Josiah Burgess was born in England in 1689, and he decided to seek fortune and glory as a pirate in the Caribbean Sea. Burgess headed to Nassau in the Bahamas, and he befriended John Cockram and Benjamin Hornigold, the latter of whom he would serve under, alongside Cockram. In 1718, the three of them eagerly accepted King George I of Great Britain's pardon during the Blockade of Nassau, and they became "pirate hunters", hunting down their former allies. The three of them were also inducted into the Templar Order, and Hornigold sent Burgess and Cockram to hunt down "the Sage" Bartholomew Roberts. In 1719, they arrived on Principe, where they orchestrated an ambush that killed Roberts' captain, Howell Davis. Edward Kenway, a member of the rival Hashshashin order, also arrived on the island with the goal of saving Roberts, and he resolved to kill Burgess and Cockram to gain his trust. Kenway infiltrated the fort as Burgess and Cockram prepared to leave, and he managed to slay the both of them.