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Famous Pirates and Buccaneers

Explore this extensive list of pirate and buccaneer biographies
Alvilda (aka Alwilda, Alfhild, AElfhild)
Alvilda was a Danish/Gothic Princess who lived in what is now Sweden. There is some doubt of Alvilda's actual exisistance. In fact, the date of her reign cannot even be verified (some say as early as the 5th Century up to as late as the 12th century).

Kanhoji Angria
Kanhoji was an African Muslim whose operations off the west coast of India developed into what was probably the most succesful piracy endeavor of the 17th and 18th century.

Captain Thomas Anstis ? - 1723
Biography on the British pirate.

Aruj Barbarossa AKA Red Beard Died 1518
The Barbarossa brothers, former galley slaves, founded the Barbary corsairs in the 1500's. They became rich men by attacking Christian shipping and coastal towns around the Mediterranean.

Jean Bart 1650 - 1702
Born into a poor Flemish family of sailors in Dunkerque, Jean Bart went to sea at age12. When he was a boy, the English had besieged, battered and captured his home town - perhaps naturally, teenage Jean joined the Dutch Navy to fight the English. He observed brilliant Dutch admiral De Ruyter, and learnt seamanship and naval tactics.

Jane de Belleville
She burned whole Norman villages to the ground.

Maurycy Beniowski
Short biography of the pirate.

Anne Bonny (1697?-1720?)
Anne Bonny disguised herself as a man and joined Rackham's pirate crew aboard Revenge. She took part in combat when the pirates boarded vessels. When her sex was discovered she killed the complaining pirate with her knife.

Stede Bonnet
As a pirate, Bonnet was merely an amateur. Unlike stealing or capturing a ship, as any respectable pirate would do, he purchased his own, which was completely unheard of in the archives of piracy.

Black Sam Bellamy: The Prince of Pirates
Sam Bellamy was a big black-haired, intelligent and popular leader of men, with little respect for authority, whose reputation for being generous to his victims caused him to be remembered as the Prince of Pirates.

Abraham Blauvelt
Biography of the Dutch pirate.

John Bowen
John Bowen, born on the island of Bermuda, first came to public attention off the Malabar coast in 1700 in command of the Speaker with a diverse crew of pirates.

Captain John Callice ? - 1587
Born in southeastern Wales, Callice moved to London as a youth, became a retailer and sailor, and joined the navy in about 1571.

Christopher Condent ? - 1770
Originally a privateer for England in the War of the Spanish Recession, but when the war ended, rather than return to 'honest' service, he opted to go 'on the account' instead and plunder anything he saw fit.

Captain John Coxon
Coxon was one of the most famous Brethren of the Coast. He and other English buccaneers attacked and plundered the town of Santa Marta on the Spanish Main, then kidnapped its Governor and Bishop. He then raided the Gulf of Honduras.

William Dampier (1652? - 1715)
He was an English buccaneer, and the first Englishman to visit Australia, but he was different from other pirates.

Howell Davis
Davis was a Welsh pirate who preyed on shipping off the West African coast and in the Caribbean from July 1718 until June 1719.

Captain Benito de Soto
Biography on the pirate.

Sir Francis Drake (1540 - 1596)
He was a successful privateer, a talented navigator, and one of the most renowned seamen in all history.

Captain Peter Easton 1570? - 1619?
Biography on the British pirate.

Edward England
Captain England was an officer on a Jamaican sloop which was captured by Christopher Winter, after which he joined the pirates.

Captain John Evans ? - 1724
John Evans started upon his pirate career in September of 1722. Up to that time he had been legitimately involved in a variety of sailing jobs from master of a sloop belonging to Nevis to work as a mate sailing from Jamaica.

Captain Henry Every ? - 1695
Arguably one of the most successful pirates ever.

Captain William Fly
Short biography of the pirate.

Sir Michael Geare
Geare's first voyages were under Captain Sir George Carey. He then worked for John Watts from 1588 through 1591. In 1591 he was made captain of the Little John, which was one of five ships under the command of William Lane.

John Halsey
Captain Halsey, originally hailed Boston. As a privateers he raided French and Spanish shipping in 1704 and by 1705 he received a new commission and turned pirate and sailed to Madagascar in command of the Charles, which had 10 guns.

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

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.

Thomas Jones
Biography on the pirate.

Captain William Kidd, 1645 - 1701
Great information for genealogists.

Jean Lafitte: Pirate and Patriot
Biography of the famous pirate.

François l'Olonnais ? - 1668
Jean David Nau, also known as François l'Olonnais, was reputed to have been one of the most ruthless and barbaric pirates to have ever sailed under the black flag.

George Lowther ? - 1723
Biography of the pirate.

Edward Mansfield
Dutch Captain Mansfield was in command of a four-gun brigantine when he took part in Sir Christopher Myngs' assault on San Francisco de Campeche in Mexico in 1663.
Captain Christopher Mings ? - 1666
Sir Christopher Mings was born at Norfolk and joined the royal navy as a cabin-boy. Staying with the navy he would rise through the ranks to become captain.

Captain, Sir Henry Morgan
The life and times of the famous pirate.

Captain Nathaniel North ? - 1707
North was a crewman aboard a privateer attacking French shipping during the Nine Years' War. He was pressed into the royal navy but eventually made his way back to Jamaica where he once again set about privateering.

John Nutt
John Nutt was born in Lympstone, England. He acted as a brigand and a pirate in Newfoundland waters from 1620 to 1623.

Granuaile O'Malley, female pirate
Good site devoted to sharing web resources and links to the female pirate.

John Oxenham
Oxenham made his way to the Atlantic coast to prey on shipping. He spent the winters of 1576-1577 inland. In February 1577, Oxenham (in a pinnace which his men and some escaped African slaves, the Cimarrónes built) via a river entered the Gulf of Panama. They looted the Pearl Islands where they tortured a Franciscan friar.

Captain William Parker
Captain William Parker was a member of the lesser gentry near Plymouth. In 1587 he sailed in consort with Sir Francis Drake during Drake's raid on Cadiz, Spain.

Lawrence Prince
Captain Prince was born in Amsterdam. In 1670, he sailed from Port Royal, Jamaica to Colombia. He had plans to take the town of Mompos which was over 150 miles inland, part of the trip was up the Magdalena River. Upon their arrival they found a new fort on an island river. The pirates were drove back with cannon fire.

John Rackham AKA Calico Jack
Short biography on the famous pirate.

Sir Walter Ralegh 1552 - 1618
An Elizabethan courtier and navigator, Raleigh fitted out many privateering expeditions in order to fund a new colony in Virginia, North America. On the death of Queen Elizabeth I, Raleigh's fortunes changed. In 1616 he persuaded James I to send him on another search for gold, but he returned empty handed and was beheaded.

Mary Read (168?-1721)
Mary Read was a famous pirate born in the late 17th century who disguised herself as a man and later became pregnant. Because of her pregnancy, Mary was able to avoid the death penalty for dressing like a man as well as being a pirate.

Manuel Pardal Rivero
Spain, a long time victim of pirating, suffering heavy losses from the pirates and deciding that Sir Henry Morgan's Portobello raid in 1669 was the last straw, sanctioned the governors of its colonies in the procurement of privateers and disbursement of letters of marque. Few pirates responded to this act, but Captain Rivero, who was Portuguese, did and rushed out to seek enemy nation's ships to prey upon.

Bartholomew Roberts
Bartholomew Roberts, referred to as the " Great Pirate Roberts", roamed the seas in the early eighteenth century. He traveled the coasts of North and South America.

Cheng I Sao or Ching Shih and Charlotte de Berry
Short biographies on the defiant female pirates.

Sir Anthony Sherley
Captain Sherley was an Oxford educated man, born into wealth, but forced to make his own way in the world after his family went bankrupt.

Ralph Stout
Stout was a cruel man who had a priest tortured after capturing a Portuguese ship and on another occasion, seizing a vessel, locking up its crew and burning them alive along with the ship.

Captain Simon Simonson ? - 1609
Biography of the pirate.

Gertrude Imogene Stubbs (Gunpowder Gertie)
Gertrude Imogene Stubbs was born in 1879, in Whitby, England, she moved to Canada and soon found herself involved in piracy.

Blackbeard AKA Edward Teach (1680 - 1718)
Really neat site to explore part of the life of the famous pirate.

How the end came to be for the famous pirate.

Guillaume Le Testu
Captain Le Testu was born at Le Havre in Normandy. His exact date of birth is unknown, but is believed to be circa 1509. At Dieppe he studied navigation and was pilot of a French ship during an exploration mission of Brazil in 1551.

Thomas Tew ? - 1695
Thomas Tew was a famous pirate, whose headquarters was at Madagascar. He was mentioned by name as a specially "wicked and ill disposed person" in King William III's 1695 Royal Warrant to Captain Kidd, which commissioned him to hunt for pirates.

Captain John Underhill, c. 1608-72
Interesting biography as well as link to Underhill genealogy.

Captain Charles Vane ? - 1709
Biography of the pirate.

Rachel Wall
Biography on the female pirate.

Pirates of the Whydah
The Whydah sank off New England in April 1717. Her captain, “Black Sam” Bellamy, and 143 others died with her. Armed with Whydah clues and informed imaginations, historians have begun speculating about Bellamy’s crew.

Captain Richard Worley ? - 1718
Richard Worley set out from New York with eight others in a small open boat; they were ill equipped and carried few supplies. The crew set out in late September 1718. Their ship was hardly seaworthy so they set out down the coast and up the Delaware River where they captured a boat laden with household goods (this was not constituted as piracy, but rather burglary since it did not take place upon the sea).

pirate pic

Pirates, buccaneers & privateers like Blackbeard, long John Silver, Anne Bonny, Black Sam Bellamy, Sir Francis Drake, Captian William Kidd, Captain, Sir Henry Morgan, Calico Jack & Mary Read terrorized the oceans for many centuries.

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