Captain Howell Davis (or Hywel) (or Davies) (ca. 1690 – 19 June 1719) was a Welsh pirate. His piratical career lasted just 11 months, from 11 July 1718 to 19 June 1719, when he was ambushed and killed. His ships were the Cadogan, Buck, Saint James, and Rover. Davis captured 15 known English and French ships.
A clever and charming man as he was, Davis pretended to be a legitimate privateer to deceive the commander of a Royal African Company slaving fort in Gambia. After capturing the commander at a welcoming dinner, Davis held him for ransom and gained 2,000 pounds in gold.He once seized a more powerful French vessel by flying a black pirate flag from another large but lightly armed ship he had recently taken. The French ship quickly surrendered, thinking she was outgunned.
However, when he tried his pretence of being a Royal Navy pirate hunter in order to kidnap the governor of the Portuguese island of Príncipe, the governor saw through it. Davis was invited to call at the fort for a glass of wine. On the way there, the pirates were ambushed and Davis shot dead on 19 June 1719. Bartholomew Roberts was elected to succeed him and raided the island in retaliation later that night.