Famous Pirates and Privateers S
Of mixed African and European descent, Jamaican Abraham Samuel proclaimed himself
pirate "King" of port Dauphin, on Madagascar in the days of the Pirate Round.
Buccaneer captain in the Caribbean, Sawkins attacked Spanish shipping merchants and
outwitted the British Navy. He fought in Panama and was killed there at Pueblo Nuevo.
Sir Anthony Sherley
Captain Sherley was an Oxford educated man, born
into wealth, but forced to make his own way in the world after his family went bankrupt.
On a stint as a soldier in Normandy under the command of the Earl of Essex, he was knighted
by the French for his valiant efforts. Back in England in 1593, however, he was imprisoned until
he renounced his foreign title.
Striving to again rise in stature, he married a cousin of the Earl of Essex,
but soon found his wife intolerable. Captain Sherley then decided to use his relationship
to the earl to acquire funds for an expedition to capture Sâo Thomé, a Portuguese island off the coast of Africa.
In 1596, Captain Sherley assembled eight ships carrying about 400 soldiers, but the expedition was
struck by disease early in the voyage so he changed his course to the north. He instead
took Santiago in the Cape Verde Islands, but the booty was very sparse.
His forces now depleted, he headed for Colombia, where he sacked Santa Marta. His next attack
was of a poor Jamaican settlement of Santiago de la Vega in order to replenish supplies. So far the
sum total of booty for his raids was pretty sparse.
While in Jamaica, Captain Sherley met Captains William Parker and Michael Geare. The two joined with
forces with Captain Sherley in an attack upon Trujillo (Honduras), but were unsuccessful.
Next they attacked Puerto Caballos only to find it to be impoverished.
Geare parted ways, then Captains Sherley and Parker decided to try to march across the
Guatemalan mountains to the Pacific, but they were daunted by the severity of the trip and chose to take
their remaining men through the Strait of Magellan instead. By this time, Captain Sherley's men
had lost faith in their captain and deserted him. With his remaining ship, Captain Sherley went
back to England and also to tremendous debts.
Toward the end of 1597, Captain Sherley was sent to Ferrara, Italy, in the company of English troops.
By the time they arrived, the differences between Italy and England were settled and Sherley was faced
with unemployment. Captain Sherley, once again using his relationship with the Earl of Essex, managed
to raise enough money to sail to Persia. He planned to establish diplomatic relations (without the
consent of the crown) with the new shah. The shah made Captain Sherley his ambassador and enlisted
him to gain allies against the Ottoman Empire. When Captain Sherley returned to England, his plan was
condemned and he was forbidden to return to Persia. Sherley then made his rounds from royal
court to court and conned nobles out of funds.
In 1607, Captain Sherley managed to become an agent for the Spanish. During this time, he wrote to
Captains Simonson and John Ward attempting to convince them to attack the Ottoman Empire.
In 1609, the Spanish had Captain Sherley assemble ships in Sicily
to attack the Barbary corsairs. It was planned that Captain Sherley would join in a Spanish attack on
Tunis, but instead Captain Sherley attacked European merchantmen and looted the Greek Islands. After
Captain Sherley's failure to support Spain's attack on Tunis, he lost all influence in the Spanish
courts but stayed in Spain constantly trying to gain political stature. He died destitute in Spain
AKA der Tantzer (the Dancer)
Also Delli Reis (Captain Devil)
An experienced shipbuilder, the Dutch born Simonson moved from Marseilles to Algiers, leaving his family behind.
There his fame grew quickly and within three years, he was given the name Delli Reis by the locals.
Using captured ships, Simonson taught the Muslim captains
how to sail them, personally capturing around 40, all of which were incorporated into the corsair fleet.
Simonson led the corsairs through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Atlantic. Once in the
Atlantic, they hunted Spanish treasure fleets and raided as far north as Iceland.
In 1609, after stealing four ships and booty, killing 150 Algerians and
stealing two large brass cannons belonging to the Algerian government, he returned to Marseilles to
rejoin his family.
In 1610, Simonson came up with a plan to raid the city of Algiers and presented it to the royal court.
His plans were denied, but Simonson was paid to maintain a squadron patrolling against the corsairs.
During one of his patrols, Simonson was captured by the corsairs, taken to Tunis and executed.
Bernard Claesen Speirdyke
Spain, a long time victim of pirating, suffering heavy losses from the
pirates and deciding that Sir Henry Morgan's Portobello raid in 1669 was the last straw, sanctioned
the governors of its colonies in the procurement of privateers and disbursement of letters of marque.
Few pirates responded to this act, but Captain Rivero, who was Portuguese, did and rushed out to seek
enemy nation's ships to prey upon.
In 1670, Rivero, in command of the San Pedro left Cartagena for Jamaica but was forced to change
course because of winds. Captain Rivero sacked the poor settlement on Grand Cayman Island and seized
two small boats as well as taking four children. With his meager booty, he went to Cuba. Once there
he found out that Bernard Speirdyke, the Dutch pirate, was at Manzanillo. Captain Rivero set out to do
battle with Speirdyke. Captain Rivero was victorious in the battle and seized the Dutchman's ship.
Captain Rivero returned to a hero's welcome in Cartagena in March 1670 and was made admiral of the
Spanish corsairs. Captain Rivero next went to Jamaica with two ships and captured a sloop and raided
isolated villages in the north. His next venture took him to the southern coast of Jamaica where he
issued a challenge to Captain Henry Morgan:
Governor Modyford of Jamaica commissioned Captain Morgan to defend Jamaica. Captain Morgan assembled
all French and English pirates that were at Jamaica and set sail, but instead of looking for
Captain Rivero, they sailed to Panama and sacked the town. While all this was going on, John Morris
encountered Captain Rivero off the Cuban coast. Captain Rivero's ship was boarded by Captain Morris
men. The crew panicked and jumped overboard, where they either drowned or were shot by Morris' men.
Captain Morgan chased Captain Rivero ashore and shot him to death in 1670.
This former merchant formed a pirate band called the The Friends of God and
Enemies of the World. The pirates sailed the Baltic sea and attacked the city of Bergen, in Norway.
Stortebeker was caught and executed in 1402.
Active Late 1600's
In 1692 Stout was arrested in India while serving with James Kelley.
The prisoners escaped by boat four years later and made their way to Bombay. There, they
enlisted as crew members under the command of Captain Edgecumbe aboard the Mocha. Eight
days after leaving port, Stout and other members of the crew seized the Mocha. Twenty-seven of the
Mocha's crew escaped and reached shore safely, but Captain Edgecumbe wasn't as fortunate.
The pirates bludgeoned him to death, threw him overboard and stole the ship's booty.
With the success of the attack, the pirates elected Stout as their new captain.
Captain Stout sailed their newly captured ship to Mergui Archipelago, southeast of Burma, where
he ran into the merchant ship which had arrested pirates Robert Culliford and others. Stout captured
the ship, freed the pirates who then joined his crew.
In 1693, Stout cruised between India and the Strait of Malacca alongside the ship the Charming Mary.
They were extremely successful, plundering lots of booty from seven or more ships.
Stout was a cruel man who had a priest tortured after capturing a Portuguese ship and
on another occasion, seizing a vessel, locking up its crew and burning them alive along with the ship.
The Mocha and Charming Mary parted ways in 1697. Stout sailed off to the Laccadive Islands where
he was eventually murdered.
1773 - 1827
Originally from the corsair haven of St. Malo, this famous privateer
attacked British shipping in the Indian Ocean with devastating success. He captured the
Triton in 1795 and the Kent in 1800.
Viking King of Denmark, Sweyn defeated and killed his own father, Harald
Bluetooth. He led many piratical raids against England, receiving huge sums of money in payment of