Gallery of the Day

8 Pirates You Probably Haven’t Heard Of


Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day! To celebrate this festive occasion we are giving you eight pirates you probably haven’t heard of, so expect to learn something new. Arrrgh.

The career of the pirate Awilda was a short one, to avoid an arranged marriage she and her cohorts took control of a ship. While on their way they came across a pirate vessel that was lacking a captain, of course she was made their leader. Her ship was then set upon by her proposed husband, he didn’t know that she was the leader of this motley crew, and upon seeing how brave he was in the attack she revealed herself and ended up marrying him and becoming the queen of Denmark. Why hasn’t this been made into a Disney movie?

Sir Thomas Cavendish was a well known English explorer, and pirate. He made his name raiding Spanish towns and ships, making him quite the thorn in Spain’s side. In 1586 he became the first sailor to intentionally circumnavigate the globe, looting and pillaging Spanish property along the way. To be fair, each raid he went on was approved by the English government. State sponsored piracy is always a good thing.

Ching Shih made the China Sea a dangerous place, she commanded hundreds of ships and thousands of sailors. It may have helped that she came from a family of pirates, I guess it wouldn’t be surprising that pirates practiced some sort of nepotism. She retired from piracy, something many pirates were never able to do, in 1810. She then went on to open up a gambling den and got involved in politics.

William Henry “Bully” Hayes was a very talented blackbirder, which means that he would coerce and kidnap people to sell them into slavery. Supposedly whenever he made landfall on an island the inhabitants would run for shelter from the man that would likely take them and force them into slavery. This type of behavior probably led to his murder by his cook. Take this as a lesson, don’t get involved in human trafficking.

Samuel Bellamy, or Black Sam to his friends and victims, was only a pirate for a year, but within that year he was hugely successful. Before he died at the age of 28 he had captured 53 ships, which made him the wealthiest pirate in recorded history. Although he had taken quite a few ships he was known to show mercy to those he captured, very different than our previous entry who would have just sold them.

Black Caesar was once a powerful chieftain in Africa when he was taken into slavery, which didn’t keep him down. He was freed and went on to attack ships on his own, making him quite a powerful figure in the Caribbean. After his years as a solo performer he went on to join Blackbeard’s crew on the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Although I’m sure that he would have been much happier if he hadn’t been taken from his home.

Sir Francis Drake wasn’t that well liked by the Spanish, he was quite the terror to them, so much so that he was given the moniker El Draque. This sailor was another state sponsored pirate, he worked with the backing of the English government. Much like the aforementioned Mr. Hayes Sir Francis Drake was also a well known slaver, so if you ever come across this gentleman we suggest that you avoid him, well that and he’s also been dead for 418 years so he’s probably a zombie.

Let’s jump to present time with Abdul Hassan, seen here with an RPG. This Somali pirate is also known as “the one who never sleeps”. He leads 350 other pirates in what they call the Central Regional Coast Guard. To this day they take ships hostage and demand a ransom. So if you ever find yourself sailing near Somalia look out for this guy, he seems dangerous.

About the author