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Avery, Henry [known as Captain John Avery] (bap. 1659, d. 1696?), pirate, the son of John and Anne Evarie, was baptized on 23 August 1659 at Newton Ferrers, near Plymouth. He joined the Royal Navy and was a midshipman in the Rupert...

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Barry, Lording (bap. 1580, d. 1629), playwright and pirate, was baptized on 17 April 1580 in St Laurence Pountney, St Laurence Pountney Lane, London, the fifth of eleven children of Nicholas Barry (d. 1607), citizen and fishmonger, and his second wife, Anne (...

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William Bedloe (1650–1680) by Robert White, pubd 1681 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bedloe, William (1650–1680), informer and adventurer, was the second son of Isaac Bedloe (d. 1656). William Bedloe was born in Chepstow on 20 May 1650 and spent his early life both there and in Bristol. Much of his early life was deliberately clouded in obscurity. His own published account of his parentage and ancestry remains dubious. He claimed that his father had been a gentleman soldier who had served the king in the civil wars and whose own father was ...

Article

T. F. Henderson

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Blennerhasset, Harman (1764/5–1831), lawyer and settler in America, born in Hampshire on 8 October 1764 or 1765, was the youngest of the three sons of Conway Blennerhasset of Conway Castle, Killorglin, co. Kerry, Ireland, and his wife, the daughter of Major Thomas Lacy...

Article

Blood, Thomas (1617/18–1680), adventurer and spy, was born at Sarney, co. Meath. His early life is obscure, but it was later claimed that his father (who was possibly Neptune Blood) was a blacksmith and ironworker, 'serious, honest and of no inferior credit' (...

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Thomas Blood (1617/1818–1680) by unknown artist The Pepys Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge

Article

See Bond, Martin

Article

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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Bonny, Anne (1698–1782), pirate, was born near Cork in Ireland. Evidence from her descendants suggests that she was the illegitimate daughter of William Cormac, lawyer, and his maidservant. Cormac, who raised his daughter as a boy, found his legal practice so affected by his affair that he decided to go abroad. Taking ...

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Buckley, William (1780–1856), convict and settler in Australia, was born at Marton, near Macclesfield, Cheshire, the son of small farmers. He learned to read at evening school before being apprenticed as a bricklayer. At nineteen he enlisted in the local militia, then 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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Duston [née Emerson], Hannah (1657–1736?), captive of American Indians, was born in December 1657 in Haverhill, Massachusetts, one of fifteen children born to Michael Emerson, an English shoemaker and immigrant to the Massachusetts Bay colony, and his wife, Hannah, daughter of an original settler of ...

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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 ...

Article

Samuel Pyeatt Menefee

Gow, John (1698–1725), pirate, was born either at Scrabster, near Thurso, or at Wick. Details of his background and upbringing are unknown until September 1699, when he moved with his merchant father's family to Stromness in the Orkney Islands. It is believed that ...