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Robert C. Ritchie

Bonnet, Stede (d. 1718), pirate, may have been a soldier as he was given the title of major during his trial, where he was also treated as an educated gentleman by the officers of the court. The most that can at present be said about his family is that he is probably the ...

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Crab, John (c. 1280–c. 1352), pirate and merchant, was probably born in Muiden in Flanders. Active as a pirate from at least 1306, he was the most notorious of the Flemish privateers who preyed on English shipping during the Scottish War of Independence. His nephew ...

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William Dampier (1651–1715) by Thomas Murray, c. 1697–8 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Dampier, William (1651–1715), buccaneer and explorer, was born in August and baptized on 5 September 1651 at East Coker, Somerset, the second of six children of tenant farmers George Dampier (1618?–1658) and his wife, Anne (d. 1665).

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Drake, Sir Francis (1540–1596), pirate, sea captain, and explorer, was born about February or March 1540 in Crowndale, near Tavistock, Devon, the eldest of five known children of Edmund Drake (d. 1566) of Tavistock. Edmund's wife is unknown, though she may have been named ...

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Sir Francis Drake (1540–1596) by Jodocus Hondius? © Copyright The British Museum

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Eustace the Monk (c. 1170–1217) drawing [far right] Master and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

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Eustace the Monk (c. 1170–1217), Benedictine monk, sea captain, and pirate, was the son of Baudoin Busket, a lord of the county of Boulogne. According to his biography, Eustace studied black magic in Toledo, returned home to become a monk at the abbey of ...

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Griffith, Piers (1568–1628), pirate, was probably born at Penrhyn in Caernarvonshire, the eldest son of Sir Rhys Griffith (d. 1580), MP and high sheriff of Caernarvonshire, and his third wife, Katherine, daughter of Peter Mostyn of Talacre. His father was a prominent figure in ...

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John Hawley the elder (c. 1350–1408) memorial brass by kind permission of Becky Wright Photos; St Saviour's Church, Dartmouth

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Hawley, John, the elder (c. 1350–1408), pirate, merchant, and administrator, of Dartmouth, Devon, was the younger son of the first John Hawley who settled in Dartmouth some time before 1340. Hawley was elected mayor for the first time in 1374—the beginning of a career which would make him the richest and most important man in ...

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Kidd, William (c. 1645–1701), pirate and privateer, was a Scot, by tradition born in Greenock, Renfrewshire, into the family of a Church of Scotland minister; however, the names of his parents are not known and his date of birth is derived from his age, about fifty-six, when he died. He does not appear in the historical record until 1689 when he was a member of a pirate crew brought into service by ...

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See MacLeod, Roderick

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Mainwaring, Sir Henry (1586/7–1653), pirate and naval officer, was the second son of Sir George Mainwaring (d. 1628) MP, of Ightfield, Shropshire, and Anne (d. 1624), daughter of Sir William More MP, and his second wife, Margaret. The Mainwarings were well established in ...

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See Michelstow family

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See Michelstow family

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See Michelstow family

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J. K. Laughton

revised by David Cordingly

Roberts, Bartholomew (c. 1682–1722), pirate, was born near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. Details of his early life are obscure. He was second mate of the merchant ship Princess, which was captured and plundered by pirates at Anamaboe on the Guinea coast in 1720. Most of the crew joined the pirates including ...

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Swein Asleiffson (d. 1171?), pirate, was the son of Olaf Hrolfsson of Gairsay, chieftain on Orkney and steward of Caithness, and of Asleif, described as 'a wise woman, of good family and strongest character' (Orkneyinga Saga, trans. Taylor, 218). His exploits are known almost exclusively from ...

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Samuel Pyeatt Menefee

Vane, Charles (d. 1720), pirate, is of unknown origins and parentage. Aside from the published and manuscript accounts of the trial which sent him to the gallows the main source for his life and career is the pseudonymous Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates...