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Battle of the Devil's Backbone
Battle of the Devil's Backbone
Conflict: Golden Age of Piracy
Date: September 1719
Place: Devil's Backbone, off Mexico
Outcome: Pirate victory

Pirates Pirates

Flag of Great Britain Great Britain


Pirates Edward Kenway

Flag of Great Britain Benjamin Hornigold


1 brig

1 frigate
1 schooner
approx. 15 soldiers


few crew losses

1 schooner beached
approx. 10 soldiers dead

The Battle of the Devil's Backbone (September 1719) was a naval battle fought between the pirate captain Edward Kenway and his brig, the Jackdaw, and two British ships near the Devil's Backbone rock formation off the coast of Mexico. The Jackdaw was tailed to a rendezvous with Bartholomew Roberts' ship Royal Fortune by Benjamin Hornigold's Benjamin and several Royal Navy vessels, and the Jackdaw inflicted damage on the Royal Navy frigate HMS Tryton before attacking the Benjamin (which had already been damaged from a gunnery battle with the Spanish Navy brig La Griega). The Benjamin crashed onto the shore of the Santanillas after suffering heavy damage, and Kenway followed Hornigold ashore. He fought with several British Army soldiers on the islands, killing many of them before air assassinating Hornigold with his sword from the top of a Mayan temple.

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