Piracy Timeline

I have tried to gather most of the important events of piracy throughout history into a single time line. If you find that I have left something important out (and as this is a first run, I'm sure I have), please feel free to send me email using the link at the bottom of this page.

Year Location Event
1400-1300 BC Mediterranean Lukka sea raiders attack shipping from the coast of Asia Minor
1300-1200BC Mediterranean Lukka sea raiders ally with Hittites
1220-1186BC Eastern Mediterranean Area controlled by the 'Sea Peoples'
1000-900BC Mediterranean Minoans overrun by Dorian Greeks using Cretan cities as pirate bases
700-600BC Mediterranean Phoenician and Greek merchants attacked by pirates
500-400BC Mediterranean Athenian navy attacks Greek pirate islands Kithnos, Mikonos and the Sporades
200-100BC Mediterranean Carthaginian war distracts Rome, pirate communities grow
168BC Mediterranean Rome annexes Illyria to curb piracy
67BC Mediterranean Anti-pirate campaign by Roman general Pompey the Great eliminates Cilician sea raiders
220 Asia End of the Han Dynasty, piracy flourishes
1200-1300 Europe Reprisal contracts awarded to wronged European mariners and creates privateering
1203 Mediterranean Venetians fail to clear pirate bases from Ionian Islands
1217 Europe Eustace the Monk attacks shipping
1241 Europe Hanseatic League formed by Baltic German cities to suppress piracy
c.1300 Europe League of the Cinque Ports formed protect English Channel from pirates
1390 Mediterranean French and English fleet sets out to do battle with African based corsairs
1392 Europe Port of Bergen attacked by German pirates, Hanseatic League stunned
1573 Europe Henzlein and 32 of his crew beheaded for piracy
1400-1500 Mediterranean Barbary pirates harass shipping
1400-1500 Asia Ming Dynasty regains control of Chinese waters
c.1470 Mediterranean Greek Barbarossa brothers are born
1500-1600 Asia Increased trade between Asia and Europe attract pirates
1520 Mediterranean Italian Ulaj Ali, born as Giovanni Dionigi
1530 Mediterranean Knights of Malta are granted control of Malta by Emporer Charles V
1532 England John Hawkins is born
1534 Mediterranean Albanian Murat Rais is born
1540 England Francis Drake is born
c.1550 Spanish Main Spanish treasure ships become prime targets for piracy
1555 Caribbean French Huguenot pirates led by Jacques de Sores capture Havana
1565 Caribbean Pedro de Menendez de Avilles, wipes out French settlement in St.Augustine, Florida
c.1570-90 Caribbean English attack Spanish shipping and colonies
1577 Caribbean Queen Elizabeth provides financial backing for pirates raids on Spanish
1579 Pacific Francis Drake captures Cacafuego treasure galleon
c.1600 Caribbean Rum invented by the Spanish in Barbados
c.1620 Caribbean French outlaws on Hispanola begin attacking Spanish shipping, the birth of buccaneers
1623-38 Caribbean Dutch capture about 500 Spanish and Portuguese ships
1625 England Christopher Myngs is born
c.1630 Caribbean Spanish fail to drive buccaneers off Tortuga Island
1641 Asia Chih Lung accepts emporer's appointment as admiral and ends pirate career
c.1650 Mediterranean Barbary pirates begin to decline
c.1653 Caribbean French Jean "L'Olonnais" Nau begins to attack Spanish ships
1654 Caribbean Dutch Rock Braziliano arrives at Port Royal, Jamaica
c.1655 Caribbean Port Royal, Jamaica becomes a haven for buccaneers
c.1655 Caribbean Portuguese Bartolomeo arrives at Port Royal, Jamaica
1662 Caribbean Henry Morgan receives privateering commission
1668 Caribbean Henry Morgan captures Porto Bello
1671 Caribbean Henry Morgan captures Panama
1670 Caribbean Spain and England sign Treaty of Madrid and buccaneering raids decline
1674 Caribbean Henry Morgan is knighted
1683 Caribbean Michel de Grammont and Dutch Laurens de Graff attack Vera Cruz
1689 Caribbean Jean Du Casse and Baron Jean de Pointis capture Cartagena
c.1690-1730 Caribbean, Atlantic, Indian The Golden Age of Piracy
1694   Henry Every leads mutiny aboard privateer and begins pirate career
1695 Indian Thomas Tew killed in battle with Arab ship
c.1700 Caribbean, Atlantic, Indian Widespread usage of 'Jolly Roger' flags
1701 England William Kidd executed
1714 Europe End of the War of the Spanish Succession, privateers switch over to piracy
c.1714 Caribbean New Providence in the Bahamas becomes a base for pirates
1716 Caribbean Edward Teach arrives in New Providence and joins the crew of Benjamin Hornigold
1717 Caribbean Stede Bonnet turns to piracy
1717 Caribbean Woodes Rogers, ex-privateer made governor of New Providence
1717 New England Samuel Bellamy and crew drown after running ship aground
1718 Caribbean Charles Vane escapes New Providence on arrival of Woodes Rogers
1718 Atlantic Blackbeard dies in battle with lieutenant Maynard near Ocracoke
1720 Caribbean Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny and Mary Read tried for piracy
1720 Indian Edward England captures English East Indiaman
1722 Atlantic Bartholomew Roberts killed in battle with English warship
1729 Indian African Kanhoji Angria dies and is succeeded by his sons Sumbhaji and Mannaji
1747 Europe John Paul Jones is born
1775 Atlantic Beginning of American Revolution, privateering flourishes
c.1800 Mediterranean Barbary pirates still operating, but only in small groups
1803 Mediterranean, Atlantic, Caribbean Napoleonic Wars begin, privateering flourishes
c.1807 Asia Ching Yih forms pirate confederation numbering over 600 ships and 150,000 men
1812 Atlantic Beginning of the War of 1812, privateering flourishes
c.1812 Caribbean Jean and Pierre Laffite begin operations near New Orleans
c.1820 Caribbean U.S. and British navies all but eliminate piracy in the Caribbean
1820 Caribbean U.S. navy clears pirates from Galviston Bay, they move to Cuba
1821 Caribbean David Porter forms anti-pirate squadron
1827 Atlantic Portuguese Benito de Soto takes over slave ship and turns to piracy
1833 Caribbean Don Pedro Gibert captured by the British and tried in the U.S.
1849 Asia British navy eliminates Shap-'ng Tsai's pirate fleet in Hongha river delta
c.1850 Asia European navies eliminate piracy in Far East and China

If you have suggestions as to what you would like to see on this page or improvements feel free to email me.

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