Gentleman Pirate: Stede Bonnet

When someone engages in piracy acts of attacking and robbing ships, they are referred to as pirates. Both men and women can be pirates. Piracy usually involves a crew that attacks another ship/vessel or coast areas to steal freight and any items that are valuable. The earliest piracy that was documented dates back to the 14th century. At that time, a large group of ocean raiders (pirates) that called themselves the Sea Peoples started attacking ships in the Mediterranean and Aegean areas. Read below to learn the top 5 Golden Age of Piracy pirates. 

  1. Edward Teach aka Blackbeard 

First, one of the most well-known and feared pirates was Blackbeard. He was born in 1680 in England, then died in 1718 in the Colonies. He was the commander of four ships and had more than 300 men in his army. Throughout his career, he took over 40 merchant ships in the Caribbean Sea. In addition, he was ruthless and had no mercy when he murdered his prisoners. At the end of his career, he engaged in a fierce battle that occurred off North Carolina’s coast. There, Blackbeard was defeated by the Royal Navy. In order to warn other pirates of the consequences of piracy, they decapitated his head and raised it high in the air on a stake on the Hampton River shores in Virginia. 

  1. Bartholomew Roberts aka Black Bart

Black Bart was born in Wales in 1692. He was very admired for his courageous state of mind, and was highly respected by his crew. Before Black Bart became a pirate, he was an admirable officer in the Navy. At  one point, the ship that he was navigating encountered pirate Howell Davis’s ship and he overtook the ship with his crew. He then decided to become a pirate himself. He had amazing navigation skills, and was able to rob more than 400 ships. In 1722, he was in a battle against British Captain Chaloner Ogle. He died during that battle, but his legacy still lives on today. 

  1. Henry Every aka Long Ben

Long Ben was born in England in 1653, and he served on numerous ships while in the British Royal Navy. In 693, Long Ben joined the Spanish Expedition Shipping venture. Through mutiny he became a pirate captain, which earned him a reputation as one of the most feared and successful pirates. He actually didn’t steal a large number of ships, but he did take 2 of the most valuable ships in the Indian Ocean. Those vessels were full of valuable jewels and gold. As a result, Long Ben became one of the richest pirates when he disappeared into retirement. His death is still a mystery today. 

  1. William Kidd

A sophisticated Scotsman pirate was William Kidd. He was born in the year of 1645, and his earliest career was as a privateer trying to rid pirates in the seas. Later, he became a pirate himself when his crew elected him as pirate captain. Later, he attacked an East India Vessel. Shortly thereafter, he and his wife were later captured in Boston where he was sentenced to die. His death was a very painful execution. The noose that was around his neck broke two times. To ensure certain death, they doused his body in tar, then hung his body with chains on the Thames River shores in 1701. 

  1. Anne Bonny

Lastly, Anne Bonny was a young woman that was born in 1700 in Ireland. She went to the New World where she met a sailor named James Bonny who happened to be very poor. She married Bonny yet quickly became disappointed by his lack of ambition. She soon met “Calico Jack” Rackham, who was a pirate ship captain. She started dressing like a man in order to join his crew. Another woman named Mary Read did the same thing as well. Anne Bonny became a violent and ruthless pirate. She died approximately in the year of 1782. Some say she gave up piracy at the end and returned to her homeland. 

The top 5 Golden Age of Piracy pirates will live on through the stories that are told about them. All of the above pirates had fame, glory, yet in the end suffered a terrible death. Out of all the top 5 Golden Age of Piracy pirates, which one would you be most afraid of?