The Fancy was the famous pirate ship of Henry Every. The ship was originally named the Charles II and while privateering in May of 1694 off the coast of Spain, Every and some crew mutinied and captured the ship. Following its seizure they renamed the ship the Fancy and set off to commit acts of piracy. The Fancy at this time had about fifty cannons and a crew of 150.
First they traveled south and ventured to the island of Johanna off of the coast of the Cape of Good Hope. There they careened the vessel as well as restructuring the ship to increase her speed on the water. From here they likely ventured to Madagascar where the pirates plundered ships in the Indian Ocean.Avery steered the Fancy, which boasted nearly 50 guns and a crew of 150, to the island of Johanna off the Cape of Good Hope. There, the ship was cleaned and restructured to increase her speed. Avery and his crew terrorized ships in the Indian Ocean until late 1695, when they set sail for the Bahamas, enormous fortune in tow, for an early retirement. Governor Nicholas Trott offered refuge in exchange for treasure, including 1,000 pounds of ivory tusks, and Avery also presented Trott with the Fancy. While several of his men were later captured and sentenced to death, Avery vanished and died a free and wealthy man.Fancy was Henry Every's ship, and was commanded by him between May 1694 to late 1695, when he retired from piracy and the fate of Fancy becomes unknown.HistoryFancy was initially a 46-gun privateer named Charles II - after Charles II of Spain - in Spanish service, commanded by a Captain Gibson, and was anchored at A Coruña, Spain. On 7 May 1694, Henry Every and a few other conspirators organised and carried out a successful mutiny and, setting Captain Gibson ashore, left A Coruña for the Cape of Good Hope. At this time, Charles II was renamed Fancy.Upon arriving at the Cape, Every sailed to the island of Johanna (Anjouan) in the Comoros Islands, where he had Fancy careened - removing barnacles and weed from the section of the hull that was permanently below water, increasing her speed. He also had Fancy razeed, intentionally removing parts of the ship's superstructure in order to increase her speed. Following this work, Fancy became one of the fastest ships active in the Indian Ocean, and Every used this speed to attack and take a French pirate ship, looting the vessel and recruiting approximately 40 of the crew to his own ship, leaving him with a total complement of around 150.Flag attributed to Henry EveryEvery continued to be active in the Indian Ocean where he worked alongside other famous pirates of his time, including Thomas Tew. Most notable in his captures was Ganj-I-Sawai, a Mughal ship under the command of Ibrahim Khan during Emperor Aurangzeb's era. Mounting 62 cannons and four to five hundred musket-armed guards, cannon fire from Fancy was instrumental in Every's victory - the first salvo caused a cannon to explode, and a number of gunners were killed. Every's career ended when the crew returned to Nassau, in the Bahamas, where Every returned to Britain aboard the sloop Isaac.Although the fate of Fancy is unknown, it was rumored that Every gave her to the governor of Nassau as bribe.See All Famous Pirate Ships