Age of Pirates

Pirate Encyclopedia: Port Royal

Port Royal was once a known as the "wickedest city on earth" for its gaudy display of wealth and obvious lack of morality. Nestled in a sandpit on the western end of Kingston Harbor in Jamaica, Port Royal was one of the most prosperous cities in the English colonies for most of the 17th century. Port Royal served a major player for England in the slave trade, as well as, in the trade of sugar and raw material.

Port Royal was a mecca for pirates and buccaneers including the famous pirate, Sir Henry Morgan. Pirates flocked to Port Royal where they could spend their hard earned plunder with ease. The British even encouraged pirates to live in Port Royal boasting to them that they would have ample amounts of French and Spanish ships to prey upon. As a result, Port Royal became a weapon for the British in their quarrels with France and Spain.

At one point, Port Royal served as the capitol city for Jamaica but on June 7, 1692 Port Royal succumbed to an unfortunate demise. An enormous earthquake shook the city on that morning and caused the sandpit to melt into the Caribbean Sea with two thirds of Port Royal falling with it. Over 2000 Port Royal residents died in the earthquake and the city would never again regain the glory and prosperity it once enjoyed.

Jamaicans attempted several times to rebuild and restore what was left of Port Royal back into a thriving city, but all attempts failed as they were hampered by a debilitating fire and several hurricanes.

In 1907, another severe earthquake devastated what remained of Port Royal. What was once a haven for pirates and touted as a city of sin, Port Royal now resides beneath the waves of the Caribbean Sea.

Copyright 2006 CleverMedia
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