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List of Pirates

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This is a list of known pirates, buccaneers, corsairs, privateers, river pirates, and others involved in piracy and piracy-related activities. This list includes both captains and prominent crew members. For a list of female pirates, see women in piracy.

Ancient WorldEdit

Denarius Sextus Pompeius-Scilla

Sextus Pompeius denarius, minted for his victory over Augustus' fleet. On the obverse the Pharus of Messina, on the reverse monster Scylla, who defeated Augustus.

Name Life Years active Country of origin Comments
Anicetus d. 69 Pontus (Hellenic) Was the leader of an unsuccessful anti-Roman uprising in Pontus in AD 69.
Demetrius of Pharos d. 214 BC Pharos (Hellenic) His actions precipitated the Second Illyrian War.
Dionysius the Phocaean 494 BC Greece Phocaean admiral active against Carthaginian and Tyrsenians merchants in the years following the Greco–Persian Wars.
Gan Ning 175–218 190–197 China His party carried bells as their trademark causing the commoners to be afraid when they heard the bells.
Genthus of Illyria First century BC Illyria Was accused by the Romans of organizing and aiding pirate raids in Italy.
Glauketas 315–300 BC Greek inscriptions of the Athenian navy raiding his base on Kynthnos Island and capturing he and his men "making the sea safe for those that sailed thereon."
Sextus Pompeius d. 35 BC Rome He was the last focus of opposition to the Second Triumvirate.

Middle AgesEdit

Arudsch-barbarossa

Aruj, or Oruç, Reis was a Turkish privateer and later Admiral in Ottoman service who became known as Barbarossa – or Redbeard – amongst Christians.

Awilda

Awilda was a 5th century pirate who, along with friends, dressed up as sailors and commandeered a ship.

Name Life Years Active Country of origin Comments
Giorgio Adorno d. 1558 Malta Knight of Malta active in the Mediterranean. Originally from Naples, he was elected "Captain-General of the Galleys" in 1547, 1549, 1557 and 1558.
James Alday 1516–1576 1540s England An English privateer. Raided Spanish ports with James Logan and William Cooke.
William Aleyn fl. 1448 1432-1448 England English pirate active in the Thames and English Channel. Associate of William Kyd.
Richard Allen d. 1572 England
Jean Ango 1480–1551 France A French ship-owner who provided ships to Francis I for exploration of the globe.
Aruj 1474–1518 1503–1518 Ottoman Empire An Ottoman privateer and Bey (Governor) of Algiers and Beylerbey (Chief Governor) of the West Mediterranean.
Awilda 5th century Scandinavia She and some of her female friends dressed like sailors and commandeered a ship.
Hayreddin Barbarossa 1478–1546 1504–1545 Ottoman Empire An Ottoman privateer and later Admiral who dominated the Mediterranean for decades.
Baldassare Cossa (Antipope John XXIII) 1370–1415 Procida Antipope during the Western Schism, John XXIII was accused of—among other crimes—piracy, incest and sodomy.
Pier Gerlofs Donia 1480–1520 Germany (Frisia) a Frisian warrior, pirate, freedom fighter, folk hero and rebel.
Eric of Pomerania 1382–1459 Germany (Pomerania) The first king of the Nordic Kalmar Union, he spent his last years living on the island of Gothland and "sent forth piratical expeditions against friend and foe alike".
Eustace the Monk c. 1170–1217 France He was a mercenary for both England and France.
Alv Erlingsson d. 1290 Norway He was a favorite of the Queen, yet committed countless acts of piracy throughout his life
Jean Fleury (Florin) fl. 1523 1520s France French privateer and naval officer under Jean Ango. Seized three Spanish ships carrying Aztec treasure from Mexico to Spain in 1523.
Magnus Heinason 1545–1589 Faroe Islands Faroese naval hero and privateer. Was executed for piracy, though charges were later dropped.
Klein Henszlein d. 1573 to 1573 Germany A 16th century pirate who raided shipping in the North Sea until his defeat and capture by a fleet from Hamburg
Wijerd Jelckama 1490–1523 Germany (Frisia) The nephew of Pier Gerlofs Donia (also known as Grutte Pier), fought along his side against the Saxon and Hollandic invaders.
William Kyd fl. 1430–1453 1430s–1450s England English pirate active in Southwest England during the early-to-mid-15th century.
Gödeke Michels d. 1402 to 1402 Germany A German pirate and one of the leaders of the Likedeeler, a combination of former Vitalienbrüder
Didrik Pining c. 1430–1491 Denmark-Norway A pirate and privateer operating in the North Sea. Often partnered with Hans Pothorst.
Hans Pothorst c.1440–1490 Denmark-Norway A pirate and privateer operating in the North Sea. Often partnered with Didrik Pining.
Salih Reis 1488–1568 Ottoman Empire A Turkish privateer and Ottoman admiral.
Turgut Reis 1485–1565 Ottoman Empire A Turkish privateer and Ottoman admiral as well as Bey of Algiers; Beylerbey of the Mediterranean; and first Bey later Pasha of Tripoli.
Klaus Störtebeker 1360–1401 Germany He was a leader of the Victual Brothers.
Kristoffer Trondson (Rustung) c.1500–1565 c.1535–1542 Norway A Norwegian nobleman-turned pirate and privateer. Operated in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Gave up piracy in 1542 and eventually became admiral of the Danish Fleet.
Hennig Wichmann 1370–1402 149?–1402 Germany (Frisia) One of the leaders of the Likedeeler, an association of former Victual Brothers.
Cord Widderich d. 1447 1404–1447 Germany A pirate active during political conflicts between Dithmarschen and North Frisia in the early 15th century.
Magister Wigbold 1365–1402 1392–1402 Germany Often described as the brains behind the Victual Brothers.
Wimund b. 1147 England He was a bishop who became a seafaring warlord adventurer.
John Crabbe 1305-1332 Flanders Flemish pirate best known for his successful use of a ship-mounted catapult. Once won the favor of Robert the Bruce and acted as a Naval Officer for England during the Hundred Years' War (after being captured by King Edward III.)


Rise of the English Sea Dogs and Dutch Corsairs: 1560–1650Edit

Thomas Cavendish

The first man to intentionally circumnavigate the globe, Thomas Cavendish also raided numerous Spanish towns and ships in the New World.

Kilic Ali Pasha

Uluj Ali was an Italian-born Muslim corsair, who later became an Ottoman admiral and Chief Admiral (Kaptan-ı Derya) of the Ottoman Fleet in the 16th century.

1590 or later Marcus Gheeraerts, Sir Francis Drake Buckland Abbey, Devon

Known as "el Draque" (the Dragon), Sir Francis Drake was considered a hero in England, but little more than a pirate in Spain.

Piet Hein

After serving as a Spanish galley slave for four years, Piet Hein later captured 11,509,524 guilders of cargo from the Spanish treasure fleet.

Grace2

Gráinne O'Malley (left of frame) was an important figure in Irish legend who is still recognised in popular culture today.

Sir Francis Verney

Sir Francis Verney was one the most feared Barbary corsairs during the early 17th century.

Name Life Years Active Country of origin Comments
Nicholas Alvel early 17th century 1603 England Active in the Ionian Sea.
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés 1519–1574 1565 Spanish A Spanish Admiral and pirate hunter, de Aviles is remembered for his destruction of the French settlement of Fort Caroline in 1565.
Samuel Axe early 17th century 1629–1645 England An English privateer in Dutch service, Axe served with English forces in the Dutch Revolt against Habsburg rule.
Sir Andrew Barton 1466–1511 to 1511 Scotland Served under a Scottish letter of marque, but was described a pirate by English and Portuguese.
Abraham Blauvelt d. 1663 1640–1663 Netherlands One of the last Dutch corsairs of the mid-17th century, Blauvelt mapped much of South America.
Nathaniel Butler b. 1578 1639 England Despite a comparatively unsuccessful career as a privateer, Butler was later colonial governor of Bermuda.
Jan de Bouff early 17th century 1602 Netherlands de Bouff served as a Dunkirker in Habsburg service during the Dutch Revolt.
John Callis (Calles) c. 1558–1587? c. 1574–1587 England Welsh pirate active along the southern coast of Wales.
Hendrik (Enrique) Brower 1581–1643 1600,
1643
Netherlands Brouwer was a privateer who fought the Habsburgs during the Dutch revolt, holding the city of Castro, Chile hostage for a period of two months.
Thomas Cavendish 1560–1592 1587–1592 England The first man to intentionally circumnavigate the globe, Cavendish also raided numerous Spanish towns and ships in the New World.
Shirahama Kenki 16th-early 17th centuries Japan Japanese pirate and one of the first Japanese with whom the southern Vietnamese kingdom of the Nguyễn Lords made contact.
Matsuura Takanobu 1529–1599 Japan One of the most powerful feudal lords of Kyūshū and one of the first lords to allow trading with Europeans
Peter Love d.1610 England An English pirate who set up base in the Outer Hebrides and was active around Ireland and Scotland. He was betrayed by the outlaw Neil MacLeod and executed in 1610.
Zheng Zhilong (Cheng Chih Lung) 1604–1662 1623–1645 China A convert to Christianity, Zhilon collaborated with Dutch forces, helping to create a monopoly on trade with Japan.
Zheng Jing (Cheng Chin) 1643–1682 1662–1682 China Chinese pirate and warlord. The eldest son of Koxinga and grandson of Zheng Zhilong, he succeeded his father as ruler of Tainan and briefly occupied Fukien.
Wang Zhi 16th century 1551–1555 China One of the chief figures amongst the wokou of the 16th century.
Francois le Clerc (Jambe de Bois) 16th century 1550s–1560s France Known for his sacking of Santiago de Cuba in 1554
Jacob Collaart 17th century 1625–1635 Netherlands A Flemish admiral who served as privateer and one of the Dunkirkers in Spanish Habsburg service during the Dutch Revolt, responsible for the destruction of at least 150 fishing boats.
Claes Compaan 1587–1660 1621–1627 Netherlands Former Dutch corsair and privateer, he later became a pirate and was successful in capturing hundreds of ships in Europe, the Barbary coast and West Africa.
Baltazar de Cordes d.1601? 1598–1601 Netherlands A Dutch corsair who fought against the Spanish during the early 17th Century.
Simon (Zyman) the Dancer fl. 1606–1609 1600s Netherlands One of the leading Barbary corsairs, was based in Algiers and Tunis during the early 17th century.
Simon Danziker d. 1611 1600s–1610s Netherlands Dutch corsair and privateer who later became a Barbary corsair. He and John Ward dominated the Western Mediterranean during the early 17th century.
De Veenboer d. 1620 1600s–1610s Netherlands Former Dutch corsair and privateer. Later became a Barbary corsair under Simon the Dancer and eventually commanded the Algiers corsair fleet.
Uluj Ali (Giovanni Dionigi) 1519–1587 1536–1550 Turkey An Italian-born Muslim corsair, who later became an Ottoman admiral and Chief Admiral (Kaptan-ı Derya) of the Ottoman Fleet in the 16th century.
Sir Francis Drake 1540–1596 1563–1596 England Known as "el Draque" (the Dragon), he was considered a hero in England, but little more than a pirate in Spain.
Peter Easton 1570–1619 1602 England A privateer, then pirate, who was able to retire in Villefranche, Savoy with an estimated worth of two million pounds.
Jan Janszoon 1570–after 1641 Holland Turkish service of the 'fleet from Salé'
Daniel Elfrith 1607–1640 England English privateer and slave trader in the West Indies.
Jan Evertsen 1630s Netherlands Dutch admiral and corsair.
Juan Garcia fl. 1622 1620s Spain One of the Spanish privateers who accompanied Jan Jacobsen on his last voyage in 1622.
Sir Michael Geare c. 1565–? c. 1584–1603 England Elizabethan Sea Dog active in the West Indies up until the turn of the 17th century.
Sir John Hawkins 1532–1595 1554, 1564, 1567 England A some-time pirate, his work in ship design was important during the threat of invasion from the Spanish Armada.
Piet Hein 1577–1629 1628 Netherlands After serving as a Spanish galley slave for four years, Hein later captured 11,509,524 guilders of cargo from the Spanish treasure fleet.
Pieter Adriaanszoon Ita fl. 1628–1630 1620s Netherlands Dutch corsair and privateer. Commanded one of the earliest and largest expeditions against the Portugal and Spain in the Caribbean during 1628.
Jan Jacobsen d. 1622 1610s–1620s Netherlands Flemish-born privateer in English service during the Eighty Years' War.
Willem Jacobszoon fl. 1624–1625 1620s Netherlands Dutch corsair who accompanied Pieter Schouten on one of the first major expeditions to the West Indies.
Jan Janz (Murad Rais) c. 1570–c. 1641 1590s–1640s Netherlands Dutch privateer taken captive by Barbary corsairs and later became one himself.
Willem Jansen fl. 1600 1600s Netherlands Dutch corsair based in Duinkerken and one time officer under Jacques Colaert.
Cornelius Jol 1597–1641 1630s–1640s Netherlands Dutch corsair successful against the Spanish in the West Indies. One of the first to use a wooden peg leg.
Sir James Lancaster 1554–1618 1591–1603 England Elizabethan Sea Dog active in India during the late 16th century. Later a chief director for the East India Company.
Guillaume Le Testu 1509–1573 1560s–1570s France French privateer, explorer and cartographer. First navigator to chart Australia in 1531.
Hendrick Jacobszoon Lucifer 1583–1627 1627 Netherlands Hendrick captured 1.2 million guilders from a Honduran treasure fleet, but was mortally wounded in the process.
Sir Henry Mainwaring 1587–1653 1610–1616 England English privateer and pirate hunter. His pirate fleet nearly broke the truce between England and Spain following the Anglo-Spanish War.
Olivier van Noort 1558–1627 1598–1601 Netherlands Despite his venture being of limited success, it was the inspiration that led to the formation of the Dutch East India Company.
John Nutt 1620–1623 England An English pirate active in Newfoundland.
Gráinne O'Malley (Gráinne Ní Mháille) 1530–1603 1560s–1600s Ireland An important figure in Irish legend who is still present in popular culture today.
John Oxenham 1536–1580 1570s–1600s England Elizabethan Sea Dog and associate of Sir Frances Drake during the early years of the Anglo-Spanish War. First English privateer to enter the Pacific though Panama.
William Parker d. 1617 1590s–1600s England Elizabethan Sea Dog active in the West Indies. Successfully attacked Porto Bello in 1602 without firing a shot.
Pedro de la Plesa fl. 1622 1620s Spanish He and Juan Garcia who joined Jan Jacobsen on his final voyage in 1622.
Murat Reis the Elder 1506–1608 1534–1608 Rhodes A Turkish privateer and Ottoman admiral who took part in all of the early naval campaigns of Turgut Reis.
Assan Reis (Jan Marinus van Sommelsdijk) fl. 1626 1620s Netherlands Former Dutch privateer turned Barbary corsair. He attacked the Dutch ship St. Jan Babtista under Jacob Jacobsen of Ilpendam on March 7, 1626.
James Riskinner (Reiskimmer) 17th century 1630s England A lieutenant on the ship Warwick, then part of a fleet under the command of Nathaniel Butler, he later took part in a privateering expedition between May–September 1639.
Isaac Rochussen 1631–1710 1660s–1670s Netherlands A Dutch corsair active against the English during the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch War. His capture of The Falcon, an East India merchantman, was one of the most valuable prizes captured during the late-17th century.
Mahieu Romboutsen fl. 1636 1630s Netherlands Dutch corsair in the service of Spain. Was part of a three ship squadron under Jacques Colaert and was captured with him after a five hour battle with Jan Evertsen.
William Rous fl. 1636–1645 1630s–1640s Netherlands Dutch corsair and privateer based on Providence Island. He was involved in privateering expeditions for the Providence Island Company and later commander of Fort Henry.
Jan van Ryen d. 1627 1620s Netherlands Dutch corsair active in the West Indies. Reportedly killed with a number of colonists attempting to establish one of the first colonies on the Wiapoco in Dutch Guiana.
Pieter Schouten fl. 1624–1625 1620s Netherlands Dutch corsair who led one of the Dutch expeditions to the West Indies.
Jacques de Sores 16th century 1555 France A French pirate whose sole documented act was his attack and burning of Havana in 1555.
Dirck Simonszoon van Uitgeest fl. 1628–1629 1620s Netherlands Dutch corsair who commanded a WIC expedition to Brazil bringing back over 12 Portuguese and Spanish prizes.
Sir Francis Verney 1584–1615 1608–1610 England English nobleman who left behind his inheritance to become a Barbary corsair.
Johannes van Walbeeck fl. 1634 1620s–1630s Netherlands Dutch admiral and corsair. Captured Curaçao in 1634 and later served as governor.
John Ward 1552–1622 1603–1610s England A notorious English pirate around the turn of the 17th century who later became a Barbary Corsair operating out of Tunis during the early 1600s.
Cornelis Wittebol fl. 1622 1620s Netherlands Dutch corsair in Spanish service. In February 1622, attacked a fishing fleet from the Veere and Maasmond sinking several ships and bringing back the survivors to ransom in Duinkerken.
Jacob Willekens 1571–1633 1590s–1630s Netherlands Dutch admiral who led Dutch corsairs on the first major privateering expedition to the West Indies.
Hendrik Worst fl. 1624 1620s Netherlands Dutch corsair who accompanied Pieter Schouten in his expedition to the West Indies.
Filips van Zuylen fl. 1624 1620s Netherlands Dutch corsair active against the Portuguese in West Africa.
Moses Cohen Henriques early 17th century 1620s and 1630s Netherlands Dutch pirate of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish origin active in the Caribbean against Spain and Brazil against Portugal

Age of the Buccaneers: 1650–1690Edit

Janbart

Although Jean Bart was born the son of a fisherman, he was able to retire as an Admiral in French service on the strength of his captures during his time as a privateer.

William Dampier - Project Gutenberg eText 15675

William Dampier was the first Englishman to explore or map parts of New Holland (Australia) and New Guinea, and was also the first person to circumnavigate the world three times.

Pierre LeGrand

Known only for a single attack against a Spanish galleon (pictured), Pierre le Grand's existence is disputed.

 
Francoislollonais

François l'Ollonais was nicknamed "Flail of the Spaniards" and had a reputation for brutality – offering no quarter to Spanish prisoners.

The Buccaneers of America 9

Roche Braziliano had a reputation for violence, and once roasted two Spanish farmers when they refused to hand over their pigs.


Name Life Years Active Country of origin Comments
Vincenzo Alessandri d. 1657 Italy Originally a Knight of Malta, Alessandri was captured and enslaved.
Michiel Andrieszoon 17th century 1680s Netherlands Dutch merchant-pirate. Associated with Thomas Paine and Laurens de Graff.
John Ansell d. 1689 England Sailed with Henry Morgan and participated in his raids against Maracaibo and Gibraltar, Venezuela.
Captain Archembeau (Archembo) d. 1681 1670s–1680s France French buccaneer active in the Caribbean.
Jean Bart 1651–1702 1672–1697 France Born the son of a fisherman, Bart retired an Admiral in French service.
Philippe Bequel 17th century 1650–1669 France Was one of the first foreign privateers awarded a letter of marque by the governor of Jamaica
Jacob Janssen van den Bergh fl. 1660 1650s–1660s Netherlands Dutch corsair and slave trader for the Dutch West India Company.
Lancelot Blackburne 1653–1743 1680–1684 England Blackburne was an English clergyman, who became Archbishop of York, and – in popular belief – a pirate.
Eduardo Blomar d. 1679 1670s Spain Spanish renegade active in the Spanish Main during the 1670s. Tried in absentia and convicted of piracy with Bartolomé Charpes and Juan Guartem in Panama in 1679.
Pierre Bot 17th century 1680s France French buccaneer active in the Caribbean.
Manuel Butiens fl. 1645 1640s Netherlands Dutch renegade and Dunkirker in the service of Spain.
Bartolomé Charpes d. 1679 1680s Spain Spanish renegade who was tried in absentia and convicted of piracy with Edwardo Blomar and Juan Guartem in Panama by Governor Don Dionicio Alceda in 1679.
Edward Collier 17th century 1668–1671 England Served as Sir Henry Morgan's second-in-command throughout much of his expeditions against Spain during the mid-17th century.
John Cooke (Cook) d. 1683 1680s England English buccaneer who led an expedition against the Spanish in the early 1680s.
John Coxon d. 1689 1677–1682 England One of the most famous of the Brethren of the Coast, a loose consortium of pirates and privateers who were active on the Spanish Main.
William Dampier 1651–1715 1670–1688 England Was the first person to circumnavigate the world three times.
Edward Davis 17th century 1680–1688 England Led the last major buccaneer raid against Panama.
John Davis (Robert Searle) 17th century England Davis was one of the earliest and most active buccaneers on Jamaica.
Jacquotte Delahaye 17th century 1660s France Delahaye was a French Buccaneer, and together with Anne Dieu-Le-Veut was one of very few female buccaneers.
Anne Dieu-Le-Veut b. 1650 1650–1704 France Was originally one of the women – "Filles de Roi" – sent by the French government to Tortuga to become wives to the local male colonists.
Charlotte de Berry 17th century 1660s England A female pirate, she later commanded her own ship.
Cornelius Essex d. 1680 1670s England An English buccaneer who took part in Captain Bartholomew Sharp's privateering expedition, the "Pacific Adventure", during the late 1670s.
Laurens de Graaf 1653–1704 1672–1697 Netherlands Characterised as "a great and mischievous pirate" by Henry Morgan, de Graaf was a Dutch pirate, mercenary, and naval officer in the service of the French colony of Saint-Domingue.
Michel de Grammont 1645–1686 1670–1686 France A French buccaneer, de Grammont primarily attacked Spanish holdings in Venezuela.
Jean du Casse 1646–1715 168?–1697 France Born to Huguenot parents, du Casse was allowed to join the French navy on the value of his prizes taken while a buccaneer.
Alexandre Exquemelin 1645–1707 1669–1674
1697
France A French writer, most known as the author of one of the most important sourcebooks of 17th century piracy, De Americaensche Zee-Roovers.
Jean Foccard 17th century 1680s France Associate of Laurens de Graaf and Michel de Grammont. He later joined them in their attack on Tampico in 1682.
"Red Legs" Greaves 17th Century Scotland/Ireland Greaves's nickname was based on a commonly used term for reddened legs often seen among the Scottish and Irish who took to wearing kilts in almost any weather.
Juan Guartem 17th century 1670s Spain A Spanish renegade pirate who raided Spanish settlements in New Spain during the late 17th century with his most notable raid being against Chepo in 1679.
Peter Harris d. 1680 1670s England English buccaneer and member of Captain Bartholomew Sharp's "Pacific Expedition". Killed at Panama in 1680.
Jean Hamlin (Hamilton) 17th century 1680s Anglo-French French buccaneer active in the Caribbean. Later hunted down by Captain John Coxon.
Richard Hawkins 1562–1622 1593–1594 England A buccaneer and explorer who was later knighted.
George Hout (d'Hout) fl. 1687 1680s England English buccaneer who joined Francois Grogniet and Pierre le Picard in their raid on Guayaquil in 1687.
François l'Olonnais 17th century c. 1635–c. 1668 France French pirate active in the Caribbean during the 1660s. He may have been cannabalized by the natives of Darién Province
William Jackson 17th century 1639–1645 England It was the fleet under his command that captured Jamaica for England.
Bartholomeus de Jager fl. 1655 1650s Netherlands Dutch corsair active against the Portuguese. He attacked a small merchant fleet at Fernando Noronha capturing one merchant ship and driving off the other.
Daniel Johnson 1629–1675 1657–1675 England Became known as "Johnson the Terror" amongst the Spanish.
William Knight 17th century 1684–1686 England Along with Edward Davis, he took part in the final large buccaneer attack on Spanish holdings.
Pierre Le Grand 17th century France Known only for a single attack against a Spanish galleon, his existence is disputed.
Raveneau de Lussan b. 1663 1684–1688 France An impoverished nobleman. Attacked targets in Central America. Known for a “long march” in 1688.
Thomas Magott (Mackett) 17th century 1680s England English buccaneer who sailed with Bartholomew Sharp and others on the "Pacific Adventure".
Edward Mansvelt (Mansfield) d. 1666 1650s–1660s Curaçao Dutch buccaneer in English service. Known as the Admiral of the "Brethren of the Coast", Mansvelt was a mentor to Sir Henry Morgan who succeeded him following his death.
Marquis de Maintenon 1648–1691 1672–1676 France A French nobleman who became a buccaneer in the Caribbean, selling his castle and title to Madame de Maintenon
David Marteen 17th century 1663–1665 Netherlands Known primarily as the sole non-English Captain who participated in the raids against Spanish strongholds in present-day Mexico and Nicaragua.
Daniel Montbars (Exterminator) 1645–1701? 1660s–1670s France A former French naval officer and gentleman adventurer, he engaged in a violent and destructive war against Spain in the Caribbean and the Spanish Main. His hatred of the Spanish earned him the name "Montbars the Exterminator".
Sir Henry Morgan 1635–1688 1663–1674 Wales A privateer (and pirate) who later retired to become Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica.
John Morris 17th century 1663–1672 England A skilled pilot, he served with both Christopher Myngs and Henry Morgan before becoming a pirate hunter.
Sir Christopher Myngs 1625–1666 1650s–1660s England Described as "unhinged and out of tune" by the governor of Jamaica, Myngs nevertheless became a Vice-Admiral of the Blue in the Royal Navy.
François l'Ollonais (Jean-David Nau) 1635–1668 1660–1668 France Nicknamed "Flail of the Spaniards", l'Ollonais had a reputation for brutality, offering no quarter to Spanish prisoners.
Pierre Le Picard fl. 1666–1690 1660s–1690s France An officer under l'Ollonais, he and Moise Vauquelin left to pursue a career on their own. He later served in King William's War.
Chevalier du Plessis d. 1668 1660s France French privateer active in the West Indies. He was succeeded by Moise Vauquelin following his death.
Baron Jean de Pointis 1635–1707 1690s France His greatest venture was the 1697 Raid of Cartagena.
Thomas Pound d. 1703 1689 England Briefly commanded a small ship near Massachusetts before being captured.
Bartolomeu Português b. 1630 1666–1669 Portugal One of the earliest pirates to use a pirate code.
Lawrence Prince fl. 1659–1672 1650s–1670s Netherlands Dutch buccaneer in English service. An officer under Sir Henry Morgan, he and John Morris led the vanguard at Panama in 1671.
Roche Braziliano 17th century 1654–1671 Netherlands Roasted two Spanish farmers alive when they refused to hand over their pigs.
Philip Ras fl. 1652–1655 1650s Netherlands Captured several English ships as both a corsair and privateer during the First Anglo-Dutch War.
Thomas Paine 17th century 1680s England A colonial American privateer who raided several settlements in the West Indies with Jan Willems, most notably against Rio de la Hacha in 1680. He also drove the French from Block Island.
Manuel Ribeiro Pardal d. 1671 1668–1671 Portugal Portuguese privateer in the service of Spain. One of the few successful privateers active against the buccaneers of the Caribbean during the late 17th century.
Stenka Razin 1630–1671 Russia A Cossack pirate who operated on the Volga and later expanded into the Caspian Sea.
Richard Sawkins d. 1680 1679–1680 England Participated, along with John Coxon and Bartholomew Sharp, in the surprise attack on Santa Marta
Lewis Scot fl. 1663 1660s England Known for his attack on the city of Campeche, on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Bartholomew Sharp 1650–1690 1679–1682 England Plundered 25 Spanish ships and numerous small towns.
Gustav Skytte 1637–1663 1657–1663 Sweden Attacked ships in the Baltic Sea, along with other accomplices of noble descent.
Bernard Claesen Speirdyke fl. 1663–1670 1660s–1670s Netherlands Dutch buccaneer active in the Caribbean, he was captured by Captain Manuel Ribeiro Pardal near Cuba and later executed.
Charles Swan 17th century England A reluctant pirate, he begged for a pirate even as he looted his way around South America.
Jacques Tavernier (Le Lyonnais) 1625–1673 1664–1673 France French buccaneer who took part in expeditions with Laurens de Graaf, Michel de Grammont, Pierre Le Grand, François l'Ollonais and Sir Henry Morgan before his execution in 1673. His existence is disputed as the only pre-20th century reference to him appears in Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography.
Nicholas (Nikolaas) van Hoorn 1635–1683 1663–1683 Netherlands Merchant, privateer and later pirate, van Hoorn was hugely successful before dying of wound infection.
Cornelis Janszoon van de Velde fl. 1655 1650s Netherlands Dutch corsair active near the Antillen, he was briefly associated with Bartholomeus de Jager.
Moise Vauquelin (Moses Vanclein) fl. 1650–1672 1650s–1670s France An officer under l'Ollonais, he also had a partnership with Pierre le Picard. In his later years, he wrote a book detailing the coastline of Honduras and the Yucatan along with fellow buccaneer Philippe Bequel.
Lionel Wafer 1640–1705 1679–1688 Wales An explorer whose work helped inspire the Darien Scheme.
Yankey (Janke) Willems fl. 1681–1687 1680s Netherlands Dutch buccaneer active in the Caribbean.
William Wright 17th century 1675–1682 England Despite being English, Wright was active as a privateer under a French commission. He later became a buccaneer.

Golden Age of Piracy: 1690–1730Edit

Bartholomew Roberts

The most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy, Black Bart was estimated to have captured more than 470 vessels.

Blackbeard

With his fearsome appearance, Blackbeard is often credited with the creation of the stereotypical image of a pirate.

Female pirate Anne Bonny

Despite never commanding a ship herself, Anne Bonny is remembered as one of few female historical pirates.

Every,Henry

Henry Every (or Avery) is famous as one of the few pirates of the era who was able to retire with his takings without being either arrested or killed in battle.

William Kidd

Although modern historians dispute the legitimacy of his trial and execution, the rumour of Captain Kidd's buried treasure has served only to build a legend around the man as a great pirate.

Olivier levasseur

Nicknamed "la Buse" (the Buzzard) for the speed with which he attacked his targets, Olivier Levasseur left behind a cryptic message that has yet to be deciphered fully today.

Name Life Years Active Country of origin Comments
Thomas Anstis d. 1723 1718–1723 England Was mainly active in the Caribbean, and served under first Howell Davis and later Bartholomew Roberts.
Adam Baldridge  ? fl. c. 1685–1697 England English pirate and one of the early founders of the pirate settlements in Madagascar.
Bartholomew Roberts (Black Bart) 1682–1722 1719–1722 Wales The most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy, estimated to have captured more than 470 vessels.
George Booth d. 1700 1696–1700 England One of the earliest pirates active in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea.
John Bowen d. 1704 1700–1704 Bermuda Was active in the Indian Ocean, his contemporaries included George Booth and Nathaniel North.
Samuel Bellamy (Black Sam) 1689–1717 1716–1717 England Despite having a career of less than year, Bellamy was extraordinarily successful, capturing more than 50 ships before his death at age 28.
Blackbeard (Edward Teach) 1680–1718 1716–1718 England With his fearsome appearance, Blackbeard is often credited with the creation of the stereotypical image of a pirate.
Black Caesar d. 1718 1700s–1718 Africa A captured slave turned pirate, Black Caesar was a well-known pirate active off the Florida Keys during the early 18th century. He later acted as a lieutenant to Blackbeard and was one of five Africans serving on his flagship.
Stede Bonnet 1688–1718 1717–1718 Barbados Nicknamed "The Gentleman Pirate", Bonnet was born into a wealthy family before turning to piracy.
Rahmah ibn Jabir al-Jalahimah 1760–1826 1780–1826 Kuwait The most famous pirate in the Persian Gulf, he was appointed as a ruler of Dammam and went into a piracy against Al-Khalifa in Bahrain.
Anne Bonny 1698–1782 to 1725 Ireland Despite never commanding a ship herself, Anne Bonny is remembered as one of few female historical pirates.
Nicholas Brown d. 1726 to 1726 England Active off the coast of Jamaica, Brown was eventually killed – and his head pickled – by childhood friend John Drudge.
Sir Christopher Chapman 1774 to 1777 England Active off coast of Florida and Jamaica. Captain of the Shawn Towne started as a privateer but turned to piracy. Executed in London in a public flogging after sieging the HMS Mugavero.Template:Fact
Dirk Chivers early 18th century 1694–1699 Netherlands Active in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, Chivers later retired from piracy and returned to the Netherlands.
Thomas Cocklyn early 18th century 1717 to death England Primarily known for his association with Howell Davis and Oliver La Buze, Cocklyn's activities after 1719 are unknown.
Christopher Condent d. 1770 1718–1720 England After entering into piracy in 1718, Condent later took a prize of £150,000 and retired to France, becoming a wealthy merchant.
William Condon d. 1721 to 1721 England Captaining the Fiery Dragon, Condon was killed when she caught fire and sank.
Robert Culliford early 18th century 1690–1698 England The former first mate of William Kidd, Culliford led a first mutiny against Kidd, stealing his ship Blessed William.
Alexander Dalzeel 1662–1715 1685–1715 Scotland Served under Henry Every. Was captured four times before finally being hanged.
Howell Davis 1690–1719 1718–1719 Wales Having a career that lasted only 11 months, Davis was ambushed during an attempt to kidnap the governor of Príncipe.
Edward England 1690–1720 1717–1720 Ireland Differing from many other pirates of his day, England did not kill captives unless necessary.
John Evans d. 1723 1722–1723 Wales After an unsuccessful career as a legitimate sailor, Evans turned to piracy – initially raiding houses from a small canoe.
Henry Every (Avery) b. 1653 1695–1696 England Famous as one of the few pirates of the era who was able to retire with his takings without being either arrested or killed in battle.
John Fenn d. 1723 to 1723 England Sailed with Bartholomew Roberts and, later, Thomas Anstis.
William Fly d. 1726 to 1726 England Raided off the New England coast before being captured and hanged at Boston, Massachusetts.
Ingela Gathenhielm 1692–1729 1718–1721 Sweden Widow of Lars Gathenhielm, active on the Baltic Sea.
Lars Gathenhielm 1689–1718 1710–1718 Sweden Active on the Baltic Sea
Charles Harris d. 1723 to 1723 England Joining the Barbary corsairs, Harris converted to Islam before being captured and later hanged.
John Halsey d. 1708 1705–1708 Colonial America Active in the Atlantic and Indian oceans, Halsey is remembered by Defoe as "brave in his Person, courteous to all his Prisoners, lived beloved, and died regretted by his own People."
Miguel Henríquez b. 1680 early 18th century Spain / Puerto Rico Although born a shoemaker, Henríquez was later awarded a letter of marque by Spain for his actions against the British.
Benjamin Hornigold d. 1719 1717–1719 England Known for being less aggressive than other pirates, Hornigold once captured a ship for the sole purpose of seizing the crew's hats.
Thomas Howard early 18th century 1698–1703 England Howard served under both George Booth and John Bowen and later commanded the Prosperous.
"Calico Jack" John Rackham 1682–1720 to 1720 England Earned his nickname for the colourful calico clothes that he wore.
Henry Jennings d. 1745 1715 England Although later governor of the pirate haven of New Providence, Jennings only carried out two pirate acts – gaining an estimated 410,000 pesos.
John Julian d. 1733 1716–1717 Miskito origins Recorded as the first black pirate to operate in the New World.
James Kelly (James Gilliam) d. 1701 to 1699 England Active in the Indian Ocean, Kelly was a long-time associate of William Kidd.
William "Captain" Kidd 1645–1701 1695–1699 Scotland Although modern historians dispute the legitimacy of his trial and execution, the rumor of Captain Kidd's buried treasure has served only to build a legend around the man as a great pirate. His property was claimed by the crown and given to the Royal Hospital, Greenwich, by Queen Anne.
Olivier Levasseur (Oliver La Buse) 1680–1730 1716–1730 France Nicknamed "la Buse" (the Buzzard) for the speed with which he attacked his targets, Levasseur left behind a cryptic message that has yet to be deciphered fully today.
Edward "Ned" Low 1690–1724 1721–1724 England A pirate known for his vicious tortures, his methods were described as having "done credit to the ingenuity of the Spanish Inquisition in its darkest days".
George Lowther d. 1723 to 1723 England Active in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, one of Lowther's lieutenants included Edward Low.
Christopher Moody d. 1718 1713–1718 England Active off North and South Carolina, Moody offered no quarter to captured crews, signified by his flying of a red standard.
Nathaniel North b. 1672 1689–1704
1707–1709
Bermuda Active in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea, North served with other famous contemporaries, including John Bowen and George Booth.
William Phillips d. 1724 England Phillips had his leg amputated by a John Phillips after being shot.
James Plantain early 18th century Denmark Plantain ruled the island of Madagascar between 1725 and 1728, primarily through fear, and was known as the "King of Ranter Bay".
John Quelch 1666–1704 1703–1704 England Quelch was the first person tried for piracy outside England under Admiralty Law and therefore without a jury.
Mary Read 1690–1721 to 1720 England Along with Anne Bonny, one of few female historical pirates. When captured, Read escaped hanging by claiming she was pregnant, but died soon after of a fever while still in prison.
Woodes Rogers 1679–1732 1709–1710 England Played a major role in the suppression of pirates in the Caribbean.
Francis Spriggs d. 1725 to 1725 England Along with George Lowther and Edward Low, Spriggs was primarily active in the Bay of Honduras during the early 1720s.
John Taylor early 18th century England At Reunion Island, Taylor is reputed to have captured the most valuable prize in pirate history.
Thomas Tew d. 1695 1692–1695 England Despite only going on two pirate voyages, Tew pioneered a route later known as the Pirate Round.
Charles Vane 1680–1720 1716–1720 England Disliked due to his cruelty, Vane showed little respect for the pirate code, cheating his crew out of their shares in the takings.
Richard Worley d. 1719 to 1719 England Credited as one of the first pirates to fly the skull and crossbones pirate flag.
Emanuel Wynn early 18th century France Was the first pirate to fly the Jolly Roger. His design, however, also incorporate an hourglass below the skull.

Pirates of North America: Pirates, Privateers, Smugglers, and River Pirates: 1730-1834Edit

Name Life Years Active Country of origin Comments
Peter Alston 1765–1804 1797–1804 United States River pirate, highwayman, and counterfeiter, alias James May, who was believed to be an associate of the Samuel Mason and Micajah "Big" Harpe and Wiley "Little" Harpe.
Louis-Michel Aury 1788–1821 1810–1821 France French privateer, served to the Republics of Venezuela and Mexico.
Joseph Baker d. 1800 1800 Canada The single piratical action of his career consisted of an unsuccessful attempt to commandeer the sloop Eliza.
Renato Beluche 1780–1860 1803–1813 Louisiana A known associate of the Lafitte Brothers active in the Caribbean before joining Simon Bolivar in his fight for South American independence.
Benito Bonito 1780–1821 1810–1820 Spain Pirate who supposedly hid his treasures of Lima in the cliffs of Australia, or in Coco Island.
Hippolyte de Bouchard 1780–1843 1817–1819 Argentina A French and Argentine sailor who fought for Argentina, Chile and Peru.
Flora Burn fl. 1741 1740s–1750s England Female pirate active mainly off the East coast of North America from 1741.
Henri Caesar early 18th century 1805–1830 Haiti Haitian pirate active in the Caribbean during the early 18th century.
Eric Cobham and Maria Lindsey 1700–1760 1720s–1740s England Cobham and his wife, Maria, were primarily active in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Colonel Plug (Colonel Fluger)  ?-? to 1820 United States The legendary outlaw ran a gang of river pirates, in an Illinois cypress swamp, at the mouth of the Cache River and the Ohio River, was known as the "Last of the Boat-Wreckers."
James Ford 1770?–1833 1799?-1833 United States A civic leader and business owner in western Kentucky and southern Illinois, secretly, was the leader of a gang of river pirates and highwaymen, along the Ohio River, known as the "Ford's Ferry Gang."
Hezekiah Frith Early 19th century 1790s–1800s Bermuda British ship owner and smuggler known as Bermuda's "gentleman privateer". Alleged to have used his business as a cover to withhold cargo sized in privateering expeditions and amass a small fortune.
Vincent Gambi d. 1820 Italy A pirate based out of New Orleans, he was an associate of Jean Lafitte.
José Gaspar (Gasparilla) 1756–1821 1783–1821 Spain Though a popular figure in Florida folklore, there is no pre-20th century evidence of his existence.
Catherine Hagerty and Charlotte Badger early 19th century 1806 England Australian convicts. Among a group of convicts taken on board a shorthanded ship as crew. The convicts commandeered the ship and sailed for New Zealand. Hagerty was put ashore and died, Badger was never seen again.
Micajah and Wiley Harpe 1768–1799 (Micajah)
1770–1804 (Wiley)
1797–1799 (Micajah)
1797–1804 (Wiley)
United States America's first known serial killers, were Loyalists as well as river pirates and highwaymen, who preyed on travelers along the Ohio River and the waterways of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois. The Harpe Brothers were associates of Samuel Mason and Peter Alston.
Bill Johnston 1782–1870 1810–1860 United States Nicknamed "Pirate of the Thousand Islands".
Edward Jordan 1771–1809 1794–1809 Canada Irish rebel, fisherman and pirate of Nova Scotia.
Jorgen Jorgensen 1780–1841 1807–1808 Denmark Danish adventurer and writer, he was captured by the British as a privateer during the Napoleonic Wars.
Jean Lafitte c. 1776–1826? 1803–1815
1817–1820s
France French pirate (or privateer) active in the Gulf of Mexico during the early 1800s. A wanted fugitive by the United States, he later participated in the Battle of New Orleans on the side of the Americans.
Pierre Lafitte 1770–1821 1803–1821 France French pirate, and lesser-known brother of Jean Lafitte, active mainly in the Gulf of Mexico.
Sam Hall Lord 1778–1844 1800s–1840s Barbados Sam Lord was one of the most famous buccaneers on the island of Barbados.
Kazimierz Lux 1780–1846 1803–1819 Poland The Polish Pirates of the Caribbean.
Samuel Mason 1739–1803 to 1803 United States Initially, an Revolutionary War Patriot captain in the Ohio County, Virginia militia and an associate judge and squire in Kentucky, Mason later, ran a gang of highway robbers and waterways river pirates.
John A. Murrell 1806?–1844 to 1834 United States Near-legendary bandit, known as the "Great Western Land Pirate," ran a gang of river pirates and highwaymen along the Mississippi River.
1760-1789 1781–1782 Province of Pennsylvania Rachel and her husband George Wall were active off the New Hampshire coast until George and the crew were washed out to sea. She was hanged in Boston on 8 October 1789.
Alexander White d. 1784 fl. 1784 East Coast of America Hanged for piracy in Cambridge, Massachusetts in November 1784.
d. 1784 fl. 1784 East Coast of America Hanged for piracy in Cambridge, Massachusetts in November 1784.
Dominique You 1775–1830 1802–1814 Haiti Acquired a reputation for daring as a pirate. Retired to become a politician in New Orleans.

Renegades of the Gulf Coast: 1820-1830Edit

Pirata Cofresi

Roberto Cofresi was Puerto Rico's most famous pirate and was regarded by many as the Puerto Rican equivalent of Robin Hood.

Name Life Years Active Country of origin Comments
Mansel Alcantra (Alcantara) fl. 1829 1820s Spain In 1829, he captured the Topaz off St. Helena and had the entire crew murdered.
Roberto Cofresí 1791–1825 1818-1825 Puerto Rico Puerto Rico's most famous pirate, regarded by many as the Puerto Rican equivalent of Robin Hood.
Diabolito (Little Devil) d. 1823 Cuba Cuban-born pirate active in the Caribbean during the early 19th century. He was one of the first pirates to be hunted down by Commodore David Porter and the Mosquito Fleet during the early 1820s.
Charles Gibbs 1798–1831 1816–1831 United States One of the last pirates active in the Caribbean, and one of the last people executed for piracy by the United States.
"Don" Pedro Gilbert 1800–1834 1832–1834 Colombia Took part in the last recorded incident of piracy in Atlantic waters.
Benito de Soto 1805–1830 1827–1830 Spain The most notorious of the last generation to attack shipping on the Atlantic Ocean.

Piracy in the Far East: 1830-1860Edit

Name Life Years Active Country of origin Comments
Tuanku Abbas early 19th century to 1844 Malaysia The brother of a rajah of Achin, known for his sponsoring and leading of pirate raids.
Eli Boggs 1810–1857 1830–1857 United States Pirate who sailed in Chinese junk for smuggling.
Cheng I d. 1807 to 1807 China A pirate on the Chinese coast in the 18h and 19th centuries.
Cheung Po Tsai early 19th century to 1810 China Active along the Guangdong coast and is said to have commanded a fleet of 600 junks.
Ching Shih d. 1844 1807–1810 China A prominent female pirate in late Qing China.
Chui A-poo d. 1851? 1840s–1850 China Based in Bias Bay east of Hong Kong, Chui preyed on opium ships in the South China Sea until his fleet was destroyed by the British in 1849.
Shap Ng-tsai fl. 1840s 1845–1849 China Commanded around 70 junks in the South China Sea before retiring and accepting a pardon from the Chinese government.

Blackbirders and Shanghaiers, and African Slave Traders: 1860-1870Edit

Name Life Years Active Country of origin Comments
Nathaniel Gordon 1834–1862 1860 United States The first and only American slave trader to be tried, convicted, and executed "for being engaged in the Slave Trade" in accordance with the Piracy Law of 1820.
Bully Hayes 1829–1877 1850–1877 United States The Pirate of the South Sea, who was in a notorious blackbirder in the South Pacific, and described as "the last of the Buccaneers".
Albert W. Hicks 1820–1860 1860 United States New York waterfront thug who killed the 3-man crew of an oyster sloop after being shanghaied. He was the last man hung for piracy in the United States.
Ben Pease 1837-1870 1860-1870 United States New England sea captain turn into a pirate for blackirdering and dead in fight with Bully Hayes.
James Kelly 1830-1890 1850-1870 United States Only criminal for shanghaied around California and New England.

Piracy in the 20th and 21st centuries: 1901-Edit

Paul Watson 2005

Paul Watson (silver hair) has had his confrontational tactics branded as piratical by some organisations.


Name Life Years Active Country of origin Comments
Boysie Singh 1908–1957 1947–1956 Trinidad Active in the waters between Venezuela and Trinidad. Singh commonly attacked fishing boats, killing the crew and stealing the boat engine, before sinking the boat and selling the engine.
"Roaring" Dan Seavey 1867–1949 1900–1930 United States Active in the American Great Lakes.
Felix von Luckner 1881–1966 1916–1917 Germany German navy officer nobleman privateer who the epithet Der Seeteufel (the Sea-Devil) -- and his crew that of Die Piraten des Kaisers (the Emperor's Pirates) -- for his exploits in command of the sailing commerce raider SMS Seeadler (Windjammer) (Sea Eagle) in 1916–1917, during World War I.
Peter de Neumann 1917–1972 21 June 1941 United Kingdom Second Officer aboard the RN prize vessel Criton (captured from the Vichy French). Widely known as "The Man From Timbuctoo".
Asad 'Booyah' Abdulahi 1966- 1998- Somalia Somali pirate boss, active in capturing ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean for ransoms.
Abdul Hassan 1969- 2005- Somalia Somali pirate nicknamed "the one who never sleeps". Leader of the 350-men strong group "Central Regional Coast Guard", active in capturing ships for ransoms.

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