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Rocks D. Xebec Is Based On Benjamin Hornigold - One Piece


Rocks D. Xebec is considered the most notorious pirate ever in the One Piece world. We don’t know much about him, so I’m going to make some arguments that his character is largely based on the real life pirate Captain Benjamin Hornigold.


It’s stated that Rocks appeared at Hachinosu and gathered a crew of the most powerful pirates with the intent of overthrowing the World Government and becoming King of the World.


Benjamin Hornigold helped to establish Nassau the “Republic of Pirates,” and by 1717 was the captain of one of the most heavily armed ships in the region, called the Ranger. This ship allowed him to seize other vessels with impunity. If I remember correctly the Rocks Pirates didn’t have much camaraderie and clashing personalities, but Xebec kept them together using sheer force.

A “Xebec” is a Mediterranean ship that was typically used by merchants. In the spring of 1717 Benjamin Hornigold seized three merchant ships in quick succession. He did this with the help of his second-in-command Edward Teach, otherwise known as Blackbeard.


When Hornigold became captain of the Ranger, he gave is old ship to Blackbeard. I think OP Blackbeard’s ship being named the “Saber of Xebec” is a reference to this on top of his other connections to Xebec in the story.


Back to seizing vessels with impunity, and how what I think that has to do with the Rocks Pirates. These three merchant ships were a Spanish one carrying 120 barrels of flour bound for Havana, another a Bermudian sloop with a cargo of spirits and the third a Portuguese ship traveling from Madeira with a cargo of white wine.


I believe these ships mirror the three Yonko that used to be part of the Rocks Pirate Crew. The flour mirrors Big Mom and her addiction to sweets, the cargo of spirits mirrors Kaido and his alcoholism, and the cargo of white wine mirrors Whitebeard. (And him sharing saki with his family? Yeah this is a stretch, I know.)

And to end my theories for now we can skip to Captain Hornigold’s death, and the quote that sent my brain down this rabbit hole. During a voyage Hornigold’s ship was caught in a Hurricane and was wrecked on an uncharted reef.


The incident is referred to in the contemporary account A General History of the Pyrates by Captain Charles Johnson, which states, “in one of which voyages … Captain Hornigold, another of the famous pirates, was cast away upon rocks, a great way from land, and perished, but five of his men got into a canoe and were saved.”


The “Rocks” in Rocks D. Xebec comes from how Captain Benjamin Hornigold died, and I think the 5 men that were saved is important too. There are five members on the Rocks Pirates crew that had large impacts on world of One Piece after the death of Rocks D. Xebec.

You have Captain John who gathered one of the greatest treasures of any pirates ever. Whitebeard, Kaido, and Big Mom all became Yonko and were feared as some of the strongest pirates to ever sail the seas. And then there’s Shiki, the infamous pirate that clashed with the Roger Pirates multiple times and became the first inmate to escape Impel Down.

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