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Pirates of Caribbean: A glorious history

Posted by VASUDEVA REDDY on Thursday, June 7, 2012 Under: mysteries

How many of you watched “Pirates of Caribbean” Hollywood movie series, most of you or all of you, but how many of you know the real story behind those pirates. Yes!! Pirates were lived in the Caribbean islands for a very long time, but their golden age was in late 17th century and early 18th century.  Let us watch the real pirate story which will be more interesting than fantasized version…


If you need to talk about Pirates of Caribbean then you must talk about Henry Morgan, who led pirate army to the golden age. I just want to mention his nickname “Barbadosed”, sounds familiar right! To know much about him we need to go back, as less as, to 1635, the year in which Henry was born. Actually Henry was not born on Caribbean land, he was a British. Henry along with 3000 other members (you can call British Army) to invade Spanish territories. FYI, at that time most of the America and Caribbean lands were owned by Spanish. After reaching Jamaica, by winning over the armed forces of Spanish, they started building new army base. But the risk they were exposed was at maximum level as that was the only British colony in the land of Spanish,  moreover, island was unprotected and vulnerable. They needed more manpower to defend themselves against the strong Spanish forces.  


150 miles away from Jamaica there was a small island called Tortuga, where a community of people was living, known as Buccaneers.  Buccaneers were great swordsmen, they were fearless and they belonged to different regions who ultimately settled down there. Though they were living happy lives with the limited resources, they wanted more, actually, much more in terms of gold. They were the real pirates, who were already robbing the Spanish ships. They got a better opportunity when governor of Jamaica invited them on the Jamaican land (Port Royal). They were so fearsome to get attacked by Spanish.  

Another major important thing one needs to discuss when talking about Pirates is the Pirate ship. They were not as big as Hollywood directors portrayed in their movies. They were pretty modest ships with 50-60 feet long and single Decker, popularly known as “Sloops”. The reasons why they had opted for those kinds of ships were the speed and ability to hide. Each ship was packed with 50-60 crew members and huge fire power, as they were going for a war. Actually it was not only a ship; there were several ships, a fleet, to carry out an attack.


Henry Morgan trained those fearless thieves to most dangerous pirates that world has ever seen. Their first and most famous attack was on Portobello. Portobello was the most valuable city in Caribbean for Spanish troops, as they stored all their gold and other valuables in that city.  Henry Morgan attacked Portobello to their surprise and he had given no time for them to respond. He looted all the riches in that city by killing 1500 members. Surprisingly, they had licenses to loot, I mean, to protect their small land, Jamaica, British governor gave whatever those pirates wanted. So they started protecting Jamaica by looting others.  These licenses were known as letters of Marque.  

By the end of that decade, pirate army was raised to 2000 members, and there was no safe land in Caribbean that can protect Spanish from these pirates. With the money they earned, they turned Port Royal into a richest and wickedest city in the world, at that time. They were so rich to build their homes with the imported bricks from England. It had big buildings which were of 3-4 stories high. Port Royal had more population than New York City at that time. They literally ruled the Caribbean land for over 50 years. There was no superior power than them.

But why their glory was short lived, why there was no trace of pirates in Caribbean after 1750. On 7th June 1692, a massive earth quake had struck the Port Royal because of which 13 acres of land had slid under the water, permanently. But what happened to the remaining part of the land and remaining pirates on that land. The question can be answered by one simple sentence, “peace treaty between Spain and Britain”. When pirates were attacking Spain camps, British were backing them. When those two came into mutual agreement, pirates lacked the support. Moreover, they appointed Henry as the governor of Jamaica and ordered to control the attacks. So the pirates were hanged, if they were caught, and displayed their corpse publicly to scare others. Money once been made from piracy then was made from sugar and slaves from Africa. So the need of pirates had reduced. Hence, we are watching movies made on them..;)

In : mysteries 


Tags: pirates of caribbean henry morgan mystery port royal jamaica piracy riches history 

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