Go over the plank

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Howard Pyle : Sailor goes over the plank

Walk the plank (also Plank Walk ) was an execution form on pirate ships .

The convict was handcuffed and placed on a plank that was attached to the railing so that it protruded from the ship to the sea . The convict was then forced with a spear to go to the end of the plank, where he fell into the water and mostly drowned .

This form of execution is part of the pirate legend, but was rarely used. Usually pirates simply threw their prisoners overboard. However, individual cases are documented:

  • The privateer Marten Pechlin (1450–1526) was said to have killed 105 sailors in one day in this way.
  • In 1769 the mutineer George Wood confessed in Newgate Prison that he and his co-conspirators had forced their officers to go over the plank.
  • The Times reported on February 14, 1829 that the Redpole was seized and sunkby the pirate beautiful President . The commander was shot and the crew forced to go over the plank.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Douglas Botting, The Pirates , TimeLife Books, 1978, p. 58.
  2. ^ The Times , Feb.14, 1829, p. 3.
  3. David Cordingly. Under the Black Flag: The Romance and Reality of Life Among the Pirates, Harvest Books, 1997, pp. 130-31.