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Title: Pirates in the 'Age of Projects', 1688-1707
Author: Finnegan, Oliver John
ISNI:       0000 0004 7968 4184
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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This dissertation retells the history of pirates in the anglophone world, 1688-1707. It argues that the appellation "pirate" became applied to some within global seafaring communities as part of a contest among people of middling means to define the purpose and organisation of overseas expansion. These merchants, landowners, priests and politicians acted as part of an "Age of Projects", a societal impulse triggered by the hardships of war, in which people attempted unlikely schemes for financial as well as political and social gain. Many of their plans were colonial or imperial in scope, and pirates - imagined as the absolute enemy of thalassocracy - retained a particular value within them, as they could be pinpointed as signifiers of larger moral and ideological deviance within the societies who hosted them. Defining who was or was not a pirate, eradicating or returning them to landed society, and rooting out their abettors became a means for individuals to demonstrate control over movements of people and, in turn, to advance a particular vision of empire. By exploring how pirates were created as part of this phenomenon, the thesis uses the methodologies of global history. Each chapter is oriented around a project in which the eradication of pirates became central, and traces the local, regional and global contexts which influenced its attempted realisation. In particular, Chapter 1 considers how admiralty courts attempted to suppress "piratical" Franco-Irish connections in Europe and the Atlantic. Chapter 2 traces the relationship between the Company of Scotland's Darien Scheme and Caribbean piracy. Chapter 3 examines how the Earl of Bellomont attempted to use the existence of Madagascar pirates to transpose Irish colonisation strategies to North America. Chapter 4 focuses upon how Anglicans on both sides of the Atlantic used the sheltering of pirates in Pennsylvania to aid the creation of a missionary society. Chapter 5 covers three attempts to colonise Madagascar, which formed part of a larger contest over how exchange between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans should be managed.
Supervisor: O'Reilly, William Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: North America ; Caribbean ; England ; Scotland ; Ireland ; Indian Ocean ; Atlantic Ocean ; Jacobites ; Company of Scotland ; East India Company ; Henry Avery ; Thomas Green ; William Kidd ; Thomas Vaughan ; Franco-Irish ; Quakers ; Philadelphia ; New York ; Entangled history ; Connected history ; Atlantic history ; Migration ; Trade ; Religion ; Law ; High Court of Admiralty ; George Keith ; Richard Coote ; Pirates ; Piracy ; Buccaneers ; Panama ; Darien Venture ; Thomas Bowrey ; John Aylward ; Helena Aylward ; Daniel Defoe ; Age of Projects ; Projector ; Projecting ; Imperialism ; Colonialism ; Slavery