Charles Vane served in 1716 under Henry Jennings, who pirated the ships and crews working to recover the sunken Spanish Treasure Fleet of 1715. He first sailed for himself in 1718, when he went to the West Indies and was reported to Bermudan governor Bennett for torturing the crews of two separate vessels.
In August he rejected the new governor Woodes Roger's offer of pardon with a burning captured French ship to chase off the navy warships Rose and Stark. Soon after, Woodes sent the former pirate Captain Benjamin Hornigold to track down Vane, but Vane was able to evade capture. Woodes Rogers
When Charles Vane escaped to the Carolinas, he made several captures outside Charles Town as Blackbeard had done earlier, but he began to fall out with his crew when he evaded what they thought were worthy ships to plunder.His assistant Yeats decided to be his own captain and left in the middle of the night with some of the plunder and slaves from a recently captured brig.
Charles Vane and his remaining crew fled the area in early September 1718 when the governor of South Carolina dispatched Colonel William Rhett with armed sloops to catch him. When Rhett followed the misinformation given to surviving sailors that the pirate was heading south, Vane headed north and eventually had a week-long party with pirates of the Carolinas at Ocracoke, North Carolina, in early October before sailing up the coast toward New York.
By late November there had been only a few meager prizes, and Vane was about to fall on hard times.On the 23rd, he had an exchange of fire with what he discovered was a French warship, which he felt was unwise to pursue. His crew accused him the next day of cowardice and elected the quartermaster, Calico Jack Rackham as the new captain. The unflappable Vane and his supporters were given a small sloop to start his career over with.
They headed to an area south of Cuba between Jamaica and the Yucatan, and for a few weeks had moderate success plundering various vessels. In February 1719 while en route to the Windward Passage, Vane's two sloops were wrecked on an uninhabited island in the Bay of Honduras during a hurricane. Most of the crew drowned, but Charles Vane and one other managed to survive, eating turtle and fish.
The first ship to encounter the pair was commanded by an old friend Captain Holford, who did not trust the stranded pirate enough to take him aboard. They were soon rescued by another vessel, but Vane was taken into custody after the same Captain Holford passed by and revealed his identity. On March 22, 1720, Vane was swiftly tried and hung in Port Royal, Jamaica, at Gallows Point; his body was hung in chains at Gun Cay.