How the Real Pirates of the Caribbean Ran Wild in Jamaica’s Port Royal, the ‘Wickedest City on Earth’
In the 17th century, Port Royal in Jamaica was a thriving port for the buccaneers who were sanctioned to plunder on behalf of the British empire. Then an earthquake did its worst.
In 1946, seven years before the first James Bond novel was published, 007’s creator Ian Fleming built Goldeneye, a vacation home in Jamaica. Fleming was fascinated by the Caribbean island, with its history of seafaring, of pirates, of treasure lost and found.
One slip of land and sea that particularly obsessed him was the underwater ruins of Port Royal, the city once so notorious it was nicknamed the “wickedest city on earth.”
In Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born, historian Matthew Parker writes that Fleming, “was fascinated by the idea of the houses, brothels and bars of the buccaneers lying like buried treasure under the water nearby. On one visit he brought his snorkel, mask and flippers and swam down to inspect the old brickwork.”