Well-known for its wickedness coupled with gaudy displays of opulence, Port Royal in the 17th century A.D. beckoned people from far and wide including British and European backed privateers to splurge their wealth on the various luxuries of life.
The city's population consisted of cutthroats, harlots and pirates.and thus the city came to be called as The Wickedest City on Earth or, otherwise The Sodom of the New World. During this time, the governments abandoned issuing letters of marque against Spanish treasure fleets. Soon a number of privateers including Jack Smatt made their transition to pirates and used Port Royal as their hub. Jack Smatt used to be a merchant trader when he arrived, but wanted to try his luck as a pirate.
Soon he made a name of his own and came to be called as Black Jack Smatt. In his search for true supremacy, he became infamous because of his affinity towards wealth, women and rum. He would binge on rum and soon rum gained in popularity among pirates.Smatt was one among the few, who had some of the greatest exploits at sea etched under their names. One of Jack Smatt's most infamous accomplishments was the plundering of a large Spanish galleon, which was sailing out of Panama. It was really a massive ship weighing around 200 tonnes and was literally overflowing with wealth. This huge ship was originally sent from Madrid to protect the Spanish Maine. When Smatt and company drew near the Spanish ship for its premeditated attack, the Spaniards signaled for surrender but was cunningly braced for an attack.
The merchant vessel fired its cannons; but fortune was on Smatt's side. A sudden gust of wind caused the shot to miss the target. At the same moment, Smatt's crew used their grappling hooks to pull the ships together. The pirates promptly boarded the ship and took control of the merchant vessel. During this period, the ruling Crown withdrew rum-rationing rules and Smatt used that to his full advantage. He used rum as a bait to allure and enthuse his men. The result was that any scarcity of rum would lead to conflict among the pirates.
Rum became an intrinsic thing of the prosperous pirating era. Smatt even concocted a blend which later became famous around the world. There was a belief among other pirates that whoever had the luck to lay his hands on some of this original blend would receive the good fortune of Black Smatt himself. This period between 1650 and 1740 was reckoned as the Golden Age of pirates. A massive earthquake destroyed Port Royal in 1692. Black Jack Smatt along with many other inhabitants of the city disappeared after this incident. Whether it's true or not, there is a belief that the earthquake was an act of God to redeem the city from its sinful reputation.
Black Jack Smatt's descendants still live in Jamaica and continue to make their living from the sea. Ernie Smatt, one of his most noteworthy descendants was a world water-ski champion. Nowadays he controls much of the maritime tourist industry in this part of the Caribbean, operating from his base hotel in Cutlass Bay.