The 33 Most Famous Pirates in History

The Famous pirates Of history were people who committed acts of violence at sea, for example boat theft. Pirates and buccaneers have been one of the most interesting and yet feared figures in history [1] .

Public interest in pirates has led to the creation of various literary and cinematographic works over time. While most of the pirates that have been registered had activity many years ago, there are still still some that cause chaos in the world's oceans [2] .

The Spanish vessels were continually attacked in the Caribbean by pirates and buccaneers who went after the galleons in which riches were transported between America and Spain. Many of the pirates who sought treasures in the Caribbean were sponsored by some governments and countries.

Piracy brought many famous corsairs fame and fortune, however also caused the early death of many of them. Some benevolent, others violent and cruel, all managed to form part of a mythology that persists to this day.

Below is a list of the main pirates, buccaneers and pirates of history [3] .

Anne Bonny (1700 - 1782)

The 33 Most Famous Pirates in History

She was an Irish woman who became a famous pirate who operated in the Caribbean seas. The little that is known about his life is extracted from the book General history of the Pyrates, written by Captain Charles Johnson in 1724.

Bartholomew Roberts (1682-1722)

The 33 Most Famous Pirates of History 1

He was a Welsh pirate who assaulted ships sailing between America and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He is believed to have been the most successful pirate of the so-called"golden era"of piracy, based on the number of ships he managed to intercept and capture. It is thought that this number was higher than 400.

Benjamin Hornigold (1680 - 1719)

The 33 Most Famous Pirates of History 2

English pirate of century XVIII, was active during the end of the golden age of the piracy. After a successful career as a pirate, he became a hunter of buccaneers, going after his former allies hired by the governor of the Bahamas. He was killed after his boat was stranded on a reef in 1719.

Edward Teach, Blackbeard (1680-1718)

The 33 Most Famous Pirates of History 3

He was a prominent English pirate who operated in the West Indies and the east coast of the British British colonies. He belonged to the English navy, before joining Captain Hornigold's crew in the Bahamas. It was a feared corsair, although it was not violent, as it is known. His image gave rise to fictions about pirates after his death.

Calico Jack (1682-1720)

The 33 Most Famous Pirates of History 4

Pirate Captain born in England, operated in the Bahamas and Cuba in the early eighteenth century, during the latter part of the golden era of piracy. He was famous for being the first to use the pirate flag known as"Jolly Roger", with a skull and two cross-shaped bones, which became a pirate emblem.

Charles Vane (1680-1721)

The 33 Most Famous Pirates of History 5

He was an English pirate who attacked mainly English and French boats. His main ship was called Ranger. Its base of operation was in the Bahamas, in the population of New Providence, also called"The Pirate Republic". After a long and violent career as a buccaneer, he was executed by hanging in Jamaica.

Cheung Po Tsai (1783-1822)

The 33 Most Famous Pirates of History 6

Chinese pirate of century XIX, its name literally means"Cheung Po the boy". He was born in Hong Kong, the son of a fisherman and later kidnapped by the pirate Cheng I at the age of fifteen. Adopted by their kidnappers, he took from them the pirate trade. It is said that he managed to accumulate more than 50,000 followers and a fleet of more than 600 boats.

Edward England (1685-1721)

The 33 Most Famous Pirates of History 7

Famous pirate captain of the seas off the African coast and the Indian Ocean. Its most famous ships were the Pearl and the Fancy. He adopted and used the famous Jolly Roger pirate flag. He is known as one of the most human pirates of the golden age of piracy, because of his non-violent and moderate character.

Edward Low (1690 - 1724)

The 33 Most Famous Pirates of History 8

He was a notable pirate of the late period of the golden era, in the early eighteenth century. He was born in London in the middle of poverty and was a thief from childhood. He moved to Boston, United States, in his teens and became a pirate who operated on the coasts of New England, the Azores and the Caribbean. He was known for his cruelty and brutality.

Grace O'Malley (1530-1603)

The 33 Most Famous Pirates of History 9

It is an Irish pirate, who followed in the footsteps of his father, inheriting his business of maritime transport after his death. It is an important part of the Irish folklor and a major historical figure of the sixteenth century. Known as"Queen of the Sea of ​​Connacht", she received a good education and her talent for navigation was recognized by her contemporaries.

Henry Every (1659 - 1699)

The 33 Most Famous Pirates of History 10

He was an English pirate who operated in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans during the 1690s. Dubbed the"archipirate"or"King of the Pirates"by his contemporaries, he gained fame by withdrawing with his booty before being arrested or murdered in battle. Although his career was very brief, his exploits awakened the imagination of the public and inspired others to engage in piracy.

Howell Davis (1690 - 1719)

The 33 Most Famous Pirates of History 11

This Welsh pirate captain had a very brief career of only 11 months, before being ambushed and killed. It was, however, very productive at that time, capturing 15 English and French vessels. Its fleet consisted of 4 ships: Cadogan, Buck, Saint James and Rover.

Mary Read (1690 - 1721)

She was an English pirate, the most famous of the women dedicated to this activity, along with Anne Bonny. Both were the only women convicted of piracy during the eighteenth century. After being captured and imprisoned, she died of a violent fever while she was in prison.

Samuel Bellamy (1689 - 1717)

English pirate, active during the early 18th century. His career was short, lasted no more than a year, however his crew captured more than 53 ships under his command. He became the richest pirate in history, before his death at the young age of 28. His generosity was legendary, so some called him the"Robin Hood of the Pirates".

Stede Bonnet (1688-1718)

He was a pirate of Barbados during century XVIII, sometimes called"the pirate knight", because it had a good economic position before being dedicated to the piracy. It belonged to a prosperous English family established in Barbados and inherited the fortune of its father after its death. After acquiring a ship, that called Revenge, it threw itself to the sea like pirate and captured countless American ships.

Thomas Tew (1692-1695)

Also known as"The Rhode Island Pirate", he was an English pirate who embarked on two long voyages and died tragically during the second of them. He inaugurated a route, known as the"Pirate Round", which was followed by many other famous pirates behind him.

Turgut Reis (1485 - 1565)

Admiral of the Greek navy, under his command the fleet of the Ottoman empire extended its power through North Africa.

William Kidd (1645-1701)

Scottish sailor, simply known as Captain Kidd, was tried and sentenced to death upon returning from a trip to the Indian Ocean. Some historians debate the idea that Kidd was a pirate and not a member of the Scottish navy. Although successful, his pirate career was less destructive and profitable than some of his contemporaries.

Sir Francis Drake (1540 - 1596)

He was a captain and politician of Elizabethan England. It realized the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition and was the first to complete the trip like captain of the boat. With its entrance to the Pacific, it initiated a stage of piracy in the west coast of America.

Jean Lafitte (1780 - 1823)

French pirate who operated in the Gulf of Mexico during the beginning of the 19th century. He operated a warehouse in New Orleans that commercialized the goods stolen by his brother, the pirate Pierre Laffite. During the Mexican War of Independence, the Laffites served as spies in the service of Spain.

Woodes Rogers (1679 - 1732)

Captain and English navigator, he became governor of the Bahamas. He embarked on a voyage around the world, assaulting boats in their wake and accumulating wealth. On his return, he was sued by his crew, for not having distributed the profits. He went bankrupt and was imprisoned for his debts.

Christopher Myngs (1625-1666)

English naval officer, operated in the Caribbean commanding a pirate crew. During an attack in the Bay of Campeche, he was seriously injured.

Francois L'Ollonais (1635 - 1668)

He was a French pirate who was active in the Caribbean during the 1660s. He gained a reputation for his ferocity and cruelty. He participated in the sacking of Maracaibo (now Venezuela) and in the expedition to Honduras.

Henry Morgan (1635-1688)

He was a Welsh navigator, landowner and governor of Jamaica. From his base in the island, he attacked and looted multiple Spanish vessels. During his fruitful career he attacked Cuba, Panama and Venezuela. His life was turned into fiction in multiple literary works around the pirate theme.

John Morris (1663-1672)

He was an English buccaneer, active in the Caribbean. He was one of the first pirates to participate in expeditions against Spanish rule in Mexico and Nicaragua.

Thomas Paine (1632-1715)

American pirate that intercepted numerous Spanish boats during century XVII. He participated in the looting of Spanish settlements, like Rio de la Hacha in 1680.

Richard Sawkins (1640-1680)

English buccaneer, participated in the call"Adventure of the Pacific", a pirate expedition commanded by Captain John Coxon. It was celebrated by its crew because of its bravery and dexterity.

George Booth (1654 - 1700)

He was an English pirate, pioneer in the navigation of the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. He commanded a vessel called Speaker.

John Bowen (- 1704)

Creole pirate, active during the golden age, sailed along with several of his famous contemporaries. Over a period of four years, Bowen was able to accumulate more than £ 170,000 in goods and money. He retired shortly before his death.

Peter Easton (1570-1620)

It was an active pirate in the first part of Century XVII, mainly in the coast of Newfoundland. He was one of the most successful pirates and controlled such an amount of marine space that he never managed to be captured, despite having suffered several expeditions against him.

Cheng I Sao (1775-1844)

Famous Chinese pirate, terrorized the seas of the eastern country during the first part of the nineteenth century. He personally directed more than 300 boats with a crew of up to 40,000 pirates.

Black Caesar (1718)

He was an African pirate who, for more than a decade, operated based on the Florida Keys. He was one of the survivors of the crew of Blackbeard and continued to operate after the death of that famous pirate. One of the islands of Cayo Largo was named in his honor.

Pedro Gilbert (1800 - 1835)

Pirate who sailed during the early nineteenth century, was one of the last to operate on the Atlantic coast. He had the honor of having participated in the last pirate attack that is registered in the waters of that ocean, although the title of"last pirate"corresponds to Nathaniel Gordon.

Nathaniel Gordon (1826 - 1862)

He was the only pirate tried, sentenced and executed for having participated in acts of slave trade, under the Pirate Law of 1820. He is known as"the last pirate". He died on the gallows.


[1] Most famous pirates in history. Taken from

[2] List of famous pirates. Taken from

[3] List of pirates. Taken from

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