10 Most Popular Pirates In History

The film “Pirates of the Caribbean” is what comes up in mind at first place when pirates are into consideration. Right since historic days, there have been a lot of lootings, captures and ransom demand by pirates mostly in the seas and different islands. Lot of them have aroused to be a pirate since then to loot people, but there are some of them very popular and successful. We have come up with the 10 most popular pirates in history, who have had kingdom sized men working under them just for piracy.

10. Somali Pirates

Somali Pirates

Currently, the Somali Pirates are considered the most dangerous and popular in Indian Ocean. They are most trending in capturing huge vessels and demanding for high ransom. In 2005, Somali pirates captured a Hong Kong registered vessel “The MV Feisty Gas”, who had to give a ransom of worth US$315,000. Since then there have been a lot of captures executed by them with impeccable ransom demands. Somali pirates have prized themselves with ransom of over $200 million by just capturing vessels of different nations. Considered very dangerous as they are either armed with AK-47s or RPG rocket launchers.

9. L’Olonnais


L’Olonnais is one of the most famous French pirate, who arrived in Caribbean as a servant in 1950s. The story behind L’Olonnais’s transformation from an indentured servant through a most successful pirate is incredible. Immediate to be a servant, he was a person with wanderlust to travel various islands. Further, through the journey of his explore, L’Olonnais finally arrived in Saint-Domingue. He was then attacked by Spanish soldiers, since his ship was wreaked near Saint-Domingue. This scenario almost killed whole of his men because L’Olonnais denied on ransom demanded by Spanish soldiers. Finally, the governor of Havana again tried to capture L’Olonnais. In turn, L’Olonnais captured all his men and decapitated but one to report the governor that he would never spare the rest of the crowd in case chosen to chase him down.

8. Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is one of the most renowned pirates even today, who was born in 1635. He became wealthy by just raiding on the Spanish ships. Morgan has an account of plundering over four hundred vessels in his entire career for piracy. He became filthy rich through his piracy career to build his own sugar plantation on the island. Initially, though he was pirate, Jamaican government appointed him as the Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica. In 1672, Morgan was arrested and mobilized to London. Finally, with huge followers and protest against the Morgan’s arrest, the Jamaican government handed over the position of governor for Jamaica.

7. Sir Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake was born in 1540 in England, who was a Sea captain, pirate and privateer. He is featured in the Forbes for top earners list for pirates in history. Drake have helped in introducing potato and other important staple foods to England. His first voyage was in 1563 at the age of 23 to attack the Portuguese towns. Through the journey of piracy career, Drake captured a Spanish ship laden with 25,000 pesos worth of Peruvian gold. He was well recognized by Queen Elizabeth who once awarded Drake a knighthood. At times Queen Elizabeth herself was involved in capturing Spanish army behind the control over Drake.

6. Black Bart

Black Bart

Famously recognized as “Black Bart”, who is infamous with the name as Bartholomew Roberts. He was a Welsh pirate and happens to be the most successful in piracy history. During his lifetime, Black Bart name was never used, which was later referred worldwide a part of his recognition.  Though, initially Black Bart didn’t want himself to be a pirate, who later turned out to be a cruel guy. Further, the name “Black Bart” was not symbolized for his cruelty, but due to his manly beard. He once burnt a captured slave ship (Porcupine) with hostages still alive, since the demanded ransom was not compromised.

5. Captain William Kidd

Captain William Kidd

Captain William Kidd was a native of Scotland, who was born in 1654. Considered as one of the most renowned pirates till date, whose spree of piracy started in 1696. He lost his dad in the sea immediate to his birth in 1654. In 1689, Kidd’s first voyage involved in grabbing Caribbean Sea by invading French Island of Marie-Galante. Kidd along with his sailors attacked and looted the entire French Island acquiring 2,000 pounds sterling. Finally, he was arrested by the British East India Company, before making it back to England.

Through authenticity in piracy and crimes, Kidd happened to be the most wanted pirate. In 1701, he was sentenced to death though he had two lawyers to offend the trail. However, he was found guilty of all the crimes committed by him, which caused him hanging to death as penalty. He was ruthlessly hanged in the public and slashed ashore in the River Thames as a powerful warning for other pirates.

4. Cheung Po Tsai

Cheung Po Tsai

Cheng Po Tsai was a famous pirate and the name depicts “Cheung Po the Kid”. With huge might under him having over 20,000 people and hundreds of ships, Cheng was considered as one of the most successful pirates since then. He had many fan followers and had enough deals with the Western weapon dealers. Cheng was always accompanied by Cai Qain, who was a lieutenant well versed in Weapon deals. The movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” was inspired by the legend pirate. He was powerful enough to create havoc in the Guangdong coastline. Further, Cheng was captured by the Qing Dynasty, who was appointed as colonel in Qing imperial navy. Finally, he began helping the Qing navy to capture other pirates.

3. The Barbarossa Brothers

The Barbarossa Brothers

The Barbarossa Brothers are one of the most famous pirates, who almost fledged and ruled the piracy in the Mediterranean Sea. Aruj Barbarossa and Khayrad’din Barbarossa together were recognized as the “The Barbarossa Brothers”. Both of their parents owned a boat for trading the products. Through the scenario of using boats, the eldest and the youngest respectively started to hunt for vessels by attaching Christian ships. He ruled the piracy world by trading money over the Christian slaves. Aruj became one of the richest persons in Mediterranean Sea in 1510.  Finally, Aruj was kill in 1518 and the Khayrad’din in 1546.

2. Blackbeard


Blackbeard was a prominent English pirate right since 1680, who operated around the West Indies and parts of North American colonies. The herd of Blackbeard pirates are considered very dangerous, who were originally the members of the Whitebeard Pirates. By 1717, the crowd among Blackbeard almost became double with addition of two more ships, out of which one happened to be commanded by Stede Bonnet. His complete establishment in piracy came to light after capturing a French merchant vessel armed with 40 guns. The vessel was then renamed with “Queen Anne’s Revenge”. He was named “Blackbeard” by his fierce black beard, who had no known account of crimes on his captives. He and his crew members were killed by Lieutenant Rober Maynard during a minor combat.

1. Ching Shih

Ching Shih

Ching Shih is considered as the most popular and ruthless pirates in history. She is also recognized as “Ching I Sao”, who once capsized the entire China Sea under the assistance of over 40,000 pirates. Ching was brave enough to fight British Empire and Quest dynasty in 19th century. She is also listed in the most successful pirates in the history. Further, her settlements were strong along the coastal villages from Macau to Canton, who looted ruthlessly.

In 1809, she even captured an officer of the East India Company, Richard Glasspoole during her reign for piracy. None of the opposition fleet could defeat the piracy might of Ching. Her fleet was recognized with the Red Flag, which was once considered as a symbol of undefeatable. Finally, she died at the age of 69, before which she took her family to her old hometown where she opened a brothel and gambling harbor.

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