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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.

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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 22 December 2018)

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                    and crossed bones

'A Greater Monster Never Infested the Seas'New
Edward Low

From 1722 through 1723, colonists could not read a newspaper without coming across an item detailing this pirate's brutal attacks on innocent merchant sailors and their vessels. The viciousness was recounted in lurid details, demonstrating just how cruel this pirate and his men were. Governor John Hart of the Leeward Islands suggested that the king might offer a pardon, possibly even a reward, if Low's men turned against their captain and brought him to justice dead or alive. After all, "a greater monster never infested the seas."

Part 2 of this series continues Low's depredations, which extending from Newfoundland to the Cape Verde Islands and Brazil. Among his forced men was a fisherman named Philip Ashton, whose account of his captivity was later published after he escaped from the pirates.

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Pirate Quote of the Month
I told him, No; I could by no means consent to go with them. . . . For indeed my dislike of their company and actions, my concern for my parents, and my fears of being found in such bad company made me dread the thoughts of being carried away by them, so that I had not the least inclination to continue with them.

-- Philip Ashton on his abduction by Edward Low in 1722
The Bonnie Bookaneer's
NewJanuary Book ReviewsNew

Deadly Waters
by Darren Simon
Historical Fantasy, 18th century

Open Sea
by María Gudín and translated by Cynthia Steele
Historical Fiction, 17th century
(published by Historical Novels Review)

The Black Ring
by William Westbrook

  Historical Fiction, 18th century

The Liberty Bride
by MaryLu Tyndall
Historical Romance, 19th century

by Michael Aye
Historical Fiction, Nautical Fiction, 18th century

by Michael Aye
Historical Fiction, Nautical Fiction, 18th century

The Golden Age of Piracy
edited by David Head
History, 17th-19th centuries


Upcoming Appearances

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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

Under the
                        Crossbones Logo

Among Phil Johnson's recent guests at Under the Crossbones are Eric Jay Dolin (author of Black Flags, Blue Waters [my review]), Hurricane Robb and Krimson Kat (Pyrates of the Coast), Charles Dean Beeker (shipwreck conservationist), Jasper Rouwhorst (Crooked Waters), and Michael Melzer (author of The Patriot Pirate).

Pirate & Maritime Events, Exhibits, & Courses


Boarded! A New Pirate Adventure
29 December 2018
Maritime Museum of San Diego
San Diego, California

Crime and Criminals in the Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Anglo-American World
Société d’Etudes Anglo-Américaines XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (SEAA 17-18)
18-19 January 2019
Paris, France
(additional information)

46th Annual Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships
23-27 February 2019
San Pedro, California

Cutty Sark Anniversary Concert
8 March 2019
Cutty Sark
Greenwich, London, United Kingdom

Spring Sailabration
11 April 2019
Baltimore, Maryland

Exhibits, Courses, & Performances

The Vikings Begin
20 October 2018 - 14 April 2019
Nordic Museum
Seattle, Washington

A Pirate's Life for Me
20 October 2018 - 22 April 2019
V&A Museum of Childhood
London, United Kingdom

Queen Anne's Revenge Traveling Exhibit
300th Anniversary of Sinking
3 December 2018 - 31 January 2019
North Carolina National Maritime Museum
Southport, North Carolina

Death in the Ice
The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition
November 2018 - April 2019
Mystic Seaport
Mystic, Connecticut


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

Great compliments on your site and research. -- Dimitri Devyatkin, screenwriter & film producer


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

Skull and CrossbonesThe BookaneerSkull
            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

Skull and CrossbonesSpecial ResourcesSkull
            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 December 2018)

Pirates and Death
(PDF chart listing pirates and how they died)
(Updated April 2018)
Piratical Dates

Events in history related to pirates and the world in general
(Updated December 2018)

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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