July 21, 2017

The sea filibusters (Part 2)


As time went on, and the royal “court” filibusters replaced by other pirates. By joining forces, they formed the base on the island of Tortuga, which is located in the Caribbean Sea, north of Haiti (Hispaniola). Well-protected bay of the island was very convenient base for organizing attacks on the “golden fleet” Spanish. Tortuga Island at that time belonged to France, and appointed governor of the island a kind of “mediator”, the kings of France is well earned such a “lease”, and therefore indulged robbery. On the island, it was founded by pirate’s unique robber republic. In its “citizens” had its own fleet, its treasury and its own army. Island Management effected by the Board, consisting of the pirate leaders. They also planned trips.

In addition to the Tortuga, the pirate colony of this kind over the years we were on the island of Providence (Santa Katale) that far from the coast of Central America and the island of Nevis (placed in the Lesser Antilles group). However, from 1655, when Britain was captured the island of Jamaica, the main port of the island; Port Royale has become the “capital” of the English piracy. After the earthquake that occurred in 1697 destroyed capital filibusters, they had to move it to the island of New Providence, located in the Bahamas group.

Piracy has flourished in the second half of the 18th century. This legendary period is reflected in the huge number of adventure novels by famous authors such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Rider Haggard, Rafael Sabatini, Frederick Marryat and James Fenimore Cooper. In fact, they picturesque pirate romance was extremely questionable. “Black Roger” flag with crossed under the skull bones, terrified not only poorly armed merchant ships, but also on the military vessel.

Transparent sea water filibustering were fraught with danger – somewhere floated trial of cruel masters. The best known were the Dutch Van Horn, Cornelis Hall (aka wooden leg), Mensfeld. Distinguished by bloodlust and the French – Grammont, Legrand and Ohlone. Not without English pirates – Jennings, Dampier, Davis Coxon and ruthless Edward Teach, known as Blackbeard. Each seafarer knew his atrocities even famous women – the names of Anne and Mary Red Bonnet. At the end of the XVI century. On all the Atlantic, it struck superstitious terror heir to an ancient kind of impoverished Irish aristocrats – Grace O’Malley. This fearless woman perfectly controlled weapon and always fought in the forefront. It is not surprising that the pirates literally idolized Grace, which the Spanish court sentenced in absentia to death, and the Queen of England herself has signed a contract with the fury of the sea. About how she graduated from the course of life of Grace O’Malley, there is no data. She either died during one of the fights, either, richer, settled down and settled in his own castle.


However, the most sinister and bloodthirsty pirates was Henry Morgan. The life of a pirate was an endless series of adventures. Henry Morgan was born in the family of a wealthy English landowner in 1613 Even in his youth he was kidnapped by pirates, slave traders and sold them into slavery. However, soon enough he managed to escape to Port Royal. He quickly managed to become a member of the crew of the Dutchman Mensfelda and fast enough to make a career on board, as the successor of his captain after his death. Morgan was the leader of a gang of ruthless pirates most, people with no past and future, this “sea devils”. The captain was brave, energetic and had the inexpressible charisma that allows him to successfully conduct any, even the most complex game. Morgan Ships immediately recognized on the corpses, hung aloft. The appearance of one of the 37 ships that belonged to him did not bode well for the ships floating in the Caribbean Sea.

In 1668, he captured the port of Portobelo, where Spanish ships took out the treasures. Having a good catch, he broke into the most important harbor in Venezuela, Maracaibo Bay. In 1671, following the example of Drake, Captain Morgan made a landing on the east bank of the Isthmus of Panama, arrived by land to Panama, plundered it, and load the jewels returned to the ship. It has only been six years, and because of the Morgan, gang was already plundered 22 city, 25 villages and as many as 250 ships. Seeing the success of the pirate, the English King Charles II made a pirate and a gentleman even thug appointed governor of Jamaica island. This Jamaica and became a bastion of piracy, where a public authority pirate robbed many years made his bloody raids. In 1688 Sir Henry Morgan died. Great pirate honorably buried in the church of St. Catherine in Port Royal.

According to legend, some untold wealth looted by Morgan, was hidden in the recesses of the islands of the Caribbean. They are to this day to haunt treasure hunters. This fact was reflected in the Jack London novel “Hearts of Three”. A huge number of Morgan’s treasure inherited by his relatives, soon moved from Jamaica to the territory now belonging to the United States. By the way, the famous pirate is one kind of known family of American billionaires. Modern Morgans are extremely proud of their famous ancestor – their luxury yacht called “Le Corsaire”, as the last ship of cruel pirate.

After the death of Morgan’s “golden age” pirate fishing began nearing sunset. Although piracy successfully continued throughout the later XVIII century. The European powers are increasingly began to refuse services to pirates. Having selected the Spanish part of its American territories, they could freely plunder the peoples living there. In this situation, the pirates were only a hindrance, so against them started a real war.

Hundreds of years have passed since piracy was over, but now the pirate flag flying over the ships. Today on the territory of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent Atlantic Ocean, there is a revival of pirate fishing, the base of which were the Bahamas. However, modern pirates are hunting for treasure is not. Uninhabited islands of the archipelago became a conduit for connecting the drug-producing areas with their black market sales in the US and Canada.

Armed to the teeth smugglers easily capture the yacht and use them to transport their goods to the merchant ships or caches placed on uninhabited islands. In most cases, the owners of yachts are killed in order to get rid of unnecessary witnesses.

On most modern piracy span reached the coast of South-East Asia – in the Malacca Strait and the area of Indonesia and the Philippines. Especially notoriety earned Wong Chinese, so-called “woman without a face”, where photos could not get any Singaporean or Filipino police. Anyone who tried to get a photo of this lady, a year is welded around $ 150 million, were brutally killed.

Whom piracy has become more organized – they are engaged in the whole criminal syndicates with an established system of communications and accurate data on the carriage of certain goods on certain routes. For example, only in 1991 was marked by three hundred cases of pirate attacks on a variety of vessels.

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