Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX 76244-0425
Piratical Dates of Importance(updated 14 November 2018)
This time line is a work in progress. It incorporates events important to piratical history, but also includes important historical happenings. Although pirates gave allegiance to no nation, they didn't work in a void. What happened on land could and did impact what happened at sea. Dates dealing with piracy appear in black. Dates dealing with Scottish history appear in purple, while maritime dates appear in blue. All other dates appear in green. Dates are divided into centuries first, then by year, and if the exact date is known, by month and day within that year.
Special thanks to Luis for his assistance in researching some of these dates.
Special thanks to those who have caught my errors and let me know.
May 22 -- National Maritime Day
Before 1st Century 1st-3rd Centuries 4th & 5th Centuries
6th & 7th Centuries
15th Century 16th Century 17th Century 18th Century
19th Century 20th Century 21st Century
Before the 1st Century1340 BCE
Lukkans raid Cyprus.
1220 BCE - 1186 BCE
Sea People plague Egypt, Syria, Cyprus, and Crete. Around 1200 they destroy several cities, including Ugarit. They are defeated in 1186 by Ramses III.589 BCEFirst recorded incidence of piracy in the South China Sea.509 BCERoman Republic founded.480 BCESea battle of Salamis – first recorded sea battle in history.332 BCE
Alexander the Great conquers Egypt.
Alexander the Great appoints Admiral Amphoterus to hunt pirates.323 BCEAlexander the Great dies.c. 300 BCE
- Theophrasus, a Greek scientist, uses messages in bottles to study the currents of the Mediterranean.
- Rhodes develops the triemiola, a three-banked ship that used both sail and oar together, and uses these vessels to hunt pirates.
8,000 pirates join Demetrius in his fight to control a portion of Alexander the Great's empire during the Fourth Diadoch War.229 BCE
Gaius and Lucius Corancanius, official envoys from Rome, request that Queen Teuta restrain her fleet after most honest trade grinds to halt because of piratical attacks.228 BCEQueen Teuta surrenders to Romans and agrees to pay annual tribute and relinquish most of her territorial holdings, but she retains the right to sail only two unarmed galleys at one time.192 BCERome conquers the Aetolian League, and the pirates relocate to Cilicia.146 BCERome conquers Greece.101 BCERome passes its first anti-piracy law.86 BCEPirate fleet defeats Roman squadron off Brindisi, in Southern Italy.c. 75 BCECilician pirates capture Julius Caesar.69 BCEPirates sack the sacred isle of Delos where the roman Empire's main treasury is located.67 BCEGnaeus Pompeius Magnus, Pompey the Great, granted an imperium to enforce Rome’s anti-piracy law. He eradicates the pirates in 49 days.44 BCE36 BCE
- Julius Caesar assassinated.
- Resurgence of piracy in Mediterranean.Octavian defeats Sextus and crushes the pirates.Return to timeline menu.
Jesus is crucified.
Sighelm makes a pilgrimage to Indian at the behest of Alfred the Great.
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Pirates plague Chinese coast.
Constantine moves to Byzantium and founds the Byzantine Empire.
400Large fleets of Chinese pirates attack all ships they encounter during the summer.432
St. Patrick begins to spread Christianity through Ireland.
St. Patrick makes pilgrimage to Cruachan Aigle (Eagle Mountain) in Ireland.
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First record of a pirate attack in Chinese waters.
693Carthage falls.Return to timeline menu.
787Charlemagne conquers most of Italy.793August 8: Vikings' first raid on Britain at Lindisfarne Abbey.Return to timeline menu.
- Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
- Charlemagne organizes coastal defenses north of the Seine estuary against pirates.Vikings slay sixty-eight monks on Iona.811Korean pirates attack Japan.813Korean pirates attack Japan.834Oseberg ship burial in Norway.839Vikings winter in Ireland for the first time.844Vikings raid Cadiz.845Vikings sack Hamburg and Paris.850Vikings winter in England for the first time.862Pirates attack boats carrying tax rice and slaying people in west of Japan.867Danes capture York.870North African Muslims capture the Maltese Islands.c. 875
King Alfred founds English navy and designs new ship to combat Vikings.885
Viking seige of Paris begins.893Korean pirates attack Japan.894Korean pirates attack Japan.896King Alfred of Wessex in England defeats Danes.Return to timeline menu.
c. 900Gokstad ship buried.902Vikings expelled from Dublin, Ireland.912Viking raiders prey on shipping in the Caspian Sea.930Founding of Icelandic Althing.936First time in Japanese history that pirates band together under a strong leader, Fujiwara Sumitomo.
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11th Century1002Aethelred orders the slaying of all Danes in England.
1014April 23: Battle of Clontarf in1019
between forces led by High King Brian Boru and Máel Mórda mac Murchada, King of Leinster. Ireland
Jurchen pirates attack Tsushima and Iki, as well as several places on mainland Japan.1066King Harold Godwinson assembles largest naval fleet in England to date.1095
September 28: William the Conqueror invades England.First Crusade begins.Return to timeline menu.
1113Hospitalers of St. John of Jerusalem founded. They eventually become the Knights of Malta.1114Chief Priest of Kumano commissioned to use “warrior monks” to capture pirates infesting Kii province.1119Taira Masamori returns from expedition with many pirate heads.1184Minamoto Yoritomo becomes Japan’s first shogun.1185Margaritone of Brindisi, a pirate turned privateer, proclaims himself Count of Cephalonia.1187October 2: Saladin captures Jerusalem from the Crusaders.1194When Naples falls to the Holy Roman Empire, Margaritone of Brindisi is captured and imprisoned for the remainder of his life.1198
The military order known as the Teutonic Knights of Saint Mary's Hospital of Jerusalem is founded.
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1204Crusaders sack Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade.1205
Aegean Sea becomes haven for pirates as a result of the sacking of Constantinople.
Eustace the Monk joins a band of pirates and uses the Channel Islands as a haven.
Eustace the Monk raids Boulogne. King Philip of France is forced to pay him protection money.
After allying himself with Prince Louis of France, Eustace the Monk attacks English coastal villages.1217
Eustace the Monk and his pirates are captured off Sandwich. The English behead him.1223
Japanese pirates attack Korea’s southern coast.1227Authorities on Kyushu, Japan execute 90 pirates.1228
July 14: Louis VIII becomes King of France. Six years earlier, he attempted to become King of England at the behest of barons opposed to King John.
William de Briggeho is executed for piracy, the first recorded execution of a pirate in England.
The Holy Roman Emperor bestows upon the Teutonic Knights of Saint Mary's Hospital of Jerusalem full sovereignity over Baltic lands.
- William Maurice, a pirate, is the first man to be hanged, drawn, and quartered in England.
- Lübeck and Hamburg form the Hanseatic League, a merchant guild, to oversee maritime commerce and protect against pirates.Hanseatic League is formed to protect merchants ships from German pirates.1260
Chartres Cathedral in France is dedicated. King Louis XI and his family are present.
The French draft the Rules of Oleron, the first identifiable code pertaining to maritime practices.1270Crusaders of the Eighth Crusade capture Tunis.1271
Khubiliai Khan becomes the first Yuan or Mongol emperor of China.1273
The crown prince of Korea weds Khuilai Khan’s daughter.1274Kublai Khan invades1278
. JapanGiovanni de lo Cavo seizes Rhodes and becomes the island’s governor. Rhodes becomes a thriving haven for pirates and slavers.1281Mongols again invade Japan.1291Crusades end.1295Marco Polo returns from China.Return to timeline menu.
14th Centuryc. 1300
Formation of League of the Cinque Ports in which part of the league's goal is to protect the English Channel from pirates.1309
Knights of St. John capture the island of Rhodes.1313
July 7: The Chancellor of the University of Oxford forbids students from carrying weapons.
June 23-24: Battle of Bannockburn between Robert Bruce of Scotland and Edward II of England. The Bruce wins.1348Bubonic Plague strikes, 1/3 of Europe's population dies.1350
- The wuko mount six large raids against the Koreans. For the next twenty-five years, they conduct an average of five such raids.
- (circa) Ships fitted with rudders instead of steering oars.
1358The wuko attack the1368
Shandong . peninsulaof China
The Ming Dynasty begins in China.1380Korean cannon destroy a large fleet of wuko at the mouth of Geum river.1392Vitalienbrüder, or Victual Brothers, sack Bergen, Norway.1398Grand Master of the Teutonic Order and his knights invade Gotland and expel the Vitalienbrüder from the island.Return to timeline menu.
15th Centuryc. 1400
Ship design adds second mast to larger ships.1401
October: Klaus Störtebeker and seventy-one of his men are executed for piracy in Hamburg.1402Gödeke Michels and eighty pirates are executed.1405
- China’s Zheng He sails from China on the first of seven expeditions for the Ming Dynasty.
- Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimochi sends 20 pirate leaders to China as an act of goodwill. The Ming Emperor demonstrates leniency and returns them to Japan. A stove with a copper steamer basket is made. One pirate got into the basket while his comrades stoked the fire. This was repeated until all the pirates were scalded to death.
1409June 26: The Council of Pisa deposes popes Gregory XII of1415
Romeand Benedict XIII of . The council elects Cardinal Peter Philarghi as pope and he becomes Pope Alexander V. Avignon
- The wuko take gold and 150 people during a raid on Korea.
- John Hus is burned at the stake.
Henry V launches Grace Dieu (1,400 tons), the largest warship in England for the next two centuries.
Korea sends fleet of more than 200 ships to Tsushima, Japan because of pirates based on the island. Although numerous vessels and some villages are destroyed, the pirates return a few years later.
(Circa) The Little Ice Age begins.
Joan of Arc is burned at the stake.
Zheng He sets off on his last voyage. Afterward China favors isolationism.1441The first African slaves arrive in Portugal.1453May 29: Ottoman Army captures Constantinople, ending the Byzantine Empire.1461February 2: Edward of York defeats the Lancastrians in the second battle of St. Albans during the War of the Roses.1461February 17: The House of York and the House of Lancaster again fight at St. Albans. Queen Margaret defeats the Earl of Warwick and frees King Henry VI.1469Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon wed.1475The first edition of Ptolemy’s Geography is published.1478
Ferdinand and Isabella institute the Inquisition in Spain. It isn't officially abolished until the 19th century.
July 6: Richard Duke of Gloucester is crowned Richard III of England.
Henry VII and Ferdinand of Aragon sign a treaty that revokes all letters of reprisal and details the steps necessary for either monarch to take prior to the issuance of future letters of marque and reprisal.
October 12: Christopher Columbus reaches San Salvador (Bahamas).
- Spain expels the Jews from its country.
- The Moors are expelled from Spain.
Christopher Columbus discovers Tortuga.
Treaty of Tordesillas confirms Pope Alexander VI’s division of the New World between Spain and Portugal.1497John Cabot discovers Newfoundland.1498Vasco da Gama arrives at Calicut, India.Return to timeline menu.
First African slaves arrive in Americas.
Aruj (Barbarossa) and Hizir, his brother, capture the papal galley of Julius II.
The Barbarossa brothers establish a privateering base at Djerba.
Spanish settle Puerto Rico.
1509Spanish settle Jamaica.
June 11: Henry VIII of
weds his first wife, Katherine of Aragon. England
1511Portuguese conquer Malacca.1512
The Royal Navy introduces its first double-decker warships.
- Balboa discovers the Pacific Ocean.
- Ponce de León arrives in Florida.
Leonardo da Vinci designs a submarine.
- Aruj “Barbarossa” enters Algiers. The Bey is slain and Aruj claims the throne.
- Indigo dye is brought from the New World to Europe for the first time.
- Fernao Peres de Andrade leads Portugal's earliest expedition to South China.
- Martin Luther nails his Ninety-five Theses on the cathedral door in Wittenberg.
Aruj “Barbarossa” dies during battle against Spanish in Algiers.15191520
- Spanish found Veracruz.
- Ferdinand Magellan sets sail on his voyage around the world. It is a journey from which he will not return.1521
- Spain invades Tripoli.
- Turgut Rais joins Kheir ed-Dein's fleet in Algiers.
- Chocolate from Mexico first appears in Spain.
- Hernando Cortes overthrows the Aztec Empire.
- The survivors of Magellan’s crew return to Spain.
- The Order of Saint John is expelled from Rhodes.
- The Portuguese lose trading concessions with China because of the Portuguese Ambassador practices piracy.
- Hizir Barbarossa expels the Christians from Rhodes, and the sultan of the Ottoman Empire names Hizir “Kheir-ed-Din” (Gift of Allah or Goodness of the Faith).
- The Council of the Indies is established to oversee Spain’s territories in the New World.May: Jean Fleury, a French privateer, and his men capture three Spanish ships loaded with treasure from the New World. This is the first confirmation of the rumors of the vast wealth to be found in Spain’s colonies.
1525Henry VIII of England petitions the pope to annul his marriage to Katherine of Aragon.15261527
- Armies of the Ottoman Empire invade Hungary.
- Francis I signs the Treaty of Madrid, thus renouncing France’s claims to Italy, Burgundy, and Flanders.
- Spain institutes the flota system to transport treasures from the New World home.1529
- Bartolomé de Las Casas begins writing History of the Indies.
- The Spanish capture Jean Fleury after a long sea battle. He is executed.
- Francisco Pizarro ransoms King Atahualpa for Incan gold.
- Treaty of Saragossa divides Indian and Pacific Oceans between Spain and Portugal.
Granuaile (Grace O’Malley) born.15301532
- The Order of Saint John arrives in Malta.
- Kheir ed-din Barbarossa captures Algiers and establishes his base of operations there.
- Spanish treasure fleet begins trade voyages between New World and Spain.
- Francisco Pizarro routs the Incas. One year later, he kills the Incan emperor Atahualpa after he pays a ransom for his release.
Kheir ed-Din Barbarossa becomes the admiral of the Ottoman navy.15341535
- First viceroyalty established in New Spain and Mexico City becomes capital of Spanish Main.
- The alliance between France and the Ottoman Empire is formed and will last for 25 years.1536
- Spain captures Tunis.
- The Viceroyalty of New Spain is created with headquarters in Mexico City.
- After a group of pirates, led by a man named Broode, are captured, they are hanged, drawn, and quartered in England.
- Giovanni Dionigi, an Italian fisherman, is captured by Barbary corsairs. He eventually converts to Islam and becomes Uluj Ali.
- The English Parliament passes new legislation dealing with piracy that strengthen and clarify existing law.
- Huguenot corsairs plunder Havana.September 18: Kheir ed-Din Barbarossa destroys thirteen galleys and captures an additional thirty-eight from the Christian Holy League at Prevesa.15401541
- Spain forbids ships of other nations from trading with its Caribbean settlements.
- French corsairs attack San Juan, Puerto Rico.A Genoese squadron captures Turgut Rais. For the next three years, the Barbary corsair works as a galley slave until Kheir ed-Din ransoms him.1543The Portuguese introduce firearms to Japan.1544
July 12: Katherine Parr weds Henry VIII, becoming his sixth wife.
- The Viceroyalty of Peru is established.
- French corsairs attack Santa Marta on the coast of Venezuela.
- Kheir ed-Din Barabarossa pays Genoa the ransom for Turgut Reis.
Kheir ed-Din Barbarossa retires to Istanbul, where he dictates his memoirs.1546
July: Henry VIII’s greatest warship, the Mary Rose, sinks in the Solent.1547
- Kheir ed-Din “Barbarossa” dies.
- Barbary corsairs capture an Albanian boy, who becomes Murat Rais.
- Zhu Wan, a Chinese general, begins naval operations against the wako off the Shejiang coast.
Henry VIII of England dies.1548
Kheir ed-Din Barbarossa dies.
Xu Dong executed.1549
Ming forces, under the leadership of Zhu Wan, destroy the smuggling center on Shangyu.
English law extends the death penalty to anyone caught and convicted of aiding and abetting pirates.
- Francisco López de Gomara’s General History of the Indies is published.
- Turgat Rais and his corsairs defeat Admiral Andrea Doria of Italy.
July 19: Lady Jane Grey's nine days as monarch, following the death of Edward VI of England, ends when his half-sister, Mary -- later known as Bloody Mary -- becomes Queen of England. She eventually orders Lady Jane Grey's execution in 1554.1554
- Yuekong, a monk, leads 30 Shaolin temple monks in battle against Japanese pirates. He dies during the fight.
- François le Clerc, also known as Jambe de Bois or Pegleg, sacks Santiago de Cuba.
- Phillip II of Spain marries Mary I of England
July: Jacques de Sores and his fleet of three privateers capture Havanna.
- Martin Frobisher is imprisoned in Sao Jorge for piracy.
- Olaf the Great publishes an account of the female pirate Alfhild in Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus.1558
- Grancois le Clerc, aka Jambe de Bois or Pie de Palo or Pegleg, attacks Havana.
- Governor Hu Dongxian of Zhejiang convinces wako leader Xu Hai to betray his fellow pirates only to be beheaded by the governor.
- During one raid in Zhejiang, pirates gather more than 20,000 people.
April: Mary Queen of Scots marries the French Dauphin, Francis.1559
November: Elizabeth I becomes Queen of England.Peace declared between France and Spain, but the treaty doesn’t extend to the Caribbean. “West of the prime meridian…violence by either party to the other side shall not be regarded as a contravention of the treaties.”1561
April: Yu Dayou of Korea is arrested for failing to pursue pirates, even though it was his subordinate who permitted their escape.
- Following the death of her husband, Mary Queen of Scots returns from France to rule Scotland.
- Martin Cortés’s The Arte of Navigation is published.
- Turgut Reis defeats the Spanish squadron near the Lipari Islands.
- The French Wars of Religion begin.
- John Hawkins makes his first slave trading expedition to the New World.March 1: Catholics massacre more than 1,000 Hugenots in Vassy, France. This marks the start of the French Wars of Religion.1564French Huguenots settle on land near present-day Jacksonville, Florida.15651566
- During the siege of Malta, Turgut Reis is killed by shrapnel.
- Mary, Queen of Scots, weds Lord Henry Darnley.The Dutch rise up against Spain.15671568
- The Ming Dynasty lifts its prohibition of trading overseas.
- Theobald O’Malley, also known as Toby of the Ships (Tibbot-ne-Long), born.
- Mary Queen of Scots marries James, 4th Earl of Bothwell. Three months later he becomes the prime suspect in the death of her previous husband, Lord Darnley.
May: Mary, Queen of Scots, flees to England.15701571
- Uluj Ali captures a squadron of vessels belonging to the Knights of Malta.
- Topsail added above mainsail of ship and spritsail hung under bowsprit.
- Lady Mary Killigrew organizes piracy off the Cornish coast.
February 25: Pope Pius V excommunicates Queen Elizabeth for heresy.The first Manila galleon departs the Philippines for Acapulco.1572
October: Battle of Lepanto in which Papal and Spanish forces crush the Turkish navy.1573
Francis Drake attacks Nombre de Dios. He is wounded in the attempt.
Spanish ambassadors condemn Francis Drake’s attacks as acts of piracy. Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. Dutch sea beggars capture Brill and turn it into a base from which they attack the coastal shipping of Spain.July 3: Royal regulations involving the laying out of new towns in the Spanish Main are issued.1574
September 10: Execution of German pirate Henzlein and thirty-two of his crew.
- The English lay siege to Granauile O’Malley’s Rockfleet Castle.
- Murat Rais recaptures Tunis from Spain. The bey of Algiers proclaims him “Captain of the Sea.”
- Lin Feng, commanding more than 30 junks, pillages towns in Phillipines.
- Murat nominated “Captain of the Sea” by bey of Algiers, but Suleiman the Magnificent doesn’t ratify this appointment until twenty years later.Barbary corsairs capture Miguel de Cervantes. He spends five years as a slave.1577
- The English capture Granuaile O’Malley and imprison her in Dublin Castle.
- Francis Drake begins circumnavigation of the world.November: Elizabeth I's council orders that whenever supporters of pirates are fined that those monies be used to compensate victims of piracy.1578
Gerardus Mercator publishes his atlas, a word he coined. Subsequent parts appear until 1595, when he dies.1579
Murat Reis captures Spanish viceroy of Sicily.
March: Granuaile imprisoned in Limerick gaol.
November 7: Granuaile transferred to prison in Dublin Castle, but is later released.Dutch provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Gelderland, Friesland, and Utrecht, along with towns of Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, and Ypres, form Union of Utrecht. They supported one another and the union maintained ancient rights and privileges, including religion freedom. The southern provinces of the Netherlands, however, remained predominantly Catholic and made peace with King Phillip II of Spain, which left those of the Union of Utrecht to continue their fight with the Spanish monarch.1580
March 1: John Drake is the first to spot the Spanish treasure ship Cacafuego (aka Nuestra Señora del la Concepción), which carries a cargo worth about 360,000 pesos. Francis Drake's capture of her treasure equals $72,000,000 today.
July 23: Francis Drake begins his journey across the Pacific Ocean.
September 30: Francis Drake, aboard the Golden Hind, lands in Micronesia.
- English innkeeper, William Bourne writes the first published description of a submarine.
- The War of the Portuguese Succession opens after Philip of Spain also becomes king of Portugal. France, England, and Portuguese loyalists fight Spain and those in Portugal loyal to Philip. The war ends in 1583.
September 26: Local fishermen spot Drake’s ship, the Golden Hind, in the Channel as she returns home after sailing around the world. Her cargo hold contains silver, gold, jewels, and cloves valued at about £600,000.1581Elizabeth I knights Francis Drake.1582
James Swift, the English Admiralty's marshal, compiles a detailed report on piracy.
Lady Elizabeth Killigrew gets involved in piracy off the Cornish coast.
- Lady Killigrew and her servants plunder the Marie de San Sebastien’s cargo.
- Pope Gregory XIII introduces the Gregorian calendar. All Catholic countries advance ten days, but England refuses to adopt the change.
Balthasar Gerard of France assassinates William of Orange (also known as William the Silent).
- English government decrees that all prizes must pass through the Admiralty Court in London.
- The Anglo-Spanish War begins. France, England, Portuguese loyalists battle Spain, Portugal, and the French Catholic League. The war lasts until 1604.
December 31: Francis Drake and his men take Santo Domingo on Hispaniola.1587
- Sir Richard Bingham, Governor of Connaught, Ireland, captures Granuaile O’Malley.
- Uluj Ali dies.
- Murat Rais sacks Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and holds the inhabitants for ransom.
March: Drake receives a ransom of 113,000 gold ducats after 248 are torched in Cartagena.
June 18: Sir Francis Drake visits Raleigh’s colony in Virginia and returns them to England five weeks later.
- Elizabeth I pardons Granuaile and her family.
- Spanish establish garrison and colony in St. Augustine, Florida.
- Thomas Cavendish captures a 700-ton Manila galleon.February: Mary, Queen of Scots, is beheaded in England.1588
August 18: Virginia Dare is the first child of Europeans born in North America.
August 27: Governor White sails for England. He is the last to see the colonists of Roanoke alive.Mariner’s Mirror, the first English sea atlas, is published.May 19: Spain's Invincible Armada sets sail.1588July 19: Captain Thomas Fleming, wanted for piracy, is the first to spot the Spanish Armada and sails to warn the English fleet.1589Volume one of Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations appears in print. The two other volumes are published in 1599 and 1600.1590April: Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, dies.1591
August 15: Governor White returns to Roanoke, but all he finds are the remains of the fort and “Croatoan” and “Cro” etched into two trees. Roanoke will eventually become known as “The Lost Colony.”Japan’s Separation Edict separates the samurai class from the rest of society.1592Sir Richard Bingham seizes all of Granuaile O’Malley’s ships anchored in Clew Bay.1593June: Granuaile opens correspondence with Elizabeth I, Queen of England.1594
July: Granuaile meets with Queen Elizabeth in private.Uluj Ali becomes admiral of the Ottoman Empire’s navy.15951596
- Sir John Hawkins dies from fever off the coast of Puerto Rico.
- John Davis invents the backstaff.January 28: Sir Francis Drake dies from fever and "the bludie flix" (dysentery). They bury him at sea off of Nombre de Dios.1597
- The Royal Navy authorizes the use of hammocks aboard its vessels.
The French Wars of Religion end.1599
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- Richard Hakluyt publishes the first authentic map of North America.
- Copper coins are introduced for the first time.
1600Eighty-nine cases of men arrested as pirates are heard in England.1601
December 31: The English East India Company receives a charter from Elizabeth I to be "The Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies."January 17: William Parker and his fellow pirates sack Portobello.1602The VOC (Dutch East India Company) is founded. Its headquarters were established in Batavia in Java.1603
March 24: Elizabeth I of England dies. James VII of Scotland becomes James I of England.
- The Council of the Indies commands Governor Antonio Osorio of Hispaniola to evacuate isolated settlements of Banda del Norte to curb smuggling.
- James I of England knights Tibbot-ne-Long, Granuaile’s son.
- Granuaile dies (circa 1603).
- The signing of the Treaty of London ends hostilities between England and Spain.
- James VI enacts “A Proclamation to represse all Piracies and Depredations upon the Sea,” which revoked all letters of marque, and “A Proclamation for revocation of Mariners from forreine Services.”
- John Ward uses Sale on the Barbary Coast for his base of operations.
John Ward arrives in Tunis.1606
November: Robert Catesby and other Catholic Englishmen attempt to blow up Parliament and kill King James I. One of the conspirators is Guy Fawkes, and the event becomes known as the Gunpowder Plot.
December: John Davis becomes the first Englishman to be killed by the Japanese after his ship fights with wako.
- William Shakespeare writes Macbeth.
- John Ward, an English pirate, arrives in Tunis. He converts to Islam, takes the name Yusuf Reis, and becomes a powerful Barbary corsair.
May: Colony of Jamestown is founded.1608
- Sir Henry Mainwaring purchases a small chaser and becomes a pirate.
- Simon Danseker ambushes a Spanish grain convoy off the coast of Valencia, capturing the sons of two Viceroys.
- Sir Thomas Verney shuns his inheritance, leaves England, and turns Barbary corsair.
- England establishes a colony on Bermuda.
- Peter Easton (also spelled Eaton) arrives in Grace Harbor, Newfoundland with a fleet of five pirate ships.Peter Easton (also spelled Eaton) arrives in Grace Harbor, Newfoundland with a fleet of five pirate ships.
- A True and Certaine Report of the Beginning, Proceedings, Overthrowes, and now Present Estate of Captaine Ward and Dantseker is published in London. It concerns the renegadoes John Ward and Simon Simonson, aka Danseker.
- The Dutch VOC establishes an operation at Batavia to trade with Persia, India, China, and Japan.
- Traveling under a safe conduct pass, the Barbary Corsair Danseker visits King Henry IV of France.
- Hugo Grotius, a Dutch jurist, published the Mare Liberum, which pleads for freedom of navigation in all seas and oceans.
January 8: James I of England announces a general “Proclamation against Pirats.”
October: Andrew Barker, a sailor captured by John Ward and held for ransom in Tunis, publishes A True and Certaine Report of the Beginning, Proceedings, Overthrowes, and now present Estate of Captaine Ward.
December 29: 18 pirates hanged at Execution Dock, Wapping.
1610May 14: Henry IV of France is assassinated.
- Peter Eston arrives off the coast of Cork, Ireland and seeks a pardon for his piracies.
- Simon Danser, a former renegado, visits Algiers, where he is executed.
- Publication of the King James Bible.
The English East India Company introduces cottons to London.
James I of England bans privateering.1615
June 4: Henry Mainwaring arrives in Newfoundland where he seizes prizes.
- Sir Francis Verney, who spent two years on Sicilian galleys soon after he turned Turk and became a Barbary corsair, dies.
- At Louis XIII's behest, former corsair Simon Danseker travels to Tunis to negotiate with Yusuf Dey for the release of French captives.
- English taverns begin using coin-in-the-slot vending machines for dispensing loose tobacco.
June 9: Sir Henry Mainwaring receives a pardon for his acts of piracy. He later writes a treatise on piracy.
- Former Barbary Corsair Danseker (Simon Simonson) is beheaded in Tunis.
- William Cornelius Shouten Van Hoorn names Cape Horn.
March 21: Pocahontas dies at Gravesend, England.1618
Thirty Years’ War begins.
Sir Henry Mainwaring presents his Discourse of the Beginnings, Practices, and Suppression of Pirates to King James I.
- The Dutch East India Company founds Batavia on Java.
- Captain Daniel Elfrith of the Treasurer sails from Jamestown with a letter of marque to plunder Spanish ships in the Caribbean.
Suleiman, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, dies.1621
Jan Janszoon of Haarlem converts to Islam and assumes the name of Murad.
December: Puritans arrive in Massachusetts Bay and establish a new colony.
- The Dutch establish a colony on St. Croix.
- The Dutch West India Company receives its charter.
- The English settle St. Kitts.
- John War dies of the plauge.
- Much of the North Sea freezes.
- John Ward, also known as Yusuf Reis, dies of plague in Tunis.
- Sir Henry Mainwaring is elected to Parliament.
- Dutch colonize the island of Formosa.
- Sir Henry Mainwaring writes a report on the state of maritime piracy under the Stuart monarchy.
- Yen Shih-chi, also known as Pedro China, and his pirates set up a base on Taiwan called Beikang (North Port).
- Pieter Schouten and his Sea Beggars aboard three ships plunder Spanish colonies on the Yucatan.
Charles I becomes King of England.1626
Accused of murder, Cheng becomes a pirate. His reign lasts for twenty years.1627
- Tibbot-ne-Long, Granuaile’s son, created first Viscount of Mayo.
- A Flemish man converts to Islam and becomes Murat Rais the younger. He raids the Atlantic coasts of Portugal, Spain, and France.
- Piet Heyn sails with 3,300 privateers aboard thirty-six vessels to capture Spanish ships in the Caribbean.
- Murat Reis attacks Reykjavik, Iceland.1629
- Zheng Zhilong (Nicholas Iquan) surrenders to Ming government in China and receives admiral’s commission.
- Piet Heyn captures the West Indies treasure fleet and Spain defaults on her loans.
Captain John Smith publishes The Bad Life, Qualities and Conditions of Pyrats, a treatise on the transition of piracy after James I ascends the English throne.1630
December 12: The Dutch establish a whaling colony just inside Delaware Bay and call it Zwaanendael (Valley of the Swans).1631
March: Zheng Zhilong destroys Hung Pin, also known as Toutsailacq, and his band of pirates.
- Spain attacks buccaneers on Tortuga.
- Murat Reis attacks Baltimore, Ireland. Nearly one hundred residents become Barbary slaves. Only two will eventually return home.
- Dixie (also spelled Dixey) Bull becomes the first recorded pirate to attack ships in New England waters.
December: David Pietersz De Vries arrives at Zwaanendael to find the colony destroyed.1635
Pierre le Grands and 28 buccaneers capture a flagship of a Spanish treasure fleet.1636
May 23: In a battle at sea, Zheng Zhilong defeats pirate chieftain Jang Lauw and his 600 to 700 followers. This permits Zheng Zhilong to become master of the China seas.
Roger Williams founds Providence Plantations in what will become Rhode Island.
- Twenty-seven Icelanders return home after enduring a decade of slavery following their capture by Murat Reis when he attacked their homeland.
- Sovereign of the Seas is launched. She is the largest and most powerful warship in the world, as well as the most expensive to build.1639
- Murat Reis dies.
- After the Shimabara Rebellion, Japan institutes the Sakoku Edict, which closes the country so there is no contact with Catholic Europe.
- The French Lieutenant General of the Isles appoints Jean le Vasseur as Governor of Tortuga.
- The English East India Company captures Gilles de Regimont, a French pirate, in the Red Sea.
- In the nine months preceding January 1640, English losses to the Barbary pirates totaled around 70 ships and in excess of 1,200 sailors. These estimates nearly matched the losses during a nine-year period from 1629 through 1638.
- Rum is distilled from molasses.
- Age of Buccaneers begins.
- The Dutch seize Malacca from the Portuguese.
- The Ming emperor appoints Zheng Zhilong (Nicholas Iquan), a pirate and merchant, as Admiral of Coastal Waters. His task is to suppress the pirates.
May 26: Spain captures Pimienta.1643
- Jean le Vasseur assumes his position as Governor of Tortuga.
- First Civil War in England begins.
- Act for the Relief of the Captives taken by Turkish Moorish and other Pirates becomes law in England.
Louis XIV -- later known as the Sun King -- becomes King of France at the age of five.
- Zheng Zhilong makes a deal with the Manchu rulers in Beijing that gives him an imperial title and other rewards. He is later arrested.
- Edmund Cason sails home from Algiers with 245 captives whose release he had secured.1648
January: Spain signs a peace treaty with the provinces and towns of the Union of Utrecht, which acknowledged their independence as the United Provinces.
- Treaty of Munster gives Dutch commercial trading right in the West Indies, so they officially withdraw from privateering.
- Thirty Years’ War ends.
- Thomas Gage publishes A New Survey of the West-India’s.
- The Taj Mahal is completed in Angra, India.
Charles I of England is beheaded. The English Civil War comes to an end.1651
England passes first Trade and Navigation Act that impacts America.1652
- To enforce discipline, the English Parliment passes the Articles of War.
- First mint in English America established in Boston, Massachusetts.
- First Anglo-Dutch war begins after a dispute between the Dutch fleet, under Cornelius Tromp, and an English Commonwealth squadron, commanded by R. Blake, occurs in the Straits of Dover in May.
Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England.
- Oliver Cromwell sends fleet with army of 7,000 to Caribbean to capture Hispaniola.
- The Anglo-Spanish War begins.
- The English attempt to establish a settlement at St. Augustine's Bay, Madagascar, but a poor harvest and poor relations with the Malagasy cause it to fail.
- First Anglo-Dutch War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Westminster.
English capture Jamaica.1655English expeditionary force under General Venables and Admiral Penn capture Jamaica from Spanish.1656
April 4: The English fleet defeats the Barbary Corsairs at the Battle of Postage Farina, Tunis.Tortuga becomes haven for buccaneers.1658
January: Christopher Myngs arrives in Port Royal.1659
- Governor d’Oyley adopts policy that encourages buccaneers to use Port Royal as a base in exchange for protection against the Spanish.
- The Anglo-Spanish War ends.
- Zheng Cheng-Gong (Koxinga) leads a pirate fleet up the Yangtze River to attack Nanking.
- Oliver Cromwell dies.
Christopher Myngs leads expedition of privateers that attacks Campeche, Coro, Cumana, and Puerto Cabello.16601661
September 6: Unable to defend the colony, Petrus Stuyvesant, Governor of New Netherland (New Amsterdam), hands over the Dutch colony to the English.
- Charles II restored to English throne.
- Christopher Myngs is arrested on charges of embezzlement and sent back to England.
- Qing emperor executes Zheng Zhilong (Nicholas Iquan).
- King Philip IV of Spain’s army invades Portugal.
- Zheng Cheng-Gong (Koxinga) lands on Formosa and lays siege to the Dutch Fort Zeelandia.July: The Council of Jamaica grants licenses to more than forty new taverns, grog shops, and punch houses.16621663
- Zheng Cheng-Gong (Koxinga) drives the Dutch VOC from Taiwan.
- English pirates sack Santiago de Cuba over a two-week period.
- Privateer fleet under command of Christopher Myngs of the Royal Navy destroys Santiago de Cuba.
- (circa) Port Royal becomes a thriving pirate haven.
February 1: The Dutch surrender Formosa to Zheng Cheng-Gong (Koxinga).1664
- The English King's edict to Governor Sir Thomas Modyford of Jamaica forbids buccaneers from further acts of violence against Spain.
- Navigation Act of 1663 requires that all shipping to and from English colonies must pass through England first.
- Zhou Yu and Li Rong lead pirate uprising in Canton, China.1665
June 11: Sir Thomas Modyford arrives in Jamaica to assume governorship.
- Zhou Yu and Li Rong lead pirate uprising in Canton, China.
- France’s West India Company assumes administrative control of Tortuga.
- English capture fort of Carolusburg on Gold Coast of West Africa prior to outbreak of Second Anglo-Dutch War. Fort renamed Cape Coast Castle.
- The Great Plague breaks out in London. Nearly 70,000 people die in London. Spreads to other parts of the country the following year.
- Second Anglo-Dutch War begins.
- L’Olonnais captures Maracaibo.
- Alexandre Exquemelin arrives in the Caribbean as an indentured servant.
- London Gazette begins publication. It remains in print today.
March 4: Jamaica's Governor Sir Thomas Modyford declares war on Spain and issues letters of marques to privateers.
- Edward Mansvelt, aka Mansfield, elected “admiral” by his men.
- France and Denmark declare war on England. Frances does so because of its treaty with Dutch, while the English raid on Bergen precipitates Dannish involvement.
May 26: Privateer Captain Edward Mansfield recaptures the island of Pimienta.
June 1-4 (Old Style 11-14): Four Days Battle, one of the longest, largest, and bloodiest naval engagements in history, takes place during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.
August 5: A Dutch sharpshooter kills Christopher Myngs, an English naval commander and buccaneer, at the Battle of North Foreland.
September 2: Great Fire of London sweeps through 436 acres and destroys more than 13,000 houses.
- Spanish capture Edward Mansfield and take him to Havana and execute him.
- Governor d'Ogeron of Tortuga gives L'Olonnais a letter of marque. In the fall, he sacks Maracaibo and Gibraltar.
- War breaks out between Spain and France.
- The Dutch capture HMS Royal Charles, an 86-gun ship named for King Charles, in the Medway during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. They towed it back to Holland.
- Second Anglo-Dutch War ends.
May 24: Louis XIV of France invades the Spanish Netherlands.1668
August 27: A 12-foot tidal wave strikes Jamestown, Virginia.
May 29: John Davis captures St. Augustine.
- Modyford commissions Henry Morgan as admiral to defend Jamaica against a Spanish invasion.
- Henry Morgan captures Maracaibo.
- Dariens slaughter L'Olonnais.
- Isaac Newton builds the first reflecting telescope.
- Louis XIV bows to diplomatic pressure and makes peace with Spain with signing of Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.
July 11-12: Henry Morgan raids Porto Bello, nets 240,000 pesos to be shared amongst 500 men. This rain becomes a classic example of how the buccaneers conduct raids.
Last meeting of the Hanseatic League.1670
January: Henry Morgan’s flagship, Oxford, is destroyed when the ship’s powder magazine explodes.
March: Henry Morgan attacks Maracaibo and Gibraltar.
April 9: Council of War of the Indies, Madrid, declares that Jamaica must be retaken.
May 27: Morgan’s buccaneers return to Port Royal, with the equivalent of $14,000,000 in plunder.
June 24: Peace between England and Spain proclaimed in streets of Port Royal.
December: Bartholomew Sharp, William Dampier, and other pirates attack Porto Bello. They garner more than 36,000 pieces of eight.
January 3: Portuguese Manoel Rivero Pardal receives privateering commission from Governor of Cartagena. He attacks the Cayman Islands and captures an English privateer.1671
July: England and Spain sign Treaty of Madrid.
October: Royal orders arrive in Cartagena authorizing the issuance of privateers against the English.
December: Henry Morgan sets sail for the isthmus of Panama with 1,200 men.
- Mary Carleton, the most famous of Port Royal’s prostitutes, arrives in Jamaica.
- Treaty of Madrid, declaring peace between Spain and England, is published in Jamaica.
- Sir Thomas Lynch, Governor of Jamaica, threatens legal action against buccaneers who continue to attack Spanish colonies and ships.February 24: Morgan and the privateers leave Panama after four-week occupation.
15: Sir Thomas Lynch receives commission as Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica. 18: Henry Morgan sacks Panama.April 29: King Louis XIV of France invades the Netherlands, uniting the Dutch, England, Spain, and Germany against him. Charles II of England had declared war on the Dutch Republic on 18 March, while Louis XIV did so on 6 April.1672
July 1: Sir Thomas Lynch arrives in Jamaica.
August: Sir Thomas Lynch arrests Governor Modyford and sends him to England.March: Third Anglo-Dutch War begins. Louis XIV of France also declares war on the United Provinces.1673
April 4: Henry Morgan is arrested in Jamaica and sent to London to answer charges of piracy.1674
- Massachusetts enacts severe law against piracy.
- Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, a fur trader, explore the Mississippi.1675
March 5: Third Anglo-Dutch War ends with the ratifying of the Treaty of Westminster.
- Captain George Cusack imprisoned in Marshalsea prison prior to his trial on charges of piracy.
- Tortuga no longer a main pirate port.
Henry Morgan returns to Jamaica with knighthood and commission as Lieutenant-Governor.1676
June 24: King Philip's War in North America begins when Native Peoples massacre colonists at Swansea, Plymouth colony.
The Duke of York, who eventually succeeds his brother Charles II as King of England, openly converts to Catholicism.1677
April 22: Dutch Admiral Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter dies from wounds sustained during the Battle of Etna against the French. His state funeral takes place on March 18 the following year.
Act of Privateers makes it a capital crime for Englishmen to serve under foreign princes. Also offered pardons to those who surrendered within a year.1678
- Coxton and La Sonda attack Portobello.
- Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin’s De Americaensche Zee-Rovers is published in Amsterdam.June: Michel de Grammont, “Le Chevalier,” captures San Carlos fortification guarding the entrance of the Lake of Maracaibo.1679
September: Michel de Grammont, “Le Chevalier,” captures Trujillo.April: William Dampier arrives in Port Royal, Jamaica. he eventually joins a group of buccaneers under the leadership of Bartholomew Sharp.1680
June 22: The Duke of Monmouth defeats Scottish Covenanters at Bothwell Bridge.December: Buccaneers – including William Dampier, Bartholomew Sharp, Basil Ringrose, John Coxon, and Richard Sawkins – attack Porto Bello, netting 36,000 pieces of eight.
The dodo is extinct.1681
Jamaica passes an anti-piracy law. Port Royal ceases to be a pirate haven and the authorities execute pirates.1682
April 17: William Dampier, Lionel Wafer, and 42 other privateers depart Captain Sharp’s crew and begin their trek across the Isthmus of Darien.
July: Bartholomew Sharpe captures El Santo Rosario off Cape Pasado, Ecuador and seizes silver and gems, as well as the more precious derrotero, a book of secret Spanish maps of the west coast of South America.
Winter: 400 French and English buccaneers set up a base on Anclote Key.On his return to Barbados, Bartholomew Sharp is arrested for piracy and sent to London for trial, but escapes prosecution because of the Spanish charts he plundered.1683
July: Laurens de Graaf captures 30-gun Francesca off Puerto Rico that carries the annual wages for soldiers in Havanna. 100 men share 120,000 pesos.Manchus conquer Taiwan.1684
May: Michael de Grammont and Laurens de Graaf join forces to attack Vera Cruz.
October: Sir Henry Morgan removed from the Council of Jamaica and public service after a dispute with Governor Lynch.1685
- Basil Ringrose returns to the West Indies and resumes his career of piracy under Charles Swan.
- Massachusetts enacts another severe law against piracy.
- Alexandre Exquemelin's The Buccaneers of America is published in London.
- Sir Henry Morgan settles libel suit pertaining to the English translation of The Buccaneers of America.
- France and Spain sign the Treaty of Ratisborn (Regensburg), which ends the issuing of letters of marque at a whim.
- Louis XIV of France appoints buccaneer Bertrand d'Ogeron Royal Governor of Tortuga and Saint Dominigue.
- James II becomes king of England.
- Duke of Monmouth is defeated at the Battle of Sedgemoor.
- Judge Jeffries sentences hundreds of rebels to be hanged or transported as slaves, including Henry Pitman.
6: De Graaf attacks Vera Cruz and holds town for 3 months, but most of valuables secreted away by Spaniards.
September: Michel de Grammont, “Le Chevalier,” and Laurens de Graaf join forces and attack Campeche, Mexico.
- Basil Ringrose killed in attack on Santiago.
- William Dampier sails across the Pacific Ocean from coastal Mexico to the East Indies.August: Hurricane scatters Michel de Grammont’s fleet; he’s presumed lost at sea.1687
- King James I issues a pardon to pirates.
- Isaac Newton publishes Philosophia Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
- William Phips' divers locate the wreck of the Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, a ship carrying at least 100 tons of silver, that sank in 1641.
- Robert Searles attacks St. Augustine and frees imprisoned surgeon John Woodward.
- The War of the League of Augsburg (also known as the War of the Grand Alliance or the Nine Years' War) begins. France and English Jacobites are at war against England, the Dutch Republic, the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, the Duchy of Savoy, Sweden, and Scotland.
January: King James II issues an edict entitled “A Royal Proclamation for the more effectual reducing and suppressing of Pirates and Privateers in America.”August 25: Sir Henry Morgan dies. He is given state funeral with a series of 21-gun salutes.
December: James II of England flees to France.
- Combined fleet of French naval vessels and buccaneers attack Cartagena.
- The War of the Grand Alliance begins.February: The English Parliament offers the throne to William and Mary.1690
March: Henry Every appears in the historical record as a midshipman aboard HMS Rupert.
April 11: William and Mary are crowned King and Queen of England by the Bishop of London.
May: William III and Mary II of England declare war on France.
- Lionel Wafer's New Voyage and Description of the Isthmus of Panama is published.
- Age of buccaneers ends. Golden age of piracy begins.
- Crew of Goodspeed brought to trial after being charged with piracy and murder. The court finds fourteen guilty and sentences them to hang, but none are after leading citizens counseled the governor to be lenient. Thirteen were freed, and the last, Thomas Pound, while on the scaffold, was given a reprieve and sent to London, where the charges were dropped.
February 2: Robert Culliford steals the Blessed William and goes on the account.1691
July 17: Adam Baldridge arrives at Island of St. Marie in Madagascar. He builds a fort and begins trading with the pirates.
January: Adam Baldridge arrives on St. Mary’s Island in Madagascar.
- Adam Baldridge builds his mansion on Ile Sainte Marie and begins trading with the pirates.
- William Dampier returns to England after an absence of twelve years. His return marks his first circumnavigation of the world.
- Edward Davis, John Hinson, and Lionel Wafer are arrested on charges of piracy in Virginia.
- French coin minted depicts achievements of buccaneer's William Dampier's circumnavigation of the globe. One such coin is found among those recovered from the Whydah.
May: William Kidd marries Sarah Bradley Cox Oort in New York City.Salem witch trails are held from June through September. Nineteen are convicted and hanged.1693
February: The exiled James II issues privateering commissions against British shipping.
June 7: Earthquake, followed by a tidal wave, strikes Jamaica and part of Port Royal slides into the sea. More than 2,000 people die.
July: In reaction to James’ privateering commissions, the Privy Council proposes to treat captured rebel seamen as criminals.
August: Benjamin Fletcher becomes Governor of New York, and is later names Governor of Pennsylvania as well.
September: An Act for the Restraining and Punishing of Privateers and Pirates is passed.
- Nicholas Trott becomes Governor of the Bahamas.
- King William III opts to break with tradition and decides to try crews of rebel men-of-war not as prisoners of war, but as pirates and traitors.
- William & Mary College founded in Virginia, partly from confiscated pirate treasure.
April: Thomas Tew and the Amity arrive in Rhode Island after capturing a ship in the Red Sea that garnered each pirate £1,200.1694
July: Thomas Tew captures a warship, laden with treasure, belonging to the Indian Mughal Alamgir I.
October 19: Thomas Tew arrives at Madagascar aboard Amity.
December 23: Thomas Tew departs from Island of St. Marie for America.
February: The English try twelve privateers, sailing under commissions of the exiled King James II, for piracy and treason.1695
April: Thomas Tew returns to Newport, Rhode Island.
May 7: Henry Every leads a mutiny, seizes the Charles II, and becomes a pirate.
June-July: Major French invasion of Jamaica repulsed.
November: Governor Benjamin Fletcher of New York sells Thomas Tew a privateer’s commission for £300, and he returns to Madagascar.
January 26: William Kidd granted royal commission.
- Heyday of Madagascar as a pirate haven. It will continue to be so for four years.
- Adventure Galley built.
- Henry Every takes the Ganj-i-sawai near the Red Sea, netting each member of his crew £1,000.
- René Duguay-Trouin meets King Louis XIV of France after capturing three English East Indiamen.
March: Admiral Bernard Jean-Louis de Saint Jean, the Baron of Pointis, arrives at Petit Goâve to assume command of a combined force of French naval personnel and buccaneers to attack Cartagena.
English attack de Graaf’s base at Port-de-Paix, ransack the town, and take his wife and daughters hostage.2: The French navy and Caribbean buccaneers capture Cartagena.
30: After the French garrison withdraws, the buccaneers pillage Cartagena. Each man received 1,000 pieces of eight.
- Thomas Tew encounters Henry Every in the Red Sea.
- Thomas Tew is killed during a battle at sea.August 19: The governor of Maryland appoints the colony’s first wreckmaster for Somerset County.1696
September: Henry Avery captures the Gang-i-Sawai.
William Kidd receives a letter of marque to attack the French.
11: Amity arrives in Madagascar after death of Thomas Tew.
- Robert Culliford sails from Madagascar to plunder ships in the Indian Ocean.
- Nicholas Trott replaced as Governor of the Bahamas because of his dealings with pirates.
- William Kidd receives a letter of marque to hunt pirates.
- Act for the Prevention of Frauds, also known as the Jamaica Act, passed. Overturns a previous royal statute that insisted that pirates be tried in England. Henceforth vice-admiralty courts were to be established in America to try piracy cases.
April: Henry Every arrives at New Providence, Bahamas aboard Fancy.1697
July 17: Henry Every and his men are labeled "pirates" by the English.
August 10: A proclamation for the arrest of Henry Every is issued by the Lords Justices.
October 19: Six members of Henry Every's crew are indicted on charges of piracy. One of the witnesses for the defence during the trial was William Dampier. They are exonerated, but later retried on charges of mutiny and theft of the Charles II and found guilty.
6: The captured members of Every's crew are once again brought into court and charged with piracy.
25: Edward Forsyth, William Mays, William Bishop, James Lewis, and John Sparks – crewmembers of Henry Every – are hanged at Execution Dock having been convicted of mutiny.1698
January 28: William Kidd, aboard the Adventure Galley, arrives in Madagascar.
- William Dampier's A New Voyage Aoround the World is published.
- Saint Domingue buccaneers raid Cartagena.
- Under the Treaty of Ryswick, Spain cedes the western third of Hispaniola to France.
- First references to a black flag recorded in reports of privateering actions.
May 28: Joseph Dawson, convicted of piracy during the trial of the captured members of Every's crew, receives a pardon.
January: William Kidd captures the Quedah Merchant.
- William Kidd burns the Adventure Galley at Madagascar. Two months later, he sails for home aboard the Quedah Merchant.
- First proposal for radical solution to the problem of the pirates in Madagascar proposed to the Board of Trade by Adam Baldridge, a former pirate who traded with these pirates.
- Robert Culliford surrenders. He is tried and convicted of piracy, but pardoned.
April 2: Governor Fletcher is called home in disgrace. Richard Coote, First Lord Bellomont, becomes Governor of New York.
Summer: Natives of St. Mary's and Madagascar riseup against the pirates, kill some of them, and destroy the community.
September: Robert Culliford captures the Great Mohammed, a treasure ship belonging to the Mughal.
December 8: King William III issues a Proclamation of Clemency, also known as an Act of Grace, which pardons any English pirate who surrenders by July of 1699. Only two pirates are excluded from this blanket pardon: Henry Every and William Kidd.
- The Piracy Act allows officials in all British ports to seize, prosecute, and execute pirates.
- Isaac Newton becomes Master of the Royal Mint.
- William Dampier sets out to explore Australia for the British Admiralty.
- William Dampier’s Voyages and Descriptions is published.
- William Mason retires from piracy, having amassed a fortune of more than £30,000.
- Lewis Guittar, a French pirate in command of La Paix, and his men take seven prizes.
Return to timeline menu.
January: William Mace, who had sailed with Thomas Tew, is elected captain of the pirate ship Charming May.
April 29: Last day for pirates who had preyed in the Indian Ocean to accept the King's pardon. The two men exempted from this pardon were Henry Every and William Kidd.
July 6: Captain William Kidd is arrested at the home of Lord Bellomont.
March: William Kidd arrives in London to be tried for piracy.
- One pound of tea costs more than two weeks’ wages for labourer.
- Felipe V, King Louis XIV’s grandson, becomes King of Spain.
- Judge Samuel Sewall publishes The Selling of Joseph, a Memorial, which is the first pamphlet to condemn slavery in North America.
- Navy Captains Littleton and Passenger send over 100 pirates to London from Madagascar and Chesapeake Bay for trial.
July 8: First recorded reference to Jolly Roger when Emanuel Wynne, a French privateer turned pirate, flew one decorated with skull, crossed bones, and an hourglass.
- War of the Spanish Succession, also known as Queen Anne's War, begins.
- Dampier’s ship, HMS Roebuck, founders in storm off Ascension Island.
- Charles II of
Spaindies, and Louis XIV of installs his grandson on the Spanish throne, precipitating the War of the Spanish Succession, also known as Queen Anne’s War. It pits England, the Holy Roman Empire, Italy, Germany, Austria, and the Dutch Republic against France and Spain. Often considered the first world war in the modern era, it lasts until 1714 and after peace, it gives rise to a large upsurge in piracy. France
- Admiralty Courts established in English colonies. This allows officials to try pirates there, rather than transporting their captives to London for trial.
March: Lord Bellomont dies.May
- 8: William Kidd is tried and convicted of murder and piracy.
- 23: Captain William Kidd hangs twice at Execution Dock, London.1703
- Fire destroys Port Royal.
- Scheduled mail service between England and the West Indies begins.
French and Spanish forces destroy Nassau.1704
June: Portugal joins the Grand Alliance against the French.1705
- Alexander Selkirk is marooned on Juan Fernandez Island.
- The Boston News-Letter becomes the first newspaper to print names of seamen departing on legitimate sailing ventures and who are later forced to join pirate crews during the voyage. This information is later used as evidence if the seaman is captured. Other colonial newspapers adopt this practice as well.
- England captures Gibraltar.
John Campbell, postmaster of Boston, begins publishing the Boston News-Letter, America's first newspaper. Over the years this newspaper carries many accounts of piracy. Its run lasts until 1776.May 24: Lieutenant Governor Thomas Povey issues general warrant for arrest of John Quelch.
June19: Trial against John Quelch for piracy, robbery, and murder opens in Boston.July: Thomas Green, commander of the English merchantman Worcester, arrested for piracy in the Indian Ocean. Although there is no solid evidence for the charges, Scotland convicts and executes him.
30: Quelch and those of his crew convicted hang for piracy. One of the men, Miller, had also been a member of Every's crew when they captured the Gang-i-Sawai.
- Governor of Massachusetts charges Rhode Island with consorting with pirates.
- John Quelch tried for piracy in Massachusetts.
- The British East India Company institutes a convoy system.
- William Dampier completes his second circumnavigation of the world.
- Marquis of Carmarthen publishes Reasons for Reducing the Pirates at Madagascar.
- Scotland and England are united as one country under the Act of Union.1709
August 1: Woodes Rogers’ expedition to capture a Manila galleon departs from Britain.
- The English Prize Act withdraws the required 1/5 share of plunder due the treasury.
- Accompanying Woodes Rogers, William Dampier sets off on his third circumnavigation of the world. This voyage lasts until 1711.
The Life and Adnvetures of Captain John Avery, a fictional account of Henry Every's exploits, is published.1710
January: Alexander Selkirk is rescued by Woodes Rogers after spending four years and four months marooned on Juan Fernandez Islands.
February 13: Alexander Selkirk departs Juan Fernandez Island with Woodes Rogers’ expedition.
December: Woodes Rogers attacks the Nuestra Señora del la Encarnacion Diesngaño, a Manila treasure galleon with an estimated value of 1,600,000 pieces of eight.
- Alexander Spotswood appointed Governor of Virginia.
- William Dampier completes his third circumnavigation of the globe.
October 14: Woodes Rogers’ expedition returns home after circumnavigating the world and capturing a Manila galleon.1712
- Kanhoji Angria captures the East India Company’s Governor of Bombay’s private yacht.
- Woodes Rogers publishes his account of his voyage around the world, which began in 1708 and ended in 1711.
- A play, loosely based on a story about Henry Every, opens on Drury Lane, England.
August 28: Powerful hurricane strikes Jamaica.1713
April: The Treaty of Utrecht ends the War of the Spanish Succession between England and France. Spain was to lose Portugal and her territories in the Netherlands. France continues to fight her other enemies until the following year.
- The War of the Spanish Succession ends.
- The British pass an act authorizing customs officers and justices of the peace to rescue distressed vessels.
- Parliament offers £20,000 prize to anyone who can figure out how to calculate longitude.
- France and Spain raid Bahamas. Nassau sacked three times.
- German Elector of Hanover becomes King George I of the United Kingdom.
March: Woodes Rogers visits Madagascar.1715
- Samuel Bellamy goes on the account.
- Moroccan corsairs capture Thomas Pellow. He converts to Islam and becomes a corsair, but eventually renounces the Muslim faith and returns to England in 1738.
July 30: Annual Plate Fleet encounters hurricane near Sebastian, Florida. Ten out of the eleven ships are lost. The lost treasure is valued at £1,572,000.
- Pirates attack the salvage camp, netting 60,000 pieces of eight.
- Benjamin Hornigold arrives in New Providence. Before long, this Bahamian island is a pirate haven.1717
May: Benjamin Hornigold refuses to attack English ships and is deposed in favour of Samuel Bellamy.
- Charles Vane becomes a pirate.
- Benjamin Hornigold and his men capture a sloop. They decide to keep it, and Blackbeard becomes captain of his first pirate vessel.
- Samuel Bellamy and Paulsgrave Williams depart for the Spanish fleet wreckage off the coast of Florida
- The first lighthouse is erected at Cape Henlopen. It’s constructed of wood and burns whale oil.
- Samuel Bellamy and Olivier le Vasseur, also known as La Buse (The Buzzard) team up.
November 9: Samuel Bellamy captures the Bonetta. One of the passengers onboard is John King, who threatens to kill himself if his mother refuses to allow him to join the pirates. King becomes the youngest known pirate.
December: Samuel Bellamy captures the Sultana. He takes her as his new flagship and Paulsgrave Williams becomes captain of the Marianne.
February: Samuel Bellamy captures the Whydah.
- Stede Bonnet becomes a pirate after purchasing a 10-gun sloop, which he names Revenge.
- Olivier le Vasseur (La Buse) sails in consort with Christopher Moody.
- Benjamin Hornigold is the ringleader of the pirates on New Providence.
April 26: Northeasterly gale drives Samuel Bellamy’s Whydah onto the shoals of Nantucket. About 146 pirates die, including Bellamy and John King, the youngest known pirate.
August 27: Puritan minister, Cotton Mather, delivers a sermon entitled Instructions to the Living, from the Conditions of the Dead two months before the survivors of Bellamy’s crew are tried for piracy.
SeptemberStede Bonnet encounters a Spanish man-of-war, is badly wounded in the battle, but escapes.October: Those pirates who survived the wrecking of Bellamy’s Whydah are tried in Boston.
5: King George issues a proclamation "for Suppressing of Pyrates."
December: A copy of the King’s Grace arrives in New Providence. Two hundred nine pirates accept the King’s Grace, including Benjamin Hornigold and Henry Jennings.
- 15: Six members of Samuel Bellamy’s crew are hanged at Boston.
- 17: Blackbeard captures the French slaver Concorde off St. Vincent and renames her Queen Anne’s Revenge.
- 28: Blackbeard attacks Guadeloupe.
- Twenty-two pirates tried at Bombay.
- Edward England accepts a royal pardon from Woodes Rogers, but within a year, he returns to pirating.
January 6: King George issues commission to Woodes Rogers to rid the Bahamas of pirates and names him Governor of the colony.
February: Benjamin Hornigold accepts the King’s pardon. He ventually becomes a pirate hunter.
March: Blackbeard convinces Stede Bonnet to join him.
June: Blackbeard intentionally grounds the Queen Anne's Revenge in Beaufort Inlet.
- Blackbeard blockades Charles Town Harbor. He ransoms leading citizens for a chest of medicine.
- Stede Bonnet sails to Bath Town to acquire a king’s pardon from Governor Eden.
- Charles Vane voices opposition to Woodes Rogers coming to New Providence in the Bahamas as Governor.
- Governor Eden of North Carolina pardons Blackbeard, who spends much of his time in Bath Town or at Ocracoke Island.
- 10: Alexander Spotswood of Virginia issues proclamation requiring any former pirates coming to Virginia to turn in their weapons to a justice of the peace or military official. They were also not permitted to associate in groups larger than three.
- 26: Governor Woodes Rogers arrives in New Providence to rid the colony of pirates.
- Charles Vane and Christopher Condent flee New Providence, refusing to accept the King’s Grace.
- Under the leadership of Charles Vane, pirates blockade the port of Charleston, South Carolina.
- 30: King George’s proclamation that Jennings, Carnegie, Ashworth, Wills, and others are pirates arrives in the Caribbean.
- Howel Davis leads mutiny aboard the Buck and goes on the account
- 4: Last day for pirates to surrender and receive a full pardon for all crimes committed prior to 5 January 1718.
- 27: Colonel William Rhett captures Stede Bonnet at Cape Fear.
- Charles Vane visits Blackbeard at Ocracoke.
- Governor Alexander Spotswood secretly meets with Captains Brand and Gordon to plan an attack to rid the Americas of Blackbeard.
- 3: Stede Bonnet and the other captured pirates arrive in Charles Town, South Carolina.
- 24: Stede Bonnet and David Heriot escape.
- 28: Trials of pirates captured from Edward Thatch’s and Stede Bonnet’s crews begin at Charleston, South Carolina. Nicholas Trott presides over trial
- Pirates oust Charles Vane as captain, and Calico Jack Rackham is elected captain in his place.
- 5: Colonel Rhett kills Heriot and recaptures Bonnet. They return to Charles Town.
- 7: Twenty-nine of Bonnet’s crew are convicted of piracy.
- 8: Twenty-two pirates are hanged at White Point near Charleston, South Carolina. William Rhett recaptures Stede Bonnet.
- 10: Stede Bonnet stands trial for piracy. After two days, he is convicted.
- 12: Trials of pirates captured from Edward Thatch’s and Stede Bonnet’s crews end at Charleston, South Carolina. Stede Bonnet is found guilty of piracy.
- 17: Lt. Maynard and his men set sail on their mission to capture Blackbeard.
- 22: Blackbeard killed in battle with Lieutenant Maynard.
- 24: Virginia assembly passes the Act to Encourage the Apprehending and Destroying of Pirates.
- Britain and France declare war on Spain in what becomes known as the War of the Quadruple Alliance.
- Mass hanging of pirates in New Providence.
- 10: Stede Bonnet is hanged for piracy at White Point near Charleston, South Carolina.
January 3: Lt. Maynard returns to Hampton Roads, Virginia with Blackbeard’s head hanging from the Adventure’s bowsprit.
- Benjamin Hornigold’s ship vanishes and entire crew is presumed lost.
- Daniel Defoe publishes Robinson Crusoe, which is based on Alexander Selkirk’s tale.
- Anne Bonny meets Calico Jack Rackham in New Providence.
- Woodes Rogers, Governor of the Bahamas, uncovers a plot to kill him.
March 12: Fifteen members of Blackbeard’s crew stand trial in Williamsburg, Virginia. One is found not guilty. Of the others, all but one, Israel Hands, are executed for piracy.
- The war between Britain and Spain ends.
- 13: George Shelvocke, aboard the Speedwell, sets off on a three-year privateering adventure that takes him around the world. Commander of the expedition, aboard the Success, is Captain John Clipperton, who once sailed with William Dampier.
- 17: Richard Worley is hanged for piracy.
- A hurricane strikes the Bahamas Channel and the ship of Benjamin Hornigold and his crew founders. No one survives.
- Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe is published. He based his story on the marooning of privateer Alexander Selkirk.
- Christopher Condent uses St. Mary's Island, Madagascar for his base of operation.
- 1: Thomas Cocklyn captures slave ship captained by William Snelgrave at mouth of Sierre Leone River.
May: Woodes Rogers grants Calico Jack Rackham a pardon.
- 6: Bartholomew Roberts becomes a pirate after Howel Davis captures the slaver he works on.
- Davis is killed on Principe, off West Africa, and Roberts is elected to replace him as captain.
July: Bartholomew Roberts captures the Marquis del Campo and renames her Royal Rover.
September 5: Last day for pirates to submit themselves to a representative of the British Crown to gain a pardon for all acts of piracy committed prior to 5 January 1718.
November: Charles Vane is imprisoned in Jamaica.
- Calico Jack Rackham captures a Dutch ship. One of the crew, Mark Read (Mary Read), signs his articles of agreement.
- Anne Bonny and Jack Rackham fall in love and seek an annulment of Anne’s marriage to James Bonny.
- Christopher Condent captures an Arabian vessel near Bombay, India that nets the crew £150,000 in treasure.
- Kanhoji Angria terrorizes East India Company ships in the Indian Ocean.
- Bartholomew Roberts killed in battle with British Royal Navy.
March 22: Charles Vane is convicted of piracy and is hanged at Gallows Point, Jamaica a week later. The War of the Quadruple Alliance ends.
- The War of the Quadruple Alliance ends.
- 24: A Spanish invasion fleet is sighted off Nassau, but the attack is thwarted.
June 21: Bartholomew Roberts arrives in Trepassey, Newfoundland
August 22: Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and six others steal a sloop William and go on the account.
- Bartholomew Roberts captures a French fishing vessel and renames her the first Royal Fortune.
- Edward England attacks the East Indiaman Cassandra. Captain James McRae escapes and later describes the attack.
October 22: Calico Jack Rackham, Mary Read, Anne Bonny, and others captured.
- 16: Calico Jack Rackham and the male members of his crew are tried and convicted of piracy at St. Jago de la Bega (Spanish Town), Jamaica.
- 17: Calico Jack Rackham and his mates are hanged at Gallows Point.
- 28: Anne Bonny and Mary Read tried and convicted of piracy. Although sentenced to hang, they plead their bellies and their executions are stayed until after the births of their children.
- Robert Baldwin publishes The Tryals of Captain John Rackham and Other Pirates in Jamaica.
- William Kennedy captured in London.
- Fiery Dragon catches fire and sinks at Madagascar.
- John Taylor marooned on islet off Madagascar.
- HMS Winchelsea captures and hangs 150 pirates off Guinea.
- George Lowther leads a mutiny and goes on the account.
- George Lowther and Edward Low meet in Cayman Islands and join together to hunt.
- Woodes Rogers returns to England and is arrested for not paying his debts.
- Pirates remove Edward England from the captaincy and maroon him with three others on Mauritius.
- British warships destroy pirate havens at Madagascar, while the French destroy pirate bases in Maritius and La Réunion.
- 22: Charles Vane is tried for piracy in Jamaica.
- 29: Charles Vane is hanged at Gallows Point, Port Royal.
- Thomas Anstis and others of Bartholomew Roberts’ men desert and strike out on their own as pirates.
- Thomas Anstis captures John Phillips, a carpenter. He eventually escapes and returns to Newfoundland.
- 28: Mary Read dies in prison, possibly from fever. She's buried in St. Catherine's Cemetery.
- Woodes Rogers leaves Nassau for England. One month later a new governor, George Phenney, is appointed.
- 12: Bartholomew Roberts, aboard Royal Fortune, arrives off mouth of Senegal River in Africa.
- 3: William Kennedy convicted of piracy and sentenced to hang.
- 21: William Kennedy executed at Execution Dock, Wapping, as is Howell Davis.
- 8: Bartholomew Roberts acquires the Onslow and renames her the third Royal Fortune.
- Shelvocke arrives off the coast of California.
November: Shelvocke arrives off the coast of China.1722
Joseph Mansfield tried for piracy.1723
February 10: Bartholomew Roberts killed during battle with the British Royal Navy.
- 11: Bartholomew Roberts in Whydah, West Africa.
- 13: Bartholomew Roberts leaves Whydah one day before Captain Ogle arrives.
April 20: Final pirate trial for followers of Bartholomew Roberts tried at Cape Coast Castle. Fifty-four of Bartholomew Roberts’ men are sentenced to hang, while thirty-seven others are sentenced to work as indentured servants. Seventy-four others are acquitted. Fifty-two black pirates are sold into slavery.
- 28: Survivors of Bartholomew Roberts’ crew are tried for piracy at Cape Coast Castle, Africa.
- 31: First followers of Bartholomew Roberts’ convicted. 14 found guilty, 6 immediately hanged.
July: Edward Low plunders thirteen vessels near Marblehead.
- 6: Pirate surgeon George Wilson dies.
- 28: George Lowther and Edward Low part company.
- 1: George Shelvocke returns from his round-the-world, privateering adventure.
- 28: Hurricane strikes Port Royal five days after 19 pirates arrive. More than 40 ships sink in harbour. One third of town destroyed.
- Rhode Island tries 36 pirates and finds 28 of them guilty.
April: Captain Fenn and other pirates captured at Tobago.1724
June: Pirates kill their captain, Thomas Anstis, then surrender to Dutch authorites in Curaço.
August 29: John Phillips and four others seize schooner off Newfoundland and go on the account.
- 10: Captain Peter Solgard, HMS Greyhound, engages Edward Low’s Ranger, but Low escapes capture.
- 19: Charles Harris and 25 pirates hang in Newport, Rhode Island. Joseph Libbey, who was abducted the previous year along with Philip Ashton, is among them. All were all former members of Edward Low’s crew. This is the largest number of pirates to be hanged at one time.
November: 11 pirates from George Lowther’s crew hang on St. Kitts.Ned Low disappears after a year of bloody pirate attacks, or the French hang him on Martinique after his crew forces him off their ship and a French vessel captures him.1726
April 15: John Phillips, who decides to return to the sweet trade, captures the Squirrel. Aboard that merchant ship is John Fillmore, the great-grandfather of Millard Fillmore (13th President of the United States), and with the help of others, Fillmore retakes the ship. Phillips is thrown overboard.
June 2: John Rose Archer and William White hanged at Hudson's Point.
- 12: John Phillips' crew arrested and tried for piracy.
- 24: Captain Johnson' A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates is published.
- 27: William Fly leads successful mutiny aboard the Elizabeth, in which Captain Green and his mate are thrown overboard, and becomes a pirate.
November 3: John Gow and several mates aboard the Caroline mutiny and go on the account.
- 3: Forced men take back their vessel and take William Fly and others prisoner. Fly and two other pirates will hang in Boston, Massachusetts.
- 10: Benjamin Colman, a Presbyterian minister, delivers a sermon at the request of two convicted pirates in Boston. They are members of William Fly’s crew.
May 27: William Fly leads a mutiny during night aboard Elizabeth. After killing several crew members, including captain, the pirates rechristened the ship Fame's Revenge.1728
July: William Fly hanged in Boston.
July 16: Captain John Massey is hanged at Execution Dock in London after his conviction for piracy.
February: John Gow and his fellow pirates are captured and imprisoned in Marshalsea Prison in London.1729
May 26: Gow and the other pirates are brought to trial for piracy.
June 11: Gow and six others are hanged for piracy.
October 18: Woodes Rogers is appointed to his second term as Governor of the Bahamas.Kanhoji Angria dies.1730
August 25: Woodes Rogers arrive in Nassau to begin his second term as Governor of the Bahamas.
- French authorities apprehend and execute Olivier La Buse on Réunion Island.
- End of the golden age of piracy.
- Woodes Rogers dies in Nassau.
- Alexander Spotswood dies.
John Julian, one of the survivors of the sinking of the Whydah, kills a bounty hunter after his escape from slavery. He is executed for murder.1734
Captain William Snelgrave's A New Account of Some Parts of Guinea and the Slave Trade is published. It includes his experiences as a pirate captive.1740
War of the Austrian Succession, also known as the War of Jenkins' Ear, begins.1745
Grog -- a mixture of rum, tea or water, and lime juice -- is served aboard Royal Navy vessels for the first time.
June 7: Alexander Spotswood dies of fever in Annapolis, Maryland.September 21: Battle of Prestonpans, near Edinburgh. Jacobite Army routes Hanoverian Army in 10 minutes.1746
April 16: Jacobite Army defeated at Culloden, Scotland during the Rising of 1745. Last Jacobite attempt to restore the Royal House of Stuart to the British throne.1748
The signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle brings to an end the War of Austrian Succession between England, France, and Spain.1749
Chaloner Ogle, the man who took down Bartholomew Roberts and his pirates, becomes Commander-in-Chief of the British Navy.1750
Robert Maynard dies in England.1752
England adopts Gregorian calendar.1756
May 15: Seven Years War (French and Indian War) begins when England declares war on France.1758
The War of the Austrian Succession ends.1763
June 12: Siege of Louisbourg (Nova Scotia) begins.
- Seven Years’ War ends.
- Florida cedes much of its North American territory to Britain, while Spain cedes East and West Florida in Treaty of Paris.Cheng I (Ching Yih) is born to a piratical Chinese family.1768
February 9: The British Board of Longitude swards the £10,000 prize to John Harrison. His chronometer makes it possible to determine longitude at sea.
Fredrick af Chapman, a Swedish naval architect, publishes Architectura Navalis Mercatoria.1770
June 10: After the British seize John Hancock's Liberty for smuggling, a riot breaks out in Boston, Massachusetts.
August 26: Captain Cook sets sail aboard HMS Endeavor on first scientific and exploratory expedition. The voyage lasts nearly three years.
March 5: Boston Massacre.1772
June 9: The HMS Gaspee runs aground in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.1773
Boston Tea Party: Dressed like Mohawks, American patriots dump 342 tea chests into Boston Harbor as a protect against the tax on tea and having to pay the tax without representation.1775
- American Revolution begins. (Also called the American War of Independence or the American War)
- Continental Congress commissions privateers during the War for Independence between American colonies and Britain.
March 23: Patrick Henry delivers his "Give me liberty, or give me death!" speech in Virginia.
April 18-19: Paul Revere rides at midnight to warn about the approach of British troops. The Battle of Lexington and Concord occur soon after. These two events are the opening skirmishes of the American Revolutionary War.
May: Daniel Boone founds Boonesborough, Kentucky. His family arrives there in September.
June 17: Battle of Bunker Hill or Battle of Breed's Hill takes place in Massachusetts. It is the first major battle in the American Revolutionary War.
December: John Paul Jones receives an officer’s commission in the Continental Navy.March: The British evacuate Boston, Massachusetts.1777
April: Continental Congress begins issuing privateering commissions.7: Captain John Barry, in command of the Lexington, defeats the HMS Edward, the first American naval capture of a British warship during the American Revolution.
July 4: Congress approves the Declaration of Independence.
September 7: Turtle, an American submersible, attempts to put a time bomb on the hull of Admiral Richard Howe's flagship, HMS Eagle. First submarine attack.
- 6: British troops seal off Narragansett Bay, severing Providence, Rhode Island’s access to the Atlantic Ocean.
- 25: George Washington and his army cross the Delaware.
- 26: The Continental Army wins its firts major victory against the British Army at Trenton, New Jersey.The Continental Army winters at Valley Forge.1778
March: The British Parliament legitimizes privateering.The British Royal Navy begins to sheath the hulls of ships with copper.1780
February 6: The United States and France sign a treaty of alliance.The Moonlight Battle or Battle of Cape St. Vincent takes place.1781
July: Individual states cease issuing privateering commissions.
October 2: Major John Andre is hanged as a spy.
- The Battle of the Chesapeaker, or the Battle of the Capes, occurs.
- Cornwallis surrenders to Washington at Yorktown.
- The Battle of the Saints takes place over four days.
- Samuel Stearns releases the first American nautical almanac published in Boston, Massachusetts. Its title is The Universal Kalendar for the year 1783.
1783Spain reclaims Florida.1784
Charles Town, South Carolina changes its name to Charleston.
Spring: American Revolution ends.
March 10: The last naval battle of the American Revolution takes place off Havana, Cuba. It involves the Alliance and two British frigates and a sloop-of-war.
July 15: The Marquis de Jouffroy d'Abbans demonstrates his experimental steamship, the Pyroscaphe, on the river Saone at Lyon.
September 3: The United States and Great Britain sign the Treaty of Paris, ending the American Revolutionary War.
- Dutch invade Riau.
- Benjamin Franklin invents bifocals.
The American disbands the US Navy and the US Marine Corps.
- British establish settlement at Penang.
- Morocco becomes the first Barbary State to recognize the United States when the two counties sign a peace treaty.
The thirteen states in the fledgling United States of America ratify the Constitution.
January 9: Boston Sail Cloth Factory, the first United States mill to make sailcloth, opens.
January 26: England establishes first penal colony in Australia.
- The Order of Saint John departs the Maltese Islands.April 14: George Washington becomes the first President of the United States.1790
April 28: Mutineers, led by Fletcher Christian, seize HMS Bounty from her captain, William Bligh. Bligh and 18 crewmember loyal to the captain are set adrift in a lifeboat.
July 14: Storming of the Bastille in Paris, France. The French Revolution begins.
October 8: Rachel Ward is hanged in Boston for murder.
The Spanish Armament, also known as the Nootka Crisis, takes place.1791
The slave revolt on Saint Domingue destroys 180 sugar plantations and 900 estates that produce coffee, cotton, and indigo. Two hundred whites and 10,000 slaves die.
- John Paul Jones dies in France.
- The dey of Algiers authorizes his corsairs to attack American ships in the Mediterranean.
- The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars between England and France begin. (This period in British history is also called the French War or the Great War.) Although there were brief periods of peace, these nations were at war until 1815, a period of twenty-three years.
September 12: A court martial convenes aboard HMS Duke to determine the fate of nine mutineers from HMS Bounty.
- The Reign of Terror begins.
- The French Republic adopts a new calendar of twelve months with thirty days each. It remains in effect until 1805.
- Barbary corsairs seize 11American merchant ships between October and November. One of these is the brig Betsey, which Murad Reis, the admiral of Tunis' fleet of corsairs, converts into a warship mounting 28 guns.
January 21: King Louis XVI of France is beheaded.1794
February 1: Britain declares war on France.
March 7: France declares war on Spain.
March 10: The Revolutionary Tribune is established in France.
April 19: The Committee of Public Safety (CPS) is created in France. By midsummer, every man, woman, and child, as well as every object, is conscripted for the war effort. The CPS obtains the power of summary justice to combat French rebels and traitors to the Republic.
September 17: France passes the Law of Suspects, which widens the definition of "suspect."
October 16: Queen Marie Antoinette of France is beheaded.
- The Jay Treaty between the United States and Great Britain prohibits French warships and privateers from using American ports and selling prizes there, and permits British ships to sezie enemy goods aboard neutral American vessels.March 15: George Washington signs the Naval Armament Act that establishes the U.S. Navy because of "depredations committed by the Algerine corsairs on the commerce of the United States." He also authorizes the construction of six naval frigates. The first ship will not be launched until 1797.1795
May 26: France decrees that no British or Hanoverian prisoners will be taken. They will be killed.
May 28: The first engagement, in what becomes known as the Glorious First of June, opens between the British Royal Navy and the French Republic's Navy. It is a tactical win for Britain, but the grain covoy from the United States succeeds in reaching France. Both sides declare victory.
July 12: Horatio Nelson, commander of HMS Agamennon, is wounded during the attack on Calvi, Corsica. The splinter caused the loss of sight in one eye.
July 26: Maximilien Robespierre gives his last speech to the National Convention in France.
July 27: Robespierre is arrested.
July 28: Robespierre is beheaded. During the next two days 105 of his followers are also executed, ending the Reign of Terror in France.
- British establish settlement at Malacca.
- The Directory assumes power, ending the French Revolution.July: Louis XVII, the yound son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, dies in prison.1796
- The United States begins issuing "protections" (certificates of citizenship) to sailors. The documents are meant to prove that the individuals are Americans, but the issuance of these certificates is easily abused, and they are often ignored when British naval officers press the holders of these protections into the Royal Navy.
April 13: America, a ship captained by Jacob Crowninshield, arrives in New York City from Bengal, India. Her cargo includes the first elephant imported to the United States.
- Sailors in the Royal Navy mutiny at Spithead for better pay and other improvements to conditions aboard His Majesty's ships.
- The Battle of Cape St. Vincent occurs.
- Quasi-War begins between the United States and France.
- British Parliament passes the Convoy Act of 1798, requiring all merchantmen to sail in protected convoys.
June 12: Malta surrenders to Napoleon.
August: Under command of Horatio Nelson, a British squadron destroys the French fleet during the Battle of the Nile.
The British Admiralty publishes the first official signal book for the Royal Navy.
February 9: Opening America's Quasi-War with France, the USS Constellation captures the French frigate L'Insurgent.
November: Napoleon seizes power in France. He becomes First Consul of France.
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1800After a two-year siege, the British defeat the French and occupy the Maltese Islands.1801
March 28: The USS Essex becomes the first American naval ship to round the Cape of Good Hope.
June: Washington City becomes the capital of the United States.
April 2: The Royal Navy, under the command of Admiral Nelson, defeats the Danish fleet. It is known as the Battle of Copenhagen.
- Zheng Yi marries prostitute, who becomes known as Zheng Yi Sao (Cheng I Sao).
- Quasi-War ends.
- President Thomas Jefferson sends the U.S. Navy to blockade Tripoli. America's First Barbary War will continue until 1805.
March 25: The Treaty of Amiens (also known as the Peace of Amiens) temporarily ends hostilities between Britain and France.
August 21: The West India Docks in London opens. It is for shipping to and from the West Indies.
April 30: Treat to purchase the Louisiana Territory from France for $15,000,000. The United States nearly doubles in size.1804
October 31: USS Philadelphia runs aground in Tripoli harbour and William Bainbridge surrenders the ship. The 365 men aboard become prisoners, and the Tripolitans refloat the frigate for their own use.
- Zheng Yi (Cheng I) blockades Macao.
- Former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr face each other in a duel. Hamilton dies.
February 16: Lieutenant Stephen Decatur and a handful of volunteers sail into Tripoli harbor and blow up the captured USS Philadelphia.
April : Zheng Yi (Cheng I) blockades the port of Macao for two months.
MayDecember 2: Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of France.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark head west to map the new Louisiana Territory at the behest of Thomas Jefferson.
18: Napoleon declares himself Emperor of France.
1805Zheng Yi (Cheng I) and seven other leading pirates sign confederation pact to impose law and order over unruly Chinese pirates. He divides this force into six fleets, each known by the color of the flag it flies.1806
January 30: London Dock opens to shipping. It covers 100 acres and can accommodate 500 vessels.
June 5: Captain William Bainbridge and 292 officers and men of the USS Philadelphia are released from imprisonment in Tripoli.
October 21: Naval fleets of France and Spain battle the British fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar. The British win, but Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson dies aboard HMS Victory. He is buried at St. Paul's Cathedral in London the following January.
November 11: Napoleon issues the Berlin Decree, which states that he intends to blockade Great Britain and forbids the importation of British goods into Europe, but he lacks the means to enforce it before the Fall of 1807.
- Cai Qian’s pirates defeated by Qing army and local militia in China, but he escapes.
- Robert Fulton pens a manuscript entitled Submarine Navigation and Attack.
- The British Admiralty rescinds its orders that sentences of a dozen or more lashes with the cat-o'-nine-tails must be preceded by a court-martial.
March 2: Congress bans the importation of slaves.
- Zheng Yi dies during storm at sea. His widow, Zheng Yi Sao, and Zhang Bao assume command of Chinese pirate confederation.
- The Chinese pirate confederation’s Red Flag Fleet numbers 300 junks and 20,000 to 40,000 men.
- Britain abolishes slavery trade throughout empire, but continues in colonies.
June 21: HMS Leopard hails the USS Chesapeake and demands that Captain James Barron permit the Royal Navy to board and search for deserters. After Barron refuses, Captain Salusbury Pryce Humphreys orders the firing of three broadsides on the Chesapeake, killing three and wounding eighteen. Barron surrenders, and the British seize four sailors aboard the American frigate. One of those taken was indeed a deserter, Jenkin Ratford, who is hanged from the yardarm of a ship in Halifax. The other three were Americans were imprisoned, where one of them died. Five years passed before the other two return to the deck of the Chesapeake.
November 11: The British Orders in Council requires all neutral shipping to pass through British ports, where the vessels must obtain a license and pay duty on the cargo before preceding to any European port controlled by Napoleon. Any neutral vessel failing to adhere to this edict is subject to seizure.
December 22: Congress passes the Embargo Act, which prohibits all exports to foreign ports. Foreign ships may still put in at American ports, but when they set sail, their cargo holds must be empty.
- United States bans the importation of slaves.
- France invades Spain.1810
- The Chinese pirate confederation ends.
- British forces (based in India) destroy the pirate stronghold at Ras al-Khaimah.
March 1: Congress repeals the Embargo Act of 1807. The Non-Intercourse Act, prohibiting American ships from trading with Britain and France, is instituted.
April: Governor-General Bai Ling institutes ancient strategy known as “extermination and appeasement” (military campaigns plus amnesty and rewards) to pirates who surrender in China.
October: Cai Qian dies during battle with Chinese imperial navy.
- 13: Ned Jordan and others take control of the Three Sisters and become pirates.
- 21: September
- Zheng Yi Sao (Cheng I Sao) captures seven British seamen, inclusing Richard Glasspole, who later writes of his experiences during his captivity.
November 24: Ned Jordan hangs.Jean Laffite becomes leader of the Baratarians.1811
February: The Chinese government offers pirates amnesty.
April: Zheng Yi Sao and Zhang Bao, with over 17,000 pirates, surrender.
April 11: Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to Elba.1812
July 5: Venezuela is the first republic in Spanish America.
- 7: Battle of Tippicanoe, which pushes Tecumseh and his followers to ally themselves with the British in the upcoming War of 1812. William Henry Harrison destroys Prophet's Town.
- 11: Cartagena declares its independence from Spain.
- 1: Congress reopens trade with Great Britain and France.
- 11: Prime Minister Perceval of Great Britain is assassinated.
July 17: The British capture Fort Michilimackinac on Lake Huron from the Americans.
- 18:The United States declares war on Great Britain. It is the closest vote on a formal declaration of war in American history. Members in the House of Representatives vote 79 to 49 for war, while the Senate votes 19 to 13.
- 22 - August 4: Riots in Baltimore, Maryland
- 23: The USS President engages HMS Belvidera in the opening battle of the War of 1812.
- 23: France invades Russia. The Grande Armee numbers 422,000 men, but battle casualties, disease, and desertion will reduce that number to at most 100,000 soldiers when Napoleon enters Moscow three months later on 14 September. They find the capital abandoned and burned. Unable to find sufficient shelter and food for the winter, the army retreats on 19 October. When it reaches Poland on 14 December, only about 10,000 remain alive.
- 13: Under the command of Captain David Port, the USS Essex captures HMS Alert -- the first ship captured by the Americans during the War of 1812.
- 15: Potawatomi lays seige to Fort Dearborn. Captain William Hull evacuates, but most of the Americans are killed or captured within a few hours. Three days later Hull surrenders Fort Detroit to Major-General Isaac Brock.
- 19: USS Constitution, under the command of Captain Isaac Hull, destroys HMS Guerriere during a fifteen-minute battle. When British shot “bounced” of the Constitution’s hull, she earned the nickname “Old Ironsides.” This is the first major sea battle of the war.
December 26: The Lordships of the British Admiralty call for "a complete and vigorous Blockade" of the United States.
- 13: Britain declares war on the United States. The first major battle of the War of 1812, the Battle of Queenston Heights, is fought near Queenston, Ontario. The invading Americans eventually surrendered to the British. During the battle Major-General Isaac Brock, lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, is killed while leading a charge. American Lieutenant Colonel Winfield Scott is captured.
- 19 - December 14: French Army withdraws from Russia.
- 22: Joshua Barney, aboard the privateer schooner Rossie, returns to Baltimore after capturing eighteen British vessels valued at $1.5 million since his departure from the port in July.
John Barss, Jr., commander of the privateer Liverpool Packet, captured.
February 6: Great Britain proclaims blockade of Delaware and Chesapeake Bays.
3: Congress passes the Foreign Seamen's Act, which stipulates that once the war ends, all foreigners will no longer be permitted to serve aboad any American ship. Congress also authorizes any citizen to attack an armed British vessel without a privateering commission; if a person sank a British vessel, that person would be paid one half of the ship's value.
15: The USS Essex arrives at Valparaiso, Chile and becomes the first American warship to enter the Pacific.
April 27: American army and naval forces capture York, the provincial capital of Canada.
- 3: British Admiral Cockburn continues his pillaging of the Chesapeake and attacks Havre de Grace, Maryland.
- 26: Great Britains extends its blockade of the American coast to major ports in the middle and southern states.
- 29: The British attack the American naval base at Sackets Harbor, New York, but are turned back.
June 1: HMS Shannon defeats USS Chesapeake. Captain James Lawrence is fatally wounded. His dying command: Don't give up the ship!
September 10: Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry commands the American squadron on Lake Erie that captures an entire British squadron at Put-in-Bay, Ohio.
- 10: British forces attack St. Michaels, Maryland.
- 30: Red Eagle (William Weatherford) leads the Red Sticks in an attack on Fort Mims on the Alabama River. 400 of the 500 people in the fort are massacred.
5: Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, dies at the Battle of the Thames during the War of 1812.
16-18: Battle of Leipzig. 120,000 men are killed or wounded, nearly half of which are French. Napoleon retreats, but refuses to admit defeat.
- 9: Major General Andrew Jackson attacks the Creeks at Talladega, Alabama. Jackson won't defeat the Creeks until his forces rout them at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama on 27-28 March 1814.
- 24: Governor William Claiborne of Louisiana issues a proclamation offering a $500 reward for the capture of Jean Laffite. Laffite counters with a $1000 bounty for the governor's deliverance to Laffite at Bartaria.
December 30: A British packet arrives in Annapolis, Maryland with a request to begin peace negotiations.
- Lord Byron’s poem, "The Corsair," published.
- Robert Fulton's Demolgos is the first steampowered warship.
- 9: The Allies pass the Treaty of Chaumont, which pledges to return France to her prerevolutionary boundaries.
- 27: Andrew Jackson attacks and defeats the Red Sticks at Horseshoe Bend.
- 28: Captain James Hillyar of HMS Phoebe leads the attack against the USS Essex under the command of Captain David Porter.
- 30: Paris, France surrenders to the Allies.
- 11: Napoleon Bonaparte abdicates.
- 25: Great Britain extends its blockade of the American coast to include New England.
- 28: Napoleon is exiled to Elba. This frees British regulars and their officers to deploy to the United States and Canada.
May 30: European allies and France sign the 1st Treaty of Paris, suspending the Napoleonic Wars.
- 8: Peace negotiations between the United States and Great Britain begin in Ghent.
- 9: Andrew Jackson forces the Creeks to sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which cedes 22,000,000 acres to the United States.
- 19: The British land at Benedict, Maryland under the command of Major-General Robert Ross.
- 24: After routing the American army at the Battle of Bladensburg, the British army marches into Washington, DC. Before the invaders left the next evening, they had torched the President's Mansion (known today as the White House), the Capitol, the Library of Congress, and other buildings. A hurricane or toronado also strikes the city, causing additional damage, but the rain douses the flames. The British evacuate the next day after burning more public buildings.
- 27: Thomas Boyle, captain of the US privateer Chasseur proclaims a blockade of Great Britain and Ireland.
- U.S. Navy attacks Barataria, ending its days as Jean Laffite’s base of operations.
- 3: HMS Sophie arrives at Barataria with a solicitation for Laffite's help during the taking of New Orleans.
- 12: An American sniper kills Major-General Ross at Long Point, Maryland during an assault on Baltimore, Maryland.
- 13: British bombardment of Fort McHenry, Maryland. It lasts until 7:00 the next morning. Held aboard one of the British ships, Francis Scott Key pens "The Star-Spangled Banner," which eventually will become America's National Anthem.
- 15: The British fleet arrives at the entrance to Mobile Bay.
- 16: An American force, under command of Commodore Daniel Patterson, raids Barataria.
- 26: British squadron attacks and sinks the American privateer General Armstrong, under the command of Captain Samuel Chester Reid, in a neutral port in the Azores.
- Privateer Chasseur of Baltimore returns to New York after capturing 18 ships during her first cruise.
- 1: News of the burning of Washington, DC reaches the peace negotiators in Ghent.
- 29: Fulton the First, the world's first warship powered by steam, is launched at New York City.
- 1: Andrew Jackson attacks and occupies Pensacola, Florida, which belongs to the Spanish.
- 26: The British fleet departs Negril, Jamaica, for a planned attack on New Orleans, Louisiana.
- 1: Andrew Jackson arrives in New Orleans.
- 11-12: Admiral Cochrane's fleet of 55 ships arrives off the entrance of Lake Borgne.
- 16: Andrew Jackson declares martial law in New Orleans.
- 23: The first engagement between the British and American armies begins with a night engagement on the Villere plantation outside of New Orleans.
- 24: Treaty of Ghent signed in Belgium, but the War of 1812 won't officially end until both sides ratify the treaty. General Edward Pakenham arrives to take command of the British army at New Orleans.
- 27: British artillery destroys the US schooner Carolina. Great Britain ratifies the Treaty of Ghent.
- 1: Artillery duel between the British and American armies outside New Orleans.
- 8: Jean Laffite and the Baratarians help the Americans defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans -- neither side is aware that the war is over. Major-General Sir Edward Pakenham, the Duke of Wellington's brother-in-law, is killed during the battle.
- 6: President James Madison grants full pardons to Jean Laffite and his men for their assitance in Battle of New Orleans.
- 11: HMS Favorite arrives in New York City with the peace treaty.
- 16: Four days after the document reaches Washington, DC, Congress ratifies the Treaty of Ghent and President Madison signs the peace treaty, officially ending the War of 1812.
- 23: President Madison asks Congress to declare war on Algiers.
- 3: President Madison signs the declaration of war on Algiers because of the Barbary Corsairs attacks on American ships.
- 13: Official news of the end of the War of 1812 reaches New Orleans.
- 20: Having escaped from Elba, Napoleon returns to Paris.
April 6: American prisoners of war at Dartmoor prison complain about poor conditions there. The British commandant orders his troops to fire on them, killing seven and wounding 54 others.
- 17: USS Constellation engages in battle with and defeats a corsair frigate, whose legendary captain, Haimdou Rais, died in the engagement.
- 18: Duke of Wellington defeats Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo.
- 28: A fleet of American naval vessels arrive in the Bay of Algiers. Commodore Stephen Decatur threatens to destroy the port unless Algiers agrees to peace and to cease attacking American ships.
- 30: The last naval confrontation in the War of 1812 is fought between the Peacock and HMS Nautilus in the Indian Ocean. The Americans win.
The United Provinces of the Rió de la Plata declares its independence from Spain.
- 2: The French frigate Medusa runs aground off the west coast of Africa. 147 seamen escape on a raft, but most are murdered by their mates, who throw them overboard or eat them. Only 15 sailors survive.Jean Laffite returns to piracy and moves his base of operations to Galveston.1818
Hippolyte de Bouchard attacks California's coast.
- British establish settlement at Singapore.
- Simon Bolívar meets with others to forge a new nation called Gran Colombia, which is comprised of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru.
- The U.S. Navy evicts Laffite from Galveston.
- The United States and Royal Navies begin to eradicate piracy in the Caribbean.
- Fifty-two attacks of piracy in the Florida Straits are reported.
- Commodore James Barron kills Commodore Stephen Decature during a duel.
November 20: Whale ship Essex is rammed by a whale.
- The American navy forces Jean Laffite and his men are forced to set fire to Galveston and abandon this headquarters.
- Pierre Laffite dies from fever and wounds.
- President Monroe establishes anti-piracy squadron under the command of David Porter.
- Mexico gains independence from Spain.
- USS Enterprise captures 4 pirate ships off Cuba.
- The USS Enterprise captures Charles Gibbs.
- “Mosquito Fleet” in operation and Commodore David Porter begins cruising Caribbean waters and the Gulf of Mexico in search of pirates.
- First recorded account of pirates forcing captives to walk the plank: The crew of the Emanuel make William Smith, master of the Blessing walk the plank.
- The United States recognizes Gran Colombia and Mexico as independent countries.
November: During a battle with the Cuban pirate named Domingo, the captain of the USS Alligator is killed.The Mosquito Fleet begins patrolling the Caribbean with the intent to eradicate the pirates. The ships are based in Key West.1824
February: Ten pirates, captured by HMS Tyne, are hanged at Kingston’s Port Royal Point.
December: President James Monroe announces the Monroe Doctrine.
- Commodore David Porter defeats Cuban pirate known as Diabolito.
- 20: Gaceta de Colombia publishes an account of Jean Laffite's death on February 5 during a sea battle in the Gulf of Honduras.
The United States recognizes the United Provinces and Brazil as independent countries.1826
Peru and Chile become independent states.1827
July 4: Thomas Jefferson dies around noon on the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. His friend, John Adams, dies several hours later believing that Jefferson is still alive.
Benito de Soto leads a mutiny aboard an Argentinean slaver and goes on the account.1828
The U.S. erects a lighthouse on Smith Island at Cape Charles, the entrance to Chesapeake Bay.1829
February 19: Benito de Soto attacks the Morning Star. Several crewmembers are killed, the women passengers are raped, and the survivors are locked in the ship’s hold before the pirates set fire to the ship. The crew escapes and the survivors are rescued by a British merchantman. Benito de Soto would later be captured and hanged as a pirate.
Lloyds of London removes the special tariff for ships sailing to and from the Caribbean.1830
December 29: With the exception of Benito de Soto, the convicted pirates who attacked the Morning Star are hanged in Cadiz.
French conquer Algiers, thus ending more than two centuries of state-sponsored piracy.1831
January 25: Benito de Soto, the leader of the pirates who attacked the Morning Star, is executed at Gibraltar.
November 24: Charles Gibbs and others kill the captain and first mate of the Vineyard and go on the account.April 22: Charles Gibbs executed for mutiny, murder, and piracy on Ellis Island.1832
September 20: Pedro Gilbert attacks the American brig Mexican. The pirates torture the master until he reveals where he hid $2,000 before locking the prisoners in the ship and setting it afire. One seaman escaped and freed the others.1834
November: Pedro Gilbert and eleven others are tried in Boston on charges of piracy. Five are acquitted, while Gilbert and the others are sentenced to death. Bernardo de Soto, the mate of the Panda, is pardoned by President Andrew Jackson the following year.1835
September 11: Francisco Ruiz, one of the Spanish pirates convicted of piracy against the Mexican, becomes the last pirate hanged in the United States.1836
- British adopt anti-piracy suppressions measures around Singapore.
- Edward Lloyd publishes History of the Pirates, making mention for the first time of Charlotte de Berry.
February 23: Santa Anna lays seige to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.
April 21: Sam Houston and fellow Texans defeat Santa Anna at San Jacinto.Charles Ellms publishes The Pirates Own Book.1839
May 19: James Morgan is hanged for murdering Captain Smith of the schooner William Wirt at sea. It is the last public execution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The First Opium War begins.1841
- British occupy Hong Kong.
- James Brook puts down a rebellion in Sarawak. The Sultan of Brunei rewards him with the governorship of Sarawak, and Brook styles himself the first of the "White Rajas." He then begins hunting down Sea Dayaks and Malays, eventually ending piracy in the region.The First Opium War ends. China cedes Hong Kong to the British in the Treaty of Nanjing.1843
Shap-'ng-Tsai establishes a smuggling and pirate base at Tien Pai.
July 30: Saladin pirates hang.1845
Chui App joins Shap’n’gtzai’s pirate fleet and soon becomes his lieutenant. The White Rajah of Sarawak, James Brooke, attacks the main enclave of Indonesian pirates. Texas joins the United States. The United States Naval Academy is founded at Annapolis, Maryland to train and educate officers.
- California gold rush.
- Japanese Lord Asakawa Kanae, daimyo of Hizen, orders the compilation of a biography on Koxinga.
May 17: Fire breaks out aboard the steamboat White Cloud in St. Louis, Missouri. More than 22 vessels are destroyed before the fire spreads to the city and burns 15 blocks.
September: British navy destroys Chinese pirates led by Shap-'ng-Tsai. Over 1,800 pirates are killed and 58 vessels are sunk or captured.
December: Shap-'ng-Tsai accepts a pardon and becomes an officer in the Imperial Chinese Navy.1850
September 28: Flogging is banned aboard U. S. naval and merchant ships.
Paris Declaration Respecting Maritime Law outlaws privateering. The United States chooses not to sign, which allows this government to continue to issue letters of marque to privateers during times of war.
20 February: Packet ship John Rutledge sinks in North Atlantic after striking ice berg. Only one survivor, Thomas Nye, rescued by Germania. During first three months of year, nearly 830 passengers and crew go missing in North Atlantic because of unusual amount of ice floating farther south than usual.
Chinese pirates along coast of Vietnam kidnap seaman Edward Brown.
Bully Hayes, an opium smuggler, captures Eli Boggs, an American and notorious pirate on South China coast.1860
(Circa) The Little Ice Age ends.
A joint force of Royal Navy and Dutch warships sent to eradicate piracy in the Malay Archipelago.1862
May 5: The U. S. Naval Academy moves from Newport, Rhode Island to Annapolis, Maryland.
March 9: USS Monitor and CSS Virginia, two ironclads, clash at Hampton Roads, Virginia during the American Civil War.1863
July 14: The regular spirit ratio on ships of the U. S. Navy is banned by an act of Congress.
August 24: Captain Raphael Semmes sets sail aboard on the CSS Alabama to become the most successful and notorious of the commerce raiders during the American Civil War.
The Track of Fire; or, A Cruise with the Pirate Semmes, a dime novel about the infamous commerce raider of the Confederacy, is published.1864
July 1: First shots fired at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania during the American Civil War. Union forces, under General George Meade, defeated General Robert E. Lee's Confederate forces after three days of fighting.
February 17: The Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley plants a 135-pound torpedo into the Union sloop-of-war Housatonic, which sinks. Only five crewmen die. Those aboard the Hunley, however, also die after the submarine disappears just outside Charleston, South Carolina's harbor.1865
August 15: Burning of Atlanta and beginning of General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea.
November 29: Sand Creek Massacre. At least 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho noncombatants die.The United States abolishes slavery.1867
December 15: US Marines arrest Raphael Semmes for illegally escaping Union custody after surrendering the CSS Alabama, but four months later the prosecutor drops all charges and Semmes is released.Canadian provinces take steps to become a nation and severe some ties with Britain.1869
Suez Canal opens.1872
The Mary Celeste is found abandoned at sea. No reason for the crew's disappearance is discovered.1874
September 23: A devastating typhoon strikes Hong Kong. In six hours, thirty-five European ships sink or are destroyed, and about 2,000 people die.
1876A Spanish force, consisting of thirty-two ships and 9,000 men attack the "pirate nest" of Sulu.1877
June 25: Battle of Little Big Horn between Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse against Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Cavalry.
August 30: Raphael Semmes dies.1878
February 18: Billy the Kid's mentor, an English rancher named John Tunstall, is murdered, which ignites the bitter and bloody Lincoln County War.1879
The bridge over the River Tay at Dundee, Scotland gives way during a gale. The train crossing the bridge at the time dropped into the river, killing sevety-five people.
1880Gokstad ship discovered on Norwegian farm.1881
Robert Louis Stevenson begings writing Treasure Island in Scotland.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island published.1889
August 26: A volcano on Krakatoa erupts, causing a tidal wave that causes more than 35,000 deaths.
P. Christian’s Historie des Pirates published.1891
April 17: Thirteen pirates are beheaded in China as punishment for their attack on and the murder of two crewmembers, including the captain, of the SS Namoa.
May 11: Six more pirates are executed for the attack.
Return to timeline menu.
- J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and Wendy produced on stage.
- Oseberg ship excavated in Norway.1905
January 22: Czarist troops fire on a peaceful group of workers on their way to the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Alice Huyler Ramsey of New Jersey is the first woman to drive across the United States.1910
French passes found that Captain Kidd claimed would prove his innocence.1911
Winston Churchill becomes First Lord of the Admiralty.1912
Tung Meng Hui (Alliance Society) overthrows Manchu regime and founds the Republic of China.
Six-year-old Emperor Pu Yi is forced to abdicate. He is the last imperial emperor of China.1915
April 14-15: Titanic hits an iceberg and sinks.
U-20, a German U-boat, torpedoes the Lusitania off the coast of Ireland. More than 1,000 innocent passengers lose their lives.1916
April 24: IRA launches Easter Rebellion in an attempt to oust the British from Ireland.1917July 17: British royal family changes their name. Instead of being the House and Family of Hanover, they become the House and Family of Windsor.1918July 16: Bolsheviks execute Tsar Nicholas and his family in Yekaterinburg.1919
October 8: Corporal Alvin C. York almost single-handedly kills 25 German soldiers and captures 132 in the Argonne Forest in France during World War I.
November 11: At 11:00 World War I ends.
May 4: 3,000 Chinese students protest secret treaties signed during World War I in Tiananmen Square.1921
Chinese Communist Party officially forms.1922
December 6: Irish Free State declared.
- Lai Choi San (aka Lai Sho Sz'en) is born into a pirate family and will succeed her father on his death to command 12 ships. She reigns until 1939.
- Rafael Sabatini’s Captain Blood is published.
July 20: Pancho Villa is assasinated while driving in his car through Parral, Chihauhua.
- League of Nation’s Committee of Experts for the Progressive Codification of International Law publishes Draft Provisions for the Suppression of Piracy.
- Forty pirates, disguised as passangers, hijack the Sunning on her way to Canton, China.
June 8: Margaret Bondfield becomes Britain’s first female cabinet member.1934
May 23: Police officers ambush Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow as they drive along a Louisiana road.1935
Errol Flynn stars in Captain Blood.1938November 9: Kristallnacht.1941December19457: Japanese warplanes attack Pearl Harbor.
8: Franklin D. Roosevelt declares war on Japan, bringing the United States into World War II.May 8: Victory in Europe Day.1948
Formation of the International Maritime Organization.1949
April: Mao Zedong's liberation army crosses the Yangtze and occupy Nanking, China.1950
May: Chiang Kai-shek establishes his government on Taiwan.
25: Shanghai falls to Mao Zedong.
October: Mao Zedong declares the founding of the People's Republic of China.
January 1: The first female doctor is commissioned in the U. S. Navy Medical Corps.1959
June 25: North Korea's army crosses the 38th parallel to start the Korean War.
January 1: Fidel Casto seizes power in Cuba.1960
America's first televised presidential debate pitting Senator John F. Kennedy against President Richard M. Nixon.1961
The Santa Maria, a luxury liner, is hijacked soon after leaving Curacao.1962
Jamaica gains independence from Britain.1964
Last time someone is hanged on British soil for civil crimes.
October 15: Bodyguards assassinate Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, the Somali Republic’s second elected president. General Mohamed Siad Barre assumes power and controls the country for two decades.
September 30: The keel is laid for the reproduction of Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hinde.
1973October 6: Yom Kippur War begins.1974Malta gains its independence.1975
November 10: The Edmond Fitzgerald sinks in Lake Superior. All twenty-nine crewmembers go down with her.
The Great Train Robbery in England takes place.
Nigeria’s coast declared world’s most dangerous.1982December 10: United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea of 1982. It extends nations’ territorial waters from three miles to twelve miles. It does not go into effect, however, until 16 November 1994, when the last member nation signs. As of 2012, the United States still has not ratified UNCLOS, although 161 other nations have.1983
August 4: Barry Clifford and his divers discover first artifacts from the wreck of the Whydah off Cape Cod.1984
July 20: Divers on the Whydah discover their first cannons.1985
The ICC begins recording pirate attacks.1987
September 1: Robert Ballard and Jean-Louis Michel discover the wreck of the Titanic.
October 7: The Achille Lauro is hijacked. An American, who is partly paralyzed and in a wheel chair, is killed the next day, and his body is thrown overboard.
September: Max Guérout, a marine archaeologist and retired captain of the French navy, announces that the remains of the commerce raider CSS Alabama were discovered nearly three years earlier by a minesweeper.
Somali pirates attack a Greek-owned cargo ship and take the crew hostage. One week later, the crew overpowers the pirates and escapes.
June 4: The Chinese army kills protesters in Tiananmen Square.
January 12: Somali pirates board the Naviluck, and take three crewman ashore, where they are executed. Then the pirates force the remaining crew to jump overboard before setting the cargo ship on fire. A passing trawler rescued the crew from the water.
- The International Chamber of Commerce begins reporting instances of pirate attacks.
- President Siad Barre's socialst government falls and anarchy rules in Somalia.
December 25: The dissolution of the Soviet Union.
October: During the Battle of Magadishu in Somalia, a Black Hawk helicopter goes down and 18 American solders die, while another 73 are wounded during the two-day battle.
- British Royal Navy integrates women into the regular navy as full-fledged sailors.
March: UN peace-keeping forces withdraw from Somalia after three years of attempting to restore order.
May 3: N.U.M.A. archeologists discover the H. L. Hunley, the Confederate submarine that blew up the Housatonic, buried in the sand and silt out side Charleston Harbor.
Summer: Ol'Chumbucket and Cap'n Slappy invented a new holiday -- Talk Like a Pirate Day -- to be celecrated annually on 19 September.
December: Sir Peter Blake is killed by pirates in Brazil.
June: Divers discover what they believe is Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge off Beaufort, North Carolina.1997
November 7: Pirates attack the Ploflat, an Australian yacht. The skipper defends himself with Molotov cocktails until the attack is broken off.1998
- Manila Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Transnational Crime
- Work Program to Implement the ASEAN Plan of Action to Combat Transnational Crime
- Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (also known as SUA or the “Rome Convention”)
May: Puntland State of Somalia proclaimed with Abdullahi Yusuf as its first president.
July 19: Barry Clifford and his divers discover the hull of the Whydah in waters off Cape Cod.1999
September 27: The freight Tenyu and her crew of fifteen disappear after leavving Kualatanjung.
November 26: Pirates, dressed as Chinese officials, seize Cheung Son near Hong Kong and throw crew overboard.June: Indonesian pirates hijack the Siam Xanxai.Return to timeline menu.
October 23: Pirates seize MV Alondra Rainbow. Eventually captured by Indian warship
The South China Sea is deemed "the most dangerous" spot for pirate attacks.
August 8: The H. L. Hunley is raised from her watery grave and taken to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center for conservation.
2002June: Indonesian fishermen rescue crew of oil tanker from Thai waters after pirates forced them overboard.2003
September 19: John Baur and Mark Summers, with the aid of columnist David Barry, establish International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
December: International Ship and Port Facility Security Code approved.2004
- IMB reports that pirate attacks on ships triple over previous decade.
- Walt Disney presents Pirates of the Caribbean, starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.
- Mumbai Sessions Court sentences pirates involved in MV Alondra Rainbow attack to seven years imprisonment and fine.
- 18: Chinese court in Shantou sentences ten pirates to imprisonment for hijacking Siam Xanxai in June 1999.June: Tri-annual Conference on Piracy and Maritime Terrorism in Kuala Lumpur2005
September: Workshop on Maritime Security, Maritime Terrorism and Piracy in Asia
December 25: A tsunami devastates numerous countries from Indonesia to Somali. There is a downturn in piracy attacks as a result.
New wave of pirate attacks in coastal waters of Somalia after two-year lull.2006
March: Malaysia announces it will establish 24-hour radar system to monitor security in the Straits of Malacca and have the Maritime Enforcement Agency in place by end of 2005.
June 27: Somali pirates attack the MV Semlow, a ship carrying food to tsunami victims.
- Singapore, Japan, Laos, and Cambodia sign the Regional Co-operational Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.
- 18: Mumbai High Court overrules Sessions Court and acquitts pirates involved in MV Alondra Rainbow attack.
November: Somali pirates attack Spirit, a cruise ship carrying about 300 passengers and crew, but the vessel escapes.One hundred eighty-eight pirate attacks involve taking the taking of hostages. Another seventy-seven attacks resulted in the kidnapping of crew members.2007
October: Somali pirates capture Japanese chemical tanker Golden Nori, which ships of the US Navy quickly surrounded. Ransomed for $1.5 million.
The total amount of ransoms paid to Somali pirates totals nearly $50,000,000.
11: After payment of a ransom of around $2,000,000, Somali pirates release the cruise ship Le Ponant and the hostages. The pirates go ashore, but French helicopters pursue them. Six pirates are eventually captured and taken to France to stand trial. Some of the ransom money is recovered.
- Nigeria is named the hottest spot for pirate attacks. By mid-year that title is given to Somalia.
- Puntland government in Somalia runs out of money to pay its security forces, many of whom turn to the lucrative career of piracy.
- 100 Puntland soldiers stormed the Al Khaleej and captured seven pirates, who were eventually imprisoned for life.
2: The UN Security Council passes Resolution 1816 for the deployment of naval vessels in Somalia's territorial waters. The regional government in Puntland endorses it.
28: Juergen Kantner and Sabine Merz of Germany are captured by Somali pirates and held captive in Puntland where they are subjected to mock executions until the German government pays their ransom in August.
- Faina, which carries a shipment of arms, is taken by Somali pirates. She is held for months and released after payment of a ransom of $3.2 million.
25: Up to fifty Somali pirates, identifying themselves as the Central Regional Coast Guard, seize the Ukranian MV Faina, which carries Soviet tanks destined for the Sudan.October:
- Nigerian pirates attacked Nigeria's private fishing fleet, capturing eight trawlers and 96 crewmen.
- Andre Mwangura, head of the East African Seafarer's Assistance Program and known as the Pirate Whisperer, is arrested and imprisoned in Shimo la Tewa prison in Kenya for nine days.
15: Somali pirates seize an oil tanker, the Sirius Star, 450 miles off the coast of East Africa. She's carrying $150 million of crude oil. A ransom of $3,000,000 is paid, and after the five pirates split the ransom, they drowned in rough seas.
20: Mohamed Said, a spokesman for the pirates, reveals that the Somalis demand $25,000,000 in ransom to secure the release of the Sirius Star and her crew.
- European Union launches Operation Atalanta to patrol High Risk Area to protect shipping from Somali pirates.2: The United Nations Security Council adopts Resolution 1846. With the agreement of the Transitional Federal Government, naval ships patrolling the Gulf of Aden have permission to "enter into territorial waters of Somalia for the purpose of repressing acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea".
- During the first half of the year, Somali pirates attack roughly one ship per day. By year's end, the United Nations estimates that the total ransoms paid amount to around $82,000,000.
- American treasure hunters locate Joseph Bannister's pirate ship, the Golden Fleece.
- Abdirahman Farole becomes president of Puntland after a peaceful election.
- Abduwali Muse is sentence in the United States to thirty-three years and nine months for hijacking the Maersk Alabama.
9: A reported $3,000,000 ransom is paid to Somali pirates for the release of the Sirius Star, a Saudi oil supertanker carrying crude oil valued at $60,000,000. This is the largest ship (1,090-foot VLCC) ever held by the pirates.
February: Somali pirates release the MV Faina, a Ukranian ship carrying tanks, after receiving a $3.2 million ransom. The crew spent five months in captivity before their release.
May 10: Nine Somali pirates are sentences to 20 years imprisonment for piracy in Berbera.
8: Somali pirates attack the US ship, Maersk Alabama, and take the captain hostage. He is eventually rescued after Navy Seals kill three of the pirates. The fourth, Abdiwali Abdiqdir Musi, is taken into custody and brought to the United States to be tried for piracy, the first to face trial for this crime since 1885. This is the sixth hijacked vessel that week, but the first American one.
28: A Russian warship seizes a Somali pirate vessel after the pirates twice attacked the NS Commander the day before.
18: Somali pirates again attack the Maersk Alabama. Nine days earlier, two pirate skiffs attacked the BW Lion in the Indian Ocean, some 400 nautical miles northeast of the Seychelles and nearly 1,000 nautical miles east of Mogadishu.
18: HS Adrias, a Greek warship, intercepts and boards a group of pirates and their mother ship. Ten men are arrested. Later the Greek warship hunts down a second group of pirates and their mother ship, arresting five more men.
January: Rival pirate gangs attack each other over a hijacked oil supertanker just as the ransom is to be paid. The pirates on board the vessel request aid from the European Union naval forces in the area.
- $9 million ransom paid for the Maran Centaurus, which carries $150 million in crude oil.
May 18: Abdiwali Abdiqdir Musi, one of the Somali pirates who attacked the Maersk Alabama, pleads guilty to counts of hijacking, kidnapping, and hostage taking. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October.
- Kenya ceases prosecuting pirates when assistance from the international community fails to appear.
- Somali pirates attack the USS Nicholas while it's tracking a suspected mother ship of the pirates.
September: Kenya bars the admittance of additional captured pirates. Two months later a judge order the release of about 60 suspected pirates taken into custody before the Merchant Shipping Act passed.
- $9.5 million paid as ransom to free the Samho Dream, an oil tanker, from the Somali pirates.29: A Virginia judge sentenced one pirate to 30 years for his involvement in an assault on a US warship.
January: Thirty-two ships and 736 hostages held for ransom.
- $13.5 million paid as ransom to free the Irene SL, which carries 2,000,000 barrels of crude oil. She is held hostage for fifty-eight days before the ransom is paid.
February: Abdiweli Muse, leader of the pirates who attacked the Maersk Alabama, sentenced to almost 34 years in prison following his conviction in New York.
January: Mohamed Abdi Hassan, also known as "Big Mouth" and a pirate kingpin, announced his retirement from piracy after eight years.
October: Mohamed Abdi Hassan is arrested in Belgium.
British marine archaeologists discover wreck of HMS Erebus, one of John Franklin's ships that disappeared while searching for the Northwest Passage.2015
February: Last four crewmen of the Prantalay 12 are released. They were the longest-held hostages in modern pirate history. Their ship was hijacked in April 2010, about 1,200 nautical miles from the Somali coast. Six crew members died in captivity, and fourteen others were released in 2011.
September: Mohamed Abdi Hassan's trial begins. If he is found guilty of piracy, he can serve up to fifteen years. If he is found guilty of taking hostages, he can serve up to thirty years.
© 2007 Cindy Vallar
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