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Pirates:- The golden era on sea!!

Updated on May 4, 2012

The best men those sailed atop the oceans!

Pirates, those men who according to me were the best of all times. The best men those ever sailed the sea. They battled huge waves and strong winds, overcoming all. How ever long they lived, they sailed and placed terror in hearts of millions across the nations.

I would not say they were the very best men in how they did things but they were best at what they did and it is sailing. This topic of pirates has kept me interested for quite some time now. I love sea so when I read of hear about pirates it gives me goosebumps seeing how they sailed and how they explored the vast seas and oceans. What I think is that our earth which is just 1/4 land and 3/4 water is so huge that even the land has not fully been explored 100% there are still many secrets many truths and many interesting things hidden on it. So being the bigger part are seas or oceans been explored even 70%?? Is it possible that the vast sea holds many answers to questions those people ask these days?? Is it possible that if one explores the oceans and seas the world could discover some things those can change or redefine an era. A very interesting place it is, we have reached out to the space and exploring the universe but our own planet's history is still not clear many myths and many questions are still unproven and unanswered.

Now talking about the Pirates the most amazing thing that interests me in them is their history treasures and adventures. So in this hub I will be sharing some of my known facts and knowledge about them and I hope that it catches eyes of many people so that we could learn a lot more interesting stuffs. :)

Pirates is word used to define the criminals those commit piracy(an act of stealing, robbery) piracy these days is mainly referred to the duplication and illegal distribution of knowledge,music,movies,items. It has become a big threat to people who create the original many people face great losses cause of it and it has been defined as a crime under customary international law. So where did this word came from and what was the origin of pirates and piracy.

The origin of piracy has been as long as ocean piled for commerce. Since, centuries ago every vessel that sailed the open sea faced the act of piracy and pirates, during the time of Egyptian Pharoah Akhenaten (1350 BC) written description of attacks of ships bearing flags of no nation allegiance. Romans and Greeks have faced pirates when their empire expansion took place. It shows the pirates about whom we read about and whom we watch movies about were in action long time ago. In early times the word pirates was used to define any vessel that bore no national flag . The term piracy was used to define any illegal attack on ship or towns for money. The term "pirate" or "pyrate" was given by Roman historian Polybius around 100BC he used periato to describe sea marauders. The Norse raiders of 10-13th century were called Vikings or Danes instead of pirates. So the words we use today to describe crime and criminal originated way before the modern era.

Now, we know that pirates have been in action since around 1300 BC there were activities of pirates during 3rd century BC when the IIlyrians pirates attacked the city of Olympos, the kidnapping of Julius Cesar by cilician pirates and so on there were many activities of pirates all around the history but what was the golden era of piracy??

The Golden era of pirates dates in between the early middle ages to year 1800, the most of the known pirates lived during these years. Here are list of some pirates those lived between that golden era of piracy.(the following are list of pirates whom I know or I have found during my research. It may be lacking some names, I will be obliged if you fill me in with some other names and info).

The best known pirates in early ages are the vikings from Scandinavia raided mainly between the 8th and 12th centuries. They raided the coasts, rivers and inland cities of western Europe as far as Seville, they also attacked the cities of north Africa and Italy and coasts of Baltic sea and rivers of eastern Europe as far as Black sea. One of the last battle involving the vikings was battle of Cloantarf between Brain boru and king of Leinster(province of Ireland).

One of the other pirates those sailed the sea were Aruj and Kher-ed-Din commonly known as "The Barbarossa brothers". Barbarossa meaning "redbeard" was name given to them, it was Aruj the elder brother who had red beard and they were nick named after it. Born in Europe they settled in north Africa in 1500's they became famous of many pirates known as the Barbary corsair who raided the Mediterranean sea. Commanding a huge fleet of pirates they captured the city of Algiers in 1516. Aruj ruled it for 2 years before he died in 1518 Kher-ed-Din took over him and ruled it himself becoming the commander of ottoman fleet, he was greatly respected and died in year 1546.

Mary read and Anne bonney were two of the most ferocious and famous women pirates in history, Anne was an Irish born was illegitimate daughter of her father and house maid, A young women with fierce and courageous temper eloped with James bonney against her fathers wishes. James took her to pirates lair in Bahamas but in 1718 when Bahamian government offered pardon to any pirate James turned informant Anne was disgusted with it and soon met captain jack rackham and fell in lover with him.
Mary read was born in England her father was a sea faring man who left on a voyage, her mother wanted a boy and hated girls so Mary started wearing boys attire and kept masquerading as a boy. Mary's ship was caught by pirates and joined them that's how she met Anne and joined Jack's crew. When royal navy attack them on 16th November 1720 captain Jack was caught. Anne and Mary fought like their reputation and nick names said "fierce hell cats". After being caught they were taken to Jamaica Anne instead of consoling her lover said , " Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hanged like a dog" this shows that Anne and Mary were both fighters and warriors and despised weakness. Tried in Jamaica they were spared the death penalty cause of pregnancy. Although there are many other stories that tell different endings.

Bartholomew Roberts was the most successful pirate of the golden era. Born as John Roberts he was a welsh pirate who raided ships in America and west Africa he captured over 470 vessels in his career as a pirate. He was also known as "Black Bart" he drank no liquor instead preferred tea he said liquor slowed him down, born in 1682 he met his end in 1722 when he made fatal error by attacking a British "man of war". He had a short and merry life as he said, " In an honest service there is thin commons, low wages, and hard labour. In this, plenty and satiety, pleasure and ease, liberty and power; and who would not balance creditor on this side, when all the hazard that is run for it, at worst is only a sour look or two at choking? No, a merry life and a short one shall be my motto."

Edward Teach commonly known as Blackbeard has been a very famous and important figure of many fiction, anime, movies based on pirates. Born in 1680 little is known about his early life, he was sailor on a privateer ship during Queen Anne's war before joining captain Benjamin Hornigold's crew in the Caribbean islands. In 1717 after Hornigold retired Teach captured a french vessel and renamed it "Queen Anne's Revenge" and raided with her in Atlantic and the Caribbean he looted merchant vessels, defied war ships, blockaded towns and took hostages. The most fearsome part of him was his appearance a thick long black beard which gave him his nick name and he tucked burning fuses under his hat. Desperate government of Virginia offered price on his head "dead or alive" the money went to a British naval officer who killed him at Ocracoke island. According to record it took 20 sword slashes and 5 gunshot to bring the dread pirate down.

Ching shih also known as Zheng Yi sao was a female pirate who raided the china sea in early 19th century she was one of very few pirates those retired from piracy. She commanded over 1800 ships and 80,000 pirates including men,women and children. The red flag under Ching shih's rules was undefeated by any of the world powers that time including Qing Dynasty, Portuguese and the British she ended her career in 1810 after Chinese government offered amnesty to pirates she kept her loot married her lieutenant. She died at the age of 69. She was the strongest female pirate of Asia, and has been part of many fiction works.

Henry Morgan a welsh buccaneer used an interesting way to raid he anchored his ship far away from the coast and attacked from the 'back door' where people were least worried about. His continues raids on Spain in Caribbean sea made him hero to English they accepted his actions as long as they got their share. Some of his biggest raids are, attack on Porto Bello (Panama), Cartagena raid, Maracaibo and Gibraltar raid and burning of Panama(which resulted in break of peace treaty between England and Spain). He won a Knighthood and became lieutenant of Jamaica. He died in 1688 of alcoholism.

William Kidd also known as captain Kidd was a Scottish sailor most remembered for his trial and execution for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian ocean. He was either one of the most notorious pirate or just most unjustly vilified and prosecuted privateer of the age. His first records of life date from 1689. He was member of french-english pirate crew that sailed Caribbean sea. Kidd and other members of the crew mutinied oustead the captain of the ship and sailed to the english colony of Nevis. In 1696 Kidd left for a mission: capture the pirates those were ravaging the trade in Indian ocean. His misfortune started as half of his men were drafted away by royal navy and left him to scramble for warm bodies most of them turned out to be pirates. Although he was legalized the hunt but was repelled many times. His ambitious enterprise was falling so he decided to cover its costs but failed many times in his attempts to attack many ships. Many of crew members deserted Kidd those remained made constant threats of mutiny. Kidd killed one of his own crew mate in 1697. Desperate to appease his wild crew Kidd turned pirate himself looting, raiding, stealing gold, silk, jewels and more. Unlike other pirates Kidd bury his treasure but was found later by authorities. He was tried and condemned of piracy and murder and was executed in 1701 at age of 56 his body hanged covered with tar for days was warning for other sailor.

Olivier Levasseur is one of my favorite of all time pirate. Nicknamed as La buse(the buzzard) he is most known for his still hidden and not yet found treasure known as "oak's treasure" said to be hidden in Bel Ombre beach on the island of Mahe estimated to be around 100 million UK pounds (2005). Born to a wealthy family he became naval officer after receiving brilliant education during the war of Spanish succession he became privateer for french crown after the war ended instead of returning back he joined Benjamin Hornigold pirate company and soon became captain after split up of the hornigold company. In 1721 he launched his attacks on island of Sainte-marie he sold the loot to Dutch traders at £ 75,000 valued (£ 10,350,000 in 2008). After getting bored of the England's Irish manner and marooned to the island of Mauritius. He then perpetrated one of piracy's great exploit the capture of Portuguese great galleon Nosaa Senhora De Cabo loaded full of treasure belonging to bishop of Goa. The booty consisted of box of gold and silver, dozen of boxes filled with golden guineas, diamonds, silk, pearl, art, religious objects from Santa Caterina Cathedral of Goa including the flaming cross of Goa made of pure gold inlaid with diamonds and emeralds it was so heavy that it required 3 men to carry it aboard the ship of Levasseur. The treasure was so huge that pirates didn't bother to rob people aboard (estimated £ 100,000,000 in 1968) In 1724 Levasseur sent negotiator to the island of Bourbon now (Re`union) to discuss amnesty offered to pirates but government wanted a large potion of loot so he decided to settle down in secret on the Seychelles archipelago. Eventually he was captured at Fort Dauphin near Madagascar and was hanged for piracy in 1730. Just before the execution he threw a piece of paper with a cryptogram on it saying, " Find my treasure, ye who may understand it". There have been many tries to search of this treasure but as far as known no one has been successful in finding the glorious treasure of him.

These are the list of pirates I have known or researched lives of these pirates inspired people all around to write fiction, and movies. The movies like "Pirates of Caribbean" books like "Treasure Island" and anime like "One Piece" have all been inspired by the lives of these men.

Hope I was able to make it interesting. My research on pirates is still on and as more I know I'll try to put up more. I will surely try to introduce many more interesting topics. Hope you liked it if yes please vote up and comment your suggestion :)


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    • endless sea profile imageAUTHOR

      Akhand Pratap SIngh 

      5 years ago from Lucknow(U.P.) India


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Gr8 article mate!

    • endless sea profile imageAUTHOR

      Akhand Pratap SIngh 

      6 years ago from Lucknow(U.P.) India

      I am glad you liked my research so much :)

    • Atiba Sheikh profile image

      Atiba Sheikh 

      6 years ago from India

      AFREEN-i am greatly inspired by the Lady Zheng Yi Sao..........commander of 1800 ships and 80,000 is just awwwesooomee......i found this research a hell lot interesting.....great job :-)

    • endless sea profile imageAUTHOR

      Akhand Pratap SIngh 

      6 years ago from Lucknow(U.P.) India

      My friends call me Akki :)

      Thank you for appreciation, In my content I mainly took the time when Pirates were most feared men living, I included some of the greatest names of piracy by no general categorization of where they belonged to, cause the name of Somalia isn't in there it means there were not many big names coming from there. May be next time when I make hub about pirates I'll include them as well. Thanks for suggestion

    • Angelme566 profile image


      6 years ago

      Endless..How do your friends calls you ?

      A very broad work , you have made a best research on this ,

      some only now i know , but how about some thoughts about those dreaded Somalia pirates..?

      Great hub , votep up , useful ,interesting.

    • endless sea profile imageAUTHOR

      Akhand Pratap SIngh 

      6 years ago from Lucknow(U.P.) India

      Thanks a lot Nirmala.. I hope I keep giving the best I could

    • profile image

      Nirmala Ghosal 

      6 years ago

      this is an awesome article......lots of information and interesting facts.......liked it a lot....


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