|Pirates and Privateers
The History of Maritime
Cindy Vallar, Editor
P.O. Box 425,
Keller, TX 76244-0425
Time Line of History
Piracy & Privateering, Maritime, Scottish, & Events
(updated 3 February 2023)
This time line is a work in
progress. It incorporates events important
to pirate history, as well as important
historical happenings at sea, in Scotland,
and around the world. 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 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.
Like a Pirate Day, September 19
National Maritime Day,
the 1st Century
4th & 5th Centuries
6th & 7th Centuries
Aethelred orders the
slaying of all Danes in England.
Swein Forkbeard becomes
the first Viking king to rule England.
April 23: Battle of
Clontarf in Ireland between forces led
by High King Brian Boru and Máel Mórda
mac Murchada, King of Leinster. The
Vikings are defeated and Ireland comes
under control of the Irish.
pirates attack Tsushima and Iki, as well
as several places on mainland Japan.
July 10: Lady Godiva
supposedly rides naked through Coventry
on a horse. Her purpose is to force her
husband, the Earl of Mercia, to lower
August 14: King Duncan I
of Scotland is killed by his first
cousin and rival, Macbeth, in battle.
Macbeth becomes King of Scots.
March 12: Pope Leo IX
escapes captivity and returns home.
August 15: Malcolm
Canmore, the eldest son of Duncan I,
slays his father's killer, King Macbeth,
December 28: Edward the
Confessor's consecration of Westminster
Abbey in London.
Harold Godwinson assembles largest naval
fleet in England to date.
September 28: William
the Conqueror invades England. This
becomes known as the Norman Conquest.
Battle of Hastings in which Harold II
is slain and the invader, William the
Conqueror, wins. This victory
establishes Norman rule in England.
25: Crowning of William the Conqueror
in Westminster Abbey. The coronation
completes the Norman Conquest of
June 4: Roquefort cheese
is created for the first time in a cave
near Roquefort, France.
First Crusade begins.
June 7: The first
Crusaders reach Jerusalem.
July 14: Christian
forces capture and plunder Jerusalem
during the First Crusade after a
seven-week siege. Many Muslims and
Jews are massacred.
16: Crusaders herd Jews into a
synagogue and torch the temple.
Hospitalers of St. John
of Jerusalem founded. They eventually
become the Knights of Malta.
Priest of Kumano commissioned to use
“warrior monks” to capture pirates
infesting Kii province, Japan.
Masamori, a Japanese warrior, returns
from expedition with many pirate heads.
January 16: The Council
of Nablus enacts laws governing the
Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
November 25: The duke
of Normandy, William Aetheling, dies
in a shipwreck on his way to England.
April 27: David I
becomes King of Scots.
August 30: European
leaders outlaw the crossbow, hoping
that it will put an end to war
May 24: Malcolm IV
becomes King of Scots.
December 4: Adrian IV
becomes pope. He is the only Englishman
to hold the papal title.
December 29: Four
knights murder Archbishop Thomas Becket
at the high altar of Canterbury
February 21: Pope
Alexander III canonizes Thomas Beckett,
Archbishop of Canterbury.
Construction begins on the Tower of
Pisa. It takes 200 years to complete.
July 13: A force loyal
to Henry II of England captures William
I of Scotland at Alnwick.
May 22: Assassins
attempt to kill Saladin near Aleppo.
becomes Japan’s first shogun.
of Brindisi, a pirate turned privateer,
proclaims himself Count of Cephalonia.
He seizes control of the Dalmatian
Islands and turns them into a base for
October 2: Saladin
captures Jerusalem from the Crusaders.
July 6: Richard the
Lionheart is crowned king of England.
The grand master of the Knights
Templar, Gerard de Ridefort, is slain
during the Siege of Acre.
March 16: Jews
residing in York, England are besieged
in Clifford's Tower. Those who don't
commit suicide are massacred, rather
than submit to being baptized.
June 10: Emperor
Frederick I, also known as Frederick
Barbarossa, of the Holy Roman Empire
drowns during an attempt to cross the
Saleph River on the Third Crusade to the
June 8: Richard I of
England arrives at Acre, Israel to join
the siege during the Third Crusade.
Richard the Lionheart kills 3,000
Muslim prisoners in Acre.
7: Saladin's army attacks Richard the
Lionheart's force at the Battle of
Arsüf, which the English king
September 21: Leopold
V, Duke of Austria, captures Richard
the Lionhearted, King of England.
Naples falls to the Holy Roman Empire,
pirate-turned-privateer Margaritone of
Brindisi is captured and imprisoned for
the remainder of his life.
June 10: Fire erupts in
Chartres Cathedral in France.
The military order known
as the Teutonic Knights of Saint Mary's
Hospital of Jerusalem is founded.
July 1: China invents
the first sunglasses.
Constantinople during the Fourth
Sea becomes haven for pirates as a
result of the sacking of Constantinople.
the Monk joins a band of pirates and
uses the Channel Islands as a haven.
the Monk raids Boulogne. King Philip of
France is forced to pay him protection
allying himself with Prince Louis of
France, Eustace the Monk attacks English
July 10: London
burns to the ground.
Under the leadership of 10-year-old
Nicolas, the Children's Crusade reaches
July 27: King John of
England loses Normandy and other French
possession after his forces are defeated
at the first Battle of Bouvines.
June 15: King John signs
the Magna Carta at Runnymede, near
December 22: Pope
Honorius III sanctions the Dominican
24: Eustace the Monk and his pirates are
captured off Sandwich. The English
behead him and parade through the
streets of Sandwich with his head on a
pirates attack Korea’s southern coast.
December 25: St. Francis
of Assisi creates the first Nativity
on Kyushu, Japan execute 90 pirates.
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.
November 23: Prince
Leszek I, also known as Leszek the
White, of Poland is assassinated in
Gasawa during an assembly of Polish
de Briggeho is executed for piracy, the
first recorded execution of a pirate in
The Holy Roman Emperor
bestows upon the Teutonic Knights of
Saint Mary's Hospital of Jerusalem full
sovereignty over Baltic lands.
December 6: Mongols
destroy Kiev. Prior to the initial
occupation 50,000 live there. When the
Mongols finish with their destruction,
only 2,000 remained.
Maurice, a pirate, is the first man to
be hanged, drawn, and quartered in
and Hamburg form what will become known
as the Hanse (the Hanseatic
League), a merchant guild, to oversee
maritime commerce and protect against
April 5: Alexander
Nebsky defeats the Teutonic Knights in
the Battle of the Ice.
April 13: The Seventh
Crusade is defeated in Eygpt. King Louis
IX is taken prisoner.
December 15: Hulagu Khan
and his Mongolian forces destroy Alamut,
the Hashshashin (Assassins) stronghold
Chartres Cathedral in
France is dedicated. King Louis XI and
his family are present.
May 5: Kublai Khan
becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire.
October 2: Battle of
Largs between Norwegian invaders and
Scottish forces. A legend about the
thistle warning the Scots of the attack
lead to it becoming the national flower
May 14: Battle of
Lewes during the Second Barons' War.
Simon de Montfort the Younger, Earl of
Leicester, defeats King Henry III.
The French draft the
Rules of Oleron, the first identifiable
code pertaining to maritime practices.
May 10: All Jews in
Vienna must wear distinctive garb on
orders of the church.
July 26: Pope Clement IV
forms the Inquisition in Rome.
Crusaders of the Eighth
Crusade capture Tunis.
Kublai Khan becomes the
first Yuan or Mongol emperor of China.
The crown prince of
Korea weds Kublai Khan’s daughter.
August 19: Edward I
becomes king of England.
Kublai Khan invades Japan.
de lo Cavo seizes Rhodes and becomes the
island’s governor. Rhodes becomes a
thriving haven for pirates and slavers.
July 29: Japan beheads
five emissaries sent by Kublai Khan.
August 14: Kublai Khan
launches a second Mongol invasion of
Japan. His fleet of 3,500 ships
disappear in a typhoon near Japan.
October 3: Dafydd ap
Gruffydd, Prince of Gwynedd in Wales, is
hanged, drawn, and quartered.
June 26: According to
the Lüneburg manuscript, this is the day
on which a piper leads away 130 children
from Hamelin, Germany. They are never
December 14: Zuiderzee
seawall collapses during the St.
Lucia's Flood. More than 50,000 die in
the Netherlands. This is the fifth
largest recorded flood in history.
July 18: Edward I orders
all Jews to leave England. The edict
remains in place for 350 years.
May 10: Nobles in
Scotland recognize the authority of
England's king, Edward I.
May 18: Acre, the
last Crusader stronghold, falls after
100 years. The stronghold is destroyed
by Mamluks, under the command of
Sultan al-Ashraf Khalil. This defeat
signals the end of the Crusades.
Marco Polo returns from
July 5: Scotland
and France form the Auld Alliance
April 27: Edward I of
England defeats the Scots at the Battle
of Dunbar and takes the coronation stone
of Scone to Westminster Abbey in London.
June 19: Louis IX
of France decrees that all Jews must
wear a yellow badge in public. Those
who do not will be fined 10 silver livres.
September 11: William
Wallace defeats the English at the
Battle at Stirling Bridge in Scotland.
July 22: The English
army defeats the Scots at the Battle of
Formation of League of the Cinque Ports.
Part of the league's goal is to protect
the English Channel from pirates.
July 20: During the Wars of
Scottish Independence, Stirling Castle
falls to Edward I of England.
The English capture William Wallace near
Glasgow, Scotland and transport him to
London to stand trial for treason.
William Wallace of Scotland is executed
for high treason by Edward I of England.
14: Clement V becomes pope, the first to
be based in Avignon, France instead of
March 25: Robert the Bruce is
crowned King of Scots at Scone after the
murder of John "the Red" Comyn.
Knights of Saint John capture
the island of Rhodes.
May 11: Fifty-four
Knights Templar are burned at the stake
in France after being declared heretics.
July 7: The Chancellor of the
University of Oxford forbids students from
June 24: Battle of
Bannockburn. Robert the Bruce of
Scotland's victory over the forces of
Edward II of England gain Scotland's
independence from England.
April 6: Scots sign the
Declaration of Arbroath reaffirming their
October 14: Robert the Bruce
and his army defeat King Edward of
England. Edward must acknowledge
May 1: With the signing of
the Treaty of Edinburgh, the Wars of
Scottish Independence come to an end.
England recognizes Scotland as an
June 24: During the Hundred
Years' War, the English fleet destroys the
French fleet at the battle of Sluys, off
the coast of Flanders. It was the first
major conflict between the two sides.
August 26: Battle of
Crécy takes place. It is the first time
cannons are used in battle, and Edward
III's English longbows lead to the
defeat of Philip VI's French army.
17: Battle of Neville's Cross. Edward III
of England captures David II in Calais.
The King of Scots spends 11 years in the
Tower of London.
Bubonic Plague strikes and
1/3 of Europe's population dies.
January 9: In Basel,
Switzerland, 700 Jews die when their
houses are set afire with them alive
24: 6,000 Jews are blamed for the plague
in Mainz and are killed.
wuko mount six large raids against the
Koreans. For the next 25 years, they
conduct an average of five such raids.
(circa) Ships are
fitted with rudders instead of steering
29: Battle for Winchelsea. The English
navy defeats a fleet of 40 ships from
wuko attack the Shandong peninsula of
April 13: Hail storm in
France kills 1,000 English soldiers.
August 30: Battle of Lake
Poyang in China. Two rebel leaders, Chen
Youliang and Zhu Yuanzhang, fight each
other in one of the largest naval battles
in history during the Yuan Dynasty.
Zhu Yuanzhang of China passes a series of
maritime prohibitions in an effort to stem
piracy. The thinking is that if there is
no maritime trade, there will be no
piracy. The opposite occurs.
Pope Gregory XI returns the papacy from
Avignon, France to Rome, Italy.
The Ming Dynasty begins in China.
April 22: Construction begins
on the Bastille fortress in Paris, France.
January 22: Robert II is
crowned King of Scots, becoming the first
monarch of the House of Stewart.
June 24: Inexplicably, people
on the streets of Aachen, Germany
experience hallucinations. They also
twitch and jump about uncontrollably until
they collapse from exhaustion. The bizarre
condition is known as Saint John's Dance
(or The Dance Plague).
cannon destroy a large fleet of wuko at
the mouth of Geum river.
July 15: John Ball, leader of
the Peasants' Revolt in England is hanged,
drawn, and quartered. King Richard II is
present at his execution.
May 9: Portugal and England
sign the Treaty of Windsor, which is still
in force and will become the oldest
diplomatic alliance in the world.
1: Sixty ships from France and Genoa set
sail to attack Barbary pirates in a
Tunisian stronghold during the Barbary or
29: First witchcraft trial is held in
ships of the Vitalienbrüder (Victual
Brothers) attack Stralsund cog. Rather
than surrender the well-equipped and
numerous crew fight back and successfully
repel boarders. More than 100 pirates are
captured and placed into large barrels.
Only their heads protrude. These barrels
are stored in the hold until the cog
returned to Stralsund, where the pirates
are beheaded three hours later.
June 4: A
mob, led by Ferrand Martinez, torches the
Jewish quarter of Seville, Spain. Those
Jews who survive the conflagration are
sold into slavery.
(Victual Brothers) sack Bergen,
Hanseatic League declares war on pirates.
Maritime trade at a standstill in the
Baltic because of the pirates.
3: Charles VI expels Jews from France.
Master of the Teutonic Order and his
knights invade Gotland and expel the Vitalienbrüder
from the island.
design adds second mast to larger
Klaus Störtebeker and 71 of his men are
executed for piracy in Hamburg.
Michels and 80 pirates are executed.
July 21: Battle of
Shrewsbury, first battle in which English
archers fight each other on English soil.
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
gets into the basket while his comrades
stoke the fire. This is repeated until all
the pirates are scalded to death.
11: Zheng He sails from China on the
first of seven expeditions for the Ming
June 26: Council of Pisa
deposes popes Gregory XII of Rome and
Benedict XIII of Avignon. The council
elects Cardinal Peter Philarghi as pope
and he becomes Pope Alexander V.
July 15: Battle of Grunwald
(first Battle of Tannenburg) is fought. It
is one of medieval Europe's largest
battles during the Poland-Lithuanian
January 16: The Papacy
appoints the Medici family as their
wuko take gold and 150 people during a
raid on Korea.
John Wycliffe and Jan Hus, both religious
reformers, are condemned as heretics at
the Council of Constance.
John Hus, a Czech religious reformer, is
burned at the stake for heresy in Germany.
His criticisms of the Catholic Church
predate the Reformation by more than a
25: Henry V and his English army defeat
the French at the Battle of Agincourt
during the Hundred Years' War.
November 11: The Great Schism
ends with the election of Martin V as
Henry V launches Grace
Dieu (1,400 tons), the largest
warship in England for the next two
19: Korea's Sejong the Great sends a fleet
of more than 200 ships and 17,000 soldiers
to Tsushima, Japan because of pirates
based on the island. The attack initially
proves successful with 135 pirates killed
or taken captive, 129 ships burned, and
around 2,000 houses destroyed. Twenty-one
slaves and 131 pirate captives are freed.
Four weeks later, Tsushima pirate lord Sō
Sadamori ambushes the Koreans, who
negotiate a truce and leave on 3 July.
October 28: The Ming
dynasty's Yongle Emperor declares Beijing
the capital of China.
April 5: After 18 years of
detention in England, King James I of
Scotland returns home.
August 7: Proceedings begin
in Valais Canton, Switzerland. It is the
first organized witch trial.
April 29: Joan of Arc arrives
at the siege of Orleans, France.
Joan of Arc and the French Army break the
siege on Orleans.
Joan of Arc and the French Army enter
(Circa) Little Ice Age begins
May 23: Joan of Arc is captured at
Compiegne and sold to the English.
January 3: Joan of Arc is
delivered to Bishop Pierre Cauchon.
9: Investigations begin in Rouen, France,
which is occupied by the British, for the
trial of Joan of Arc.
21: During her trial for heresy, Joan of
Arc is interrogated.
Joan of Arc is burned at the stake in
Rouen, France by the English.
Zheng He sets off on his last
voyage. Afterward China favors
July 16: In order to stop the
spread of the Black Death, kissing is
banned in England.
The first African slaves
arrive in Portugal.
King Henry VI of England founds Eton
May 29: Ottoman Army captures
Constantinople, ending the Byzantine
February 23: Johannes
Gutenberg prints the first Bible using a
First battle in the Wars of the Roses,
which will last thirty years. Richard of
York captures King Henry VI and St.
July 7: 25 years after she
was burned at the stake, Joan of Arc is
acquitted of heresy at her retrial.
March 1: The Unitas
Fratrum is established in Kunvald,
on the Bohemia-Moravia border. It becomes
the second oldest Protestant denomination
and is the forerunner of the Moravian
July 10: Richard of York
defeats Henry VI at Northampton during
England's Wars of the Roses.
February 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
Edward IV defeats Henry VI in the
bloodiest battle of the Wars of the Roses.
June 17: Vlad the Impaler
attempts to assassinate Mehmed II.
October 18: Isabella of
Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon wed.
Chen Zuyi and two other pirate leaders are
executed after being captured by Admiral
Zheng He in a battle in which more than
5,000 pirates perish.
4: At the Battle of Tewkesbury, the last
battle in the Wars of the Roses, the House
of York soundly defeats the House of
Lancaster. Edward IV is restored to the
February 20: Norway
cedes the Orkney and Shetland Islands to
Scotland as part of a dowry payment.
The first edition of
Ptolemy’s Geography is published.
It is the only cartography book to survive
from the classical period.
November 18: William Caxton
publishes Dictes and Soyenges of the
Philosophers, becoming the first
dated book in English to be printed.
Ferdinand and Isabella
institute the Inquisition in Spain. It
isn't officially abolished until the 19th
18: George, Duke of Clarence and the king
of England's brother, is quietly executed
in the Tower of London after his
conviction for treason. He is reputed to
have been drowned in a butt of Malmsey
April 9: Edward V succeeds
his father to the English throne at the
age of twelve. He is never crowned king
and disappears. It is assumed that he and
his younger brother Richard are murdered
while imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Richard Duke of Gloucester is crowned
Richard III of England.
August 22: Richard III of
England is slain in the Battle of Bosworth
Field, bringing an end to the Wars of the
Roses. He is the last English monarch to
succumb in battle.
30: Henry Tudor is crowned Henry VII of
England, founding the Tudor dynasty and
ending the Wars of the Roses.
January 15: Bartolomeu
Dias, the first known European to sail
around the Cape of Good Hope, returns to
King James III of Scotland dies during the
Battle of Sauchieburn.
VII and Ferdinand of Aragon sign a treaty
that revokes all letters of reprisal and
details the steps necessary for either
monarch must take prior to the issuance of
future letters of marque and reprisal.
Christopher Columbus appears before Queen
Isabella of Spain and proposes to search
for a western route to India.
January 2: The Emir of
Granada, Muhammad XII, surrenders to
Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of
Castile, thus ending centuries of Muslim
rule on the Iberian peninsula.
March 3: Spain announces
that it will expel all Jews from the
3: Christopher Columbus, leading an
expedition on behalf of Spain, sets sail
on his first transatlantic voyage. He
and his men are aboard the Nińa,
the Pinta, and the Santa
October 12: Christopher
Columbus reaches San Salvador (Bahamas).
October 24: 24 Jews
are burned at the stake in Mecklenburg,
December 6: Christopher Columbus
December 25: The Santa
and sinks on the north coast of
Hispaniola. Columbus sets sail for
Spain, while the crew founds a colony.
September 24: With 17 ships,
Christopher Columbus sails on his second
expedition to the New World.
June 7: Treaty of Tordesillas
confirms Pope Alexander VI’s division of
the New World between Spain and Portugal.
June 1: Scotch Whisky appears
in archival records for the first time
when the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland list
Friar John Corn as a distiller of the
January 3: Leonardo da Vinci
tests his flying machine, but is
Jews expelled from Syria.
Perkin Warbeck, a
Flemish pretender to the English throne,
invades England. He claims to be Edward
Amerigo Vespucci sets sail on his first
voyage to the New World.
John Cabot lands at Newfoundland, becoming
the first European to set foot in North
America since the Vikings.
Vasco da Gama sails from Lisbon, Portugal
with four ships bound for India.
22: Vasco da Gama rounds the Cape of Good
Hope on the first voyage from Portugal to
Vasco da Gama arrives at
Domingo is founded on the southern coast
of Hispaniola, and becomes the first
fortified Spanish settlement in the
2: Vasco da Gama's fleet visits
The Chinese invent the toothbrush, which
has bristles made from a boar.
September 22: Switzerland
becomes an independent state.
23: Perkin Warbeck, who claims to be the
lost son of Edward IV and a pretender to
the English throne, is hanged after a
supposed attempt to escape from the Tower
March 9: Pedro Álvares
Cabral leaves Lisbon, Portugal with 13
ships. After they arrive in the West
Indies, he claims Brazil for Portugal.
July 15: At the wedding
of Astoree Baglione and Lavinia Colonna
in Perugea, Italy, the Baglione family
13: Pedro Álvares Cabral
arrives in Calicut, India.
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