A Reckoning of the 10 Most Infamous Pirates in the Chronicle of the Piracy


October 16, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Pirate History


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In the Caribbean, China Sea and beyond, pirates will prosper in history upon the waves of time - whether for notoriety, misplaced popularity, or cruelty. All enjoyed a specific period, generally short-lived, of success in their respective waters. The following is a rundown of the ten most famous pirates in world's oceans.

William Kidd (Scottish, 1645 - 1701)

william-kiddA stylish Scotsman who had been a leading citizen of New York City, actively involved in the building of Trinity Church, Captain Kidd began his career as a privateer, originally commissioned to rid the seas of pirates. Only reluctantly, did he cross bounds into piracy (having been elected pirate captain by his crew), although his piracy itself may be questionable as his exploits may have been sensationalized. He was sentenced to death, some said unjustly, and suffered a wretched execution - the noose by which he was hung broke twice, and after he was killed on the third hanging his body was doused in tar and hung by chains along the Thames River.      

Edward Teach "Blackbeard" (English, 1680- 1718)

There have actually been more effective pirates, Blackbeard is one of the widely-feared and best-known of his time. He regulated 4 ships and had a pirate army of 300 at the height of his profession, and beat the well-known warship, HMS "Scarborough" in sea-battle. His head was then raised upon a stake as an alerting to other pirates near Virginia's Hampton River.

Bartholomew Roberts "Black Bart" (Welsh, 1682 - 1722)

bartholomew-robertsRoberts' crew admired his daring courage, calling him "pistol proof" - though he had been forced into piracy, having recently been an officer on board a ship that was captured by the pirate Howell Davis. After taking over, Roberts' navigational skills, charisma, and bravado painted him golden the eyes of his men. He plundered over 400 ships, a grandiose record to be sure, and captained well-armored ships in every endeavor. He died in a vigorous battle against British Captain Chaloner Ogle; his death left many of his faithful followers and admirers reeling. Even the Royal Navy itself was stunned.      

Henry Every "Long Ben" (English, 1653-unknown)

henry-everyHenry Every began his naval profession in the British Royal Navy. He served on several ships before he signed up with a venture known as the Spanish Expedition Shipping in 1693. He was transformed into pirate captain by means of mutiny, leading to his acclaim as one of the most dreaded and triumphant pirates of the Red Sea. Though he didn't take many ships, the two that he did capture were among the finest in the Indian Ocean (one of them being India's treasure ship, bulging with gold and jewels). Upon achieving his great wealth (he was the richest pirate in the world), Every retired - but he continued to be hunted far and wide, and his true whereabouts at the time of his death remain unknown.          

Anne Bonny (Irish, 1700-1782)

anne-bonnyHaving taken a trip to the New World with her household, Anne fell in love and married a bad sailor called James Bonny. When she grew increasingly dissatisfied by her other half's lack of valor, she began looking for out the company of numerous different guys in Nassau. Among these males, was "Calico Jack" Rackham, captain of a pirate ship. She joined his team whilst acting and dressing like a man (consisting of drinking and dealing with a lot). Therefore, she fought under his command, and along with fellow female pirate Mary Read, she coaxed the crew onto even greater bloodshed and violence and ended up being a powerful pirate herself. Nevertheless, she was caught with Rackham's team and sentenced to death. Both she and Mary Read claimed pregnancy in prison, and their death sentences weren't performed (but Mary had the bad luck of passing away in jail). Nobody is sure how the well-known female pirate passed away, though there is speculation that she returned home to her husband or her father.

sir-henry-morganSir Henry Morgan (Welsh, 1635-1688)

Captain Morgan is among the most famous pirates who terrorized Spain's Caribbean colonies in the late 1600s. Discreetly sanctioned by England, Morgan became the head of the Jamaican fleet and effectively undermined Spanish guideline, obstructing normalcy in the West Indies. He may have pillaged upwards of four hundred ships throughout his piracy profession. His greatest accomplishment was recording the really rich Panama City with thirty ships and 1,200 guys, acquiring his largest plunder. It was due to his raid on Panama City that he was arrested and brought back to England, but since battle resumed between England and Spain, King Charles II knighted Morgan and launched him as deputy governor of Jamaica. There, he lived an extremely well appreciated planter till his death.

Francois l'Olonnais (French, 1635-1668)

francois-lolonnaisl'Olonnais humbly started as a pauper, dealing with a plantation in America as an indentured servant. After he relied on piracy, the Frenchman was known for the viciousness he showed to his overcome, as well as his success in raiding numerous towns (he was one of the most successful pirates on land attacks) and catching numerous ships. Amongst his most effective plunders was the town of Maracaibo, Venezuela, where he damaged and stole his method into historic infamy, acquiring some 200,000 Spanish dollars. His vicious, bloodthirsty streak was predominant in his profession, for he is stated to have eaten a Spanish soldier's heart during among his many attacks. His own death, nevertheless, was similarly as gruesome. l'Olonnais and his crew lodged their ship on a sandbar off the coast of Panama and weren't able to break free. Upon venturing onto land looking for food, they were caught by the local tribe and feasted on.  

Sir Francis Drake (English, 1540-1595)

sir-francis-drake The most popular privateer of his time, Captain Drake sacked the Spanish army numerous times, frequently on the order of Queen Elizabeth I herself. Spain, his life-long, starkest opponent, saw repeated destruction for he non-stop sacked and plundered Spanish cities off the coast of Florida. He also sailed to North America and asserted brand-new land on the Pacific coast for Queen Elizabeth, becoming the very first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. He even saved the unsuccessful English colonists of Roanoke Island off the coast of the Carolinas and provided them passage to England aboard his vessel. After a remarkable profession, Drake passed away off the coast of Panama to something as mundane as dysentery.

Cheung Po Tsai (Chinese, early 1800s - mid 1800s)

chaiposaiCheung Po Tsai was a fisherman's child, captured by a pirate and his partner to later be embraced by them and become a pirate himself. In the height of his "profession", he commanded an army of over 50,000 males and a number of hundred ships (Caribbean pirates appear to fade in comparison). He intimidated the Guangdong shoreline, generating terrific treasure, which he concealed in a small cave that is today named after him. Ultimately the Chinese government managed to capture him, though he struck an offer with them and ended up being enlisted as a captain in the Qing Imperial Navy. He was designated to the rank of colonel and invested the rest of his life helping the Chinese federal government in recording other pirates.        

Ching Shih (Chinese, 1785-1844)

madame-ching-pirateKnown as Cheng I Sao, Ching Shih is not just the most successful of all female pirates, she is also the most remarkable. She got equality to her other half (Husband), the pirate Cheng and took control of his operation upon his demise. She ordained her other half's second-in-command, her adopted child, Cheung Po Tsai, the captain of her fleet (which equaled that of all the other most effective pirates combined). Gorgeous and a former woman of the street, Captain Sao controlled more than 1,500 ships with 80,000 men, and robbed and taxed towns, plundering ships along the coast of the South China Sea, all the while enforcing a strict code of conduct upon her crews. She also married her adopted son, Chang Pao. When the Chinese federal government provided her universal pirate amnesty in exchange for peace, she relented. Her pirates, on the other hand, were able to keep their riches and were provided military duties. She lived out her 69 years in charge of a gambling establishment and whorehouse with her husband.

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