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Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki
Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki
This article is about the confederation. For more uses of Brethren Court, see Brethren Court (disambiguation).

"The song has been sung. The time is upon us. We must convene the Brethren Court."
Hector Barbossa to Sao Feng[src]

The Brethren Court, also known as the Brethren of the Coast,[5] Order of the Brethren,[7] Pirate Conclave,[3] Pirate Council,[3] the Pirate Brethren,[3] or simply the Brethren or the Court was a loose confederation of pirates active in the Age of Piracy. Made up of the great Pirate Lords, the Brethren Court was the governing body of pirates. These rogues and scoundrels were the best of the best, or the worst of the worst.

Based primarily on Shipwreck Island, where lay Shipwreck Cove and the town of Shipwreck, the original members of the Pirate Brethren convened a great conclave, in which they plotted with Davy Jones to tear the rule of the seas away from the goddess Calypso. With his help, the Brethren tricked the goddess and imprisoned her into the body of a mortal woman. Many years later, Calypso was freed by the Fourth Court to help battle against the fearsome tide of Lord Cutler Beckett's Armada.

In keeping with their heritage, the Brethren Court were governed by the Code, which favored legislative decision-making, hierarchical command authority, individual rights, and equitable division of revenues. Morgan and Bartholomew were perhaps the most famous members of the Brethren and the ones usually noted with producing the Code. The hallowed Pirata Codex would be guarded by the Keeper of the Code.

Entry to this club required possession of one of the nine pieces of eight, various small trinkets used as the First Court were, to a one, skint broke. Each captain, or successor, held this item close at all times since it provided entry to this mighty exclusive group.


The First Brethren Court

"The first Brethren Court made the alliance with Captain Jones, and that right has been passed down through the ages, to the assembled Pirate Lords."
Mistress Ching[src]

It was believed that the governing body of the high seas dated as far back as the Dawn of Civilization and that the First Meeting of the Brethren Court convened in the days before the great Hellenic society of Greece was founded.[2] However, in reality, they actually met at a later date when pirates could gather from all over the world. The original Brethren Court gathered in Madagascar in secret, well before it became a pirate stronghold.[6] Made up of the great Pirate Lords, the Brethren Court existed at a time when the waters were untamed, the world a rougher place, and a sailor made his own fate.[2] Prior to the Golden Age of Piracy in the 17th century, the Court began meeting at Shipwreck Cove.

Mgc calypsostory cu1 002

The First Brethren Court binds Calypso in her bonds.

In the days of myth and legend, all sailors everywhere both loved and feared the beautiful Goddess of the Sea, Calypso, who ruled the seas. One particular story told about how Calypso and a mortal pirate named Davy Jones fell in love with each other. She rewarded that love by giving him the sacred task of collecting all the poor souls who died at sea, and ferrying them to the worlds beyond. As captain of the Flying Dutchman, Jones agreed to set foot on dry land once every ten years, and if this love was true to him, his task would be complete and his attachment to the ship broken. But whenever Davy Jones came ashore, Calypso was nowhere to be found, for the seas are fickle and unpredictable, as was the powerful goddess who ruled that domain.[3]

The First Court consisted of the nine Pirate Lords who bound the sea goddess Calypso in her human form, on the instruction of Davy Jones, who revealed them secrets from the Journal of the Ancient Seas. They sealed Calypso's fate with Nine Pieces of Eight, so that the rule of the seas would belong to men. The Brethren would convene a further three times before Calypso's eventual release.

Known members

Known ships

The Second Brethren Court

"At any rate, the second Brethren Court drew up the Pirate Code which has served us well. Two of the Pirate Lords, Morgan and Bartholomew, figured it out and wrote it down, and that's what we've all lived by ever since."
Hector Barbossa[src]

On the Second Meeting of the Brethren Court, the Pirates' Code was set down by the Captains Morgan and Bartholomew and recorded in the Pirata Codex. In addition to the Nine Pirate Lords new Members of the Court were appointed: the Keeper of the Code and the carriers of the Code.[2]

Known members

Known ships

  • Henry Morgan's flagship
  • Bartholomew's ship

The Third Brethren Court

"The Court has not met in my lifetime."
"Nor mine."
"And when last it did, my father told me, it ended...badly.
Sao Feng and Hector Barbossa[src]

During the Third Meeting of the Brethren Court, a pirate thief named Tartaglia attempted to use the Timekeeper as a false Piece of Eight to fool the assembled Pirate Lords into thinking he was one of them. His plan failed and the third Brethren Court ended in violence. This tale would be told by the mystic Tia Dalma to young adventurer Jack Sparrow.[8] In later years, it would only be known that the Third Court ended badly,[2] something Sao Feng would be told by his father.[9]

Known members

The Court of Inquiry

"The question has been raised, regarding whether the Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea has broken the Code by knowingly targeting and sinking other pirate ships. This inquiry will hear evidence to discover the truth."
Edward Teague[src]

When the Pirate Brethren found itself endangered by the actions of the mysterious rogue pirates, who were breaking the Code of the Pirate Brethren by slaughtering their victims and attacking other pirate ships, the Pirate Lord and Keeper of the Code Edward Teague called for an official court of inquiry. The Russian Pirate Lord Boris "Borya" Palachnik was accused of being one of the rogues. Inside the Pirate Hall, all the witnesses told their stories, but there was not enough evidences against Borya, and Teague decided to summon Davy Jones, the Lord of the sea.[5]

Jones knew everything that happened in his watery kingdoms, and the Brethren Court spoke a magic call that brought Jones onboard the Troubadour, Teague's ship. Jones recognized Borya as the leader of the rogue pirates, saying that he and his men sent many souls to the sea bottom without mercy. Borya and his whole crew were quickly imprisoned in the dungeons of Shipwreck City and sentenced to hang, but they later managed to escape from the island.[5]

Known members

The Fourth Brethren Court

"But the time before that, it produced the Code, which has served us well...and it was the very first meeting that gave us no less than rule of the sea herself, didn't it? And now that rule is being challenged."
"The East India Trading Company."
"Lord Cutler Beckett is a pox on us all.
Hector Barbossa and Sao Feng[src]
Pirate Lords AWEos

Six of the nine Pirate Lords of the Fourth Brethren Court.

The Fourth Brethren Court was called when the song was sung by convicted pirates and pirate associates at Fort Charles, initially sent forth by Hector Barbossa[10]. The majority of the Brethren assembled in the Pirate Hall on Shipwreck Island, joined later by the recently-resurrected Jack Sparrow and Barbossa, and Elizabeth Swann, who replaced Sao Feng. Barbossa chaired the meeting, noting that the Brethren had not gathered in either his or Sparrow's lifetime.

Brethren Court

The fourth Brethren Court

Assembling at the chamber, the Pirate Lords, and their respective crews, met to discuss their course of action against Lord Cutler Beckett and the East India Trading Company. Ultimately, the Brethren decided to go to war, following the election of Elizabeth Swann to the position of Pirate King, upon which the majority of Pirate Lords agreed. Their nine pieces of eight were burned as part of an incantation that saw the release of Calypso, and the ultimate defeat of Lord Beckett.

Known members

Pirate fleet

Main article: Pirate Armada
"Prepare every vessel that floats. At dawn, we're at war."
Elizabeth Swann to the Brethren Court[src]
Brethren Court Fleet

Brethren Court fleet

The fleet of the Brethren Court numbered less than the three hundred ships Cutler Beckett marshalled against it, but was comprised of every vessel available at Shipwreck Cove. The fleet, prepared following the fourth meeting of the Brethren, brought together pirate vessels from around the world. The armada that witnessed the battle of Calypso's maelstrom included ships as diverse as galleons, ketches, sloops, boutres, schooners, frigates, galleys, brigs and junks.[11] Ching commanded a vast fleet of pirate junks,[12] while Sao Feng's Empress made an appearance, helmed by Tai Huang.

Known ships


"There's not been a gatherin' like this in our lifetime."
"And I owe them all money.
Hector Barbossa and Jack Sparrow[src]

Made up of the great Pirate Lords, the Brethren Court was the governing body of pirates.[13] The Court was led by the Pirate King, chosen by popular vote by the nine Pirate Lords, each lord hailing from a different region spread across the Four Corners of the Earth. This system of election was known to be flawed, as the pirates would commonly vote for themselves, making a decision difficult. The title was non-gender specific, though Elizabeth Swann was believed to be the first female Pirate King.

Pirate Lords were required to each carry a piece of eight, signifying their status as a member of the Brethren Court. It was initially suggested that the Pirate Lords carry actual silver coins, though the pirates, finding themselves short on money, opted for holding various items and trinkets that would be instantly recognizable and linked to the individual Lord.

Meetings of the Brethren Court were convened by means of a "call" intended to draw all nine Lords to a single location. This call took the form of a sea shanty, Hoist the Colours, known to all pirates.

Behind the scenes


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External links

Notes and references

Members of the Brethren Court

First Court
Pirate Kings
First Pirate King
Pirate Lords
First Pirate Lord of the Atlantic Ocean
Aides: Davy Jones

Second Court
Pirate Lords
Henry MorganBartholomewGrandmama

Third Court
Pirate Lords
Sao Feng's father
Others: Tartaglia

Court of Inquiry
Pirate Lords
ChingBoris PalachnikRafaelEdward TeagueEduardo Villanueva
Aides: Davy Jones
Keeper of the Code: Edward Teague
Others: Hector BarbossaJack SparrowRagettiMelindaEsmeralda
Prison Dog

Fourth Court
Pirate Kings
Elizabeth Swann
Pirate Lords
AmmandSumbhajee AngriaHector BarbossaChevalle
ChingJocardJack SparrowEduardo Villanueva
Aides: AskayPusasnRagettiJoshamee Gibbs
Keeper of the Code: Edward Teague
Others: Sao FengPintelPrison DogCarriers of the Code