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Edward Kenway
Edward Kenway (10 March 1693-3 December 1735) was a Welsh pirate who was active in the Caribbean Sea and West Africa during the Golden Age of Piracy. Formerly a privateer of Great Britain during the War of the Spanish Succession in the early 1700s, Kenway later made a fortune by plundering British and Spanish ships after the war's end in 1714, having a successful career from 1715 to 1722 as the captain of the brig "Jackdaw". He was associated with pirates like his one-time accomplice Stede Bonnet, his friend Edward Thatch, and his Quartermaster Anne Bonny

Biography

Early Career

Edward Kenway and Caroline Scott

Kenway with Caroline Scott, 1712

Kenway was born in Swansea, Wales to an English father and a Welsh mother. At the age of ten his family relocated to a Bristolian farm, but the life of a farmer did not suit him. Despite her father's protests, Edward was able to marry Caroline Scott, the daughter of wealthy Bristol tea merchant Emmett Scott and brush off her suitor Matthew Hague.

When war broke out, Edward wished to join the privateers because the British navy gave the crew members one shilling for every time while the captain gained 600. Caroline was sad that Edward wanted to set out on a privateering cruise for two years, and Caroline wanted him to promise that he would be gone for no more than two years. However, Caroline eventually grew estranged from Edward because of his aspirations to become a privateer and go off on dangerous missions, and the two separated.

In 1711 he left on a ship for Jamaica to join the British privateer Benjamin Hornigold in search of work as a sailor in the Royal Navy during the War of the Spanish Succession. He fought for Great Britain against the Spanish Empire, whose ships were worth a high price, and made lots of profit from the war. However, war's end cut off his flow of income and he was unable to find a suitable job. Kenway was forced to turn to a life of piracy to pay for his dreams of having walls that could hold off wind, a roof that could stop rain, and a decent life.

Cape Bonavista

Kenway Cape Bonavista

Kenway off Cape Bonavista, June 1715

In June 1715, his ship "Jacobite" came under attack from British frigate HMS Intrigue off Cape Bonavista, Cuba, during his pirating career. He sunk five British gunboats and also sunk HMS Intrigue, but the powder on "Jacobite" was set alight and the ship exploded. Edward survived and swam to shore, where he encountered Duncan Walpole, the other survivor of the battle off Cape Bonavista. The two lay next to each other, and Walpole told Kenway that he had to go to Havana. Walpole offered Kenway 100 Escudos if he took him to Havana, but when Walpole refused to tell Kenway more and Kenway asked if he had the gold on him at the time, Kenway approached him and Walpole aimed a gun at him. Walpole then fled into the jungle, so Kenway pursued him. Kenway was shot in the chest, but he eventually cornered him and slashed him twice across the chest, killing him.

Kenway then found a letter, saying that the writer awaited his arrival with eagerness. He also said that he would award Walpole handsomely for information, and told him to come to Havana in haste and would be treated as a Brother. Kenway then found out that the letter was written by Governor Laureano Torres y Ayala, and Kenway took his uniform so that he could collect Walpole's reward under his personality. 

He spotted a schooner in the cape and headed to the site, where he found a man and two other sailors being harassed by British soldiers. Kenway saw the two sailors be shot as they fled, and the man offered to pay the British sugar and money in exchange for letting him go. Kenway killed the guards to rescue Bonnet, and he introduced himself as "Duncan". He asked Bonnet if he could take him to Havana, and Bonnet said that his destination was also Havana, so the two headed to the city together. Kenway and Bonnet set a course for Havana, leaving Cape Bonavista safely.

In July 1715, Kenway and Stede Bonnet arrived in Havana, and Bonnet bartered with Spaniards like they were cousins. Kenway bought a pair of swords with money that Bonnet gave him, and he found a small cafe where a group of pirates were eating. When he entered the cafe as Bonnet headed to a business meeting, he was recognized by an English pirate, so Kenway got into a fight and was forced to beat down six pirates. Just then, Raimondo de Garcia arrived with Spanish troops, so Kenway was forced to flee. He dropped a smoke bomb before fleeing to safety, away from the Spanish Army. 

While he was able to escape, the Spanish turned on Bonnet and seized his ship's holdings, including the package meant for Torres. Edward infiltrated the Spanish fort to recover the package before going to the intended meeting with Torres.

Edward carefully maintained his charade as he conversed with prospective Templars - Woodes Rogers, whose wife had met Duncan, and Julien du Casse. Du Casse equipped Edward with a new pair of Hidden Blades and requested that Edward show them some Assassin techniques in action. Picking up on hints from Du Casse and Rogers, Edward was able to replicate the moves with relative accuracy.

When Torres eventually arrived, Rogers, Du Casse and "Walpole" were inducted into the Templar Order. Edward listened to Torres' plans to locate a First Civilization site known as the Observatory, which the Templars believed would allow them to monitor every person in the world and learn all their secrets. Uninterested, Edward took the opportunity to pickpocket the Templars as they discussed their plans.

The four then traveled to the city docks to retrieve a man named Bartholomew Roberts, an alleged Sage who knew the Observatory's location. On the way back to the governor's house, they were ambushed by Assassins and Roberts fled, though Edward managed to chase him down and retrieve him. As Roberts was led away, Torres gave Edward Walpole's intended pay for a job well done - 1000 reales. Later, meeting with Bonnet, Edward complained about the pay he had received, believing it was insufficient. He then resolved to discover the Observatory's location and sell it to the highest bidder, and realized he would need the Sage's assistance. He infiltrated the prison where Roberts was being held, only to find the Sage gone and the Templars, having discovered his ruse, waiting for him. For robbing them of Walpole's valuable expertise, Torres had Edward imprisoned on a ship in the Spanish Treasure Fleet heading for Seville, to deliver him to British Templars in London.

1715-1720

Edward managed to escape confinement with the help of a similarly imprisoned Adéwalé, recruit a number of other prisoners, and steal one of the fleet's ships in the process. Hit by a storm, they narrowly managed to escape before the entire accompanying fleet was sunk. Edward decided to name his newly acquired ship Jackdaw and, realizing that hardly any of his new crew would accept Adéwalé as captain, dubbed him Quartermaster.

Heading to Nassau with his new ship, Edward introduced Adéwalé to three of his old associates - Edward Thatch, James Kidd and Benjamin Hornigold. Edward then moved throughout the British-occupied town, freeing imprisoned pirates to recruit as crewmen and weakening British control over the island. That complete, he began working with Hornigold and Kidd to carry out lucrative missions, plundering ships and raiding a nearby plantation.

Thatch shared with Edward his concerns about protecting their newly formed "Pirate Republic" from British recapture, and proposed a plan to take a particular Spanish Galleon in order to better protect the nascent revolutionary state. At his request, Edward located and tailed the Galleon to Great Inagua, only to learn that the ship was owned by none other than Julien du Casse. Reasoning that du Casse could not be allowed to live and spread news of Edward's escape, Edward approached the cove through the jungle, snuck aboard the ship and assassinated du Casse.

James Kidd congratulated Edward on his victory, and brought him to a Mayan stela in the jungle, telling him to use "the light of life" to uncover the treasure to which it pointed. Kidd then showed Edward an underground tunnel leading to the du Casse manor and the special armor locked away there, and proposed that Edward keep the island as his base. He also requested that Edward meet him in Tulum in several weeks' time, as he had more to show Edward there.

Arriving in Tulum, Edward found himself having to sneak through the jungle to meet with Kidd, as the area was heavily guarded by Assassin forces. Upon their eventual meeting, Edward was set upon by Ah Tabai, who demanded to know why Edward had sold their location to the Templars and attacked the Assassins in Havana. Kidd diffused the situation by telling Ah Tabai that Edward had "the Sense", and requested leave for them to enter a nearby temple. After claiming that he would recognize Bartholomew Roberts if he saw the man again, Edward was granted access to the temple with Kidd.[1]

While explaining the nature of the Assassin-Templar conflict and the Creed, Kidd led Edward to an antechamber containing a sculpture of the Sage. Edward originally claimed that it did not resemble Roberts at all; however, as he and Kidd completed an associated puzzle, layers of the sculpture were removed to show a better likeness underneath. Astonished, Edward confirmed that the statue perfectly resembled Roberts.[1]

When Edward and Kidd exited the temple, they found the Assassin base under siege by Templar forces. Edward aided the Assassins in their fight, freeing several who had been captured and earning the appreciation of Ah Tabai. However, considering the damage he had caused through negligence, Ah Tabai decreed that Edward was not welcome in Tulum any more.

Retirement

After years of piracy, Edward Kenway eventually returned to England with his daughter Caroline Scott-Kenway and married a second woman, having a son named Haytham Kenway with her. He used his wealth to build a mansion in the capital of London, and lived a peaceful life.

Death

Despite his leaving the Assassin Order in 1722, Kenway was tracked down by the Templars in London. He met wealthy industrialist Reginald Birch one day, but he was secretly a member of the Templars, and he ordered a band of mercenaries to kill Edward. They killed him on 3 December 1735 in his mansion, and his son Haytham was raised by Birch, who convinced him that his father was a member of the Templar Order.

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