Henry Every, also Evory or Avery, (23 August 1659 – after 1696), sometimes erroneously given as John Avery, was an English pirate who operated in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans in the mid-1690s. He likely used several aliases throughout his career, including Henry Bridgeman, and was known as Long Ben to his crewmen and associates. Dubbed "The Arch Pirate" and "The King of Pirates" by contemporaries, Every was the most notorious pirate of his time; he earned his infamy by becoming one of the few major pirate captains to retire with his loot without being arrested or killed in battle, and also for being the perpetrator of what has been called the most profitable pirate raid in history. Although Every's career as a pirate lasted only two years, his exploits captured the public's imagination, inspired others to take up piracy, and spawned numerous works of literature.
220px-Battle of Beachy Head 10, July 1690
220px-Captain Every (Works of Daniel Defoe)
ery was born in England's West Country, but little else is known about his early life. He served in the Royal Navy from 1689 to 1690, likely participating in several battles of the Nine Years' War (1688–1697). Following his discharge from the navy, Every began slave trading along Africa's Slave Coast. In 1693, he was again employed as a mariner, this time as first mate aboard the warship Charles II, which had been commissioned by England's ally, Charles II of Spain (the ship's namesake), to prey on French vessels in the West Indies. After leaving London in August 1693, the Charles II anchored in the northern Spanish harbor of Corunna, where other vessels were assembling for the expedition. The crew grew discontent as Madrid failed to deliver a letter of marque and the Charles II's owners failed to pay their
220px-Pg 003 - Engraving (bw)
wages. On the evening of 7 May 1694, the restless sailors mutinied. With the Charles II renamed the Fancy and Every elected as the new captain, the Fancy sailed south en route to the Indian Ocean, soon plundering five ships off the West African coast. I
Every receiving 3 chests of Treasure on board his Ship
n early 1695 the Fancy had reached the Comoros Islands, where Every's crew raided a French vessel and narrowly escaped capture by three East Indiamen. The Fancy then sailed north to the Arabian Sea, where a 25-ship convoy of
220px-Proclamation for apprehending Henry Every
Grand Mughal vessels was making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, including the treasure-laden flagship Ganj-i-sawai and its escort, the Fath Mahmamadi. Joining forces with several pirate vessels, Every found himself in command of a small pirate squadron, including a sloop captained by English pirate Thomas Tew. As the pirates gave chase, the smaller vessels in the squadron gradually fell behind, and at some point Tew was killed in an engagement with a Mughal ship. Every had more success, however, capturing the Fath Mahmamadi and later overtaking the Ganj-i-sawai, snapping its mainmast in a cannonball volley. Following several hours of ferocious hand-to-hand combat on deck, the pirates emerged victorious. Although many pirates were reportedly killed, the payoff was astonishing—Every had captured up to £600,000 in precious metals and jewels, making him the richest pirate in the world.
220px-Henry Every

Henry Avery

The plunder of Ganj-i-sawai caused considerable damage to England's fragile relations with the Mughals. In response to Every's attack, a combined bounty of £1,000—an immense sum by the standards of the time—was offered for his capture by the Privy Council and the East India Company, leading to the first worldwide manhunt in recorded history. Every and his crew fled to the Bahamas, briefly sheltering in New Providence, a known pirate haven. After adopting aliases, the crew broke company, most choosing to sail home to the British Isles and the rest remaining in the British West Indies or taking to the North American colonies. Twenty-four of the pirates were eventually captured, and six were tried, convicted, and hanged in London in November 1696. Yet Every eluded capture, vanishing from all records in 1696; his whereabouts and activities after this period are unknown. Unconfirmed accounts state he may have changed his name and retired, quietly living out the rest of his life in either Britain or an unidentified tropical island, dying sometime after 1696.

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