: In 1805, Madame Cheng’s husband, Cheng Yih, formed what quickly became the
largest pirate confederation in history. Upon his death in 1807,
Madame Cheng took over the confederation and expanded it even further. She
commanded an estimated 1,800 ships and 70,000 men at the height of her
With the help of Cheung Po Tsai—the adopted son of her husband
and also her lover—she demanded protection money from coastal
communities. To prove her strength and grow her fortunes, she attacked ships in the South China Sea and once even
kidnapped seven British sailors. Madame Cheng then took a pardon in 1810
when Chinese authorities began cracking down on piracy. Although she was a prostitute in
her youth, she lived out her golden years running a large opium
smuggling operation. Black Bart
: Black Bart was born May 17, 1682. He was born John Roberts. He grew up to become a Welsh Pirate who raided ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722.
He considered the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy, as measured by vessels captured and taking over 470 prizes in his career. He is also known as Black Bart
, but this name was never used in his lifetime. Jacquotte Delahaye
, born 1656. She was a French pirate, active in the Caribbean sea. Alongside Ann-Dieu-Le-Veur, she was one of very few female buccaneers.
Jacquotte Delahaye reportedly came from present day Haiti. She was the daughter of a French father and a Haitian mother. Her
mother is reported to have died in childbirth.
According to pirate lore, she became a pirate after the murder
of her father.
Jacquotte is the subject of many legendary stories. To
escape her pursuers, she faked her own death and took on a male alias,
living as a man for many years. Upon her return, she became known as
"Back From The Dead Red" because of her striking red hair.
She led a gang of hundreds of pirates, and with their help took over a
small Caribbean island in the year of 1656, which was called a
Several years later, she died in a shootout while defending it. Edward Teach
: lived between
1680 and 1718. He was better known as Blackbeard
, the notorious English pirate who sailed and marauded in the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American Colonies. He was probably born in Bristol, England. Probably a sailor on ships during Queen Anne's War before settling on the Bahamas. Which was a base for Captain Benjamin Hornigold, whose crew Teach joined sometime around 1716.
Hornigold placed him in command of a sloop
he had captured, and the two engaged in numerous acts of piracy. Their
numbers were boosted by the addition to their fleet of two more ships,
one of which was commanded by Stede Bonnet
, but toward the end of 1717 Hornigold retired from piracy, taking two vessels with him.
Blackbeard captured a French merchant vessel, which he renamed The Queen Anne's Revenge. He equipped her with 40 guns and became a feared pirate. He was
reported to have tied lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies.
After he ran the Queen Anne's Revenge aground near Beaufort, North Carolina, he settled in Bath Town. There he accepted a royal pardon. But he was soon back at sea, where he attracted the attention of Alexander Spotswood, the Governor of Virginia.
Spotswood arranged for a party of soldiers and sailors to try to
capture the pirate, which they did on 22 November 1718. During a
ferocious battle, Teach and several of his crew were killed by a small
force of sailors led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard. John Rackham
, born 1682 and died in 1720. He commonly known as Calico Jack
. He was an English pirate
captain operating in the Bahamas
and in Cuba during the early 18th century. His nickname was derived from the calico clothing he wore, while Jack
is a diminutive of "John."
He was active towards the end 1720 of the "Golden Age of Piracy" (1650–1730). Rackham is most remembered for two things: the design of his Jolly Roger flag, a skull with crossed swords, which contributed to the
popularization of the design; and for having two female crew members, Mart Read and Rackham's lover Anne Bonny.
He accepted a pardon some time in 1719 and moved to New Providence,
where he met Anne Bonny, who at the time was married to James Bonny.
When Rackham returned to piracy in 1720 by stealing a British sloop,
Bonny joined him. Their new crew included Mary Read. After a short run
he was captured by pirate hunter Jonathan Barnet in 1720, before being hanged in November of the same year in Port Royal, Jamaica. The Mermaid
is a legendary aquatic creature with the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish.
Mermaids have appeared in the folkore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia. The first stories appeared in ancient Assyria
, in which the goddess Atargatis
transformed herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally
killing her human lover.
Mermaids are sometimes associated with perilous
events such as floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. In other traditions they are portrayed as
benevolent, falling in love with
Mermaids are associated with the mythological Greek sirens. In 1493, sailing off the coast of Hispaniola,
Columbus reported seeing three "female forms" which "rose high out of
the sea. The logbook of Blackbeard,
an English pirate, records that he instructed his crew on several
voyages to steer away from charted waters which he called "enchanted"
for fear of merfolk or mermaids, which Blackbeard himself and members of
his crew reported seeing. These sighting were often recounted and shared by sailors and pirates
who believed that mermaids brought bad luck and would bewitch them into
giving up their gold and dragging them to the bottom of the sea.