Madagascar is an island off the coast of South Africa, and was an infamous stronghold for piracy in the 17th and 18th centuries. Good weather, secluded coves, friendly natives and an abundance of fresh food and water made it a haven for pirates operating in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Small bands of native peoples populated the island, but none lived in close proximity to each other. European contact began in the year 1500, when Portuguese sea captain Diogo Dias sighted the island after his ship seperated from a fleet going to India. In 1665, Francois Caron, the Director General of the French East India Company, sailed to Madagascar. The Company failed to establish a colony on Madagascar but established ports on the nearby islands of Bourbon and Ile-de-France. In the late 17th century, the French established trading posts along the east coast.
Around 1690, Madagascar became haven to pirates, who used the island as a safe port from which they would sail and prey on the rich trade of the Indian Ocean. Toward the end of the 1700s, the age of the Buccaneers was coming to a close. Tortuga was beginning to settle down under French rule and Port Royal was still reeling under the shock of the earthquake of 1692, a blow from which it's piratical population never recovered. The Caribbean pirates began to make the long voyage around the Cape of Good Hope beginning what was to become known as the "Pirate Round".
Bands of pirates established a variety of bases on Madagascar. Usually each was under the command of a single pirate captain reffered to as a "king". Around the 1700s, 1500 pirates lived on the island and seventeen vessels made it their home port.
By 1711, Madagascar's popularity and pirate population declined. Squadrons of warships patrolled the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. Less then one hundred pirates remained on the island.
When Woodes Rogers in 1718 succeed in driving the pirates from Port Nassau in the Bahamas, Madagascar reclaim it's popularity with the pirates. At that time pirates such as Christopher Condent and Edward England chose Madagascar as their base of operations.
Captain Teague was the Pirate Lord of Madagascar at some point prior to the fourth meeting of the Brethren Court. In the later 1700s, it became the domain of Iñaki Sorginak, forming his base of operations for raids all along the African coast, with Shangri-La as his base. 
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Pirates' Guidelines, Chapter 1