as the Sea Lords, and each has charge over a specific area of the Navy’s operations. The Royal Navy stationed warships around the British Empire in order to bolster the defenses of the colonies, as well as using them to ferry soldiers abroad.  The Navy is divided into three main squadrons, known as “colored squadrons” due to the fact that they are each distinguished by a color. They are the Red, White and Blue squadrons, and each is commanded by (in descending order of seniority) an Admiral, Vice Admiral and a Rear Admiral. The Red is the most senior squadron, and Blue the least. 



The organized English navy first began in 1509, when Henry VIII ordered a massive expansion of their fleet, increasing from 5 ships to 30 in 1514. 

In the late 16th century, the Spanish Empire was Europe’s superpower and threatened England with invasion to restore Catholicism. The Spanish Armada set sail in 1588, but was thoroughly defeated by the superior English ships and seamanship, suffering a decisive defeat at the Battle of Gravelines. 

Queen Elizabeth made strength at sea a high priority, supporting privateers such as Francis Drake, who raided Spanish shipping. English captains devised new tactics and English shipwrights introduced new designs that allowed ships to sail faster, maneuver better and carry heavier guns. 

In 1664, the Royal Navy captured New Amsterdam, which was renamed New York City. Samuel Pepys, Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under Kings Charles II and James II, introduced reforms that led t the professionalization of the Royal Navy. 

As a result of the Acts of Union, the English Navy combined with the Royal Scots Navy to form the Royal Navy.

At some point, James McGraw joined the Royal Navy, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant under the guidance of Admiral Hennessey.  

Recent History[]

In 1705, during the War of Spanish Succession, also known as Queen Anne’s War, Lieutenant James McGraw was sent by Admiral Hennessey as liaison to the Hamilton family, who wished for the Navy to assist them in reclaiming the Bahamas, to which they owned title. 

LordThomas Hamilton and McGraw formulate a plan that McGraw believes will play well with the Sea Lords. They would launch a targeted raid on the beach under cover from two men of war. They would then hold public trials and hangings of roughly a dozen of the pirate ringleaders, and replace the corrupt GovernorRobert Thompson with a man of their choosing. However, Thomas instead wishes to offer the pirates a Royal Pardon, an idea McGr

Lieutenant James McGraw in 1705.

aw thinks is politically dangerous. When the pardon idea is brought before Lord Alfred Hamilton, Thomas’ father and Lord Proprietor of Carolina, he vehemently opposes it. This begins a prolonged political campaign in Whitehall between the father and son over the pardon issue. 

McGraw discusses his posting with Admiral Hennessey in a bar frequented by Navy officers. While Hennessey steps out, McGraw gets into a brawl with Pickram and several other men when they insult Thomas and his wife Miranda

McGraw travels to Nassau to assess the situation for Thomas. While there, the pirates kill Governor Thompson’s wife and son after he demands more bribe money from them. Thompson is allowed to live, to spread word of who is in control of Nassau. McGraw is barely able to escape, and believes had he delayed, his ship would have been confiscated. This hurts their chances of being able to get the votes necessary to pass the pardon. McGraw then offers to bring the idea directly to the Admiralty and the Sea Lords. He believes they can spin this issue as one of military strategy, for a lawless Nassau is a weakness Spain can exploit. However, when McGraw attempts to do so, Admiral Hennessey reveals that Lord Alfred is waiting in his office. Hennessey and Alfred tell him they know about McGraw’s affair with both Miranda and Thomas. Miranda and James are sent into exile, while Thomas is imprisoned in Bethlem Royal Hospital, an insane asylum. 

Season One[]

His Majesty’s Ship the Scarborough, a Royal Navy man of war, is transferred from Boston to theBahamas, to prepare to take back Nassau from the pirates. News of the Scarborough’s proximity to Nassau panics many of the pirates, and some attempt to flee.  Captain Hume attempts to arrest Richard Guthrie, who manages the fencing of the pirates’ cargo, in his home on Harbour Island, but is stopped by the pirate Captain Flint

His Majesty's Ship, the Scarborough.

When Flint chases the Andromache, hoping to obtain her 12 pounder cannon to use in his hunt for the Urca de Lima, the Scarborough follows, having been told of their route by Captain Dyfed Bryson. The Scarborough arrives as night is falling. The pirates keep their presence hidden from the Scarborough while trying to breach the bunker that Bryson and his men retreated to. After the battle is finished, the pirates’ presence is revealed when two of them accidentally trigger a trap that causes an explosion. The pirates flee from the Scarborough as she opens fire on them. The pirates escape, losing their boatswain Billy Bones, who fell overboard after the Walrus was hit by the Scarborough’s cannon fire. 

Season Two[]

It is revealed that Billy was captured by Captain Hume and held prisoner on Harbour Island, where the Navy has set up a garrison consisting a full company of Royal Marines, an armory and barracks. Billy is tortured by Hume for six days. Hume then tells Billy that he will release Billy, and should he subdue Flint and bring him to Harbour Island, he and nine men of his choosing will receive a Royal Pardon. Billy takes the deal, and makes his way to Nassau

Billy eventually  reunites with his crew, and warns them that the Royal Navy is fully encamped on Harbour Island, and have no intention of leaving. 

Flint warns Eleanor Guthrie and Charles Vane that the Royal Navy will likely use three or four ships to launch a tactical assault to retake the bay when they finally decide to take back the island. He says that the Empire’s resources will be inexhaustible when they set their mind to it, and the pirates will be driven inland and forced to fight as rebels from the interior, hoping to inflict enough damage and expense to convince the new governor to negotiate with their remnants. 

Benjamin Hornigold calls an election of his and Flint’s combined crew. Flint’s quartermaster, Dufresne, believes that Flint’s plan of courting Lord Peter Ashe, his former friend and ally in trying to obtain the pardon for the pirates, in reconciling Nassau with the British Empire, is unfeasible. Billy tells him about the deal with Hume. Dufresne gathers eight men to meet with Billy, however, Billy brings the rest of the Walrus crew and they expel Dufresne and his men from the crew. Billy tells them that his taking the deal was a ruse so he could escape, but he would never betray his brothers just to save his own skin. 

When Charles Vane captures Flint’s ship while it sits at anchor in the Charles Town Harbor, Billy tells him that Vane is being shortsighted in dismissing the threat of the Royal Navy. Billy warns him about the garrison at Harbour Island, and tells him that Hume is just waiting for orders to exterminate the pirate

Captain Hume with an escort of Royal Marines on Harbour Island.

s. Vane realizes Billy is right, and decides to rescue Flint after the Charles Town Militia arrests him. 

Benjamin Hornigold and Dufresne arrest Eleanor Guthrie. They bring her to Hume on Harbour Island, and Hume gives them and their men the ten pardons. 

Season Three[]

Woodes Rogers is granted the title of Governor of the Bahamas, and given permission to offer all the pirates a Royal Pardon. He is given a military escort of three Royal Navy warships and 700 British Regulars, led by Commodore Peter Chamberlain. Royal Navy officers are included in his cabinet. 

The fleet of eight ships sails for Nassau, stopping at St. Kitts to rendezvous with Benjamin Hornigold, who now serves as a privateer in the service of the Crown. There, they receive the news from Hornigold that Captain Flint is dead. 

Eleanor Guthrie, who had been freed from imprisonment and taken on as an advisor by Rogers, suggests using his military assets to pacify the island by force rather than trying to placate them. Rogers reveals that Spain financially backed his endeavor on the condition that Rogers return the entirety of the Urca de Lima prize gold within eight weeks, or they will send a fleet of ten ships and 1,500 soldiers to burn Nassau to the ground. 

His Majesty's ship, the Milford, a warship of 60 guns carrying 120 soldiers.

The fleet sails on to Nassau, but finds that the pirates have prepared a defense, with their ships assembled in a firing line at the mouth of the harbor. Rogers holds a meeting with his senior officers, and Chamberlain warns them that the pirates’ formation ensures that any approach to the harbor mouth would result in significant damage to their fleet, and sees no way to take Nassau Town without resulting in heavy losses. Rogers offers to go alone to the beach to read the pardon address. Chamberlain refuses, saying that he is responsible for Rogers’ safety in addition to the entire endeavor’s. Eleanor suggests Hornigold go alone to the beach under a white flag to read the address, as the pirates all knew and respected him. Hornigold is successful, and the pirates all lay down their arms and surrender. 

Despite the surrender of the pirates on the beach, holdouts remain in Fort Nassau and on the fleet in the bay. In order to starve them out, Rogers’ fleet blockades the harbor while former pirates besiege them on land. A wall of Fort Nassau is blown up in order to create a diversion for Vane to escape those seeking the 10,000 pound pardon on his head. He succeeds in getting to the remaining holdouts on the fleet. 

To escape the blockade, the pirates send a fireship at Rogers’ fleet. Rogers order his fleet to scramble to avoid colliding with it, but the Willing Mind is hit, suffering heavy damage. 

After the gold is secured, it is transported toHavana aboard the fleet under Chamberlain’s command. However, Rogers was ambushed while trying to transportJack Rackham and the last portion of the gold, which had been converted into a cache of gems, to a waiting ship. Flint and his men rescue Jack and abscond with the gold, but Vane is captured. Rogers falls ill shortly afterwards, leaving Eleanor in charge. 

Vane is scheduled to be delivered to the HMS Shark to be transported to London for trial and execution, but the street resists this thanks to the machinations of Billy Bones, who turns their ire against Eleanor Guthrie. The crew of the Shark stands down on Eleanor’s orders, and an accelerated trial is held in the middle of the night. The next day, Vane is hanged in Nassau’s square. 

Commodore Chamberlain leads Rogers’ ships and soldiers to the Maroon Island from the HMS Milford, to reclaim the cache of gems from Flint and his Maroon allies. Accompanying him is the New Providence Island Militia, led by Captain Hornigold, which has been further supplemented by a special company of men from the staff of the Underhill Estate with experience in hunting escaped slaves. The fleet batters the pirate and Maroon’s defenses with their cannons before deploying their men ashore in longboats. The pirates are eventually forced to flee into the jungle. 

While Hornigold and Major Rollins lead the ground forces in pursuing Flint, another fleet approaches Chamberlain’s. When asked to identify themselves, the ships raise the Black, revealing themselves as the  Pirate Fleet. The two fleets exchange broadsides, however the pirate vanguard swims to the Orion and takes over the ship. The pirates then fire the Orion’s stern chasers directly into bow of the Milford, which rip through her gun crews. With Edward Teach sailing his flagship directly at the Milford, Chamberlain orders the anchor cables be cut and for the fleet to retreat. On the island, the ground forces are led into an ambush and decimated. 

Season Four[]

After the defeat at the Maroon Island, Commodore Chamberlain is ordered to return to England with  Rogers’ military assets due to war breaking out with Spain. Several hundred soldiers mutiny and remain behind, intent on avenging their defeat at the Maroon Island. 

Royal Navy officers are seen in Philadelphia


Officers of the Royal Navy had a variety of uniforms to denote their rank. Commodores  wore blue frock coats with gold laced buttons as well as gold lacing on the cuffs over a white waistcoat with gold lacing. Captains wore a similar coat albeit with less extensive gold lacing on the cuffs. Lieutenants wore blue frock


coats with thin gold stripes around the buttons. Commodores wore black tricorn hats with gold trim, and lieutenants the same but with a white trim. Royal Navy officers could also have a more elaborate dress uniform, which featured white facings. More junior officers wear simple navy blue jackets. 

In 1705, the uniform for lieutenants in the Royal Navy was a blue frock coat with silver lacing. All uniforms were informal before 1748 when regulations were introduced.

Ordinarily sailors wear simple civilian clothing, usually in shades of white and grey. 


High ranking officers generally carry elegant smallswords with gilded hilts and a white handle. Some carry more personalized swords. 

The standard weapons for the rank and file of the Navy are the British Sea Service flintlock pistol, the Brown Bess musket, and a cutlass with a straight blade and a figure eight guard. 

Members of the Royal Navy[]

Former Members[]

Ships of the Royal Navy[]


"A man-o'-war was spotted yesterday. Royal Navy. What if today's the day? What if Scott is downstairs right now waiting to give me the news? The British are back. Decamp from Nassau. And then what? Then they blockade the island, choke off trade. A few crews will resist, but how long can they survive without my father's support? One by one their numbers will dwindle. The fort will be abandoned. Soldiers will storm the beach. By the time the smoke clears, my father will have arrived. First time he's set foot here in five years waving the royal commission that his bribes purchased and lording over the place. Round of applause, the new governor. Somewhere in London, some foul f*ck will get news of all of this, light his pipe and say, 'Finally, all is right again in Nassau.'"

Eleanor Guthrie to Max in II.

"I saw a garrison on Harbour Island. 200 men. I saw an armory, some barracks. They weren't passing through. The navy is, this moment, fully encamped 40 miles away from where you stand."

Billy Bones in XIV.


External Links[]