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Privateers

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Geography, Traveling, Politics, Wars and warfare

Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake was an English sea captain, privateer, slave trader, naval officer and explorer of the Elizabethan era. Drake carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580, and was the first to complete the voyage as captain while leading the expedition throughout the entire circumnavigation. With his incursion into the Pacific Ocean, he claimed what is now California for the English and inaugurated an era of conflict with the Spanish on the western coast of the Americas, an area that had previously been largely unexplored by western shipping.

 
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Wars and warfare

Calico Jack

John Rackham, commonly known as Calico Jack, was an English pirate captain operating in the Bahamas and in Cuba during the early 18th century. His nickname was derived from the calico clothing that he wore, while Jack is a nickname for "John".

 
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Wars and warfare

William Kidd

William Kidd, also Captain William Kidd or simply Captain Kidd, was a Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians, for example Sir Cornelius Neale Dalton, deem his piratical reputation unjust.

 
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Wars and warfare

Henry Every

Henry Every, also Avery or Evory, sometimes erroneously given as Jack Avery or John Avery, was an English pirate who operated in the Atlantic and Indian oceans in the mid-1690s. He probably used several aliases throughout his career, including Benjamin Bridgeman, and was known as Long Ben to his crewmen and associates.

 
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Business and economy, Wars and warfare

Jean Lafitte

Jean Lafitte was a French pirate and privateer in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 19th century. He and his elder brother, Pierre, spelled their last name Laffite, but English-language documents of the time used "Lafitte". The latter has become the common spelling in the United States, including for places named after him.

 
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Wars and warfare

Charles Vane

Charles Vane was an English pirate who preyed upon English and French ships. His pirate career lasted from 1716 to 1721. His flagship was the Ranger. His death was by hanging at Gallows Point, Port Royal, Jamaica.

 
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Wars and warfare

Jeanne de Clisson

Jeanne de Clisson (1300–1359), also known as Jeanne de Belleville and the Lioness of Brittany, was a Breton privateer who plied the English Channel.

 
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Wars and warfare

Stede Bonnet

Stede Bonnet was an early eighteenth-century Barbadian pirate, sometimes called "The Gentleman Pirate" because he was a moderately wealthy landowner before turning to a life of crime. Bonnet was born into a wealthy English family on the island of Barbados, and inherited the family estate after his father's death in 1694. In 1709, he married Mary Allamby, and engaged in some level of militia service. Because of marital problems, and despite his lack of sailing experience, Bonnet decided he should turn to piracy in the summer of 1717. He bought a sailing vessel, named it Revenge, and travelled with his paid crew along the Eastern Seaboard of what is now the United States, capturing other vessels and burning other Barbadian ships.

 
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Wars and warfare

Benjamin Hornigold

Captain Benjamin Hornigold (1680–1719) was an 18th-century English pirate who operated during the tail end of the Golden Age of Piracy. His career lasted from 1715 until 1718, after which he became a pirate hunter and pursued his former allies on behalf of the Governor of the Bahamas. He was killed when his ship was wrecked on a reef during the hurricane season of 1719.

 
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Wars and warfare

Alexander Selkirk

Alexander Selkirk was a Scottish privateer and Royal Navy officer who spent four years and four months as a castaway (1704–1709) after being marooned by his captain on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific Ocean. He survived that ordeal, but succumbed to tropical illness a dozen years later while serving aboard HMS Weymouth off West Africa.

 
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Wars and warfare

Woodes Rogers

Woodes Rogers was an English sea captain and privateer and, later, the first Royal Governor of the Bahamas. He is known as the captain of the vessel that rescued marooned Alexander Selkirk, whose plight is generally believed to have inspired Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.

 
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Wars and warfare

John Hawkins (naval commander)

Admiral Sir John Hawkins was an English slave trader, naval commander and administrator, merchant, navigator, shipbuilder and privateer. His elder brother and trading partner was William. He was considered the first English trader to profit from the Triangle Trade, based on selling supplies to colonies ill-supplied by their home countries, and their demand for African slaves in the Spanish colonies of Santo Domingo and Venezuela in the late 16th century. He styled himself "Captain General" as the General of both his own flotilla of ships and those of the English Royal Navy and to distinguish himself from those Admirals that served only in the administrative sense and were not military in nature. His death and that of his second cousin and mentoree, Sir Francis Drake, heralded the decline of the Royal Navy for decades before its recovery and eventual dominance again helped by the propaganda of the Navy's glory days under his leadership.

 
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Wars and warfare

Robert Rogers (British Army officer)

Robert Rogers was an American colonial frontiersman. Rogers served in the British army during both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. During the French and Indian War, Rogers raised and commanded the famous Rogers' Rangers, trained for raiding and close combat behind enemy lines.

 
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Wars and warfare

Israel Hands

Israel Hands was an 18th-century pirate, also known as Basilica Hands. He is best known for being second in command to the infamous pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard.

 
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Wars and warfare

Jan Janszoon

Jan Janszoon van Haarlem, commonly known as Murat Reis the Younger, was a Dutch pirate who "turned Turk" after being captured by a Moorish state in 1618. He began serving as a Barbary pirate, one of the most famous of the 17th-century "Salé Rovers". Together with other corsairs, he helped establish the independent Republic of Salé at the city of that name, serving as the first President and Grand Admiral. He also served as Governor of Oualidia.