Read an interesting article in The Economist last night about a would be pirate in the 16th century, Anthony Knivet. Knivet was captured by the Portuguese who spared his life by making him a sugar plantation slave. Brazilian sugar plantations in the 16th century were notoriously harsh and the life expectancy of a plantation slave was very low. Mr. Knivet allegedly escaped multiple times and was either re-captured or traded back into slavery by natives. In one escape he made it all the way across the Atlantic to Portuguese Angola before being re-captured and returned to Brazil.
It’s hard to believe that Knivet was never killed and that he actually made it back to England eventually. An interesting read if you have 10 minutes to spare.