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The Blockade of Nassau was a naval blockade set up in July 1718 by the British Empire to curb piracy in the Caribbean and gain control of the port of Nassau. Under the command of Governor Woodes Rogers and Commodore Peter Chamberlaine, British forces took control of the town and gave the local pirates a choice to take the King's pardon or be executed. While most of the pirates took the pardon, Charles Vane and Edward Kenway, along with a few others, created a fireship and managed to escape the blockade.


Piracy had been prevalent in the Caribbean since the 1650s and continued into the 1730s, during which it would be called the "Golden Age of Piracy". In 1715, the Treaty of Utrecht saw the end of the War of the Spanish Succession and the conversion of British privateers into pirates, after which many of them moved to Nassau.[1]

Taking advantage of the poor military presence on the island, the pirates easily ousted the soldiers and set up their own democratic government, headed by Benjamin Hornigold, Edward Thatch, and Charles Vane. Declaring themselves the Brethren of the Coast and operating from the town's fort, the pirate coalition numbered near five hundred men by 1715.[1]

However, with a lack of any established infrastructure - including the absence of doctors on the island - the young republic was soon afflicted by disease and poverty. Attempting to solve the problem by acquiring medicines, Thatch attacked a British Man O' War and blockaded Charles-Towne for a week. With Kenway's help, the medicines were taken to Nassau and distributed. Regardless, Thatch's actions had earned the attention of the Royal Navy, and in 1718, the Templar Woodes Rogers was appointed Governor of the Bahamas and given the task of removing the pirates from the island by any means necessary.[1]

The blockade

Arrival in Nassau

Woodes Rogers, Peter Chamberlaine and the British Army arrived on the shores of Nassau on 22 July, 1718. Rogers and Chamberlaine then met with Hornigold on the beach before surveying the town. The group then stopped at the Old Avery tavern, where Vane, Jack Rackham, and Hornigold's officers Josiah Burgess and John Cockram joined them, before making their way to Fort Nassau.[1]

All the while, Rogers discussed the idea of renovating the town and fortress with much-needed repairs, but Chamberlaine protested, saying that their first task should be the disarming of the pirates and a blockade of the port, to prevent an uprising or escape. Rogers quickly suppressed the Commodore's outburst, maintaining that slow persuasion was the key to winning over the pirates, not brute force.[1]

Arriving at the fort, Rogers, Chamberlaine, and the pirates went inside, where the new Governor read the pardon out to them; should any of them surrender themselves and their vessels to any governors or officers of the Navy before the end of the year, they would be cleared of all prior charges of piracy, with the condition that they return to England. However, if they refused the pardon, they would be promptly imprisoned and executed without a trial.[1][2]

Unbeknownst to the group, Edward Kenway had followed them through the town and into the fort, where he stole plans that Chamberlaine had drawn up, ordering a full blockade of the island. As the meeting was concluded, Rogers informed the pirates that they would be confined in Nassau until they made their decision. [1]

Chamberlaine threatening the pirates

As the pirates left the fort, Hornigold, Burgess, and Cockram readily accepted the pardon, while Vane and Rackham refused. The latter two soon met up with Kenway back at the Old Avery, determining that their presence in Nassau was no longer worth fighting for. With this in mind, Vane and Kenway conspired to escape that night, breaking the blockade and heading for Kenway's hideout in Great Inagua.[1]

However, the plan called for a fireship to launch at the fleet, and the pirates set about retrieving the needed supplies. As Vane collected pine pitch, Kenway managed to steal several kegs of gunpowder from British camps around the island. With these materials, the pirates would convert Rackham's schooner, the Royal Phoenix, into an explosive to be sailed into the British fleet.[1]

Assassination of Chamberlaine

As the pirates gathered the pine pitch, they overheard two of Commodore Chamberlaine's men discussing orders to attack and sink every pirate ship moored in the harbor, including the Phoenix, Vane's Ranger, and Kenway's Jackdaw.[1] Knowing the plan would fail without their ships, Kenway resolved to kill Chamberlaine before he could begin the assault.[1][2]

Following the soldiers, Kenway arrived at Chamberlaine's flagship as the crew prepared to set sail. Edward then climbed the Man O' War's rigging and assassinated Chamberlaine from above, stopping the attack and ensuring that the Phoenix could be launched without incident.[1]

The pirates' escape

With the fireship completed and Chamberlaine dead, the pirates set sail that night. Using the Jackdaw to protect the Phoenix, Edward fought off several gunboats until the fireship made its way to the blockade. Rackham's ship rammed into the side of a Man O' War, destroying both ships and sending the rest of the fleet into a panic.[1]

With Vane and Rackham following close behind in the Ranger, Kenway cleared a path for their escape. As the blockade sank, Rackham and Vane's crew celebrated their victory. Together, the ships ventured to Great Inagua, restocked, and departed once more - this time, to find Edward Thatch, who had retired to Ocracoke, North Carolina.[1]


Though the blockade was destroyed, the British still maintained control over Nassau, and several pirates accepted the pardon, including Hornigold and his men. The three even joined the Templar Order, becoming pirate hunters devoted to chasing down their former allies. Under Rogers' direction, Hornigold would also assist him in locating the Sage Bartholomew Roberts, who had escaped from Templar custody three years prior.[1]


  • In keeping with the blockade, it is impossible to fast-travel at all during Sequence 7.