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Privateers

Popular in this category (300)

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.

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.

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.

Politics, Business and economy, 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.

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 former noblewoman who became a privateer to avenge her husband after he was executed for treason by the French king. She plied the English Channel and targeted French ships, often slaughtering the crew, leaving few alive.

Art, Wars and warfare

Robert Surcouf

Robert Surcouf was a French privateer who operated in the Indian Ocean between 1789 and 1801, and again from 1807 to 1808, capturing over 40 prizes, while amassing a large fortune as a ship-owner, from both privateering and commerce.

Wars and warfare

Piet Pieterszoon Hein

Pieter Pietersen Heyn (Hein) was a Dutch admiral and privateer for the Dutch Republic during the Eighty Years' War between the United Provinces and Spain. Hein was the first and the last to capture a large part of a Spanish "silver fleet" from America.

Wars and warfare

Jean Bart

Jean Bart was a French naval commander and privateer.

Wars and warfare

Occhiali

Occhiali was an Italian farmer, then Ottoman privateer and admiral, who later became beylerbey of the Regency of Algiers, and finally Grand Admiral of the Ottoman fleet in the 16th century.

Wars and warfare

Jonathan Barnet

Jonathan Barnet was an English privateer active in the Caribbean. He is best known for capturing pirates Calico Jack, Anne Bonney, and Mary Read.

Wars and warfare

Louis-Michel Aury

Louis-Michel Aury was a French privateer operating in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean during the early 19th century.

Wars and warfare

John Yates Beall

John Yates Beall was a Confederate privateer in the American Civil War who was arrested as a spy in New York and executed at Fort Columbus, Governors Island, New York.

Wars and warfare

Murat Reis the Elder

Murat Reis the Elder was an Ottoman privateer and admiral, who served in the Ottoman Navy. He is regarded as one of the most important Barbary corsairs.

Wars and warfare

Nicholas van Hoorn

Nicholas van Hoorn was a merchant sailor, privateer and pirate. He was born in the Netherlands and died near Veracruz after being wounded on the Isla de Sacrificios. Nikolaas or Klaas was engaged in the Dutch merchant service from about 1655 until 1659, and then bought a vessel with his savings. With a band of reckless men whom he had enlisted, he became a terror to the commerce of the Dutch Republic and the Spanish Empire. Later he had several ships in his employment and obtained such notoriety that some governments were willing to employ him against their enemies.

Wars and warfare

Bill Johnston (pirate)

Bill Johnston was a Canadian-American smuggler, river pirate, and War of 1812 privateer. Born in Canada, Johnston was accused of spying in 1812 and he joined the American side of the war and lived the rest of his life in the United States.