Infamous Pirates > Christopher Moody

Christopher Moody

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration

Background

Christopher Moody (1694 - 1722) was a famous pirate of the Post Spanish Succession Period and was initially part of the crew of Bartholomew Roberts. Moody is famous for flying a red and gold version of the Jolly Roger that meant no quarter and struck fear in the hearts of all who saw it. The flag featured an hourglass with wings to show his victims that their time to live was flying away and in the middle was a white arm holding a dagger.

Christopher Moody - Christopher Moody Pirate Flag

Christopher Moody Pirate Flag

Not much is known about his early life and he is first recorded to have pirated off the coast of the Carolinas between 1713 and 1718 which may put him in contact with the Flying Gang. He was eventually captured in 1722 and hung at Cape Coast Castle in Cabo Corso, Ghana along with the rest of Bartholomew Robert's crew.

Overall he is important for highlighting the difference between the pirate flags which was actually a common maritime practice if one examines privateering as well. Moody was not the first to fly a red flag and this originated with English privateers who flew the Red Jack under the Admiralty of 1694. The red flag was known to symbolize blood and meant the pirates would not leave any survivors. During the War of Spanish Succession many privateers used the red flag and then continued to use it when they transitioned to pirates in the ensuing period of peace following the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht.

Bartholomew Roberts Gang

Bartholomew Roberts Crew

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources