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The History of Maritime Piracy

Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425

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Time Line of History
Piracy & Privateering, Maritime, Scottish, & Events

(updated 21 March 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.

Ahoy!Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19Ahoy!

Ship's wheelNational Maritime Day, May 22
Ship's wheel

Before the 1st Century               1st-3rd Centuries               4th & 5th Centuries               6th & 7th Centuries

8th Century               9th Century               10th Century               11th Century               12th Century

13th Century               14th Century               15th Century               16th Century               17th Century

18th Century               19th Century               20th Century               21st Century

16th Century
First African slaves arrive in Americas.


September 13: Michelangelo begins work on the statue of David.


Arüj Barbarossa (Red Beard) and Hizir, his brother, capture the papal galley of Julius II.

September 8: Unveiling of Michelangelo's David in Florence's Piazza della Signoria


Arüj and Hizir Barbarossa establish a privateering base at Djerba.


January 22: 150 Swiss Guards arrive at the Vatican. They make up the first contingent to guard the pope and Vatican City.


Spanish settle Puerto Rico.


Spanish settle Jamaica.

April 21: Henry VIII ascends the English throne.

April 27: Pope Julius II excommunicates Venice.

June 11: Henry VIII of England weds his first wife (and sister-in-law), Katherine of Aragon.

June 24: Henry VIII is crowned king of England.


Nombre de Dios is founded and fortified on the isthmus of Panama.


Portuguese conquer Malacca.


The Royal Navy introduces its first double-decker warships.

November 1: The general public is permitted to view Michelangelo's fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel for the first time.


April 2: Ponce de León arrives in Florida and claims it for Spain.

September 25: Balboa " discovers" the Pacific Ocean, while standing on the Isthmus of Panama. It is the first time that a European sees the Pacific.


January 14: Pope Leo X issues a papal bull against slavery.

May 8: Hernando de Soto discovers the Mississippi River.


Leonardo da Vinci designs a submarine.
Arüj Barbarossa enters Algiers. The Bey is slain and Arüj claims the throne.

Indigo dye is brought from the New World to Europe for the first time.

April 10: First Jewish ghetto is established after Venice requires all Jews to live in the same area.


Fernao Peres de Andrade leads Portugal's earliest expedition to South China.

April 13: The Ottoman army occupies Cairo, Egypt.

October 31: Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses on the cathedral door in Wittenberg, Germany. The manifesto turns a protest about indulgences into the Protestant Reformation.


Arüj Barbarossa dies during a battle against the  Spanish in Algiers.


Spanish found Veracruz.

February 18: Hernán Cortés departs Cuba for the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. He sails with 11 ships and 500 men.

September 20: Ferdinand Magellan sets sail on his voyage around the world. It is a journey from which he will not return, although one of his ships and some of his men complete the circumnavigation.

November 8: First meeting between Moctezuma II, ruler of the Aztecs, and the Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés takes place in Tenochtitlan, Mexico.


Spain invades Tripoli.

Turgut Reis joins Hizir Barbarossa's fleet in Algiers.

Chocolate from Mexico first appears in Spain.

June 7: The first day of meetings between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France in Balinghem, France. The occasion becomes known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

October 21: Ferdinand Magellan and his fleet of three Spanish ships enter a strait that allows them to sail between the tip of South America and Tierra del Fuego, an island. This allows them to become the first Europeans to sail into the Pacific Ocean. The strait is later named after Magellan.


January 3: Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther because he refuses to recant sections of his 95 Theses.

March 17: Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Philippines.

April 27: Ferdinand Magellan is wounded by a poisoned arrow in a skirmish with natives on Mactan Island in the Philippines. His comrades leave him to die as they retreat.

May 25: Edict of Worms outlaws Martin Luther and his followers.

August 13: Hernàn Cortés, the Spanish conquistator, captures the Aztec emperor in Tenochtitlán, bringing an end to the Aztec Empire.


The Order of Saint John is expelled from Rhodes.

September 6: The survivors of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition return to Spain aboard the Vitoria, becoming the first to circumnavigate the globe. Magellan dies during the voyage, so he never completes the journey.


The Portuguese lose trading concessions with China because the Portuguese Ambassador practices piracy.

Hizir Barbarossa expels the Christians from Rhodes, and the sultan of the Ottoman Empire names Hizir “Khayr al-Dīn” (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 (also Florin), a French privateer, and his men capture three Spanish ships loaded with part of Moctezuma's treasure from the New World. This is the first confirmation of rumors of the vast wealth to be found in Spain’s colonies.


Henry VIII of England petitions the pope to annul his marriage to Katherine of Aragon.

Armies of the Ottoman Empire invade Hungary.

Francis I signs the Treaty of Madrid, renouncing France’s claims to Italy, Burgundy, and Flanders.

Spain institutes the flota system to transport treasures from the New World home.

August 29: Suleiman the Magnificent, leading the Ottoman army, conquers the Hungarian Empire at the Battle of Mohác.


Bartolomé de Las Casas begins writing History of the Indies.

The Spanish capture Jean Fleury after a long sea battle. He is executed.

May 6: Imperial troops from Spain and Germany sack Rome. This brings an end to the Renaissance.


September 28: Hurricane strikes the Spanish fleet, which sinks. Around 380 die.


Treaty of Saragossa divides Indian and Pacific Oceans between Spain and Portugal.

September 22: Cardinal Thomas Wolsey is forced out as Lord Chancellor of England.


The Order of Saint John arrives in Malta.

Khayr al-Dīn Barbarossa captures Algiers and establishes his base of operations there.

March 7: The pope denies Henry VIII of England's divorce to set aside his wife, Katherine of Aragon, to marry Anne Boleyn.

November 16: Francisco Pizarro routs the Incas and captures their emperor, Atahulpa, in a surprise ambush at Cajamarca in the Peruvian Andes. One year later, he kills Atahualpa after he pays a ransom for his release.


Khayr al-Dīn Barbarossa becomes the admiral of the Ottoman navy.

January 25: In a secret ceremony, Henry VIII weds Anne Boleyn.

June 1: Anny Boleyn is crowned Queen of England.

July 11: Pope Clement VII excommunicates King Henry VIII.

December 4: At the age of three, the boy who will become known as Ivan the Terrible is proclaimed grand prince of Moscow after his father dies. His mother rules in Ivan's name for five years.


The alliance between France and the Ottoman Empire is formed and will last for 25 years.

April 17: Sir Thomas More is imprisoned in the Tower of London.

May 10: Jacques Cartier reaches Newfoundland.

June 9: Jacques Cartier sails into the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River for the first time. Twenty days later he discovers Prince Edward Island.


Spain captures Tunis.

The Viceroyalty of New Spain is created with headquarters in Mexico City.

After the capture of a group of pirates, led by a man named Broode, they are hanged, drawn, and quartered in England.

May 4: Five Carthusian monks from London's Charterhouse refuse to acknowledge King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England and are hanged, drawn, and quartered.

1: Sir Thomas More's trial on charges of treason begins in England.

July 6: Sir Thomas More is beheaded for refusing to recognize King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England.

October 4: Miles Coverdale's translation of the Bible is printed. It is the first complete Bible in English, but where it is printed is contested. That occurs in either Zurich, Switzerland or Cologne, Germany.


Giovanni Dionigi, an Italian fisherman, is captured by Barbary corsairs. He eventually converts to Islam and becomes Uluj Ali.

The English Parliament passes the Offenses of the Sea Act, new legislation dealing with piracy that strengthen and clarify existing law.

Huguenot corsairs plunder Havana.

May 2: Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, is arrested and escorted to the Tower of London.

May 15: Anne Boleyn and her brother are accused of adultery and incest.

May 19: Anne Boleyn is beheaded.


Nombre de Dios is sacked.


French corsairs sack Havana.

September 28: Khayr al-Dīn Barbarossa destroys 13 galleys38 and captures an additional  from the Christian Holy League, under the leadership of Andrea Doria, at Prevesa.

December 17: Pope Paul II excommunicates Henry VIII of England.


June 3: Hernando de Soto claims Florida for Spain.


Spain forbids ships of other nations from trading with its Caribbean settlements.

French corsairs attack San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Turgut Reis establishes a corsair base at Djerba, from which he launches a major raid on Malta.

June 10: Thomas Cromwell is arrested in Westminster.

June 24: Henry VIII orders his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, to leave the English court.


A Genoese squadron captures Turgut Reis. For the next three years, the Barbary corsair works as a galley slave until Khayr al-Dīn ransoms him.

French corsairs loot the pearl fields of Margarita.

Havana is attacked and looted for the second time in six years.

May 6: King Henry VIII orders all English churches have an English Bible in them.

August 18: Portuguese ship drifts ashore in Japan.


February 13: Catherine Howard, King Henry VIII's fifth wife, is beheaded after being found guilty of adultery.

September 28: Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Spanish explorer, sails into San Diego Bay.

December 8: Mary Stuart becomes Queen of Scots at the age of 6 days.


The Portuguese introduce firearms to Japan.

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.

Khayr al-Dīn Barbarossa pays Genoa the ransom for Turgut Reis.


Khayr al-Dīn Barbarossa retires to Istanbul, where he dictates his memoirs.

July 19: Henry VIII’s greatest warship, Mary Rose, sinks during the Battle of the Solent. She won't be raised until 1982; she opens to the public thirty-one years later.


Khayr al-Dīn Barbarossa dies.

Barbary corsairs capture an Albanian boy, who becomes Murat Reis.

Zhu Wan, a Chinese general, begins naval operations against the wuko off the Shejiang coast.


Henry VIII of England dies.

January 16: Ivan the Terrible is crowned the first tsar of Russia.

June 21: Fire sweeps through Moscow. Between 2,000 and 3,000 people die.


Xu Dong, a Chinese pirate executed.

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.

June 9: The Church of England adopts the Book of Common Prayer.

August 14: Turgut Reis, at the head of the Ottoman fleet, recaptures Tripoli from the Knights of Saint John.


Francisco López de Gomara’s General History of the Indies is published.

Turgut Rais and his corsairs defeat Admiral Andrea Doria of Italy.


Jambe de Bois (Pegleg), alias François le Clerc, attacks Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

July 10: Lady Jane Grey is proclaimed queen of England. She reigns for nine days.

July 19: Lady Jane Grey's nine-day reign of England, following the death of Edward VI of England, ends when his half-sister, Mary (later known as Bloody Mary) becomes queen. She eventually orders Lady Jane Grey's execution in 1554.

October 1: Mary I becomes the first queen to rule England in her own right. She will later earn the moniker "Bloody Mary" for her persecution of Protestants during her failed attempt to restore the country to Roman Catholicism.


Yuekong, a monk, leads 30 Shaolin temple monks in battle against Japanese pirates. He dies during the fight.

François le Clerc (Jambe de Bois or Pegleg) sacks Santiago de Cuba.

Felipe II of Spain marries Mary I of England.

February 12: Lady Jane Grey, who was queen of England for nine days, is executed for treason. She is sixteen years old.

April 4: Ignatius of Loyola becomes the first superior-general of the Jesuits.

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.

July: Jacques de Sores and his fleet of three privateers capture Havanna. They burn the city.


François le Clerc (Jambe de Bois or Pegleg) attacks Havana.

Governor Hu Dongxian of Zhejiang convinces wuko leader Xu Hai to betray his fellow pirates only to be beheaded by the governor.

During one raid in Zhejiang, pirates capture more than 20,000 people.

January 24: An earthquake hits Shensi province in China. 830,000 people die.


March 5: Francisco Fernandes, a Spanish physician, introduces Europe to smoking tobacco.

April: Mary Queen of Scots marries the French Dauphin, Francis.

November 17: Elizabeth I becomes Queen of England upon the death of her half-sister, Mary I.


Peace is 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.”

January 15: Crowning of Elizabeth I as Queen of England in Westminster Abbey.

April: Yu Dayou of Korea is arrested for failing to pursue pirates, even though it was his subordinate who permitted their escape.

September 19: Three Spanish ships sink off the coast of Tampa, Florida during a storm. About 600 people die.


Martin Cortés’s The Arte of Navigation is published.

Turgut Reis defeats the Spanish squadron near the Lipari Islands.

Pirates attack Campeche, surprising the residents who are sleeping.

August 19: Following the death of her husband, Mary Queen of Scots returns from France to rule Scotland.


John Hawkins makes his first slave trading expedition to the New World.

March 1: Catholics massacre more than 1,000 Huguenots in Vassy, France. This marks the start of the French Wars of Religion, which will not end until 1598.

March 9: Naples forbids kissing in public. Violaters can be punished with death.


French Huguenots settle on land near present-day Jacksonville, Florida.


During the siege of Malta, Turgut Reis is killed by shrapnel.

Murat Reis commands a corsair galley based in Tunis.

Mary, Queen of Scots, weds Lord Henry Darnley.

September 8: Spaniards establish the first permanent European settlement in what will become the United States at St. Augustine, Florida.


The Dutch rise up against Spain.


The Ming Dynasty lifts its prohibition of trading overseas.

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.

June 16: Mary, Queen of Scots is imprisoned in Lochleven Castle in Scotland.

July 24: Mary, Queen of Scots is forced to abdicate. Her son, who is one year old, becomes King James VI of Scotland. He is crowned at Stirling Castle.


May 16: Mary, Queen of Scots, flees to England.

May 19: Elizabeth I of England arrests her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots.

May 23: The Netherlands declares its independence from Spain.

October 5: Mary, Queen of Scots is tried in England for treason against Queen Elizabeth.


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.

January 23: The Earl of Moray, who serves as Scotland's regent, is assassinated. Civil war results.

February 25: Pope Pius V excommunicates Queen Elizabeth for heresy.


The first Manila galleon departs the Philippines for Acapulco.

October 7: Battle of Lepanto in which Papal and Spanish forces crush the Turkish navy.


Spanish ambassadors condemn Francis Drake’s attacks as acts of piracy.

Dutch sea beggars capture Brill and turn it into a base from which they attack the coastal shipping of Spain.

July 28: Francis Drake attacks Nombre de Dios. He is wounded in the attempt.

August 24: Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in Paris. King Charles IX's assassination order results in the massacre of tens of thousands of Huguenots throughout France.


March: Francis Drake attempts to attack a mule train loaded with silver, but the ambush is detected and the English return to their ships.

April: Francis Drake makes a second attempt at the mule train, with the help of cimarrones and French Huguenots under the leadership of Guillaume le Testu. They succeed in the endeavor, but le Testu is severely wounded. The majority of the booty is buried or hidden, but before the pirates return to collect their treasure, the Spaniards recover most of their silver and behead le Testu, who was left behind when the rest of the pirates left for their ships.

July 3: Royal regulations involving the laying out of new towns in the Spanish Main are issued.

August 7: Francis Drake's fleet returns to Plymouth, following his raids to capture Spanish treasure.

September 9: At the Battle of Flodden Field, the English defeat King James IV of Scotland.

September 10: Execution of German pirate Henzlein and 32 of his crew.

October 11: Dutch rebels defeat the Spanish navy in the Battle of South Seas.


The English lay siege to Granauile O’Malley’s Rockfleet Castle.

Murat Reis recaptures Tunis from Spain. The bey of Algiers proclaims him “Captain of the Sea.” Suleiman the Magnificent doesn’t ratify this appointment until 20 years later.

Lin Feng, commanding more than 30 junks, pillages towns in Philippines.

November 22: The Juan Fernandez Islands off Chile are discovered.


Barbary corsairs capture Miguel de Cervantes and his brother, Rodrigo. They spend five years as slaves before being ransomed.


June 7: Martin Frobisher, one of Elizabeth I's Sea Dogs and a navigator, departs England in search of a Northwest Passage to the Pacific.


The English capture Granuaile O’Malley and imprison her in Dublin Castle.

Francis Drake begins his 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.


Gerardus Mercator publishes his atlas, a word he coins. Subsequent parts appear until 1595, when he dies.

Murat Reis captures Spanish viceroy of Sicily.

March: Granuaile is imprisoned in Limerick gaol.

November 7: Granuaile is transferred to prison in Dublin Castle, but is later released.


January 25: Dutch provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Gelderland, Friesland, and Utrecht, along with the towns of Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, and Ypres, form the Union of Utrecht. They support one another and the union maintains ancient rights and privileges, including religion freedom. The signing of the Treaty of Utrecht marks the start of the Dutch Republic.

March 1: John Drake is the first to spot the Spanish treasure ship Cacafuego (Nuestra Señora del la Concepción), which carries a cargo worth about 360,000 pesos.

June 17: Francis Drake becomes the first Englishman to land on the coast of California. He claims the land for Elizabeth I and calls it Nova Albion.

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 Felipe of Spain also becomes king of Portugal. France, England, and Portuguese loyalists fight Spain and those in Portugal loyal to Felipe. The war ends in 1583.

September 26: Local fishermen spot Drake’s ship, Golden Hind, in the English Channel as she returns home after nearly three years at sea and sailing around the world. Her cargo hold contains silver, gold, jewels, and cloves valued at about £600,000.


James Swift, the English Admiralty's marshal, compiles a detailed report on piracy.

January 16: Laws against Catholicism are passed by the English parliament.

April 4: Elizabeth I knights Francis Drake upon his return to England aboard his ship, Golden Hind.

November 16: Tsar Ivan the Terrible beats his son, Ivan Ivanovich, with a scepter during an argument. Three days later his heir to the throne dies.


Lady Killigrew and her servants plunder the Marie de San Sebastien’s cargo.

October 4: Pope Gregory XIII introduces the Gregorian calendar. All Catholic countries advance ten days, but England refuses to adopt the change. In the end, it will take several centuries before most countries adopt this calendar.


Balthasar Gerard of France assassinates William of Orange (William the Silent).
The English government decrees that all prizes must pass through the Admiralty Court in London.

The Anglo-Spanish War begins. France, England, and 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.


Sir Richard Bingham, Governor of Connaught, Ireland, captures Granuaile O’Malley.

Uluj Ali dies.

Murat Reis sacks Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and holds the inhabitants for ransom.

January 1: Sir Francis Drake raids Santo Domingo.

March: Sir Francis Drake receives a ransom of 113,000 gold ducats after 248 people are torched in Cartagena.

June 18: Sir Francis Drake visits Raleigh’s colony in Virginia and returns them to England five weeks later.

July 27: Walter Raleigh brings tobacco from Virginia to England.

May 27: Sir Francis Drake attacks Saint Augustine, Florida, becoming the first to attack the Spanish colony.


Elizabeth I pardons Granuaile and her family.

Thomas Cavendish captures a 700-ton Manila galleon.

February 8: Mary, Queen of Scots, is beheaded at Fothering Castle in England. Her death warrant is signed by her cousin, Elizabeth I. She was judged guilty of being complicit in a plot to murder Elizabeth (treason) and had been imprisoned for 19 years before her execution.

April 29: Sir Francis Drake sails into Cadiz, Spain and sinks the Spanish fleet.

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.

July 19: Captain Thomas Fleming, wanted for piracy, is the first to spot the Spanish Armada and sails to warn the English fleet.

July 29: Spain's Armada is sighted off Lizard Point in Cornwall, England. After 8 hours of fighting, the armada is defeated.


Volume one of Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations appears in print. The two other volumes are published in 1599 and 1600.

August 1: Friar Jacques Clément stabs King Henry III of France. The monarch succumbs the next day.


April: Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, dies.

August 18: Governor John White returns to Roanoke Island (North Carolina) after a three-year absence, but all he finds are the remains of the fort and “Croatoan” and “Cro” etched in two trees. No trace of the colonists is ever found, and Roanoke eventually becomes known as “The Lost Colony.”

September 27: Twelve days after being elect pope, Urban VII dies. His papal reign is the shortest in history.


Japan’s Separation Edict separates the samurai class from the rest of society.


Sir Richard Bingham seizes all of Granuaile O’Malley’s ships anchored in Clew Bay.

May 29: Admiral Yi Sun Shin and the Korean navy repel a Japanese fleet in the Battle of Sacheon. It is the first time that a Korean Turtle ship is used.


June: Granuaile opens correspondence with Elizabeth I, Queen of England.

July: Granuaile meets with Queen Elizabeth in private.


Uluj Ali becomes admiral of the Ottoman Empire’s navy.
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 in a lead-lined coffin off Nombre de Dios.

August 20: First ships of the VOC (Dutch East India Company) return from the Far East.


The Royal Navy authorizes the use of hammocks aboard its vessels.

February 5: The new Japanese government sees Christians as a threat to society and kills a group of them.

August 14: A fleet of vessels, under the command of Cornelius de Houtmans, becomes the first Dutch ships to visit Java.


April 13: French Huguenots receive political rights with the signing of the Edict of Nantes, ending the French Wars of Religion.

August 4: The office of the Hanse in London closes.

September 22: Ben John, playwright and poet, is indicted on charges of manslaughter after a duel.


Richard Hakluyt publishes the first authentic map of North America.

Copper coins are introduced for the first time.


89 cases of men arrested as pirates are heard in England.

Jan Janszoon of Haarlem (Netherlands) begins privateering.

January 1: Scotland changes the beginning of the year from March 25th to January 1st.

December 14: Privateer Olivier van Noort attacks the Spanish galleon San Diego in the Philippines. The battle lasts six hours, before the galleon sinks. The following year, in August, Van Noort will return to the Netherlands, becoming the first Dutchman to sail around the world.

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."

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17th Century
January 17: William Parker and his fellow pirates sack Portobello.

March 17: First St. Patrick's Day parade

circa: Buccaneers launch first forays against Spain in the Caribbean.

March 20: The Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC or Dutch East India Company) is founded.

Spain's 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.

circa: Granuaile dies.

March 24: Elizabeth I of England dies.
March 24: James VI of Scotland, the son of Mary Queen of Scots, becomes James I of England.
March 24: Tokugawa Ieysu becomes Shogun of Japan. The Tokugawa Shogunate will rule the country until 1867.

April 5: James I of England (James VI of Scotland) leaves Edinburgh for London where he will rule both countries.

The signing of the Treaty of London ends hostilities between England and Spain.

James I and VI enacts “A Proclamation to represse all Piracies and Depredations upon the Sea,” which revokes all letters of marque, and “A Proclamation for revocation of Mariners from forreine Services.”

June 10: Dimitri I, an imposter, is crowned tsar of Russia.

November 5: Robert Catesby and other Catholic Englishmen attempt to blow up Parliament and kill King James I. One conspirator 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 wuko.

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.

January 31: Guy Fawkes, one of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot, is executed in London.

May 13: Colony of Jamestown is founded. It is the first successful English colony in North America. Unbeknownst to the colonists, they have landed during the worst drought in 800 years.

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.

July 3: Samuel de Champlain founds the city of Quebec.

August 24: England's first convoy to India arrives in Surat.

England establishes a colony on Bermuda.

Peter Easton (Eaton) arrives in Grace Harbor, Newfoundland with a fleet of five pirate ships.

The Twelve Years' Truce begins between Dutch and Spain. It lasts until 1621.

Traveling under a safe conduct pass, the Barbary Corsair Danseker visits King Henri IV of France.

Hugo Grotius, a Dutch jurist, publishes 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.”

March 25: Henry Hudson, working for the VOC (Dutch East India Company), sets off on a voyage to find a passage to India. He finds Hudson Bay in the New World instead.

September 22: Felipe III issues a royal decree that all Moriscos (Christians of Moorish ancestry) are to be deported from Spain.

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 and Dantseker in London. It concerns the renegadoes John Ward and Simon Simonson (Danseker).

October 12: "Three Blind Mice," a children's rhyme, is published in London.

December 29: 18 pirates hanged at Execution Dock, Wapping in London.

May 14: Henri IV of France is assassinated. Nine-year-old Louis XIII ascends the throne.

Peter Easton arrives off the coast of Cork, Ireland and seeks a pardon for his piracy.

May 2: First publication of the King James version of the Bible.

June 22: A mutiny takes place aboard Discovery. Henry Hudson, his son, and seven others are set adrift in the Hudson Bay and are never seen again.

November 1: William Shakespeare's The Tempest is reportedly performed for the first time.

The English East India Company introduces cottons to London.

June 29: During a performance of William Shakespeare's Henry VIII, the thatch of London's Globe Theatre accidentally catches fire when the firing of a cannon marks the entry of the king onstage. Within the hour, the theatre is destroyed.

July 21: Michael Romanov is elected tsar. This establishes the House of Romanov, which rules Russia for more than 300 years.

James I of England bans privateering.

April 5: Pocahontas, a Powhatan, marries John Rolfe, a Virginia planter and colonial official.

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.

circa: At Louis XIII's behest, former Barbary corsair Simon Danseker (Simon Simonson) travels to Tunis to negotiate with Yusuf Dey for the release of French captives. He is beheaded.

English taverns begin using coin-in-the-slot vending machines for dispensing loose tobacco.

William Cornelius Shouten Van Hoorn names Cape Horn.

May 3: France's second civil war ends with the signing of the Treaty of Loudun.

June 9: Sir Henry Mainwaring receives a pardon for his acts of piracy. He later writes a treatise on piracy.

March 21: Pocahontas dies at Gravesend, England.

August 23: The world's first one-way streets open in London.

Thirty Years’ War begins.

Sir Henry Mainwaring presents his Discourse of the Beginnings, Practices, and Suppression of Pirates to King James I.

Jan Janszoon is captured by Algerine corsairs. After converting to Islam, he continues pirating as Murat Reis.

October 29: Sir Walter Raleigh is beheaded for attacking Spanish settlements during an expedition to search for the fabled El Dorado.

The Dutch East India Company establishes Batavia on Java.

Captain Daniel Elfrith of the Treasurer sails from Jamestown with a letter of marque to plunder Spanish ships in the Caribbean.

May 18: Hugo Grotius is sentenced to life imprisonment in Loevestein Castle in the Netherlands.

Suleiman, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, dies.

Jan Janszoon of Haarlem converts to Islam and assumes the name of Murat.

May 17: The first merry-go-round appears at a fair in Philippapolis, Turkey.

August 15: Mayflower and Speedwell set sail from Southampton, England with 102 Pilgrims, but must return to port.

September 16: The Mayflower departs Plymouth, England for the New World with 102 Pilgrims and 30 crewmen.

November 21: Forty-one male Pilgrims sign the Mayflower Compact aboard the Mayflower at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

December 21: Puritans arrive in Massachusetts Bay and establish a new colony.

March 22: Hugo Grotius, a Dutch jurist, escapes from Loevestein Castle in the Netherlands by hiding in a book chest.

April 5: The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts to return to England.

June 3: The Dutch West India Company receives its charter, granting it a monopoly for trade and establishing colonies in America, the Caribbean, and West Africa.

September 21: Sir William Alexander receives a royal charter to colonize Nova Scotia from King James I of England.

The English settle St. Kitts.

John Ward, also known as Yusuf Reis, dies of plague in Tunis.

Much of the North Sea freezes.

March 22: Powhatans massacre 347 European settlers at Jamestown, Virginia.

September 6: The Spanish silver fleet disappears off the Florida Keys. Thousands die.

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.

March 10: England declares war on Spain.

May 10: Jacob Willekens and Piet Heyn, admirals of the Dutch Republic, conquer Salvador da Bahia in Brazil.

August 13: Louis XIII of France appoints Cardinal Richelieu as his Chief Minister.

September 12: First submarine tested in the Thames.

Charles I becomes King of England.

Charles I decrees that chaplains must serve aboard all ships of the English navy.

Accused of murder, Cheng becomes a pirate. His reign lasts for twenty years.

May 6: Peter Minuit, a Dutch colonist, purchases Manhattan from Native Americans for goods worth sixty guilders.

May 30: The Wanggonchang Gunpowder Factory in Beijing, China explodes. Part of the city is destroyed and 20,000 people die.

November 18: Consecration of Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. It is the second largest building in the Christian world.

Tibbot-ne-Long, Granuaile’s son, created first Viscount of Mayo.

A Flemish man converts to Islam and becomes Murat Reis the Younger. He goes on to raid the Atlantic coasts of Portugal, Spain, and France.

March 3: Piet Heyn sails with 3,300 privateers aboard 36 vessels. They capture 22 Portuguese ships in the Bay of Salvador in Brazil.

Summer: Murat Reis the Younger attacks Reykjavik, Iceland.

Zheng Zhilong (Nicholas Iquan) surrenders to Ming government in China.

March 1: All English counties must pay a ship tax by this date, even if they do not have a seaport, according to a writ that Charles I of England issues in February.

August 10: Vasa, the crown jewel of the Swedish navy, sinks in Stockholm on her maiden voyage. Thirty people die.

September 8: Piet Heyn, leading a fleet of Dutch West India Company ships, captures the West Indies treasure fleet in the Bay of Matanzas, Cuba, and Spain defaults on her loans. This will be the only successful capture of a entire flota.

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.

March 2: Charles I of England dissolves Parliament. Nine members are imprisoned.

February 22: Native Americans introduce popcorn to Pilgrims at their thanksgiving meal.

June 25: Governor Winthrop introduces the fork to American dining.

December 12: The Dutch establish a whaling colony just inside Delaware Bay and call it Zwaanendael (Valley of the Swans).

Spain attacks buccaneers on Tortuga.

Dixie (Dixey) Bull becomes the first recorded pirate to attack ships in New England waters.

March: Zheng Zhilong (Nicholas Iquan) destroys Hung Pin (Toutsailacq) and his band of pirates.

June 17: Mumtay Mahal dies during childbirth. Overcome with grief, her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, spends more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal.

20: Murat Reis the Younger (formerly Jan Janszoon) attacks Baltimore, Ireland. Nearly 100 residents become Barbary slaves. Only two eventually return home.

December 16: Mount Vesuvius erupts, killing more than 3,000 people.

December: David Pietersz De Vries arrives at Zwaanendael to find the colony destroyed.

April 10: Bananas are offered for sale for the first time in London.

April 12: Galileo Galilei is accused of heresy.

June 22: Galileo Galilei is forced to recant that the Earth orbits the Sun by the Vatican. The Vatican does not disavow this belief until 31 October 1992.

October 22: The Chinese Ming navy defeats the Dutch East India Company at the Battle of Liaoluo Bay.

March 3: The first tavern opens in Boston, Massachusetts.

March 25: Catholic colony of Maryland founded.

October 20: Charles I disbands new Ship Money tax.

Pierre le Grands and 28 buccaneers capture a flagship of a Spanish treasure fleet.

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.

August 15: First recorded North American hurricane hits the Plymouth Colony.

October 9: Roger Williams, a religious dissident, is banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Roger Williams founds Providence Plantations (Rhode Island).

October 28: Harvard University is founded. It will become the oldest institute of higher learning in the United States.

27 Icelanders return home after enduring a decade of slavery following their capture by Murat Reis the Younger 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.

May 13: Cardinal Richelieu of France invents the table knife. He supposedly had the blade tips rounded to prevent users from using the knives to pick their teeth.

Murat Reis the Younger dies.

After the Shimabara Rebellion, Japan institutes the Sakoku Edict, which closes the country to prevent contact with Catholic Europe.

February 28: Presbyterians in Scotland sign the National Covenant in Edinburgh.

March 22: Massachusetts Bay Colony expels Anne Hutchinson, a religious dissident.

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 total 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.

August 28: At the Battle of Newburn, Scottish Covenanters defeat Charles I's army.

The Dutch seize Malacca from the Portuguese.

April 6: The Ming emperor appoints Zheng Zhilong (Nicholas Iquan), a pirate and merchant, as Admiral of Coastal Waters. His task is to suppress the pirates.

October 23: Irish Rebellion begins with a Catholic uprising in Ulster.

Jean le Vasseur assumes his position as Governor of Tortuga and begins improving the island's defenses. Within ten years, Tortuga is a bustling haven for the buccaneers.

Act for the Relief of the Captives taken by Turkish Moorish and other Pirates becomes law in England.

Dutch defeat Spanish forces on Taiwan, allowing the Dutch to gain control of the island.

March 12: Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, becomes the first European to sight New Zealand.

June 14: Massachusetts passes the first American law making education compulsory.

August 22: First Civil War in England begins when King Charles I raises his standard at Nottingham.

November 23: Abel Janszoon Tasman discovers an island that will be named for him (Tasmania).

January 5: Anne Clark is granted the first legal divorce in the American colonies in Boston, Massachusetts.

May 14: Louis XIV, later known as the Sun King, becomes King of France at the age of four.

March 19: To demonstrate their loyalty to the Chinese emperor, 200 members of the royal family and court commit suicide.

June 14: The Battle of Naseby. Oliver Cromwell's "New Model Army" defeats the royalists under the command of Prince Rupert.

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 secures.

February 28: Trial of Roger Scott for sleeping in church in Massachusetts

May 5: Charles I of England surrenders to the Scots.

Koxinga refuses to submit to the Manchus and establishes a Ming rebel base at Xiamen from which he attacks Manchu ships and garrisons.

January 30: Scottish Presbyterians, who captured King Charles I of England, sell him to the English Parliament for about £1,000,000.

May 26: Alse Young becomes the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies when she is hanged in Hartford, Connecticut.

Treaty of Munster gives Dutch commercial trading rights in the West Indies, so they officially withdraw from privateering.

Thomas Gage publishes A New Survey of the West-India’s.

The Taj Mahal is completed in Angra, India.

January: Spain signs the Treaty of Westphalia with the provinces and towns of the Union of Utrecht, which acknowledges their independence as the United Provinces. It ends the Dutch fight for independence and acknowledges their right to sail to destinations where they have a presence already.

October 24: The Thirty Years' War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia by the majority of other participants.

January 6: In a vote taken by the Rump Parliament, Charles I will stand trial for treason.

January 30: Charles I of England is beheaded. The English Civil War comes to an end.

April 21: Maryland passes the Toleration Act. It guarantees freedom of worship for all Christians, regardless of denomination, but anyone who rejects Jesus's divinity will suffer death.

June 1: Tsar Alexis orders all English merchants out of Moscow.

September 11: Oliver Cromwell kills 3,000 royalists during the Massacre of Drogheda, Ireland.

Koxinga assumes control of the trading empire of his father (Zheng Zhilong) and concentrates on building up its piratical and smuggling operations.

January 1: Charles Stuart is crowned King of Scots, becoming Charles II.
January 1: Samuel Pepys begins his diary.

October 9: England passes first Trade and Navigation Act that impacts America. Its purpose is to restrict trade among the colonies in North America and create an English monopoly.

To enforce discipline, the English Parliament passes the Articles of War.

First mint in English America established in Boston, Massachusetts.

April 6: The VOC (Dutch East India Company) establishes Cape Colony, the first European settlement in south Africa.

May: 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.

Jean le Vasseur is murdered by discontent buccaneers.

December 16: Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Oliver Cromwell sends fleet with army of 7,000 to Caribbean to capture Hispaniola.

First Anglo-Dutch War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Westminster.

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.

June 7: Louis XIV's coronation as King of France.

April 4: The English fleet defeats the Barbary corsairs at the Battle of Postage Farina, Tunis.

May 10: English expeditionary force under General Venables and Admiral Penn capture Jamaica from Spanish.

Tortuga becomes haven for buccaneers.

Worship becomes mandatory aboard all ships of the English navy.

January: Christopher Myngs arrives in Port Royal.

July 11: Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, members of the Society of Friends, land in Boston, becoming the first Quakers to arrive in America. The Puritan government promptly arrests them. They spend five years in jail before being deported to Barbados.

September 22: A female jury in Maryland hears the case of Judith Catchpole, who stands accused of killing her child. They acquit her.

Governor d’Oyley adopts a policy that encourages buccaneers to use Port Royal as a base in exchange for protection against the Spanish.

The Anglo-Spanish War ends.

Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga) leads a pirate fleet up the Yangtze River to attack Nanking, China.

Oliver Cromwell dies.

Christopher Myngs leads expedition of privateers that attacks Campeche, Coro, Cumana, and Puerto Cabello.

Christopher Myngs is arrested on charges of embezzlement and sent back to England.

8: The English Parliament recognizes Charles II as the rightful King of England, thus signalling the beginning of the Restoration.

23: Charles II returns from exile to England.

September 6: Unable to defend the colony, Petrus Stuyvesant, Governor of New Netherland (New Amsterdam), hands over the Dutch colony to the English.

October 17: The men who signed Charles I's death warrant are hanged, drawn, and quartered.

Qing emperor executes Zheng Zhilong (Nicholas Iquan).

King Felipe IV of Spain’s army invades Portugal.

Zheng Chenggong (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.

English pirates sack Santiago de Cuba over a two-week period.

Privateer fleet under the command of Christopher Myngs of the Royal Navy destroys Santiago de Cuba.

Circa: Port Royal becomes a thriving pirate haven.

Bartolomeo el Portugues captures a Spanish ship off Cuba and then is captured by the Spanish. He is taken to Campeche, but manages to escape before his execution. After several other failures, he is deemed unlucky and ends his days begging on the streets of Port Royal.

Ming dynasty collapses in China.

February 1: The Dutch surrender Formosa to Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga).

March 18: Paris opens the first public bus service. The Carosse a Cinq Sous operates until 1675.

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.

May 7: The Theatre Royal opens in Drury Lane, London.

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 and rename it Cape Coast Castle.

June 11: Sir Thomas Modyford arrives in Jamaica to assume governorship.

September 8: New Amsterdam becomes New York, following the Dutch surrender to the English.

October 28: The Maritime Regiment of Foot is founded. It later becomes the Royal Marines.

Second Anglo-Dutch War begins.

June 7: The Great Plague breaks out in London. Red crosses appear on houses where there are victims, and the residences are locked for 40 days or until those within die. Nearly 70,000 people will succumb in London alone. The plague spreads to other parts of the country the following year.

Alexandre Exquemelin arrives in the Caribbean as an indentured servant.

Roche Braziliano captures a Spanish prize off Vera Cruz.

London Gazette begins publication. It remains in print today.

January: Edward Mansvelt (Mansfield) is elected “admiral” by his men.

France and Denmark declare war on England. Frances does so because of its treaty with the Dutch, while the English raid on Bergen precipitates Danish involvement.

March 4: Jamaica's Governor Sir Thomas Modyford declares war on Spain and issues letters of marques to privateers.

May 26: Privateer Captain Edward Mansfield recaptures the island of Pimienta.

June 1-4: Four Days Battle. One of the longest, largest, and bloodiest naval engagements in history takes place during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

August 4: A hurricane strikes the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint Christopher. Thousands die.

August 5: A Dutch sharpshooter kills Christopher Myngs, an English naval commander and buccaneer, at the Battle of North Foreland.

August 9: Rear Admiral Robert Holmes raids the Dutch island of Terschelling, destroying 150 merchant ships and pillaging the town. This becomes known as "Holmes's Bonfire."

September 2: Great Fire of London sweeps through 436 acres, destroying more than 13,000 houses as well as St. Paul's Cathedral. After four days of burning, 80% of the city is destroyed. It starts at 2:00 AM in the house of the king's baker on Pudding Lane.

Spanish capture Edward Mansfield, take him to Havana, and execute him.

Roche Braziliano and his men are captured near Campeche, but escape and return to Jamaica.

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 II, in the Medway during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. They tow her back to Holland.

Second Anglo-Dutch War ends.

May 24: Louis XIV of France invades the Spanish Netherlands.

June 15: Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys performs the first documented blood transfusion when he transfuses a small dose of sheep's blood into a fifteen-year-old boy. The boy survives.

August 27: A 12-foot tidal wave strikes Jamestown, Virginia.

Modyford commissions Henry Morgan as admiral to defend Jamaica against a Spanish invasion.

Henry Morgan captures Maracaibo.

L'Olonnais captures an empty Honduran treasure galleon. Many of his men desert him, so he and 400 remaining pirates head to the Moskito Coast, where they are shipwrecked. Eventually, they build a boat and sail to the Gulf of Darien, where 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.

March 25: First horse race in America

May 29: Robert Searles (John Davis) captures St. Augustine.

July 11-12: Henry Morgan raids Porto Bello, nets 240,000 pesos to be shared amongst 500 men. This becomes a classic example of how the buccaneers conduct raids.

Last meeting of the Hanseatic League.

Charles Town, which will become the the capital of the Province of Carolina in 1717, is founded.

January: Henry Morgan’s flagship, Oxford, is destroyed when the ship’s powder magazine explodes.

February 1: Louis XIV of France places limits on religious freedom.

March: Henry Morgan attacks Maracaibo and Gibraltar.

April 9: The Council of War of the Indies in Madrid declares that Jamaica must be retaken.

May 27: Morgan’s buccaneers return to Port Royal, with the equivalent of US $14,000,000 in plunder.

June 24: Peace between England and Spain is 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.

The English East India Company is granted the rights to create money, command troops, build fortresses, form alliances, and exercise civil and criminal jurisdiction over its areas by King Charles II. This creates conflict between the Company and the Mughal Empire.

January 3: Portuguese Manoel Rivero Pardal receives privateering commission from the governor of Cartagena. He attacks the Cayman Islands and captures an English privateer.

July: England and Spain sign Treaty of Madrid. Spain no longer objects to English colonies in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica, which the English have occupied since 1655. The treaty also forbids all raiding and expunges and buries all hostilities between Spain and England.

October: Royal orders arrive in Cartagena authorizing the issuance of privateer commissions against the English.

December 27: Henry Morgan arrives on the east side of the isthmus of Panama with 1,200 men. Their intent is to cross the isthmus and attack the Spanish city of Panama.

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.

January 15: Sir Thomas Lynch receives commission as Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica.

January 18: Henry Morgan sacks Panama. He and his men depart four weeks later on 24 February.

14: Cossacks capture Stenka Razin in Russia.

April 29: King Louis XIV of France invades the Netherlands, uniting the Dutch, England, Spain, and Germany against him.

July 1: Sir Thomas Lynch arrives in Jamaica.

August: Sir Thomas Lynch arrests Governor Modyford and sends him to England.

April 4: Henry Morgan is arrested in Jamaica and sent to London to answer charges of piracy.

Massachusetts enacts severe law against piracy.

January 1: Regular delivery of mail begins between New York and Boston.

February 20: The first recorded wine auction occurs in London, England.

February 21: Michiel A. de Ruyter becomes Lieutenant-Admiral-General of the Dutch fleet.

May 17: Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, a fur trader, begin their exploration of the Mississippi River.

Captain George Cusack is imprisoned in Marshalsea prison prior to his trial on charges of piracy.

Tortuga is no longer a main pirate port.

March 5: Third Anglo-Dutch War ends with the ratifying of the Treaty of Westminster.

Henry Morgan returns to Jamaica with knighthood and commission as Lieutenant-Governor.

June 22: Charles II establishes the Royal Greenwich Observatory in England.

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.

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.

November 30: Roman Catholics are forbidden to serve in England's Parliament.

The Act of Privateers makes it a capital crime for Englishmen to serve under foreign princes. Pardons are offered to those who surrender within a year.

John Coxon and others plunder Santa Marta and kidnap the city's high-ranking clergymen.

September 21: John and Nicolaas van der Heyden receive a patent for the fire extinguisher.

Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin’s De Americaensche Zee-Rovers is published in Amsterdam.

May 11: The French fleet, under the command of Admiral Jacques d'Estrées, runs aground at Curaçao.

June: Michel de Grammont, “Le Chevalier,” captures San Carlos fortification guarding the entrance of the Lake of Maracaibo.

August 3: Robert LaSalle and his men build the first ship in America and call her Griffin.

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.

June 22: The Duke of Monmouth defeats Scottish Covenanters at Bothwell Bridge.

July 12: Charles II of England ratifies the Habeas Corpus Act, which allows prisoners the right to be examined by a court.

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 becomes extinct.

July 8: First confirmed tornado in America. It kills a servant in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Jamaica passes an anti-piracy law. Port Royal ceases to be a pirate haven and the authorities execute pirates.

January 6: First record of a boxing match. The butcher and butler of the Duke of Albemarle square off against each other.

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.

April 9: René-Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, claims the Mississippi River and surrounding land for France. He names it Louisiana, in honor of the king.

May 6: King Louis XIV of France moves his court from Paris to Versailles.

July: Laurens de Graaf captures the 30-gun Francesca off Puerto Rico, which carries the annual wages for soldiers in Havanna. 100 men share 120,000 pesos.

October 27: William Penn founds Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Manchus conquer Taiwan.

May: Michael de Grammont, Nicholas van Hoorn, and Laurens de Graaf join forces (13 ships and 1,300 men) to attack Vera Cruz. Each pirate's share totals 800 pieces of eight (roughly £21,000 or $28,000 in 2019).

June 6: The Ashmolean opens in Oxford, England. It is the first university museum in the world and is named for an archaeologist who donates his collection of curiosities to Oxford University. Sir Christopher Wren designs and builds the the museum to display the collection.

September 24: Louis XIV of France expels all Jews from its American lands.

October: Sir Henry Morgan is removed from the Council of Jamaica and public service after a dispute with Governor Lynch.

October 6: The first Mennonites arrive in America and establish a settlement in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

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.

Michel de Grammont and Laurens de Graaf join forces again to attack New Spain.

James II becomes king of England.

July: Duke of Monmouth is defeated at the Battle of Sedgemoor.

July: Judge Jeffries sentences hundreds of rebels to be hanged or transported as slaves, including Henry Pitman.

July 6: Laurens de Graaf attacks Vera Cruz and holds the town for 3 months, but most of its valuables have been secreted away by Spaniards.

September: Michel de Grammont, “Le Chevalier,” and Laurens de Graaf join forces and attack Campeche, Mexico.

October 18: Louis XIV revokes the Edict of Nantes, which cancels the rights of French Protestants.

Basil Ringrose is 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 is presumed lost at sea.

King James I issues a pardon to pirates.

William Phips's divers locate the wreck of the Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, a ship carrying at least 100 tons of silver, that sank in 1641.

March 19: While seeking the mouth of the Mississippi River, Robert Cavalier de La Salle is murdered by his men.

July 5: Isaac Newton's Philosophia Naturalis Principia Mathematicis published. The book outlines his laws of motion and universal gravitation.

Robert Searles attacks St. Augustine and frees imprisoned surgeon John Woodward.

The War of the League of Augsburg (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. It lasts until 1697. In the North American colonies, the war is known as King William's War.

January: King James II issues an edict entitled “A Royal Proclamation for the more effectual reducing and suppressing of Pirates and Privateers in America.”

June 22: Lionel Wafer, Edward Davis, and John Hinson arrested in Hampton, Virginia. They have with them three chests containing pieces of eight and silver plate.

August 25: Sir Henry Morgan dies. He is given state funeral with a series of 21-gun salutes.

December 23: James II of England, the last Roman Catholic monarch, flees to France.

A combined fleet of French naval vessels and buccaneers attack Cartagena.

The War of the Grand Alliance begins.

Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's fleet attacks the English East India Company's factory in Bombay.

February 13: The English Parliament proclaims William and Mary king and queen of England and they rule the kingdom together until her death in 1694. (Mary is the daughter of King James I and VI and a Protestant. William of Orange is her husband.)

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.

July 27: Jacobite Highlanders, led by Viscount Dundee, defeat General Mackay's Royalist troops at the Battle of Killiecrankie in Scotland.

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 14 guilty and sentences them to hang, but none are executed after leading citizens counsel the governor to be lenient. 13 are freed, and the last, Thomas Pound, while on the scaffold, is given a reprieve and sent to London, where the charges are  dropped.

The English East India Company's Bombay factory surrenders to Emperor Aurangzeb's fleet after a year of resistance.

February 2: Robert Culliford steals the Blessed William from William Kidd and goes on the account.

February 3: Massachusetts issues the first paper money in the American colonies.

July 1: King William III of England defeats James II, who flees England, at the Battle of the Boyne in James's attempt to regain the throne.

July 17: Adam Baldridge arrives on Ile Sainte Marie in Madagascar. He builds a fort and begins trading with the pirates.

September: William Dampier returns home to England after an absence of 12 years and an unplanned trip around the world.

October 23: Smoking is banned in Haarlem, Netherlands and the public revolts.

December 10: The Massachusetts Bay Colony issues the first paper currency in the Western Hemisphere.

French coin depicts achievements of buccaneer's William Dampier's circumnavigation of the globe. One such coin is found among those recovered from the Whydah.

Dutch pirates capture a wealthy Indian merchant ship that belongs to a powerful Surat merchant. The governor of Surat assumes the pirates are English and the Emperor forces the English East India Company to reimburse the merchant. Until they do, the English are confined to their factory and not permitted to trade.

May 16: William Kidd marries Sarah Bradley Cox Oort in New York City.

August 16: Yorktown, Virginia founded

February: The exiled James II issues privateering commissions against British shipping.

13: In the midst of winter, Hanoverian troops, who accepted the hospitality of the MacDonalds of Glencoe and are commanded by a Campbell, slaughter about 38 clan members. The reason for doing so is because the Donald (Alexander MacDonald) is late in pledging allegiance to King William III and an example of failing to arrive promptly is made.

March 1: Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, a slave from the West Indies, are the first people accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.

June 7: An earthquake, followed by a tidal wave, strikes Jamaica and part of Port Royal slides into the sea. More than 2,000 people die.

June 13: The first victim, Bridget Bishop, of the Salem witch trials is hanged after she is found guilty of "certaine Detestable Arts called Witchcraft and Sorceries." Trials continue through September, and a total of 19 are convicted and hanged for witchcraft.

June 24: Founding of Kingston, Jamaica

July: In reaction to James II’s privateering commissions, the Privy Council proposes to treat captured rebel seamen as criminals.

August: Benjamin Fletcher becomes Governor of New York, and is later named Governor of Pennsylvania as well.

September: An Act for the Restraining and Punishing of Privateers and Pirates is passed.

September 22: Eight people, convicted of witchcraft, are hanged in Salem, Massachusetts. They are the last "witches" to be executed in the American colonies.


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.

January 11: Eruption of Mount Etna in Sicily. Around 60,000 people die.

February 8: After years of wrangling, £300 from Lionel Wafer, John Hinson, and Edward Davis -- along with more than £700 confiscated by the monarchy from other pirates -- is used to found the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

July: Thomas Tew captures a warship laden with treasure, belonging to the Indian Mughal Alamgir I. The pirates' take is exceeds £100,000, which is the amount of gold and silver captured. The plunder also includes gems, ivory, spices, and silk.

July 8: New York City authorizes the first police uniforms in the American colonies.


William Kidd and Robert Livingston put forth a privateering venture to the Earl of Bellomont. The purpose is to hunt pirates and acquire their plunder.

February: The English try 12 privateers, sailing under commissions of the exiled King James II, for piracy and treason.

April: Thomas Tew returns to Newport, Rhode Island after capturing a ship in the Red Sea that garners each pirate £1,200.

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.

December 28: Queen Mary II dies of smallpox in London at the age of 32. Her death signifies the last Stuart to reign in the United Kingdowm. Her successor, George I, establishes the House of Hanover.

Heyday of Madagascar as a pirate haven. It will continue to be so for four years.

Adventure Galley is built.

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.

May: The English attack de Graaf’s base at Port-de-Paix, ransack the town, and take his wife and daughters hostage.

May 2: The combined French navy and Caribbean buccaneers capture Cartagena.

May 30: After the French garrison withdraws, the buccaneers pillage Cartagena. Each man receives 1,000 pieces of eight.

June: Thomas Tew encounters Henry Every in the Red Sea.

June: Thomas Tew is killed during a battle at sea with the Fateh Mohammed. His men are imprisoned, but Henry Every attacks the ship and rescues them. Every then pursues the Ganj-i-sawai, a prize that nets them between £200,000 and £600,000. The violence during the attack spurs riots in Surat, India and representatives of the English East India Company are arrested and the factory is closed.

August 19: The governor of Maryland appoints the colony’s first wreckmaster for Somerset County.

October 10: William Kidd signs a privateering/pirate hunting agreement with Lord Bellomont, even though Lord Bellomont threatens to prevent Kidd from departing England if he does not sign. Lord Bellomont also promises that Kidd will not be prosecuted should the venture go awry.

September 11: Governor Benjamin Fletcher of New York is recalled to England on charges of tampering with elections and financial misdeeds. Eventually, his associations with men such as Thomas Tew will lead to additional charges of collusion with pirates.

December 11: Amity arrives in Madagascar without Thomas Tew.

December 31: England imposes a window tax. Many shopkeepers brick up their windows, rather than pay the tax.

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.

Act for the Prevention of Frauds (Jamaica Act) is passed. It overturns a previous royal statute that insisted that pirates be tried in England. Henceforth vice-admiralty courts are to be established in America to try piracy cases.

January 26: William Kidd receives a letter of marque to hunt pirates.

April: Henry Every arrives at New Providence, Bahamas aboard Fancy. While his crew disperses, he disappears.

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.

September 6: William Kidd and the Adventure Galley set sail from New York for the Indian Ocean.

October 19: Six members of Henry Every's crew are indicted on charges of piracy. One witness for the defence during the trial is William Dampier. Every's men are exonerated, but are retried on 6 November on charges of mutiny and theft of the Charles II and found guilty.

November 26: 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.

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.

January 28: William Kidd, aboard Adventure Galley, arrives in Madagascar.

March 10: Tsar Peter the Great of Russia begins his tour of Western Europe.

May 28: Joseph Dawson, convicted of mutiny during the trial of the captured members of Every's crew, receives a pardon.

October 30: Gunner William Moore accuses Captain William Kidd of bringing the men aboard Adventure Galley to ruin. Enraged, Kidd strikes Moore in the head with a bucket. Moore succumbs to his wound the next day.

First proposal for a radical solution to the problem of the pirates in Madagascar is 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.

January 4: Fire destroys much of the Palace of Whitehall, the monarchs' main residence, in London.

January 30: William Kidd captures the Quedah Merchant. He renames her Adventure Prize.

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.

July 2: Thomas Savery patents the first steam engine.

July 14: The Darien Scheme begins with the sailing of five ships from Leith, Scotland. Aboard are about 1,200 people who plan to set up a colony on the Isthmus of Panama.

Robert Culliford captures the Great Mohammed, a treasure ship belonging to the Mughal of India.

William Kidd burns Adventure Galley at Madagascar.

September 5: Tsar Peter the Great imposes a tax on beards.

November: With a skeleton crew (following the mutiny of the rest), William Kidd sets sail for the West Indies aboard the Adventure Prize (formerly Quedagh Merchant).

November 2: Scottish settlers establish the ill-fated "Darien Venture" colony in Panama.

November 23: The English government declares William Kidd a pirate. The proclamation also makes it clear that he will not be pardoned and that steps should be taken to hunt him down.

December 8: King William III issues a Proclamation of Clemency (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 after amassng a fortune of more than £30,000.

Lewis Guittar, a French pirate in command of La Paix, and his men take seven prizes.

After William Kidd's departure from the West Indies to clear his name, the Adventure Prize (formerly Quedagh Merchant) is burned and sinks off the coast of the Dominican Republic.

January: William Mace, who had sailed with Thomas Tew, is elected captain of the pirate ship Charming May.

April: William Kidd and his remaining men arrive in Anguilla, where he learns that he has been deemed a pirate.

April 29: Last day for pirates who preyed in the Indian Ocean to accept the King's pardon. The two men exempted from this pardon are Henry Every and William Kidd.

July 1: William Kidd arrives in Boston harbor.

3: William Kidd testifies before the council in Boston about his voyage that resulted in the capture of the Quedagh Merchant.

July 6: Captain William Kidd is arrested at the home of Lord Bellomont in Boston.

July 7: William Kidd pens his "Narrative of the Voyage of Captain William Kidd, Commander of the Adventure Gally, from London to the East Indies" to explain the events that occurred during the voyage.


One pound of tea costs more than two weeks’ wages for laborer.

Judge Samuel Sewall publishes The Selling of Joseph, a Memorial, the first pamphlet to condemn slavery in North America.

Passage of the Act for the Effectual Suppression of Piracy. This law modifies the Offenses of the Sea Act passed during the reign of Henry VIII.

February: Navy Captains Littleton and Passenger send over 100 pirates to London from Madagascar and Chesapeake Bay for trial. One of the prisoners is William Kidd.

February 27: William Dampier, a former privateer and now an explorer, becomes the first Englishman to visit the Pacific island of New Britain.

March 10: HMS Advice sets sail for London with captured pirates aboard, including William Kidd.

April 14: William Kidd arrives in London to be tried for piracy. He is imprisoned in Newgate.

April 27: HMS Shoreham attacks La Paix, a pirate ship trapped in Lynnhaven Inlet under the command of Louis Guittar. During the battle, Shoreham expends 1,671 round shot and 27 barrels of gunpowder. When the barrage ends, 40 pirates are dead and 120 become prisoners.

July 8: First recorded reference to Jolly Roger when Emanuel Wynne, a French privateer turned pirate, flies one decorated with skull, crossed bones, and an hourglass.

October 7: King Carlos II of Spain dies, naming Philippe, Duc d'Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV of France, as successor.

November 24: Louis XIV of France proclaims that his grandson, Felipe, is the Spanish king. The proclamation leads to what is known as the War of the Spanish Succession.

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