Swashbucklers, thieves, seadogs, buccaneers, privateers; it doesn’t matter what you call them. They have been plundering and pillaging booty since the beginning of time. Pirates live by the code that X marks the spot and to drink ‘til the rum is gone. With Talk Like a Pirate Day today, we have compiled a few of our favorite pirates throughout history. So batten down the hatches because we’re taking a trip back to a time of murder, theft and above all, adventure!
William Kidd (1645 – 1701) was a Scottish-born American privateer turned pirate. Originally hired as a pirate hunter, his crew mutinied and Kidd then turned pirate himself. In 1701, he was tried for piracy, and being unable to produce his privateering license, was hung. Tales still account of a vast amount of buried treasures hidden along Long Island.
Edward Teach “Blackbeard” (1680 – 1718): Although a rather short career as a pirate, Teach surely made his mark on the pirating world. Born in Bristol, Blackbeard established himself as a powerful force by setting up a pirate haven in Ocracoke, North Carolina by commanding a fleet of four ships and well over 300 pirates. Known as the most cruel and ruthless pirate at the time, Blackbeard’s attitude and overall appearance was terrifying. Standing at an above average height with a long black beard, Teach was a display of great physical strength. He generally wore a holster over his shoulders, carrying three brace pistols and swinging his pirate cutlass around in infamy.
Bartholomew Roberts “Black Bart” (1682 – 1722): One of the most successful pirates of his time, Roberts didn’t seem to have much of a taste for alcohol. Possibly thanks to his sobriety, Black Bar seized and plundered over 400 ships before he was caught in gun fire and killed. In accordance to his wishes, his crew tossed his body over the side of his ship down to Davy Jones’ locker instead of being humiliated and hung in chains.
Henry Morgan (1635 – 1688): Born into a family of Welsh landowners, Morgan traveled to Barbados as an indentured servant. Upon arriving in the Caribbean, he gained a privateering license. Soon after, he began terrorizing what was then the Spanish waters. Morgan didn’t meet his demise until 1688 after being named the governor of Jamaica and owning vast plantations. The fate of his vast fortunes remain a mystery; some claim it’s been drank away, others believe his treasure is still hidden somewhere in the Caribbean.
Mary Read and Anne Bonny: Mary and Anne are the only two female pirates ever recorded. Disguising themselves as men, both women met upon Calico Jack’s pirate ship. Mary joined the English navy as a man, and when Calico Jack commandeered their ship, she decided to join them. That is where she met Anne. Together, they lived the pirate life until they were captured and imprisoned in 1720.
Although all of the pirates above are ancient history, there are still more scalleywags among us. So watch your backs, swing you pirate sword, bury your treasure, and make sure to leave a map. If you shall find your map missing, remember dead men tell no tales.