The Pirate Articles
Before setting out on a voyage, a pirate crew would sign Articles. These were a set of rules drawn up by the captain and crew. They specified how the ship would be run, how treasure would be divided and what punishments would be imposed on pirates who broke the rules. Some Articles were long lists of rules, others contained just a few points. Pirates had to sign the Articles before a voyage. Most pirates were able to read and sign their name, but some simply made a mark instead.