World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

No purchase, no pay

Article Id: WHEBN0042514577
Reproduction Date:

Title: No purchase, no pay  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Buccaneer, Letter of marque, Captain Sabertooth, 1620s in piracy, Salvador Pirates
Collection: Adages, Piracy, Pirate Customs and Traditions, Privateers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

No purchase, no pay

Privateer captain Woodes Rogers who is said to have employed pirates on a "no purchase, no pay" basis.

"No purchase, no pay" (or "no prey, no pay") was a phrase used by pirates and privateers, of the 17th century in particular, to describe the conditions under which participants were expected to join expeditions or raids. The phrase describes a remuneration arrangement similar to a commission.[1]


  • Meaning 1
  • Use 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


The term "purchase" in the phrase is used to mean success against piratical targets from whom booty might be successfully extracted.[2] The premise of the phrase was that if the expedition did not succeed in extracting booty from the target, those participating in the expedition would receive no reward.[3]

In the case of an unsuccessful raid, participants might receive nothing at all. But in the event that a raid was successful, loot was often shared equitably and democratically with clear ratios based on seniority and length of service.[4]


The phrase was used extensively to describe arrangements for pirates working on the Spanish Main in particular. The concept is said to have encouraged increased risk-taking as pirates made a calculated decision to attack more valuable targets with a better risk-reward ratio.[5]

Hender Molesworth, Governor of Jamaica, is known to have issued privateer and even pirate-hunting contracts with strict "no purchase, no pay" clauses.[3]

See also


  1. ^ The Sea Rover's Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630-1730 by Benerson Little (Potomac Books, 2005)
  2. ^ Daily Life of Pirates by David Marley (ABC-CLIO, 2012)
  3. ^ a b Pirates of the Americas, Volume 1 by David Marley (ABC-CLIO, 2010)
  4. ^ No man knows my grave: Sir Henry Morgan, Captain William Kidd, Captain Woodes Rogers in the great age of privateers and pirates, 1665-1715 by Alexander Porter Winston (Houghton Mifflin, 1969)
  5. ^ Jolly Roger: The Story of the Great Age of Piracy by Patrick Pringle (Courier Dover Publications, 2001)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.