Who Were the Most Legendary Pirates of the Caribbean?

were-legendary-pirates-caribbean Credit: Candela Foto Art / Kreuziger/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Blackbeard (born Edward Teach), Henry 'Captain Morgan' Morgan, Bartholomew 'Black Bart' Roberts, Anne Bonny and Mary Read all either operated or were part of successful pirating schemes in the Caribbean between the 17th and 19th centuries. The main period of European piracy in this part of the world started in the early 1600s and was mostly quashed toward the mid-1800s thanks to the interference of European and American naval forces.

Certain pirate iconography that has become generalized is actually related to a specific pirates who operated during this era. For example, the skull-and-crossbones "jolly roger" flag was originally flown by John 'Calico Jack' Rackham. The peg leg was originally worn by François Le Clerc.

The relative legendary status of a famous Caribbean pirate may vary by region. For example, Jean Lafitte is legendary in New Orleans, but he may not be as well known to French and Spanish people as pirates such as the French pirate François l'Olonnais, a man with a notoriously brutal reputation for his treatment of Spanish prisoners. Other famous names associated with piracy in this region and during this time include Henry Avery, Charles Vane, Howell Davis, François Le Clerc, Stede Bonnet and Edward Low.