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The History of Maritime Piracy

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

Pirate Articles
Pirate Links
Book Reviews
Thistles & Pirates
Welcome!Welcome to Pirates and

Within these pages of Pirates & Privateers, you'll find articles on all aspects of maritime piracy from ancient times to modern day. Pirate Articles is an annotated list of all the articles I've written. Pirate Links is an annotated list of the best web sites that specialize in piracy and life at sea from early days through the Age of Sail. The Book Review pages house the reviews on the latest fiction and non-fiction pirate and maritime books for children and adults. Other highlights include specialized bibliographies, piratical places to visit, pirate dates in history, piracy quotes, and information about The Rebel and the Spy, my current novel-in-progress that started me on the path of piracy.

If you'd like to be notified when I post a new article, as well as to read the latest pirate-related news that doesn't appear here, subscribe to the Pirates and Privateers Newsletter. If you'd like to read a sample of my newsletter before you subscribe, click here. Subscribers never miss out on the latest happenings at Pirates and Privateers.

As always, if you have a question about pirates, please write and ask. If you'd like me to write about a particular pirate or subject, let me know. One cautionary note to those searching for genealogical information. Historical records about pirates are rare. Much of what is known comes from government records, including court trials, and the few first-person accounts written during a particular time period. This information rarely contains details pertinent to what you need to identify and/or learn about ancestors. The simple fact is that the vast majority of pirates' names remain unknown. I cannot answer this type of question, so rather than contact me, you should check genealogical depositories and websites, as well as national archives.

A special note to teachers and students: Answering questions and locating information is something I love to do. If you need help with a project or report, please contact me. Should you use any of my articles or reviews, please let me know and remember to include the proper citation. The majority of material contained within this website is copyrighted.

Happy Holidays!


Happy New Year

Fair winds and following seas,

also known as The Pirate Lady

Under the Crossbones with Cindy Vallar

Click banner to listen to my interview

Bookish PiratePirate Ahoy!Dueling Pirates

(Site updated 18 December 2016)

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                    and crossed bones

Spanish AdventurersNew
Pirates and Corsairs at Home and in the New World

A common misconception in piracy, especially as regards the Caribbean, is that Spain was the enemy and only men and women from other countries were pirates and privateers. But they also came from Spain and her colonies. Sometimes they attacked shipping from foreign nations; other times, they attacked vessels from their native lands. Later on, when the colonies decided they wished to rule themselves, the rebel governments also commissioned privateers to fight against their Spanish overlords. Pirates also participated in this struggle.

Part 4 looks at the pirates of the nineteenth century, from Roberto Cofresi to Pedro Gibert and Bernardo de Soto.


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Pirate Quotes of the Month
The enemy marched with such daring and ferocity, that the cavalry, terrified and fearful, took to flight before the battle so that our infantry lacked the protection of cavalry, and leaving two of the enemy dead in the field and several wounded, withdrew to the city. The wailing of women, and of those unfit to fight, the swiftness of the flight through the hills, the commotion in the port and the general confusion, although they are normal in times of war have been all the more noticeable on this occasion for being unusual and never before seen in these part . . . [The buccaneers attacked] with superhuman effort and the valour and ferocity of lions, fighting recklessly with an unnatural disdain for all risks and making light of death.

– Spanish report written after buccaneers attacked Arica, 1681
The Bonnie Bookaneer's
NewJanuary Book ReviewsNew

Daughter of the Pirate King
by Tricia Levenseller


The Treasure of Barracuda
by Llanos Campos
illustrated by
Júlia Sardŕ
translated by Lawrence Schimel
Adventure Fiction

The Golden Age of Piracy
by Benerson Little

History, 17th-18th centuries

Hornblower's Historical Shipmates
by Heather Noel-Smith and Lorina M. Campbell
Naval History, 18th century

The George Abercrombie Fox Series
by Adam Hardy
Reviewed by Irwin Bryan
Historical Fiction, 18th-19th centuries


Upcoming Appearances

Pirate with spyglass
If you would like the Pirate Lady 
to speak to your group,
please contact me.

For information on upcoming workshops,
click here.

For additional appearances, visit Thistles & Pirates.

Smiley CaptainPirate and Maritime NewsSmiley Captain

Competing Against the Pirates-There’s Rough Seas Ahead!
By Irwin Bryan

If you, or your children, compete with any team named the “Pirates,” chances are the local sports headline will be piratical in nature!
Pirate gunner

If the Pirates should win, you’ll become cannon fodder for your local sports writer(s), each one of whom will have seen at least one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. It’s bad enough to lose without having everyone laughing at the creative headline. Unfortunately, this appears to be the case no matter the sport or how young the competitors are.

A study of online Local Sports headlines from 2016 reveals losing teams may be “sunk,” never to rise again. Your team could be beaten so badly you are “thrashed” or “pillaged.” If the Pirates really overwhelm your team, you could be “swamped” or “destroyed.” At least one writer must have thought the Pirates used heated shot as they “scorched” the competition!

Should the game be close, you may just be honorably “vanquished” or see the Pirates “steal the spotlight.” If you’re lucky, the Pirates may only “sail past” your team, or “ride the wind” to victory.

And should your team be fortunate and beat the Pirates, you may force them to “walk the plank,” win with “broadsides,” or “shipwreck” them! Even if it’s close, the “battling” pirates may still face “defeat!”

When you think about it, it’s only fair to let the writers have a little fun when there are pirates involved. Readers would get upset if they “bury” the Miners or “shoot” the Ducks! But most people are entertained by fictional pirates so there’s no harm done.

At least you’ve been warned!

Copyrighted © 2016 Irwin Bryan

Under the
                        Crossbones: Tom Butler

Host Phil Johnson recently interviewed Tom Butler, creator of The Pirate Republic. Set in the Caribbean during 1713, players work to complete Flying Gang missions to forge the ultimate democracy. Early next year, he hopes to launch a campaign to raise funds to produce the game. By night Tom is a game developer, but during the day he's a Combat Rescue Officer.

Other recent guests at Under the Crossbones include Captain Davy Duvall and Matt Stone of Sea Wolf Clothing.

Anglo-American Maritime Clothing

Historian David Fictim specializes in maritime history during the 17th and 18th century. He has spent many years researching the clothing sailors wore during this time, a subject of interest to novelists, re-enactors, historians, and many others. As past of his studies for a Masters of Arts of Maritime Studies, he wrote a thesis entitled "Slops for the Tarpaulin Rabble: The Clothing of Anglo-American Sailors, 1680-1740." He would like to publish his research so others can benefit from what he has learned, but he still needs to consult 320 probate documents housed in maritime archives in England. To raise money in support of this project, he has started a Go Fund Me project. He hopes you will support this endeavor.

I've known David for many years and I get a lot of requests for more information on what pirates and other seamen wore in the past, so this would be a worthy resource for any history collection. David currently writes the Colonies, Ships, and Pirates blog to share news and information about the Atlantic World in the past. You can learn more about David at his LinkedIn profile.

Pirate & Maritime Events, Exhibits, & Courses


21st Annual Moby-Dick Marathon
6-8 January 2017
New Bedford Whaling Museum
New Bedford, Massachusetts

Council of American Maritime Museums Annual Conference
19-21 April 2017
San Francisco Maritime National Park
San Francisco, California

Dead Men Tell No Tales

Opens in theaters 26 May 2017

Queen Anne's Revenge
 300th Anniversary of Sinking
Beaufort, North Carolina

Exhibits & Courses

Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers
Mystic Seaport
Mystic, Connecticut

Ship Models: The Evolution of Ship Design
Hart Nautical Gallery
MIT Museum
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Polynesian Voyagers
1 October 2016 - 11 June 2017
The Mariners' Museum
Newport News, Virginia

Vikings: Beyond the Legend

Cincinnati Museum Center
opens 11 November 2016
Cincinnati, Ohio


Pirate Skeleton in Crow's
                    NestVisitors' ReviewsPirate Skeleton
                    in Rigging

I am writing to congratulate you on your Website. I found it very informative and entertaining.

-- David Lambert, Metro Wynn Presents


Skull and CrossbonesThe ArticlesSkull and Crossbones

Being a Pirate (or How to be one)
History of Piracy
Modern Piracy
Notorious Pirates (or Who was who)
Piracy Around the World
Pirates and Literature
Wooden Sailing Ships

Skull and CrossbonesThe LinksSkull and Crossbones

Activities for Young Pirates
Exotic Ports of Call
Modern-day Piracy
Notorious Pirates
Pirate Literature
Piratical Books Online
Ships and Sailing
Treasure Troves

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            and Crossbones

Latest Reviews
Five-Star Reviews
Books for Young Pirates
Books for Apprenticed Pirates and Young Adults
Fiction Books for Adults
Nonfiction Books for Adults

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            and Crossbones

Pirate Adventures  and Pirates Adventures 2010
Fun places for pirates in need of rest & relaxation
(Updated August 2015)

The Age of Sail
Examines merchant ships, maritime commerce, and seaports

Before the Age of Sail
Examines ships prior to the seventeenth century

Barbary Corsairs Resources

Articles, books, and web sites on the Barbary Corsairs

Canadian Piracy Resources
Articles, books, and web sites on piracy and privateering in Canada

Modern Piracy Resources
Articles, books, and web sites on piracy today
(Updated November 2016)

Pirates and Death
(PDF chart listing pirates and how they died)
(Revised November 2015)

Piratical Dates

Events in history related to pirates and the world in general
(Updated April 2016)

Pyrate Surgeons Resources
Articles, books, and web sites on pyrate surgeons and medicine at sea in the Age of Sail

Wooden Sailing Ships
Inside look at a wooden ship

Pirates and Privateers Site Map


The majority of the artwork on these pages is copyrighted by the artists.
To obtain permission for their use please go to ClipArt.com.

The backgrounds used on Pirates and Privateers are from WebGround.


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The Rebel and the Spy, my current Novel-in-Progress, centers around Jean Laffite and the Battle of New Orleans.  Below are links to places depicted in the novel and a resource list for those seeking information on Jean Laffite, Pirates, Ships in the Age of Sail, the Battle of New Orleans, Andrew Jackson, and many other subjects.

Jean Laffite's Haunts

New Orleans and Piracy Resource List


Each month I alert readers to the posting of my latest piracy article and book reviews, new additions made to the site, and interesting tidbits about piracy. If you'd like to receive the Pirates and Privateers monthly newsletter, just complete the form below.
Read a sample issue of my Pirates & Privateers Newsletter.

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