- "Ah, there's a tug of the wind at my hair! I find a bracing comfort in the feel and smell of the ocean. The raw stink of... of possibility!"
- ―Stede Bonnet to Edward Kenway, on their voyage to Havana, 1715.[src]
Stede Bonnet (c. 1688 – 1718) was an early 18th century Barbadian pirate of English descent who sailed the Eastern Seaboard of the Thirteen Colonies with his crew. Despite his infamy, he was often nicknamed "The Gentleman Pirate", due in part to the fact that he was a moderately wealthy landowner prior to turning to piracy, owning a profitable sugar plantation in Barbados.
Time in HavanaEdit
In 1715, Stede's schooner, Revenge was waylaid by a Royal Navy warship off the coast of Cape Bonavista, Cuba. The British suspected Stede of being involved in a nearby battle between a pirate warship and a passing vessel.
Despite denying this profusely, the British refused to accept his turn of events, intending to commandeer his vessel and marooning him. He was saved by the timely intervention of Edward Kenway, a pirate who had been involved in the engagement, and shortly beforehand assumed the identity of Duncan Walpole, an Assassin whom Edward had been forced to kill. Having saved Stede's life, the pirate offered to pilot Revenge to Havana, where both of them had business. On arriving in Havana, Stede and Edward headed into the city, eventually ending up in a tavern.
There, Edward was recognized by a privateer, who knew of Kenway being a pirate, and of his ties to those in Nassau. The two engaged in a fight after Edward's attempt to silence him, drawing the attention of some nearby Spanish guards. Stede was mistaken for Kenway's accomplice and severely beaten by the guards, having his sugar confiscated in the process.
Once Kenway had returned from avoiding the soldiers, he found a battered Bonnet by the docks, who told the former that the soldiers had confiscated Edward's possessions, as well as the sugar. Edward then agreed to retrieve Bonnet's cargo at the same time as his own effects, but could not fulfill on his promise. Fortunately however, Stede was still able to make a profit with his remaining inventory, and Kenway then confessed his real first name to Bonnet.
Later on, Bonnet spotted Kenway with the Templars and excitedly called him by his real name, nearly blowing his cover, to which Kenway was quickly able to talk his way out of trouble. Kenway later met with Bonnet and complained about the small pay he received from the governor Laureano de Torres y Ayala for the items he brought. Bonnet, on the other hand, was really trying to inform Kenway of his great sales from the day.
Introduction to piracyEdit
Over the following years, Bonnet went on to sail under Edward Thatch for a time on his ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, where he reunited with his old friend Edward Kenway, while searching for medicines for Nassau in the old ship wrecks. There, he became an unfortunate victim of Thatch's fear tactics, which frightened him speechless.
Later on, Thatch and his crew engaged in a British Man O' War and were eventually assisted by Kenway. After the battle, Thatch allowed Bonnet to leave his service, and helped Bonnet reacquire his old ship, which he renamed the Revenge. Meeting Kenway for the final time, Bonnet joyfully bade his friend farewell, thanking him for their friendship, which he claimed was "more precious than any treasure".
Bonnet and his crew foolishly chose a Man O' War as their first target, and most of the crew was lost during the battle. Bonnet survived, but was soon captured by the British and hanged for his piracy. Eyewitnesses reported being moved to tears by his remorse in the last moments before the execution. However, Bonnet left clues for Edward Kenway, who followed in Bonnet's footsteps on the island of Saint Lucia, and uncovered the secrets of the pirate's adventures.
Stede Bonnet was a jolly and gracious man, shown especially by his great respect for Edward Kenway, who saved his life, and his ability to see a silver lining to any situation. However, this came paired with naivety, as Bonnet clearly did not understand the potential dangers he could have faced while traveling with Edward, nor for the consequences of piracy, passing it off for grand adventure.
While sailing under Thatch, Bonnet showed more courage than earlier, being toughened up by living with the pirates. Of course, when Thatch was demonstrating to Edward what it meant to instill fear in men, Bonnet still cowered weakly when Thatch used him as an example. Despite this, Stede left Thatch's crew in good spirits, even commenting to Kenway the great impact that the man had on his self-esteem and confidence, as his last words to Kenway involved Bonnet thanking him for his help.