Swordplay & Swashbucklers

Home » Maritime » Walking the Plank: An Associated Image

Walking the Plank: An Associated Image


“Kapitein Lambert Hendrikszoon laat 125 zeerovers ophangen aan de ra’s van zijn schepen of in zee gooien voor de haven van Algiers, ca. 1619, Jan Luyken, 1682 – 1684.” (Rijksmuseum.)

In The Golden Age of Piracy: The Truth Behind Pirate Myths, I’ve devoted an entire chapter to this myth of walking the plank. The image above is of a Dutch flotilla commanded by Captain Lambert Hendrikszoon in the early 1680s harshly negotiating a peace treaty with Algiers, notorious for its “Barbary corsairs.” Note that a corsair was a privateer, not a pirate, although often the Barbary corsairs were referred to as pirates–after all, they were not “Christians.” Even so, they were lawfully commissioned and were pirates only if they went to sea without a commission to hunt prey. A major part of Barbary corsair plunder consisted of prisoners–Christians, often–taken as slaves. This was naturally an objectionable, heinous, barbaric (note the origin of the word) practice. Yet Europeans often hypocritically failed to note the irony that Barbary corsairs were enslaving people who themselves engaged in the slave trade of Africans, Native Americans, mixed races, and sometimes even of Asians–and, at least to the early 18th century, North Africans.


Detail. (Rijksmuseum.)

In the detail below, Algerine prisoners are being murdered in reprisal, in this case  via “walking the plank”–but clearly no plank was necessary.

1 Comment

  1. […] Источник: Walking the Plank: An Associated Image […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: