Six Great British Pirates

Despite their current bad press, the pirates of old continue to fascinate and we wanted to come up with six great British pirates all born in places where we now have a Trail or two! We are not claiming these are the greatest pirates ever, but each of them has a great claim to fame!

1. The most famous pirate of them all was probably Edward Teach, more commonly known as Blackbeard. Blackbeard was born in Bristol and started his career as a crew member for the pirate Benjamin Hornigold. He understood power dressing! Before battle, he would dress all in black, strap several pistols to his chest and put on a large black captain’s hat. Then, he would put slow burning fuses in his hair and beard. The fuses constantly sputtered and gave off smoke, which wreathed him in a perpetual greasy fog. He looked like a devil who had stepped right out of hell and onto a pirate ship and most of his victims simply surrendered their cargo rather than fight him.

2. Calico Jack Rackham was also born in Bristol and is best known for two reasons - having the two most famous and ferocious female pirates in his crew, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.  And, his flag, a black one with a skull over crossed cutlasses has been adopted as the most recognisable contemporary pirate flag.

3. Captain Edward Low was born in Westminster. Although he was active for only three years, Low remains notorious as one of the most vicious pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy, with a reputation for violently torturing his victims before killing them. He sounds a really nasty piece of work, perhaps having being born in Westminster he was true to his roots!

4. Next on our list is the most successful of the pirates operating in the Golden Age of Piracy, Bartholomew “Black Bart” Roberts. He was born in 1682 in Little Newcastle which is between Fishguard and Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire.  His success was measured by the number of ships he had (four) and the number of pirates he controlled (hundreds) and captured and looted more ships that many of the others put together.

5. Also born in Wales was Sir Henry Morgan, knighted by the queen for his services to the crown, despite being known as a famous Caribbean pirate and privateer! He is the most prominent in popular culture and appears on the labels of bottles of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and has two novels written about him; John Steinbeck’s A Cup of Gold and Josephine Tey’s the Privateer.

6. Thomas Tew, born in Northampton pioneered the route which became known as the Pirate Round. His sea chest is the only known sea chest with its origins leading back to a pirate!  It can be seen in the pirate themed museum in the Florida Keys, which perhaps makes him the most careless for losing it!

Who do you think is a Great British Pirate? Best idea (as chosen by Aaron, our General Manager) will receive a free Trail. Submit your ideas on our facebook page or through twitter - we need to hear from you by the end of the month to be in with a chance.