List of the Most Famous Pirate Ships
How many famous pirate ships did you already know? Well, here are six more that you may want to get to know. Read about the backgrounds from famous pirate ships like the Royal Fortune or the Sir Francis Drake’s infamous ship, the Golden Hind. Sit back, put on your pirate eye patch and sail through our list of the 6 most famous pirate ships! We don’t really want you reading with one eye, that can strain your eyes! We hope you enjoy this piece.
The Golden Hind was a mid-sixteenth century warship and was commissioned by Sir Francis Drake in 1575 for his planned journey of 1577. This vessel was a great demonstration of a ship transitioning from the carrack (a three-to-four-mast ocean-sailing ship) to the galleon (a square-rigged vessel with three or more decks and masts).
The Golden Hind was made for speed and maneuverability in battle and was small enough to take refuge in smaller ports when needed. When she had completed her three-year world voyage, from 1577 to 1580, she was placed on public exhibition in Deptford, London to honor her and Drake’s considerable accomplishments.
She remained at the museum for almost 70 years before she disintegrated due to weather erosion.
Originally Fancy was a privateer ship commissioned by the King of Spain and was led by Henry Avery and his 140-complement crew. It was a ship built for speed and was equipped with 46 guns. Despite Avery being a successful captain, in May of 1694, his crew mutinied and turned to a life of piracy.
They renamed the privateer Fancy and would continue to plunder trading ships that dared to cross the Indian Ocean. In July of 1695, they successfully overtook a 40-gun treasure ship (a ghanjah, a large wooden trading dhow) known as the Ganj-i-Sawai belonging to the emperor of India.
This particular plunder would be the largest loot ever captured. After that, mystery surrounds the vessel known to history as Fancy for she and her crew would sale off to the Caribbean never to be seen again.
Queen Anne’s Revenge
Queen Anne’s Revenge is best known as one of the most powerful pirate ships to sail both the Caribbean and North American waters. Its captain was none other than Edward Teach, or as he was more popularly known, Blackbeard.
In November of 1717, he captured a French slave ship known as La Concorde, which the French had previously stolen from the British, to which he added 26 guns to the already 14 equipped aboard. In 1778 Blackbeard and his crew seized the port of Charleston and then looted five ships.
Alas, the Queen Anne’s Revenge voyage would soon end, Blackbeard himself chose to run the vessel ashore. Many historians believe it was a decision he made to diminish his sizeable crew of 280 men thus allowing for him to keep more of the loot himself. The wreckage of the vessel was discovered in 1997 off the coast of Beaufort, North Carolina.
Off the coast of Newfoundland in July of 1720 Captain Bartholomew Roberts, better known as Black Bart, captured a French vessel and bequeathed it with the name Royal Fortune. What made this particular vessel different from all the other captured ships he also called Royal Fortune was that unlike the others he chose to keep it and never burned it.
The ship had a crew complement of 157 men and was equipped with 42 cannons that allowed for him to plunder more ships than any other pirate in history. In February of 1722, Captain Black Beard would die in battle against a warship known as Swallow that was navigated by Sir Chaloner Ogle.
The Revenge, a sloop bought in secrecy by Stede Bonnet, who would later be called the gentleman pirate, outfitted his vessel with ten guns out of his own pocket and paid for a crew of 70. He was known in Barbados as a moderately wealthy landowner who was married to Mary Allamby, an unlikely lifestyle of a typical pirate.
He would later be known to many as Captain Edwards and would not only plunder in secret but he would also burn ships in order to keep his secret of piracy hidden. Edwards and Blackbeard would form a short alliance where Blackbeard would soon betray Edwards with the plunder they had acquired together.
The Adventure Galley and her Captain, William Kidd, would best be known in history as a lesson to warn those who might be tempted to turn to a life of piracy. Originally commissioned by the British, with an intimidating crew of 150, 34 guns aboard, and a hefty 284 tons, her job was to hunt down pirates who dared to enter the Indian Ocean.
Kidd and his vessel left New York, September 6, 1696, with the expectation to capture pirates; but despite her being a hybrid ship with square-rigged sails and oars, he and his crew only managed to capture a couple of vessels.
He was faced with a rotten hull and decided to overtake the French trading vessel, the Quedah Merchant, change her name to Adventure Prize, and abandon the Galley off the coast of Madagascar. His actions were deemed to be that of piracy and to demonstrate their intolerance of such acts the English government hanged him at the mouth of the Thames River as a warning to all.
Sadly, the remains of the Adventure Galley have yet to be discovered.