The real pirates of the Caribbean refer to the historical pirates who operated in the Caribbean Sea during the “Golden Age of Piracy,” which is generally considered to have occurred from the late 17th century to the early 18th century. These pirates were not fictional characters like Captain Jack Sparrow from the popular “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise but were real-life figures who engaged in acts of piracy, plundering ships, and establishing pirate havens in the Caribbean.
Some of the most well-known real pirates of the Caribbean include:
- William Kidd: One of the most infamous pirates in history. Although his pirate career was relatively short, his name became synonymous with piracy during the “Golden Age of Piracy” in the late 17th century.
- Stede Bonnet: Often referred to as the “Gentleman Pirate,” Stede Bonnet was a real-life pirate who operated during the Golden Age of Piracy in the early 18th century. Unlike many other pirates of his time, Bonnet came from a wealthy background and held a relatively high social status before turning to piracy.
- Black Sam Bellamy (Samuel Bellamy): A notorious pirate who operated during the Golden Age of Piracy in the early 18th century. He is often remembered for his short but dramatic and highly successful piratical career.
- Blackbeard (Edward Teach): Blackbeard was a notorious English pirate known for his fearsome appearance, with a long black beard and slow-burning fuses in his hat. He terrorized the American colonies and the West Indies during the early 18th century.
- Calico Jack (John Rackham): Calico Jack was an English pirate who operated in the Bahamas and the Caribbean. He is famous for his association with female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
- Anne Bonny and Mary Read: These two women were among the few known female pirates in history. They sailed with Calico Jack’s crew and were known for their fierce reputations.
- Henry Morgan: Captain Henry Morgan was a Welsh privateer who later turned pirate. He is known for his daring raids on Spanish settlements in the Caribbean and is often associated with the sack of Panama City.
- Bartholomew Roberts (Black Bart): Bartholomew Roberts was a Welsh pirate captain who captured and plundered numerous ships in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. He is one of the most successful pirates of the era.
- Charles Vane: Charles Vane was an English pirate who operated in the Bahamas and the Caribbean. He was known for his ruthless tactics and defiance of the law.
- Jean Lafitte: Jean Lafitte was a French pirate and privateer who operated in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River during the early 19th century. He played a role in the War of 1812.
These real pirates were a diverse group of individuals who came from various backgrounds and nationalities. Their exploits have been romanticized and adapted into numerous books, films, and legends, contributing to the enduring fascination with the history of piracy in the Caribbean.
St. Croix is lucky to have our own local Author and Boat Captain Stanford Joines! You can read all about sailing, pirates, local history and more in the book The Eight Flag.
And to get the full experience – you can also take a private boat tour with Captain Stan and relish in the mystery and adventure of his captivating tales while sailing the gorgeous waters of Salt River Bay!
You can purchase the book and schedule your tour through his website and make sure to look for his Facebook page as well! www.eighthflag.com
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