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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.

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 20 March 2020)

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                    and crossed bones

Curious Pirate ShipsNew

Close your eyes.

Think back to days of yore.

Picture a ship.

What do you see?

Most likely the image is of a wooden sailing ship with high masts, square sails filled with wind, and a ship’s wheel. If I insert the adjective “pirate” before “ship,” the only differences may be the black flag fluttering in the wind and a ragtag crew vaporing insults and threats while slashing the air with an array of weapons. This is an image of the buccaneers and pirates of the western world, those who prowled the Caribbean and Atlantic, especially during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. But piracy is a world-wide phenomenon, and outside this sphere and time span, sea marauders have sailed in what we can describe as “unusual” pirate ships.

The second half of this article examines vessels favored by Asian pirates throughout the centuries, some of which were described by pirate captives. The article concludes with a look at a western galley, whose origins may date back to the Viking Era.

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Pirate Quotes of the Month
Some two or three hundred pirate praus will put out to attack them. Sometimes [the junks] are fortunate enough to escape with a favorable wind; otherwise the crews are butchered, and the merchandise made off with in quick time.

-- Long Ya Men, who lived in 14th-century China,
on pirate attacks within the Dragon Teeth Strait (the Strait of Malacca)

There came to mee also a most femynyne sea capten called Grany Imallye, and offered her service unto me, wheresoever I woulde command her, with three gallyes and two hundred fightinge men, either in Ireland or Scotland . . . . This was a notorious woman in all the costes of Ireland.

-- Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy of Ireland, 1576
The Bonnie Bookaneer's
NewApril Book ReviewsNew

H. M. S. Barabbas
Ben Jeapesby
Nautical Fiction, Historical Fiction, 18th century

The Pirate Raiders
by C. G. Mosley
Historical Fiction, 18th century

The Turn of the Tide
by Philip K. Allan

Naval Fiction, 18th century

In the Shadow of Nelson
by Denis Orde
Naval History, 18th & 19th centuries
Reviewed by Irwin Bryan


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

The Essential Pirate Anthology

                        Art: The Essential Pirate AnthologyThis collection of pirate stories includes eighteen complete novels and non-fiction books. There are 9,043 pages in total -- a lot of great reading.

Don't pass up the chance to read some real classics of pirate literature, such as Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates and Philip Gosse's The Pirates' Who's Who.

Other books, The Ghost Pirates for example, may be considered fantasies with supernatural occurrences, including ghosts. Sailor superstitions are also discussed.

You'll read about a slave ship, privateers, mutiny, and murder. Famous pirates, such as Blackbeard, and ones you've never heard of, like Captain Cornelius Andreson or Captain Joseph Bradish, appear in these stories. Among the famous writers included in this anthology are Daniel Defoe, Frederick Marryat, Ralph D. Paine, and Robert Louis Stevenson.

If you have an e-book reader, be sure to get this great deal while the price is so low ($2.99). It's available at most online stores that sell e-books. And with Covid-19, if you are quarantined or must self-isolate, The Essential Pirate Anthology is a great way to pass the time.

-- Irwin Bryan, contributor

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Pirate & Maritime Events, Exhibits, & Courses


In light of Covid-19, please check with the venues
to make certain events and museums are open
and have not been cancelled or postponed.

America's Schooner Cup Charity Regatta
28 March 2020
Maritime Museum of San Diego
San Diego, California

14-15 April 2020
Mystic Seaport
Mystic, Connecticut

Legoland Pirate Island Hotel
Grand Opening
17 April 2020

PirateFest Weekends
18-19 & 25-26 April 2020
2-3 May 2020
Winterhaven, Florida

25 May, 5 September, 28 November, 26 December 2020
Maritime Museum of San Diego
San Diego, California

Mayflower Sails 2020
15-19 May 2020
Charleston Navy Yard
Charlestown, Massachusetts

Festival of the Sea
23-25 May 2020
Maritime Museum of San Diego
San Diego, California

Viking Days
20-21 June 2020
Mystic Seaport
Mystic, Connecticut

Nautical Nightmares
9-30 October 2020
Mystic Seaport
Mystic, Connecticut
Exhibits, Courses, & Performances

British Tattoo Art Revealed
1 May - 14 June 2020
Historic Dockyard Chatham
Chatham, United Kingdom

De Wind Is Op!
Now through 15 May 2020
New Bedford Whaling Museum
New Bedford, Massachusetts

(Online catalog available at above link)

Sea Monsters
Delving into the Deep Myth

Opens 11 July 2020
Maritime Museum of San Diego
San Diego, California

Diving Deep
HMS Invincible 1744

18 July - 8 November 2020
Historic Dockyard Chatham
Chatham, United Kingdom

Horrible Histories Pirates
Now through 31 December 2020
Portsmouth Historic Dockyards
Portsmouth, UK


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

I just wanted to drop a note of highest appreciation for your website. It is wonderfully crafted and supported. I am most endeared to it by the removal of the folklore and substantiating the information with primary sources. -- Charlie Reiser, USA


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

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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 and Pirates Adventures 2017
Fun places for pirates in need of rest & relaxation
(Updated April 2017)

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 February 2020)

Pirates and Death
(PDF chart listing pirates and how they died)
(Updated October 2019)
Piratical Dates

Events in history related to pirates and the world in general
(Updated March 2020)

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.


Skull and CrossbonesThe Rebel and the SpySkull and Crossbones

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
(Updated December 2018)



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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