Privateer Dragons of the Caribbean
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Privateer Dragons' Island
Pirate History and Reference
Famous Pirates and Privateers

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Henry Mainwaring
1587 - 1653

This English Knight was a pirate hunter who ended up turning to piracy himself. He was based in Morocco from 1612, and spent four years attacking merchantmen in the Mediterranean, then returned to England and received a pardon.

Edward Mansfield
AKA Mansvelt
Dutch Buccaneer
Active 1663 - 1666

Dutch Captain Mansfield was in command of a four-gun brigantine when he took part in Sir Christopher Myngs' assault on San Francisco de Campeche in Mexico in 1663.

Between 1665 and 1667 while the Dutch and England were at war Jamaican Governor Modyford assembled buccaneers to attack the Dutch islands in the Caribbean. This first attack was led by Captain Sir Henry Morgan, but only the islands of Saint Eustatius and Sabo were defeated. Consequently, Modyford organized a second expedition in 1664 with Captain Mansfield as admiral of the fleet.

In 1665, Captain Mansfield's fleet sailed toward Curacao, but the journey took them against the Eastern trade winds, hindering their ability to make progress in the expected amount of time. Faced with mutiny, Captain Mansfield changed course and headed for Boca del Toro near Costa Rica. In spite of this new heading, many ships deserted him. In Costa Rica, the remaining crew marched on the city of Cartago. 90 miles inland, they encountered stiff resistance and had to give up due to insufficient supplies to continue. Returning to the coast, more pirates left Captain Mansfield's command.

With few men left and supplies low, Captain Mansfield opted to attack Providence Island off the Honduran coast next. There his fleet of four was joined by two French ships and their attack was successful and their take included much booty and over 150 slaves.

Captain Mansfield returned to Jamaica in 1665.

William Marsh
(or de Marisco)
Died 1242

A violent enemy of King Henry III of England, Marsh based himself on Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel. From there he raided ships in the Irish Sea and demanded ransoms for his captives.

David Marteen
Dutch Pirate
Active 1663 - 1665

In 1663, Captain Morris was one among many pirates (Captain Sir Henry Morgan, David Marteen, Captain Rackman and Captain Freeman) who was involved in raids against Mexico and Nicaragua. Because it was forbidden to raid Spanish possessions at that time, those involved pretended to be privateering under the commission of the Jamaica governor.

In Mexico, they had anchored their ships at the mouth of the Grijalva River and marched 50 miles inland to Villahermosa, the capital of the Tabasco Province. They took the garrison by complete surprise. Returning to the coast, they found that their ships had been taken over by Spaniards. They stole 6 small boats and paddled south, stopping to sack a small town along the way. They then went to Trujillo, Honduras, where they seized a ship at anchor, proceeded to the mouth of the San Juan river where they hid their ships, then using the small boats they had captured, rowed 100 miles up-river to Granada on Lake Nicaragua.

After the sack of Granada, the pirates went back to Port Royal, Jamaica, arriving there in 1665. This was an unparalleled voyage, consisting of several thousand miles, reaching far inland, and the siege of three towns of high importance.

Captain Morris would further be part of Morgan's raids on Portobello in 1668 and Maracaibo in 1669. After a peace treaty had been signed between England and Spain, In 1671, Captain Morris and Lawrence Prince led an assault on Panama assault commissioned by the governor of Jamaica. The governor was then arrested and replaced by Thomas Lynch, and he in turn arrested Captain Henry Morgan. Lynch gave Morris a frigate and ordered him to seek out and arrest any captains refusing to quit their piratical activities.

William May
British Buccaneer
Active 1689 - 1699

Captain May was a buccaneer prior to becoming a privateer during the Nine Years' War of 1688. In 1689, he began hunting with Captain William Kidd on Kidd's ship the Blessed William, but stole it the next year, and sailed to New York where he attacked French ships in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. And later that year he moved his band of pirates to plunder off the coast of Western India.

In 1693, he was commissioned to raid French slave stations in West Africa aboard the 16 gun ship the Pearl, but instead raided shipments in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.

In 1695, Captain May joined forces with Captain Henry Avery. May plundered a few ships off India's southwestern coast in 1696 and then returned to New York with his booty.

In 1699, May returned to Saint Mary's Island near Madagascar where he learned that British pirate hunters were in pursuit of him. He fled, pirating his way to New York and arriving safely with much wealth in tow.

Christopher Moody

Christopher Moody's Flag

Sir Henry Morgan
Welsh Buccaneer
Active 1635 - 1688
Sir Henry Morgan

Celebrated in ballads as the greatest of the buccaneers, Morgan was the leader of the Port Royal buccaneers in the late 1660's. His boldest exploit was the taking of Panama which was thought the wealthiest settlement of the New World in 1671. He subsequently became Deputy Governor of Jamaica.

John Morris
British Pirate
Active 1663 - 1672

In 1663, Captain Morris was one among many pirates (Captain Sir Henry Morgan, David Marteen, Captain Rackman and Captain Freeman) who was involved in raids against Mexico and Nicaragua. Because it was forbidden to raid Spanish possessions at that time, those involved pretended to be privateering under the commission of the Jamaica governor.

In Mexico, they had anchored their ships at the mouth of the Grijalva River and marched 50 miles inland to Villahermosa, the capital of the Tabasco Province. They took the garrison by complete surprise. Returning to the coast, they found that their ships had been taken over by Spaniards. They stole 6 small boats and paddled south, stopping to sack a small town along the way. They then went to Trujillo, Honduras, where they seized a ship at anchor, proceeded to the mouth of the San Juan river where they hid their ships, then using the small boats they had captured, rowed 100 miles up-river to Granada on Lake Nicaragua.

After the sack of Granada, the pirates went back to Port Royal, Jamaica, arriving there in 1665. This was an unparalleled voyage, consisting of several thousand miles, reaching far inland, and the siege of three towns of high importance.

Captain Morris would further be part of Morgan's raids on Portobello in 1668 and Maracaibo in 1669. After a peace treaty had been signed between England and Spain, In 1671, Captain Morris and Lawrence Prince led an assault on Panama assault commissioned by the governor of Jamaica. The governor was then arrested and replaced by Thomas Lynch, and he in turn arrested Captain Henry Morgan. Lynch gave Morris a frigate and ordered him to seek out and arrest any captains refusing to quit their piratical activities.

Sir Christopher Myngs
British
Active 1625 - 1666

Captain Myngs enlisted in the Royal Navy as a young boy, starting as a cabin boy and working his way up through the ranks eventually reaching the rank of Captain.

In 1656 he saw his first successful battle in Jamaica, then in 1657, he was put in command of the entire naval squadron anchored there.

By October 1658, Captain Myngs attempted an unsuccessful onslaught against a Spanish treasure fleet. The English fleet then made its way to Tolu (Columbia), captured two large ships in the harbor, and devastated the city of Santa Marta.

In 1659, Captain Myngs sailed east against prevailing head winds in a daring effort to take Spanish colonists by surprise and was a terrific success. Captain Myngs only took the Marston Moor and two other warships and plundered Cumana, Puerto Caballos, and Coro in Venezuela. Captain Myngs' booty was the largest haul ever taken into Jamaica, but when the booty was divided, he refused to give the government their share and he was arrested and sent back to England to be tried for his offense. When word of the huge plunder got out, dozens of pirate captains came to Port Royal hoping to be among those who sailed with Captain Myngs.

Meanwhile back in England, King Charles II was returned to power and Myngs' charges were dropped.

Captain Myngs returned to Jamaica aboard the Centurion in 1662, and toward the end of the year, captured Santiago, blowing up its fortress and taking six ships.

When Captain Myngs' fleet of soldiers became unemployed due to a truce between England and France, with the consent of government, he launched a second expedition with a fleet of 12 ships and a 1,500-man English, French, and Dutch crew and notable captains such as Edward Mansfield, Abraham Blauvelt, Henry Morgan, John Morris and Jack Rackam.

In February 1663, Captain Myngs' force had taken control of San Francisco, a large town in the Bay of Campeche which had never been attacked. In the raid they seized 14 Spanish ships and lots of treasure.

Myngs then returned to England in 1665, where he became vice admiral of a squadron fighting the Dutch forces in the English Channel. For his bravery, Captain Myngs was knighted.

During a battle the next year, Captain Myngs was mortally wounded.

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Nathaniel North

North began his privateering career in 1689 as part of a group which traveled the trade routes attacking enemy French merchant ships. In 1696, the group captured an 18-gun vessel called the Pelican off the Newfoundland coast. The privateers next secured a commission to raid the French in West Africa, but went to Madagascar instead. They intended to rob the Moors but had no luck finding any prizes. Determined to not return home empty-handed the pirates raided villages in the Comoro Islands, after which they returned to Madagascar.

Once at Madagascar, North was elected quartermaster and then plundered the Red Sea accompanied by Dirk Chivers and Robert Culliford. During this partnership, the three captured the ship known as Great Mohammed, but Culliford and Chivers refused to share the large booty of gold coins with the Pelican's crew stating that they hadn't joined in battle. With this, the Pelican sailed off to pursue her fortunes along the Malabar coast of India. The pirates seized three small ships keeping one of the ships and renaming her the Dolphin. During a hurricane, the ships were badly damaged and the pirates were forced to return to Madagascar for repairs, and after arriving, split their booty among the crew.

Becoming Quartermaster, North then sailed under Captain Samuel Inless who was given command of the Dolphin. The pirates plundered a large Danish ship in 1699 then traveled to Saint Mary's Island to divide their loot. While at Saint Mary's Island, four British warships arrived. Rather than surrender to the British, Captain Samuel Inless burned the Dolphin. The British offered a pardon and several men accepted, but North not trusting the English commodore, took a ship's boat and fled to Madagascar. North's boat was overturned during a storm and North swam 12 miles to shore losing everything he owned.

During the years 1701 to late 1703, North sailed as quartermaster with George Booth, then with John Bowen after Booth's death. Late in 1703, Bowen retired at Mauritius. North was elected as captain of the pirates at Madagascar. The pirates intervened in native wars to gain slaves and women. At the beginning of 1707, North was once again quartermaster. This time under John Halsey aboard the Charles. During this time the Charles captured two British ships. Halsey took one of the prizes and sailed back to Madagascar leaving North in command of the Charles. North's brief stint as captain of the Charles ended when the ship became wrecked on a reef a short time later.

North made it home and was found sailing in Madagascar waters in 1709. Some years later, North was killed by native tribesmen.

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