We all know Captain Jack Sparrow, but have you heard the stories of the pirates who are the inspiration for him? You may think pirates are popular now, but back in the day there was once a Golden Age of Pirates that hit not just the Caribbean, but all over the world. Hopefully this post doesn”t inspire a pirate revival, but here are some of the most notorious pirates ever to sail the high seas.
1. Sir Henry Morgan.
He”s probably the most famous for having a powerful stance featured on the bottle of the world”s most popular rum, but Captain Morgan was also a pirate who terrorized the Spanish in Panama. He was eventually elected deputy governor of Jamaica and probably had a killer party after his coronation.
2. Annie Bonny.
After she stabbed a servant girl with a table knife at age 13, Annie ran away and married a small time pirate, James Bonny. But Bonny was small peas compared to the new pirate in town, John “Calcio” Jack. Annie ran away with Jack and the two had many infamous, plundering adventures. When Jack”s ship was overtaken by pirate hunters, Calcio was caught, but Annie escaped, telling him, “If youd have fought like a man you neednt hang like a dog”.
3. Black Bart.
Bartholomew Roberts was a sailor on a slave ship when his vessel was captured by pirates. Not wanting to die, Roberts cheerfully welcomed the idea of joining on with the pirate crew and help with navigation. The captain quickly considered Roberts one of his most trusted advisors and when he killed, the crew elected him as the new captain (Roberts had only been on the ship for 6 weeks). Ever vengeful of his mistreatment on the slave ship, Black Bart would ask each captured vessel”s crew if the captain ever mistreated them, and if they said yes he would torture them right then and there and win over more pirates to his cause.
4. Cheung Po Tsai.
The Chinese pirate led a one of the largest criminal fleets of all time, lording over 20,000 men and hundreds of stolen ships. He is said to hold numerous long lost treasures in a secret cave on an extremely hard to access island off the coast of China.
5. Black Beard.
Even though he spared most of his captives, the famed pirate was known for his terrifying image, growing a thick beard and constantly lighting it aflame so he would be covered in mysterious smoke at all times.
6. Long Ben.
Not sure where the name Long Ben came from since his real name is Henry Every, but Long started his career after a mutiny occurred on his British Navy Vessel, the crew appointing him captain. They turned to pirating the Red Sea, only taking two ships but those ships happened to carry some of India”s precious treasures and the crew became the wealthiest pirates in the world.
Hayreddin Barbarossa was a long time pirate who grew so powerful that he was able to make a deal with the Ottoman Empire that allowed him to carve out a country of his own called Regency of Algiers (now Algeria, Tunisia, and parts of Morocco). There his fleet grew so powerful that his 122 ships beat the combined forces of Venice, the Vatican, Genoa, Spain, Portugal and Malta during the Battle of Preveza in 1538.
8. Mary Read.
After her ship was taken by Calico Jack, she joined Jack”s crew disguised as a man. It wasn”t until Anne Bonny took a liking to her, thinking she was a handsome young man that she was discovered. The two became lifelong friends.
Man I wanna be a pirate so bad. Well, except I don”t like murdering people. I also don”t like the no bathing thing. Come to think of it, I hate traveling by sea because I get sick. But everything else seems pretty cool though. Flags with skulls on it? I could down with that.