My research seeks to understand how non-elite colonists in the Greater Caribbean region of the English empire perceived piracy. I seek to incorporate the methodology of historians such as E.P. Thompson, J.M. Beattie and Cynthia Herrup (who studied early modern English crime in the 1960s to the 1990s) into the piracy scholarship. This involves looking at case-studies (particularly Port Royal (Jamaica), Bermuda, New Providence (Bahamas) and Charleston (Carolina)) to understand the piracy phenomenon on a minute scale, and expose how colonists interacted with pirates in a variety of ways, both in favour of and against the law. My research will help scholars understand the nuances of how colonists perceived piracy as a crime, or not, and how they perceived their own criminality within a broad imperial legal framework.