Thursday, November 19, 2009

Henry Morgan: Pirate King

Continuing my retrospective of pirate history I bring you a chapter from the life of one of histories most illustrious and notorious pirates, Captain Henry Morgan.

Buccaneer and pirate, admiral and general, country gentleman and planter, custos and judge of the court of Vice-Admiralty, governor and knight ­ all are titles held by Morgan during his colourful lifetime.

Jamaica in the second half of the 17th century was a pirate haven. Known for plunder and trade, the island's port town of Port Royal (aptly located at the entry to Kingston Harbour) was home to many of these "brethren of the coast".
It was at that time that one pirate in particular rose to prominence ­ the Welshman, Henry Morgan. Famed for his exploits on what was known as the Spanish Main (today called South America) Morgan seemed larger than life. Although accounts place him as being of average height and build, there was nothing average about his leadership abilities or his charisma, however.

It is not surprising that history regards him as a pirate king, referring to him as the greatest buccaneer of them all (although most likely forerunners of the pirates, the two terms are used somewhat interchangeably).

According to noted Jamaican historian, Clinton Black, Morgan was "more than a buccaneer captain. The same man who could swear and curse and drink and whore with the best of them in many a den of murder, or lead a bunch of desperadoes for miles through hostile jungles and fever-ridden swamps...was also to prove an astute politician with a breadth of vision far, far beyond that of the men he drew to him with his rare magnetism".

If you'd like to learn more about this badass mofo check out the link:

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