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No purchase, no pay

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Title: No purchase, no pay  
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Subject: Buccaneer, Letter of marque, Captain Sabertooth, 1620s in piracy, Salvador Pirates
Collection: Adages, Piracy, Pirate Customs and Traditions, Privateers
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No purchase, no pay

Privateer captain Woodes Rogers who is said to have employed pirates on a "no purchase, no pay" basis.

"No purchase, no pay" (or "no prey, no pay") was a phrase used by pirates and privateers, of the 17th century in particular, to describe the conditions under which participants were expected to join expeditions or raids. The phrase describes a remuneration arrangement similar to a commission.[1]

Contents

  • Meaning 1
  • Use 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Meaning

The term "purchase" in the phrase is used to mean success against piratical targets from whom booty might be successfully extracted.[2] The premise of the phrase was that if the expedition did not succeed in extracting booty from the target, those participating in the expedition would receive no reward.[3]

In the case of an unsuccessful raid, participants might receive nothing at all. But in the event that a raid was successful, loot was often shared equitably and democratically with clear ratios based on seniority and length of service.[4]

Use

The phrase was used extensively to describe arrangements for pirates working on the Spanish Main in particular. The concept is said to have encouraged increased risk-taking as pirates made a calculated decision to attack more valuable targets with a better risk-reward ratio.[5]

Hender Molesworth, Governor of Jamaica, is known to have issued privateer and even pirate-hunting contracts with strict "no purchase, no pay" clauses.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ The Sea Rover's Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630-1730 by Benerson Little (Potomac Books, 2005)
  2. ^ Daily Life of Pirates by David Marley (ABC-CLIO, 2012)
  3. ^ a b Pirates of the Americas, Volume 1 by David Marley (ABC-CLIO, 2010)
  4. ^ No man knows my grave: Sir Henry Morgan, Captain William Kidd, Captain Woodes Rogers in the great age of privateers and pirates, 1665-1715 by Alexander Porter Winston (Houghton Mifflin, 1969)
  5. ^ Jolly Roger: The Story of the Great Age of Piracy by Patrick Pringle (Courier Dover Publications, 2001)
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