History – Pirates

Letter of Marque

Yes, there were legal pirates.  A letter of marque was given by governments in the 16,17 & 18th Centuries as a license for that private person to attack and capture ships of a nation with which that government was at war. 

It legalised piracy and on 1 April 1581, Queen Elizabeth I actually knighted one of the richest pirates of the time, Sir Francis Drake. Showing that …..

The story of
Anne Bonny & Mary Read

On November 15th 1720 Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and Calico Jack were captured by Capt. Jonathan Barnet and brought to Spanish Town, Jamaica, for trial!  Anne Bonny and Mary Read were two amazing women pirates, which is astonishing, as at that time it was a hanging offence to even bring a woman aboard a pirate ship.

They were fearless and were expert users of the boarding axe, cutlass and pistol.

They truly were two ……..

Viking Pirates

Probably the most successful pirates of all time were the Vikings. These fierce pirates terrorized the seas around Europe for nearly 400 years from around 700 AD.  They didn’t just stay in the North Sea, no, they went further, the more daring ones went all the way across the North Atlantic Ocean and created settlements.

We know of Erik Thorvaldsson, known as Erik the Red, who we understand is ……………..

Famous lady Pirates

Let me tell you about some women who became famous as pirates.

Queen Teuta of Illyria   In the third century BC she was a queen regent of the Ardiaei, around …….

 Ladgerda, a Danish pirate   She lived in the 9th Century AD and was a “shieldmaiden”, the description the Vikings gave to women who carry a sword and …… 

The Barbary Pirates

Did you know that from the 17th to 19th centuries Africa slave traders came to the coast of Devon and Cornwall and took English people to sell in the slave markets in North Africa?  

They were the Barbary Pirates from the North Africa ports of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli who terrorised Cornwall and Devon for centuries, they were most troublesome in the 17th century.

For example, in August 1625 Barbary Pirates raided Mount’s Bay, taking ……..