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Biographies of more famous Pirates
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Salty Dog
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sir John Hawkins
1532 - 1595

Captain Hawkins spent the years 1562 through 1568 making four voyages. It was during these voyages that he became the first English slaver and the first Englishman to invade the Caribbean which was largely of Spanish possession.

Captain Hawkins started his career as smuggler while visiting the Canary islands with his father in 1562. He smuggled slaves from West Africa to the Caribbean. Slave smuggling was extremely profitable at the time as Spain required all slavers to register their cargo at Seville and Spain would take a portion of the proceeds thereby inflating the price. A smuggler could sell directly to the Spanish colonies as the colonists were eager to get a good price, so there was a ready market for those willing to take the risks. During these times, most pirates got their start smuggling slaves.

In October 1562, Captain Hawkins took three small ships to Sierra Leone. His purpose was to raid native villages (collecting slaves), and loot Portuguese ships. Captain Hawkins had worked out an agreement between local officials whereby he could sell his cargo on the northern coast of Hispaniola. Hawkins next went to England in one of his ships and sent the two others to Seville. At Seville the Spaniards seized the cargoes. Although Captain Hawkins lost the two ship's cargoes, he nevertheless made a substantial profit. Pirates realizing the profits made from slaving increased their elicit trade and tensions between England and Spain increased. Spain suspended trade with England and arrested English ships. Spain was immensely powerful at the time, controlling the seas and most of the colonies of the Americas. As such Spain was the enemy of many European nations. It was because of her control that England and France had planned a joint assault on Florida, but the plan wasn't to come to fruition and Queen Elizabeth I, having heard of Captain Hawkins' success in the Caribbean, decided to support him. The queen wanted Captain Hawkins to go on another slaving expedition and the plan was financed by courtiers and merchants. The queen gave Captain Hawkins the 700-ton Jesus of Lubeck and Captain Hawkins set sail with her plus three other smaller ships in October 1564. Captain Hawkins sailed to Borburata, Venezuela pirating along the way. By the time he reached Borburata, he had gathered around 400 slaves. After Borburata, Captain Hawkins sailed to Rio de la Hacha. The Spanish officials tried to prevent Captain Hawkins' sale of the slaves by imposing taxes. Captain Hawkins refused the taxes and threatened to burn the towns. The Spanish were no match for Captain Hawkins' crew and backed down. After selling his cargo, Captain Hawkins sailed to a French colony in Florida for a respite. Captain Hawkins returned to England in September 1655, his expedition a total success as his financiers made a 60% profit.

The Spanish government, outraged at Captain Hawkins' activities, persuaded the English government to forbid Captain Hawkins' next expedition. Captain Hawkins ignored the order from his government, financing John Lovell with a contribution of three ships. Lovell's expedition, which included Sir Francis Drake, left for Africa in October 1566. Lovell's voyage proved a financial disaster as Lovell's force was too small to force Spanish trade. After the disastrous Lovell expedition, Captain Hawkins once again gained support from the crown, and Captain Hawkins left England in October 1567. This time, Captain Hawkins was in command of two royal warships and four smaller ships.

Captain Hawkins course was the same as his last expedition, but this time Sir Francis Drake (who had joined the expedition) received command of a captured Portuguese ship, and Captain Hawkins was forced to take hostages at Rio de la Hacha as well as burning part of the town to make the Spanish permit trade. On the return voyage, Captain Hawkins ran into a severe storm which forced Captain Hawkins to a nearby port. The closest port was San Juan de Ulúa in Mexico, and Captain Hawkins anchored off an island in the harbor on September 15, 1568. At the island, Captain Hawkins took several hostages. The next day a Spanish treasure fleet commanded by the viceroy of Mexico arrived at the port. The viceroy, seeing the occupation by the English, ordered the Spanish forts and ships to attack on September 23. Captain Hawkins' force lost four of the 6 ships as well as three-fourths of the crew along with large sums of money. The remainder of Captain Hawkins' force arrived in England several months later. Hawkins' days as a slaver were over and he settled into the title of Treasurer of the Navy in 1577. In 1588 he became Naval comptroller as well as treasurer. While serving these positions, Captain Hawkins rebuilt older galleons as well as helped design faster, more heavily armed ships. He also improved the sailor's lot, providing better working conditions and more pay.

In 1588, Captain Hawkins commanded a squadron against the Spanish armada which was trying to invade England. Captain Hawkins was knighted for his performance in the foray. Hawkins next tried, unsuccessfully, to intercept the Spanish treasure fleet off Portugal with the aid of Martin Frobisher in early 1590. Captain Hawkins next joined Sir Francis Drake in an expedition to the West Indies in 1595. During the voyage, Hawkins became ill and died as the fleet was reaching San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henriques the Englishman
AKA: Henry Johnson
Irish Pirate
Active 1730's

In 1730 Henry Johnson, dubbed Henriques the Englishman by his Spanish crew, was operating a pirate ship called the Two Brothers off the coast of Rhode Island.

Although Henriques was missing a hand, it did little to slow him down. In battle, he would often start off by balancing his rifle on the stub of his arm and firing it with expert accuracy. Afterwards he would drop the rifle and attack with his cutlass, swinging it madly at anyone in his way.

Attacking the John and Jane off Swan Island near Jamaica, Henriques' pirates battled for almost five hours before boarding the vessel.

Henriques was known as pirate who gave no quarter and asked for none in return, except in this instance. The pirates had stripped the crew and were preparing to hang everyone on board in pairs when Henriques heard the scream of a woman. Upon entering the cabin, he discovered one of his pirates had stripped and was about to rape her. Henriques put a stop to it, forbade anyone to hurt her, then had her belongings gathered up and let her go at the next port. He also stopped the other hangings from taking place.

Henriques was wanted throughout the Americas yet he managed to have a long career, confounding all pursuers and terrifying all in his wake. With the exception of his staunch rule against violence against women, he was an extremely blood-thirsty pirate who was never captured.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David Herriot
British
Died 1718


Pirate Israel Hands was second-in-command under Captain Edward Teach aka Blackbeard. Hands was given command of David Herriot's ship "Adventure" after Herriot was captured by Captain Blackbeard in March, 1718.


John Hoar
Active 1690's


During wartime, Captain Hoar captured a French ship. He was permitted to purchase her and renamed his new ship the John and Rebecca.

After Captain Hoar received a privateering commission from Governor Benjamin Fletcher of New York in December, 1695 he left Boston and sailed for the Red Sea with a stopover at Madagascar in April, 1696. Captain Hoar joined Captain Dirk Chivers and they seized several Indian ships as well as European ships. One of these was the Rouparelle.

Captain Hoar then sailed to the Persian Gulf where he captured a large Indian ship laden with cloth. Afterwards, Captain Hoar sailed for Saint Mary's Island, arriving in February 1697. Saint Mary's Island, which was a breeding ground for pirates. A large group in which to pick a crew from could always be found there. While Captain Hoar was at Saint Mary's, the natives of the island attacked he was killed.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Benjamin Hornigold
British Pirate
Active 1716 - 1717

Hornigold's ship was the starting point for many of the more famous pirates.

Captain Hornigold left New Providence Island in the Bahamas with Captain Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard) among his crew. He captured a sloop, which Captain Teach made captain of. They plundered six ships in 1717 off the American coast and raided in the Caribbean. By the years end they seized a French ship ladened with gold, jewels and other booty and then parted company. Teach went to America and Captain Hornigold to New Providence. When Woodes Rogers was appointed governor of the Bahamas Captain Hornigold asked for and received a pardon. Rogers thought highly of Hornigold and commissioned him to hunt pirates. Hornigold pursued John Auger among others. Circa 1719, Hornigold was sent to Mexico on a trading voyage. Captain Hornigold's ship struck a reef far from land, all hands were lost.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thomas Howard
British Pirate
Active 1698 - 1703



Howard inherited a great deal of money but managed to squander every penny, then fled to Jamaica where he stole a canoe with a motley crew. Howard and his small band seized one ship after another until they ended up with a 24-gun ship. The crew elected Howard as her quartermaster. The pirates raided off North America in 1698, then crossed the Atlantic where they plundered many more ships along the West African coast.

In Circa 1700, their ship was wrecked on a reef off Madagascar. While they were trying to dislodge their ship from the reef, Howard and others stole all the treasure.

A time later, Howard became the victim. He was marroned while hunting when his companions made off with the treasure. Finally George Booth came along and Howard was rescued and joined the crew. After Booth's death, Howard sailed under John Bowen. In 1701, Bowen wrecked his ship, the Speaker. They eventually went to Augustine's Bay and Howard stayed behind and took up residence there for awhile.

Howard recruited another band with which he took the Prosperous, a 36 gun ship. Howard was elected her captain and in 1702 rejoined Bowen. In March 1703 they plundered the British merchantman Pembroke off Johanna Island in the Comoros Islands. In August, 1703, the two were found in the Red Sea where they captured two Indian ships with more than £70,000 in booty.

They sailed to Rajapura, India and divided the booty, then the crews united on board the largest of the Indian ships. Howard did not stay with them however, retiring a very wealthy man on the Indian coast.

Daniel Defoe states: "Howard married a Woman of the Country, and being a morose ill natur'd Fellow, and using her ill, he was murder'd by her Relations."
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Victor Hugues
Active 1790's

Born in Marseille, this Frenchman lost his business in Haiti when the slaves there demanded freedom. So he turned to piracy and made a fortune by raiding shipping out of Guadeloupe.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jan Jansz
AKA Murad Raïs
Active 1620's


This Dutch privateer joined the Barbary corsairs and in 1627 led a Muslim fleet to Iceland, where they took slaves and plunder.


Henry Jennings
British Pirate
Active 1715 - 1717


Jennings hunted Spanish and French merchantmen during the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713).

The governor of Havana sent a salvage crew to southeastern Florida to recover the cargo of silver being transported by a Spanish treasure fleet which perished in a hurricane in July 1715. Together with three small ships, Jennings and some 300 men left Jamaica came upon the salvagers. They drove off about 60 soldiers and their booty came to some 350,000 pesos. While returning to Jamaica, Jennings seized a Spanish ship laden in rich cargo and another 60,000 pesos. The governor of Jamaica, who was worried about reprisals from the government, warned Jennings about his activities. Jennings left Jamaica and found a new base of operations at New Providence Island in the Bahamas. In 1717, the English government offered a pardon which Jennings accepted in Bermuda.


John Paul Jones
1747 - 1792

Scottish born Jones became an American hero in the War of Independence. He attacked ships in British waters and was condemned as a traitor and pirate. Later a rear-admiral in the Russian Navy, he died in France.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Kelley
AKA James Gilliam
or James Kelly
British Pirate
Active 1680 - 1699

In 1680, John Williams captured James Kelley from a slave ship off the coast of West Africa. In 1681, Kelley helped Williams rescue John Cook other Caribbean pirates. After an argument over the capture of a Spanish ship, Kelley left Williams and joined Cook aboard the Bachelor's Delight and they plundered the South American Pacific coast until 1688 when Cook died and Edward Davis took command of the ship.

While in Jamaica, Kelley left Davis' company, accepted a pardon from the local government, and accepted a stint as a privateer. After a few months, Kelley helped seize a sloop and was put in charge of it as Captain. Under the alias James Gilliam, the captain set sail for the Indian Ocean. While in the East Indies, Kelley reunited with his old ship, the Bachelor's Delight becoming its quartermaster.

In 1692, the pirates captured the Unity near Bombay. The defeated crew of the Unity joined the pirates, put their officers out to sea, and elected Kelley as their new captain. From there, Kelley sailed to northwest India. While in harbor, Kelley and 20 others were arrested stealing supplies during an earlier stop while onboard the Bachelor's Delight. The prisoners were forcibly converted to the Muslim faith and several of them died while undergoing circumcision. Kelley remained there for several years.

Around 1696, Kelley pirated a boat and headed back to Bombay. There he joined the East Indian ship Mocha. Eight days after leaving port, the crew mutinied, and with newly elected Ralph Stout as its captain, became very wealthy pirates.

In May 1698, the Mocha anchored at Saint Mary's Island. Kelley having much booty decided to join William Kidd who was heading home. This decision cost him his life, as unknown to Kelley, the authorities were hunting for Kidd. When Kidd landed at Boston, he was arrested as was Kelley. Kelley was taken to England to be tried for his crimes. Kelley was found guilty and hanged in 1701. While awaiting his fate, Kelley wrote his memoirs which were later published as "A Full and True Discovery of all the Robberies, Pyracies and Other Notorious Actions of James Kelley."
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walter Kennedy
British Pirate
Active 1718 - 1721

Kennedy was a pickpocket and burglar before sailing from New Providence Island in the Bahamas in 1718 with Howell Davis.

After Davis' murder in June 1719, Kennedy attacked the fort at Principe Island to avenge Davis' death. Kennedy was given second-in-command by the crew of the Rover in appreciation of his bravery. Bartholomew Roberts was in supreme command. They sailed to Brazil where they captured a Portuguese ship carrying rich booty. While Roberts was on a captured sloop, Kennedy took both the Rover and the prize. The crew wanting to go home and split up their spoils prompted Kennedy to give the Portuguese ship to a captive English captain. Kennedy decided to go to Ireland, but he was not much of a navigator and wrecked the Rover on the coast of Scotland. The majority of his crew were captured and hanged, but Kennedy escaped going to Dublin. He eventually returned to England where he set up a house of prostitution supplementing his income derived from burglary. One of his prostitutes turned him in to the authorities for robbery. Recognized in prison, he was hanged for piracy in 1721.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lady Mary Killigrew
Active 1580's

The Killigrew family were secret backers of piracy in Cornwall. In 1583, a Spanish merchant ship was driven into Falmouth by storms. Lady Killigrew led a boarding party onto the vessel, killing the crew, and stealing the cargo. She was sentenced to death for piracy, but was let off.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oliver le Bouché
AKA La Bous or La Buse (The Buzzard)
French Pirate
Active Mid 1700's

In 1716, Captain le Bouche; sailed in consort with Captain Benjamin Hornigold and later with Captain Samuel Bellamy. Captains le Bouche and Bellamy plundered both French and English ships near the Virgin Islands until a storm separated them in early 1717.

In July 1718, when Woodes Rogers was made governor of the Bahamas, Captain le Bouche fled to the West African coast.

Captain La Bouche, Thomas Cocklyn and Captain Howell Davis sailed in consort for a time, then separated ways. On his way towards the Red Sea in 1720, his ship became wrecked on the island Mayotte in the Comoro Islands.

In 1721, Captain le Bouche was living on Saint Mary's Island near Madagascar. He and Captain John Taylor began sailing together after Captain Taylor gave him command of the Victory. At Reunion Island they captured a Portuguese ship which was loaded with booty. After returning to Saint Mary's Island they divvied up the loot and parted company in December. Captain Taylor headed for the West Indies and Captain La Bouche sailed to Madagascar.

It is believed that Captain le Bouche ended his life of piracy making his home on Reunion Island.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

François le Clerc
AKA Jambe de Bois (Peg Leg or
Wooden Leg)
Active 1553 - 1554


This French privateer led eight ships and 330 men attacking Spanish ships off Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, and sacked the port of Santiago de Cuba.

He was the first European to settle in St. Lucia, and from Pigeon Island, attacked passing Spanish vessels.


Pierre le Grand
French Pirate
Circa 1620


Captain le Grand was the first pirate to settle on Tortuga Island. Le Grand and 28 men captured the flagship (a galleon) of the Spanish treasure fleet.

Captain le Grand spotted a galleon lagging behind a Spanish treasure fleet off Cape Tiburon in western Hispaniola. After a successful attack at night, the ship's Captain surrendered. Le Grand drafted a few of its crew into service, put the rest of the crew ashore and sailed home for France.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William Lewis
Pirate from Nassau
Active Early 1700's

Lewis was an accomplished linguist, able to speak fluently most of the native languages of the Caribbean as well as Spanish, French, and English.

Already famous by 1717, while serving under his mentor Captain Banister, Lewis was captured and suspended like a flag from the mizzen, but somehow managed to escape.

On another adventure, he attacked and plundered a French 24 gun man-o-war aboard his smaller and lesser-armed schooner. This among other events helped thrust him into the hierarchy of the Brethren of the Coast.

On another occasion, Lewis was captured by Spaniards and was taken to Havana to be hanged, but he escaped with a few other prisoners. During their escape, they stole a canoe. With it, they overtook a piragua. Then used the piragua to capture a sloop, and so until he eventually had a fine man-o-war with a crew of more than fifty. He renamed this ship the Morning Star and began to terrorize the Atlantic coast from the Spanish Main all the way north to Virginia.

Not until 1727 would Lewis make a fatal mistake when he happened upon a wonderful vessel off the Carolina coast. As he approached the prize, he ran up his colors and the ship attempted to outrun him. Lewis gave chase and a running sea battle started. The Morning Star was faster and it looked like she would surely overcome the slower trading ship. In the ensuing battle, the other ship managed to take out Lewis' fore and main top masts. In a fit of insanity Lewis clambered up the top mast and began pulling his hair out and throwing it in the wind. As he did this, he shouted "Good Devil take this till I come!" Remarkably, the Morning Star then sped up and overtook the other vessel. That night, members of the crew continued to remark at how Lewis had managed to overtake the other ship after he had made a pact with the devil. The superstitious men, fearing for their lives, murdered Lewis in his sleep.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edward Low
AKA Ned Low
Active early 1700's

Captain Edward "Ned" Low started his career as a Boston ship rigger then eventually turned to a more profitable lifestyle as a pirate.

After capturing a Nantucket whaler, Low made the ship's commander eat his own sliced off ears, sprinkled with salt, before he killed him. This earned him a reputation as an extremely cruel brute.

When he captured the Spanish galleon Montcova, he personally slaughtered fifty-three officers and made one Spaniard eat the heart of another before killing him. His own crew finally set him adrift in an open boat without provisions. Two days later, a French ship rescued him, but upon discovering who he was, the French gave him a quick trial and hanged him.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George Lowther
British Pirate
Active 1721 - 1723

George Lowther
British Pirate
Active 1721 - 1723
George Lowther


Captain Lowther was First Mate on board the Gambia Castle, a slaving ship for the Royal Africa Company. Joining forces with Captain Massey, an army officer who was appalled at the conditions aboard ship, they took over the ship, leaving behind its captain who was on shore attending to business, then renamed the ship the Delivery.

Eventually they parted ways, Massey commanding the Delivery, and Lowther in charge of a smaller sloop from a previous plunder called the Happy Delivery.

On one occasion, while careening the Revenge, they were attacked by Indians and escaped with meager supplies on board.

By 1722, prosperous again, Lowther had to once again careen his ship. In Blanquilla, a small but well concealed island, they had almost finished the job when the sloop Eagle, commanded by Walter Moore, spotted the ship. Lowther and his crew tried to get away but weren't able to get far enough away from the island in time, so they returned and hid on the island. Marooned on the island, Lowther was eventually found dead with a bullet in his head.
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