The most famous pirates



Pirates are sea (or river) robbers. The word “pirate” (Latin pirata) occurs, in turn, from the Greek. πειρατής, one root with the word πειράω (“try, test”). Thus, the meaning of the word will be “tortured”. Etymology shows how skittish was the border between the professions of a seafarer and a pirate from the very beginning.

The most famous pirates


Henry Morgan

(1635-1688) became the most famous pirate in the world, enjoying a kind of glory. This man became famous not so much for his Corsair exploits, as for his activity as a commander and as a politician. The main merit of Morgan was the help of England in seizing control over the entire Caribbean Sea. Ever since childhood, Henry was a fidget, which affected his adult life. In a short time he managed to be a slave, to build his own gang of thugs and get his first ship. In passing, many people were robbed. While in the service of the queen, Morgan directed his energy to the ruin of the Spanish colonies, this he did very well. As a result, everyone learned the name of the active seaman. But then the pirate unexpectedly decided to settle down – he married, bought a house … However, the violent disposition took its toll, and at the same time Henry realized at his leisure that it is much more profitable to seize coastal cities than simply to rob sea ships. Once Morgan applied a cunning move. On approach to one of the cities, he took a large ship and stuffed it to the top with his gunpowder, sending to the Spanish port at dusk. A huge explosion led to such turmoil that there was simply no one to defend the city. So the city was taken, and the local fleet was destroyed, thanks to the cunning of Morgan. Storming Panama, the commander decided to attack the city from the land, using the army to bypass the city. As a result, the maneuver was a success, the fortress fell. The last years of his life, Morgan held the status of vice-governor of Jamaica. His whole life was spent in a frenzied pirate pace, with all the appropriate pursuits in the form of alcohol. The brave sailor won only rum – he died of cirrhosis of the liver and was buried as a nobleman. True, the sea took away his ashes – the cemetery after the earthquake plunged into the sea.

Francis Drake

(1540-1596) was born in England, in the family of a priest. A young man began his sea career as a cabin boy on a small merchant ship. There, then, clever and observant Francis and comprehended the art of navigation. Already at the age of 18 he was commanded by his own ship, which he inherited from the old captain. In those days, the Queen blessed the pirate raids, if only they were directed against the enemies of England. At the time of one of these voyages, Drake was trapped, but, despite the death of five other English ships, he managed to save his ship. The pirate quickly became famous for his cruelty, and fortune fell in love with him. Trying to take revenge on the Spaniards, Drake begins to wage his own war against them – robbing their ships, cities. In 1572, he managed to capture the “Silver Caravan”, carrying more than 30 tons of silver, which immediately made the pirate rich. An interesting feature of Drake was the fact that he not only sought to rob more, but also to visit unexplored places before. As a result, many seafarers thanked Drake for his work on clarifying and correcting the world map. With permission from the queen, the pirate went on a secret expedition to South America, with the official version of the Australian study. The expedition brought great success. Drake so cleverly maneuvered, avoiding the traps of enemies, that he managed to make a round-the-world trip on the way home. Along the way, he attacked the Spanish settlements in South America, rounded Africa and brought potatoes to his homeland. The total profit from the trek was unprecedented – more than half a million pounds sterling. Then it was twice the budget of the whole country. As a result, on the ship, Drake was knighted – an unprecedented case, which has no analogues in history. The apogee of the greatness of the pirate came at the end of the 16th century, when he took part as an admiral in the defeat of the Invincible Armada.Later, luck turned from the pirate, during one of the subsequent voyages to the American shores, he fell ill with a tropical fever and died.

Edward Teach

(1680-1718) is more famous for his nickname Blackbeard. It was because of this external attribute that Tich was considered an eerie monster. The first mention of the activity of this corsair refers only to 1717, what the Englishman was doing before, remained unknown. By indirect evidence, one can guess that he was a soldier, but deserted and became a filibuster. Then he was already pirating, overtaking the horror of people with his beard, which covered almost the entire face. Thich was very brave and brave, which caused respect from other pirates. In his beard, he wove the wicks, which, smoking, terrified the opponents. In 1716, Edward received command of his sloop to conduct privateer operations against the French. Soon, Tych captured a larger ship and made it his flagship, renaming Queen Anne’s Revenge. The pirate at this time operates in the Jamaican area, robbing everyone in a row and picking up new assistants. By the beginning of 1718 under the command of Tich there were already 300 people. For a year he managed to seize more than 40 ships. All the pirates knew that the bearded man was hiding a treasure on some of the uninhabited islands, but no one knew where exactly. The riots of the pirate against the British and the robbery of the colonies forced the authorities to declare a hunt for the Black Beard. An impressive reward was announced and Lieutenant Maynard was employed, who tracked down Tich. In November 1718, the pirate was overtaken by the authorities and was killed during the battle. The head of Tich was cut off, and the body was suspended on the rhea.

William Kidd

(1645-1701). Born in Scotland near the docks, the future pirate decided to link his fate with the sea from childhood. In 1688, Kidd, being a simple sailor, survived in a shipwreck near Haiti and was forced to become a pirate. In 1689, after betraying his companions, William took possession of the frigate, calling him “The Blessed William.” With the help of a private patent, Kidd took part in the war against the French. In the winter of 1690, he was left part of the team, and Kidd decided to settle down. He married a rich widow, taking possession of the land and property. But the heart of the pirate required adventure, and now, after 5 years, he is already a captain again. Powerful frigate “Brave” was intended to plunder, but only the French. After all, the expedition was sponsored by the state, which did not need unnecessary political scandals. However, the sailors, seeing the scarcity of profits, periodically raised a riot. The situation was also not saved by the seizure of a rich ship with French goods. Fleeing from his former subordinates, Kidd surrendered to the hands of the British authorities. The pirate was taken to London, where he quickly became a bargaining chip in the struggle of political parties. On charges of piracy and the murder of a naval officer (who was the instigator of a mutiny), Kidd was sentenced to death. In 1701, the pirate was hanged, and his body sagged in an iron cage above the Thames 23 years, as a warning to the corsairs about the imminent penalty.

Mary Reed

(1685-1721). Already from childhood, the girl was changed into a boy’s clothes. So the mother tried to hide the death of an early dead son. At 15, Mary went to serve in the army. In the fighting in Flanders, she under the name of Mark showed miracles of courage, but did not wait to advance. Then the woman decided to go into cavalry, where she fell in love with her colleague. After the end of the fighting, the couple got married. However, the happiness was not long, the husband suddenly died, Mary, disguised in men’s clothes, became a sailor. The ship fell into the hands of pirates, the woman was forced to join them, cohabiting with the captain. In the battle, Mary wore a masculine form, participating in skirmishes on a par with everyone. Over time, the woman fell in love with an artisan who helped pirates. They even married and were going to finish with the past. But even here happiness did not last long. Pregnant Reed was caught by the authorities. When she was caught together with other pirates, she said that she committed robberies against her will.However, other pirates showed that there was no one more determined than Mary Reed in the case of robbery of ships and boarding. The court did not dare to hang up a pregnant woman, she patiently waited for her fate in Jamaica prison, without fear of shameful death. But a strong fever killed her before.

Olivier (Francois) le Wasser

became the most famous French pirate. He wore the nickname “La blues”, or “buzzard”. Noble origin of the Norman nobleman was able to turn the island of Tortuga (now Haiti) into an impregnable fortress of filibusters. Initially, le Wasser was sent to the island to protect the French settlers, but he quickly drove out the British (according to other sources – the Spaniards) and began to pursue his own policy. Being a talented engineer, the Frenchman designed an excellently fortified fortress. Le Wasser issued filibusters very questionable documents on the right to hunt for the Spaniards, taking the lion’s share of the booty himself. In fact, he became the leader of the pirates, without taking direct part in the fighting. When in 1643 the Spaniards were unable to take the island, finding the fortifications with surprise, the authority of Les Vasser grew noticeably. He finally refused to obey the French and pay royalties to the Crown. However, the spoiled character, tyranny and tyranny of the Frenchman led to the fact that in 1652 his own friends killed him. According to legend, le Wasser collected and hid the largest treasure of all time, worth 235 million pounds sterling for the present money. The information about the place of the treasure was stored in the form of a cryptogram on the governor’s neck, but gold remained unidentified.

William Dampier

(1651-1715) is often called not just a pirate, but also a scientist. After all, he made three round-the-world voyages, having discovered many islands in the Pacific Ocean. Early orphaned, William chose the sea path. At first he took part in trading voyages, and then managed to fight. In 1674, the Englishman came to Jamaica as a sales agent, but the career in this capacity was not asked, and Dampier was forced again to become a merchant ship sailor. After studying the Caribbean, William settled on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, on the coast of Yucatan. Here he found friends in the form of runaway slaves and filibusters. The further life of Dampira took place in the idea of ​​traveling through Central America, plundering Spanish settlements on land and at sea. He sailed in the waters of Chile, Panama, New Spain. Dampier almost immediately began to write notes about his adventures. As a result, in 1697 he published his book The New Journey around the World, which made him famous. Dampier became a member of the most prestigious houses in London, entered the royal service and continued his research by writing a new book. However, in 1703, on an English ship, Dampier continued a series of robberies of Spanish ships and settlements in the Panama area. In 1708-1710 he took part as a navigator of a round-the-world expedition Corsair. The works of the pirate scientist proved so valuable to science that he is considered to be one of the fathers of modern oceanography.

Zheng Shi

(1785-1844) is considered one of the most fortunate pirates. The scale of her actions will be borne out by the facts that she commanded the fleet in 2,000 ships, on which more than 70,000 sailors served. 16-year-old prostitute “Madame Jing” married a famous pirate Zheng I. After his death in 1807, the widow inherited a pirate fleet of 400 ships. Corsairs not only attacked merchant ships off the coast of China, but also swam deep into the mouth of rivers, ruining coastal settlements. The Emperor was so surprised by the actions of the pirates that he sent his fleet against them, but this did not have any significant consequences. The key to the success of Zheng Shi was her strict discipline established on the courts. It put an end to the traditional piratical freedoms – the robbery of the Allies and the rape of prisoners were punishable by death. However, as a result of the betrayal of one of her captains, the female pirate in 1810 had to conclude a truce with the authorities.Her further career was held as a brothel of a brothel and a hangout for gambling. The history of the pirate woman is reflected in literature and cinema, about her there are many legends.

Edward Lau

(1690-1724) is also known as Ned Lau. Most of the life of this man traded with small theft. In 1719, his wife died during childbirth, and Edward realized that from now on nothing binds him to the house. Two years later he became a pirate, operating near the Azores, New England and the Caribbean. This time is considered the decline of the century of piracy, but Lau became famous for the fact that in a short time he managed to capture more than a hundred ships, while showing rare vampirism.

Aruj Barbarossa

(1473-1518) became a pirate at the age of 16 after the Turks captured his native island of Lesbos. Already at the age of 20 Barbarossa became a ruthless and brave corsair. Running from captivity, he soon captured his ship, becoming the leader. Aruj made a contract with the Tunisian authorities, who allowed him to organize a base in one of the islands in exchange for a share of the extraction. As a result, the Aruji pirate fleet has terrorized all the Mediterranean ports. Having got involved in politics, Aruji became eventually the ruler of Algeria under the name of Barbarossa. However, the struggle with the Spaniards did not bring luck to the Sultan – he was killed. His case was continued by his younger brother, known as Barbaross the Second.

Bartholomew Roberts

(1682-1722). This pirate was one of the most successful and successful in history. It is believed that Roberts was able to capture more than four hundred ships. At the same time, the cost of mining pirate was more than 50 million pounds sterling. And the pirate achieved such results only in two and a half years. Bartholomew was an unusual pirate – he was enlightened and adored fashionably to dress. Roberts was often seen wearing a burgundy waistcoat and breeches, he wore a hat with a red feather, and on his chest hung a gold chain with a diamond cross. The pirate did not at all abuse alcohol, as was customary in this environment. Moreover, he even punished his sailors for drunkenness. We can say that it was Bartholomew, who was nicknamed “Black Bart” and was the most successful pirate in history. In addition, unlike Henry Morgan, he never cooperated with the authorities. And the famous pirate in South Wales was born. His sea career began with the position of the third assistant captain on a slave ship. Roberts’ duties included looking after the “load” and its safety. However, after being taken prisoner to pirates, the sailor himself was in the role of a slave. Nevertheless, the young European was able to please Captain Howell Davis who captured him and he took him into his crew. And in June 1719, after the death of the leader of the company during the storming of the fort, Roberts led the team. He immediately captured the unfortunate city of Principe on the coast of Guinea and leveled it with the face of the earth. After going to sea, the pirate quickly captured several merchant ships. However, the production off the African coast was meager, which is why in early 1720 Roberts headed to the Caribbean Sea. The glory of a successful pirate has overtaken him, and the merchant ships have already floundered at the sight of the ship of Black Bart. In the north, Roberts favorably sold African goods. All summer of 1720 he was lucky – the pirate captured many ships, 22 of them right in the bays. However, even doing robbery, Black Bart remained a pious man. He even managed to pray a lot in the intervals between murders and robberies. But it was this pirate who invented the brutal execution with the help of a board thrown overboard the ship. The team was so fond of her captain that she was ready to follow him to the end of the world. And the explanation was simple – Roberts was desperately lucky. At various times he managed from 7 to 20 pirate ships. The teams were runaway criminals and slaves of various nationalities who called themselves “the House of Lords”. And the name of Black Barta terrified the whole of the Atlantic.

Jack Rackham

(1682-1720). And this famous pirate had the nickname Calico Jack.The fact is that he adored wearing the calico trousers, which they brought from India. And although this pirate was not the most cruel or the most fortunate, he managed to become famous. The fact is that Rackham’s team had at once two women dressed in men’s clothes – Mary Reed and Ann Boni. Both of them were mistresses of the pirate. Thanks to this fact, as well as the courage and courage of his ladies, the Rackham team also became famous. But luck failed him when, in 1720, his ship met the ship of the Governor of Jamaica. At that time the whole team of pirates was dead drunk. To escape from the persecution, Rackham ordered to cut the anchor. However, the military could catch up with him and take him after a short fight. The pirate captain, along with his entire team, was hanged in Jamaica, in Port Royal. Right before his death, Rackham asked for a date with Ann Boni. But she herself denied it, saying that if the pirate fought like a man, he would not die like a dog. It is said that John Rackham is the author of the famous pirate symbol – a skull with bones, “Merry Roger”.

Jean Lafite

(? -1826). This famous corsair was also a smuggler. With the tacit consent of the government of the young American state, he quietly plundered the ships of England and Spain in the Gulf of Mexico. The flowering of the pirate’s activities fell on the 1810s. It is not known where and when Jean Lafite was born. It is possible that he was a native of Haiti and was a secret Spanish agent. It was said that Lafite knew the coast of the bay better than many cartographers. It was certain that he had sold the looted goods through his brother-merchant who lived in New Orleans. Lafites illegally supplied slaves to the southern states, but thanks to their guns and people, Americans were able to defeat the British in 1815 in the battle for New Orleans. In 1817, the pirate under pressure from the authorities settled on the Texas island of Galveston, where he even founded his own state of Campeche. Lafite continued to also supply slaves, using intermediaries for this. But in 1821, one of his captains personally attacked a plantation in Louisiana. And although Lafite had been ordered to be an insolent man, the authorities ordered him to flood his ships and leave the island. The pirate has only two ships from the once whole fleet. Then Lafite with a group of his followers settled on the island of Isla Mujeres near the coast of Mexico. But even then he did not attack American ships. And after 1826 about the valiant pirate information is not found. In Louisiana itself, there are still legends about Captain Lafite. And in the city of Lake Charles even held in memory of him “days of smugglers.” The name of the pirate even named a reserve near the coast of Barataria. And in 1958 Hollywood even released a film about Lafite, it was played by Yul Brynner.

Thomas Cavendish

(1560-1592). Pirates not only robbed ships, but also were bold travelers, discovering new lands. In particular, Cavendish was the third sailor who decided on a round-the-world trip. His youth passed in the English fleet. Thomas led such a turbulent life that he quickly let down all the legacy he had inherited. And in 1585 he left the service and went for his share of extraction in rich America. He returned to his homeland rich. Easy money and fortune help made Cavendish choose the pirate’s way to conquer fame and fortune. July 22, 1586, Thomas headed his own flotilla departed from Plymouth in Sierra Leone. The expedition set out to find new islands, to study winds and currents. However, this did not prevent to engage in parallel and outright robbery. At the first stop in Sierra Leone, Cavendish, along with his 70 sailors, robbed the local settlements. A successful beginning allowed the captain to dream of future exploits. On January 7, 1587, Cavendish crossed the Straits of Magellan, and then went north along the coast of Chile. Before him, this way was only one European – Francis Drake. The Spaniards controlled this part of the Pacific, generally calling it the Spanish Lake.The rumor of the English pirates forced the garrisons to assemble. But the flotilla of the Englishman was worn out – Thomas found a quiet bay for repairs. The Spaniards did not wait, finding pirates during the raid. However, the British not only repulsed the attack of superior forces, but also turned them into flight and immediately robbed several neighboring settlements. Then there were already two ships. June 12, they reached the equator and until November the pirates waited for the “treasury” ship with all the proceeds of the Mexican colonies. Perseverance was rewarded, and the English captured a lot of gold and jewelry. However, when the prey was divided up, the pirates quarreled, and Cavendish was left with one ship. With him, he went to the west, where robbery procured a load of spices. September 9, 1588, Cavendish’s ship returned to Plymouth. The pirate not only became one of the first to circumnavigate the globe, but also did it very quickly – for 2 years and 50 days. In addition, the captain returned 50 people to his team. This record was so significant that it lasted more than two centuries.



Add a Comment