Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean
We all know about the pop­u­lar movies Pirates in the Caribbean. How­ever, few of us actu­ally know that there were real pirates of the Caribbean way back when in early his­tory. Pirates and piracy have numer­ous def­i­n­i­tions accord­ing to the lit­er­a­ture. Accord­ing to the Merriam-​Webster dic­tio­nary, a pirate is some­one who attacks and steals from a ship at sea. It is also defined as those who attack not only ships but cities with­out any legal author­ity. It is also defined as a rob­bery com­mit­ted either on the sea or the shore by an “agent with­out a com­mis­sion from a sov­er­eign nation”. The word is often used syn­ony­mously with buc­ca­neer, which is defined as some­one who tries to become wealthy or pow­er­ful by doing things that are ille­gal or dis­hon­est. Many sources use both words to refer to the same set of peo­ple, and some refer to buc­ca­neers as a type of pirate so for the pur­poses of this arti­cle, the two words will be used interchangeably.


It has been said that most of the famous pirates of the 17th cen­tury Caribbean were buc­ca­neers. The Span­ish were con­stantly under attached by pirates and buc­ca­neers in the Caribbean as they car­ried riches back to Spain.

Pirates who were active in the Caribbean

Edward Lowe (born late 1600s; died 17231724)

Very suc­cess­ful in the Caribbean; was known for his bru­tal­ity and sadism. One notably vicious act he was known for was cut­ting off a victim’s lips, cook­ing them and forc­ing the said vic­tim to eat them.

Black­beard (16801718)

Born Edward Teach, he was a well-​known pirate in the 18th cen­tury, widely regarded as the Golden Age of Piracy. He was often pic­tures with a big feath­ered tri­corne, with many weapons in his arse­nal includ­ing swords, knives and pis­tols. Reports from those who saw him fight described his fea­tures as sim­i­lar to the devil. How­ever, despite the wide­spread reports of his fear­some demeanour, there are no ver­i­fied accounts of him killing any­one. Appar­ently, it seemed fear was his main weapon.

Cal­ico Jack (16821720)

Born as John Rack­ham, he employed two of the most infa­mous female (Caribbean) pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read. He was inter­ested in Anne, who he invited to pirate with him as his crew, but dressed as a man so the crew would keep her at arm­length. Him and his crew read­ied a small ves­sel near the West Indies. In a weird twist of fate, one man sur­vived when all the other crew was mur­dered, and was invited to join Jack’s crew. Bonny and the young man became close, much to the jeal­ousy of Jack, who, when he con­fronted the man, dis­cov­ered he was actu­ally a woman in dis­guise — Mary Read. Even­tu­ally, their exploits caught up with them. Jack and his crew were sen­tenced to death for their theft of an anchored ship in the Nas­sau har­bour while the two women, both preg­nant at the time, were put in prison.

Henry Mor­gan (16351688)

Mor­gan was one of England’s most suc­cess­ful pri­va­teers. In fact, he was so suc­cess­ful that he was one of the few pirates actu­ally able to retire not only with great wealth intact, but lit­tle legal back­lash from his pre­vi­ous exploits. He uti­lized the ongo­ing con­flicts between Eng­land and her ene­mies, to sup­port Eng­land and get rich in the process and he was the most suc­cess­ful pirate who used this tactic.

Henry Avery ( born in 1653, dis­ap­peared in 1696)

Like Henry Mor­gan, Henry Avery was also one of the few pirates to retire with great wealth intact. He has been linked with buc­ca­neer­ing in the Caribbean Sea.

© Photo taken from Caribbean​va​ca​tionguide​.com
© Arti­cle of caribbe​an​dreams​magazine​.com

Share this post

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn
Scroll to Top