Return with us to the Golden Age of Piracy, when brave souls set sail in wooden ships in pursuit of pillage, plunder, freedom and adventure on the High Seas, and enduring legend!
Welcome to the remote and far-flung colony of Fort Amity, a small British outpost on the east coast of Spanish Florida.
In this year of 1702, the British Empire is at war with the empires of Spain and France. The globe has been set ablaze, as these three nations vie for supremacy and domination.
For over 200 years, Spanish rule in La Florida has remained unchallenged. The British Captain-General and Lord Governor, Lord Hyde, has other plans. Furtively, and with great cunning and alacrity, he has established Fort Amity, not as a mere harbour for merchants, but as a haven for buccaneers, corsairs, and Pirates. He has proclaimed a parley, and many have answered his call. Letters of Marque are in the offing, issued by our wily host, to assemble his own fleet of privateers. His plan is simple, to strike at the rich Spanish Treasure Fleet, and take Saint Augustine town for himself.
Join our cast of interactive costumed players, for three fun-filled days of swashbuckling adventure, fit for all ages! Engage in parley with our diverse array of 18th century personalities and reenactors, in the encampments, or throughout the lanes of our village. Enjoy an immersive, memorable experience of history, hilarity, friendship and excitement in the Golden Age of Piracy!
List of Characters
His Excellency, Henry Lord Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, Lord Governor and Commander-in-Chief of all British Colonies in the New World
Lord Hyde is the first cousin of Queen Anne of Great Britain, and when war with France and Spain broke out, Her Majesty was more than happy to appoint her dubious and unpredictable kinsman with the golden prize of absolute and complete authority over all of Her colonies in the Americas… so far away, and so safely distanced from London.
Hyde is the patriarch of one of England’s oldest, richest and most noble of Houses, and there has never been a more rapacious, greedy, and power hungry aristocrat and politician in the history of his nation. His ruthlessness, tenacity and thirst for the blood of his enemies, was sharpened on the battlefields of the British Isles and Europe, as commanding General of the cavalry of the Royal Army.
Not your common butcher, he is extremely well educated, highly cultured, sophisticated, and impeccably dressed. Seemingly gracious and elegant, he is a quick witted, smooth-tongued serpent, always ready to strike. With the eyes of Britain fixed on Europe, who knows what machinations the Lord Governor has planned?
Portrayed by Timothy Fraley
Timothy is a classically trained professional actor. He has been in theater from childhood and has been performing at faires and festivals for decades, portraying a wide range of memorable and unique interactive characters. With his background in stage, environmental theater, and history, whether bringing emperors, kings, dukes, popes, heroes or villains to life, his singular talents and gracious style have made him a festival favorite from the southernmost tip of Florida to the shores of the Great Lakes, and places in between.
Her Excellency, Lady Countess Aemelia Lenore Seymour Hyde
Hailing from the once royal Seymours and the powerful House of Percy, Lady Hyde’s eager, jewel-adoring, and mischievous nature proved itself dangerous for anyone that dared to utter, “No.” As the sixth wife to the Lord Governor, her sadistic and conniving traits perpetually solidify her position in an ever changing political landscape.
Her exacting husband seems quite enamored of her, and they act like two peas off the same poisonous plant. With goals of greater riches and exploration, Lady Hyde’s plans for power may slowly be revealed on the shores of the New World. . .
Portrayed by Sadie Raeburn
Sadie is a professional actor on and off-screen. With her curiosity for trying new things, she has performed everything from Shakespeare, commercials, film, and live improv, with a special focus on immersive experiences. Follow her costuming adventures and art on instagram @sadiecosplays.
The Lady Elvira Hyde, Sister of the Lord Governor
The Lady Elvira is the younger half-sister of His Excellency. Her mother was a Spanish princess who was the last wife of Lord Hyde’s father. Born in England, she grew up at the Spanish Court when her late father was British Ambassador. She adores her powerful brother, and has been his eyes and ears in Spain, returning of late to England, when war was afoot. It is her brother’s hope that her skills in the language and culture of his Spanish foes in La Florida will come in useful.
Lady Elvira, like all of the Hydes, has more than a few, shall we say, dark quirks. She is an expert in all forms of poison, and is not above trying them on her enemies…or her friends.
Portrayed by Dalia Ferrer
Dalia is a professional actor and dancer. When she is not traveling, she is teaching dance, honing her acting craft, taking on roles and parts to follow her bliss, and indulging her interests as a foodie.
The Reverend Father Rios, Papal Legate & Professional Vampyre Hunter
Father Rios, a travelling priest for His Holiness Pope Clement XI, has been recently sent to the Americas on an urgent but enigmatic Papal mission. His goal is not that of rooting out heresy, but to hunt down and exterminate the creatures of the night. His past is shrouded in mystery, and his methods seem a bit odd, but nothing stands in his way for the duty at hand when nightfall comes, except, perhaps, his own courage.
Portrayed by Rev. Fr. Robert S. Stewart
Rev. Fr. Robert S. Stewart is an Anglican Papalist Priest proudly representing the LGBTQIA+ Community. His mission goal is to preserve the Catholic Faith within Anglicanism through Anglican-Papalism. He was in seminary for eleven years, and was ordained a deacon and a priest within the Episcopal Catholic Church; in 2020 Fr. Stewart left the Episcopal Catholic Church and would go on to form Our Lady Of The Rosary Anglican Mission. He has a passion for church history, languages, biblical study, and plain chant.
Lieutenant R.M. Renfield, The Lord Governor's Adjutant
Robert Motague Renfield, Lieutenant, British Army, Adjutant and Aide-de-camp to His Excellency, hails from a small village in Kent, where his father is the local squire. As the youngest of a brood of four brothers, early on it was adjudged by his family that he should make his own way in the world. Unfit for the clergy, unsuitable for academics, his father purchased him a commission in the Royal Army. It was by way of the army that by a quirk of fate, Renfield became Adjutant to Lord Hyde. Not many know, and fear, the Lord Governor as much as Lt. Renfield.
Portrayed by Robert Workman
Robert has been a participant at many Renaissance, Medieval and Pirate festivals for many years, as well as being an avid historical reenactor. His acting and comedic talents have brought many memorable characters to life to add to the enjoyment of the fair-going public.
R.J. Dodge, Lord Governor's Tax Collector
Ralph James Dodge was orphaned at a young age, and grew up running with the gangs of urchin cutpurses on the narrow, winding lanes of Old London Town. In 1666, the Great Fire broke out in the City, and by chance, the lad was enlisted by a young Lieutenant of Dragoons, Henry Hyde. Hyde and his small troop were creating a firebreak to stem the conflagration. Dodge proved useful to the efforts, and has been in Hyde’s service ever since, first as a reeve, to collect rents from tenants on the vast Hyde estates, then as Lord Hyde’s tax collector during Hyde’s tenure as King’s Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, then of Scotland, and as Lord Treasurer of England. Mr. Dodge has become affluent from their association, knowing just the amount to pocket for himself that his Lord might allow. Now both are in the New World, together again. Dodge’s feared cudgel, an incentive to deadbeats, is, as in the past, his constant companion.
Portrayed by Hugo Hidal
Hugo is a longtime reenactor and period performer at many festivals, and has even run his own historical Viking trade encampment at faires in South Florida. History and historically accuracy are two of his passions.
Oscar Crule, Shipping Agent of the HEIC
Oscar Crule was first employed by the Honourable East India Company, or HEIC, Britain’s ruthless and powerful trading company, as a commissioned officer in its army in India. He proved himself a merciless soldier during the war with the Moghul Empire. He was one of the envoys sent to capitulate to the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb and negotiate the lifting of the siege of Bombay. He proved himself valuable, and was made an HEIC shipping agent, fueling his personal ambitions. His shrewd and amoral acumen has garnered him success. At the start of 1702, he was one of the agents sent to Pulo Condore in the Chompa Sea, to help establish a a trade settlement in between India and China. Crule came to the attention of Lord Hyde, himself Chairman of the Court of Governors and majority shareholder of the HEIC, in dispatches. The Lord Governor sent for Crule to be his shipping agent at Ft. Amity. Crule’s love for ale and opium, and his mercantile acumen, has resulted in proprietorship of the Fort’s Leviathan Pub.
Portrayed by Paul Scoville
Paul has been a photographer for 43 years. When not plying his trade as a graphic artist, he enjoys playing his guitars. He has a fondness for wine, and longhaired mini-dachshunds. This is Paul’s first time performing at the Space Coast Pirate Festival, although he was a cast member at the Brevard Renaissance Festival.
THE LORD GOVERNOR'S MERCENARIES
His Excellency has sent his force of British Regulars north, to besiege the Spanish provincial capital of St. Augustine. This varied band of mercenaries is the Brute Squad, hired to maintain order within the colony. If you catch them in their camp, you might find them gambling to pass the time.
Captain Thomas Cutting, Captain of the Lord Governor’s Mercenaries
Captain Thomas “Suffer-Not-Injustice” Cutting was born to a strict, large Puritan family in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the year 1669. The youngest of seven brothers, Cutting was scarcely missed when he stowed away on a trade ship during a family visit to Boston at the tender age of twelve.
Thus began a life of piracy and privateering, and by his twenties, Cutting found himself as a privateer fighting on behalf of the Dutch in the exotic East Indies, where his horrifically brutal methods and reflexive piety earned him the nickname “The Wrath of God” from the men he served with.
Now back in the New World, Cutting finds himself captaining a crew for the majestic Lord Governor, and while they don’t always see eye to eye, when it comes to the interests of money and blood, they couldn’t be closer.
Portrayed by Ryan Deschenes
Deschenes is a seasoned performer at festivals across Florida with a passion for fencing and art. Unlike Captain Cutting, he doesn’t bite unless asked very politely.
James Clark, Ships Master Gunner
James Clark was formerly of the 70-Gun Ship HMS Cambridge. He is a veteran of the Battle of Bantry Bay, and the disastrous Battle of Beachy Head in the Nine Years’ War against France.
Shipwrecked off the Spanish coast in 1694, James was lost at sea and presumed dead. However, tales of his untimely demise were quite overblown, and this afforded an excellent opportunity to seek employment in more…lucrative endeavors. Taking his naval training in ships gunnery and seamanship, combined with his ability to both read AND write in the King’s English, as well as a passing familiarity with the languages of the continentals, he has had no trouble finding gainful employment with the pirates of the Dutch West Indies and the New World.
James is happiest amid the din of battle, the roar of the cannons, splintering of wood and the clash of steel. Pray you never meet him on a smoking gun deck, face black with powder, sweat and blood in his eyes.
Portrayed by Stephen Kraft
Steve is a stage and improvisational actor, and having performed on stage, he is new to the Faire and Festival scene, where he hopes to make an impression. Come say hello! He is not as fearsome as his character, James.
John Ferdinand Clark, Former Sailor of the British Royal Navy
John Clark worked as a dockhand in Southern England. He was in a tavern one evening, in Spithead near Gilkicker Point outside of Portsmouth in Hampshire, when of a sudden a press gang came crashing in to impress the local men into service on a ship of the Royal Navy. Thus, John Clark, against his will, was taken aboard the HMS Suffolk, a 70 gun third rate ship of the line, and began his enforced naval occupation.
After seeing action in the naval battles of Beachy Head and Barfluer against the French, Clerk decided he was ready for a change. At the earliest opportunity he promptly deserted, making good his escape by signing aboard the East Indiaman Phoenix, bound for the Orient. After several close calls evading pirates, and navigating through rough seas, the ship put into several ports of call in India, all holdings of the powerful HEIC. Clark, by then an expert seafarer, decided to change ships once more, this time on a Merchant vessel bound for the Caribbean.
The unlucky vessel struck a reef and sank with all hands, except Clark. He managed to make it to a deserted isle, and he was rescued by a passing Schooner bound for Fort Amity. Now he has joined the mercenaries, and by coincidence has met James Clark, possibly his brother by a wayward seafaring father.
Portrayed by Taylor Nance
Taylor is a veteran period reenactor and interactive performer who has participated in many events and festivals. His home base is St. Augustine, the perfect place to enhance his reenactor acumen.
Christos Macricostas, "El Greco"
The son of a Greek Merchant Captain, Christos was born on the Ionian island of Cerigo (Cythera), under the rule of the Most Serene Republic of Venice. He grew up at his father’s side onboard ship, traveling to many ports, and fighting the Barbary Pirates operating in his home waters.
When of age, he signed on a Galleass of the Venetian fleet during the Morean War against the Ottoman Turks. He was wounded at the battle of Kalamata, and took part in the massacre of the Turkish garrison. His ship was part of the naval blockade during the siege of Athens, and he saw the explosion of the Parthenon, which was used as an ammo depot by the Ottomans.
After Venetian victory, he traveled to that fair city, and went south to the Kingdom of Naples, a part of Spain, to find employment in the Spanish Navy. It was in the service of Spain that he got his nickname, “El Greco”, which means, “The Greek”.
Now with the Lord Governor’s Mercenaries, his knowledge of Spanish naval tactics and the timetables of the Treasure Fleets may come in useful.
Portrayed by Brandon Palladino
Brandon is a veteran historical reenactor familiar with varied periods.
THE CREW OF THE SEA WITCH
A crew manned entirely by women? Ridiculous? Preposterous? Nay, not at all!
Although most women supported pirates in secondary roles such as tavernkeeps, smugglers, fences, moneylenders and other illicit professions, many women in the 18th century, and before, took to the seas, lured by the prospects of freedom and fortune. Historically, there were over 100 recorded female pirates, and perhaps many more left unrecorded. At least forty women pirates, as capable and ruthless as any man, were active during the Golden Age of Piracy alone, including captains, and even some extremely powerful ones commanding entire pirate fleets!
Since many seafaring men were wary of having ladies onboard, due to superstitions of ill omen or other prejudices, some women pirates were even forbidden from signing the articles, the pirate code of a vessel. Hence, many women dressed and acted like men to overcome such poor treatment.
The captain and crew of the schooner Sea Witch are women, one and all, flying under their own black banner, and pledge together their fates and fortunes.
Captain Grendel of the Schooner, Sea Witch
Grendel was born in Cornwall into a family of privateers, smugglers, and wreckers. The uncanny women of her family were adept at the green and water arts. When she was 25, she went to sea to find her fortune. She worked her way up as a crew member on several ships. Eventually, she ended up on the schooner, the Sea Witch. After a few unfortunate events, the captain met an untimely demise, and Grendel was quickly voted in as the new captain, because she had shown her skill as an uncanny sailor, excellent at many weapons and slick in hand-to-hand combat. She quickly set about replacing male sailors with female sailors that matched her love and abilities of the sea and sailing.
Portrayed by Libby Higdon
Libby has spent over 20 years as a cast member in dance, theatre, festivals, events and shows. She has also been a cast member in Haunted houses and Haunted outdoor trails, eventually producing over10 years of haunts. She also has many years of experience designing and making costumes for the above shows. Eventually she found her love of creating historical clothing for festivals and events.
Eleanor Cruikshank, First Mate
Eleanor Cruickshank, of the Cruickshank’s of Haroldswick, Orkney comes from a long line of farmers and fishers. The youngest of 7, with 6 older brothers, she showed a proclivity for butchering fish. She was the fastest fish cutter in the village and won the annual fish cutting challenge 3 years in a row, starting at the tender age of 11.
She and her mother were accused of witchcraft after her 14th winter, when a sickness passed through her village and no one in her household died. Her mother’s charges were dropped but not Eleanor’s. She escaped, dressed as a lad, aboard a fishing vessel bound for Acadia, in New France.
She met Captain Grendel of the Sea Witch in Port Royal à la Cadie in Acadia, which is often a haven for pirates and privateers. Grendel convinced Eleanor to join her crew after finding out they had many common interests. Eleanor is now First Mate of the schooner.
Eleanor doesn’t know that in Spain they say “Ole,” but her rallying cry is “fillet.”
Portrayed by Samantha Turner
Samantha has been performing at faires and festivals for two decades. She is excited to be back with her lady mariners, causing general mayhem and hilarity. Catch her at the Sea Witch encampment during the day, and at night she will be the terror, or belle of the ball.
Ingrid Blackwaters, Barrel Lookout
Ahoy thar! Nah much be known o’ Ingrid Blackwaters… but wha’ I can tell ye be that she sails aboard The Sea Witch as the Barrel Crow lookout. ‘Tis said she ate her twin in the womb, ‘n that’s where she acquired a taste fer human flesh. ‘Tis also said she be on the hunt fer some booty… ‘n some booty.
Portrayed by Sarah Rayburn
Sarah has been a full-time pretender for her entire life. She enjoys long walks on the beach and not being on dating apps. She’s pretty cool. Don’t believe me? Check out her insta @sayrayburn
Ingrid Howler, Beloved Powder Monkey
Originally from a faraway land no one knows or cares about, Ingrid Howler has been howlin’
at the moon fer many moons now. Ingrid snuck aboard this crew o’ scallywags ‘n assumed the
position o’ the ships powder monkey. She does her job mighty well, but thinks she has t’ act
like an actual monkey while she does it. That on top o’ howlin’ at the moon every night causes
quite a commotion amongst her crew mates, a commotion that she welcomes.
Portrayed by Hannah Rosenberg
Hannah is an actor, writer, and abstract artist. She currently holds a Bachelors in theatre and
has professional experience in theatre and film across the state of Florida. In her free time,
Hannah enjoys freestyle dancing and staring at walls. Mazel tov!
Aisling Byrnes, Cabin Girl
In the tumultuous 17th century, amid the lawless waters of piracy and adventure, Aisling Byrnes was born into a large, humble family in the heart of Ireland. Her childhood was marked by poverty and struggle, surrounded by the stark realities of life’s hardships. Yet, from an early age, Aisling displayed a thirst for adventure that set her apart from her siblings.
As Aisling grew older, the allure of the vast, uncharted ocean and the tales of audacious pirates beckoned to her. She longed for a life beyond the toil and scarcity that defined her family’s existence. At the tender age of 15, Aisling made the life-altering decision to leave her family and embrace the uncertainty of the world beyond.
After a daring journey to the coastal town of Cork, Aisling found herself face-to-face with a motley crew of pirates, led by the enigmatic Captain Grendel. Recognizing her pluck and determination, Captain Grendel offered Aisling the chance to join her crew as a cabin girl.
Despite the lawlessness of pirate life, Aisling and her shipmates adhere to their own code of honor. They share their ill-gotten gains, form unbreakable bonds of loyalty, and face life-or-death challenges together.
Portrayed by Sophia Baker
Sophia Baker is a local to Boynton Beach, FL and works as a Director of Rehab at an assisted living and memory care facility. She has been taking part in Renaissance Faires and events alike in some shape or form since she was 16, initially volunteering at Defenders of the Crown of Hoggetowne in Gainesville. She has traveled to NY for the Tuxedo and Sterling Renaissance faires working primarily with merchants. Sophia currently dabbles in sword play and the occasional shift at the massage booth for her local faires as well as enjoys partaking in some privateering with her crew, the Sea Witches.