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Gay Pirates by Cosmo Jarvis


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One of the more interesting institutions developed by pirates in the 17th century was the practice of matelotage, a formal, often contractual permanent union between two consenting adult men. ... The word matelot is a French term meaning "seaman" and matelotage means "seamanship" in French.



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That is an interesting piece of information, which fits with something I came across when doing some research on a story idea I had. In a letter (from 1700) there is a mention of a young man who apparently had fled England to avoid charges of sodomy. In the letter it states that the young man had "taken up with pirates off the coast of Virginia as they accept such ways and where he can find companionship". At the time I could not make much sense of the comment, but now it makes sense.

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