Henry Morgan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named Henry Morgan, see Henry Morgan (disambiguation).
Henry Morgan
Henry Morgan in colour.jpg
Sir Henry Morgan, in a popular 18th century woodcut
Born c. 1635
Llanrhymny (Llanrumney), Wales
Died 25 August 1688 (age 53)
Lawrencefield, Jamaica
Occupation Privateer
Piratical career
Nickname "Barbadosed"
Allegiance Kingdom of England
Years active 1663–1667
Later work Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica

Sir Henry Morgan (Welsh: Harri Morgan, c. 1635 – 25 August 1688) was a Welsh pirate, privateer, buccaneer, and admiral of the Royal Navy.[1][2][3] He made himself famous during activities in the Caribbean, primarily raiding Spanish settlements. He earned a reputation as one of the most notorious and successful privateers in history, and one of the most ruthless among those active along the Spanish Main.

Early life[edit]

Henry Morgan was the eldest son of Robert Morgan, a farmer living in the locality of Rhymney Wales. Robert Morgan (born c.1615) was a descendant from a cadet branch of the ‘Tredegar Morgans’ and had two brothers, Thomas and Edward.

Major-General Sir Thomas Morgan (1st Baronet 1604-79) served in the Parliamentarian forces during the English Civil War from 1642 to 1649, was Governor of Gloucester in 1645, fought in Flanders and was wounded; in 1661, he retired to his estate in Kinnersley, Herefordshire. He was married on 10 September 1632, and had nine sons. The eldest, Sir John Morgan followed in his father's profession. He also had a sister, Catherine. An entry in the Bristol Apprentice Books showing "Servants to Foreign Plantations" 9 February 1655, included "Henry Morgan of Abergavenny, Labourer, Bound to Timothy Tounsend of Bristol, Cutler, for three years, to serve in Barbados on the like Condiciouns." Thomas was recalled in 1665 to become Governor of Jersey, and died in St. Helier in April 1679. Colonel Edward Morgan (c. 1616- after 1665) was a Royalist during the Civil War, Captain General of the King's forces in South Wales, escaped to the continent, and married Anna Petronilla, the daughter of Baron von Pöllnitz, Westphalia, (governor of Lippstadt, a city 20 miles east of Dortmund, Germany). They had six children, two sons, and four daughters (including Anna Petronilla and Johanna). He was appointed Lt-Gov. of Jamaica, 1664-65.[4]

There is no record of Morgan before 1655. He later said that he left school early, and was "more used to the pike than the book." Alexandre Exquemelin, Morgan's surgeon at Panama, says that he was indentured in Barbados. After Morgan sued the publishers for libel and was awarded £200, Exquemelin was forced to retract his statement. Subsequent editions of his book were amended.[5]

Exquemelin said that Morgan came to Jamaica in 1658 as a young man, and raised himself to "fame and fortune by his valour".[6] Recent versions of his life claim that, despite having had little experience as a sailor, Morgan sailed to the Caribbean to take part in the Western Design,[citation needed] Cromwell's plan to invade Hispaniola. His first battle at Santo Domingo failed to take the island. The fleet moved on to Jamaica, which the English force invaded successfully, and occupied.

His uncle Edward Morgan was Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica after the Restoration of Charles II of England in 1660. Henry Morgan married his uncle's daughter Mary, a cousin. Morgan was reportedly the "Captain Morgan" who joined the fleet of Christopher Myngs in 1663. He was part of the expedition of John Morris and Jackmann when they took the Spanish settlements at Vildemos, Mexico (on the Tabasco river); Trujillo, (Honduras) and Granada, Nicaragua.[citation needed]

In late 1665 Morgan commanded a ship in the old privateer Edward Mansfield's[7] expedition sent by Sir Thomas Modyford, the governor of Jamaica. They seized the islands of Providencia and Santa Catalina Island, Colombia. When Mansfield was captured by the Spanish and executed shortly afterward, the privateers elected Morgan as their admiral.

Career under Mansvelt[edit]

By 1663 Commodore Christopher Mings appointed Morgan captain of his first vessel and Morgan played a key role in the Sack of Campeche in 1663. He continued to plunder the Mexican coast under Lord Windsor's commission in 1665. When Lord Windsor, governor of Jamaica, refused to stop the pirates from attacking Spanish ships, the Crown relieved him, and appointed Sir Thomas Modyford in his place. Although Modyford proclaimed loyalty to the Crown, he became a critical element of Morgan's expeditions by going against the word of the king and granting Morgan letters of marque to attack Spanish ships and settlements. Modyford was originally appointed governor of Barbados for both his loyalty and service to King Charles I during the English Civil War and his familial relation to George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle, but he was later removed from this position. Modyford was then appointed Governor of Jamaica as an attempt to save his dignity. This, along with the Royalists' defeat at Worcester, decreased Modyford's loyalty to the crown. As governor, Modyford was required to call in all pirates and privateers of the West Indies because England and Spain were temporarily at peace. However, the majority of these buccaneers, Sir Henry Morgan included, either refused to return or did not receive the message that there was a recall.

When Morgan did return, Modyford had already received letters from Charles II warning him to force all of the pirates to return to port. Modyford chose to neglect these warnings and continue to issue letters of marque under the guise that it was for the King's best interest to protect Jamaica, and this was a necessary element in that goal. Because Modyford desired to get rid of the Dutch presence in the Caribbean he issued a letter of marque to Captain Edward Mansvelt to assemble a fleet of fifteen ships manned by roughly 500 to 600 men. Having just returned from a successful expedition off the Mexican Coast, where he captured several ships off the coast of Campeche, Morgan was appointed vice admiral of the fleet. Mansvelt was given orders to attack the Dutch settlement of Curaçao, but once the crew was out at sea it was decided that Curaçao was not lucrative enough for the impending danger associated with attacking it. With this in mind, a vote was taken and the crew decided that attacking a different settlement would be a safer and more lucrative alternative. Unhappy with this decision, many of the buccaneers deserted the expedition and headed back to port while others continued on with Admiral Mansvelt and Vice-Admiral Morgan to attack the Spanish island of Providence.

When Morgan and Mansvelt's fleet arrived at Providence, the Spanish were unprepared. Unable to form a defence, the Spanish surrendered all of their forts. Mansvelt and Morgan ruthlessly decided to destroy all but one of these forts. The buccaneers lived in the city and collected all of its wealth while Morgan and Mansvelt sailed around Costa Rica. Eventually, they spotted a Spanish man-of-war on the horizon and decided to return to Jamaica to gather reinforcements so that the island of Providence could be a town run and inhabited by pirates. As a sign of his sympathy toward pirates Modyford appointed his brother, Sir James Modyford, as governor of Providence. In the mind of Mansvelt, the idea of a pirate-run settlement was brilliant. However, he and Modyford both overlooked the true essence of a pirate: a pirate is not a soldier who is disciplined and prepared to fight the world's best armies when the armies were ready for them. Rather, Mansvelt's pirates were conditioned to raid a town, then leave. Thus, the pirate reign in Providence was short-lived as the island was quickly recaptured by the Spanish. After this expedition, Modyford was again reprimanded by the King of England and asked to recall all of his pirates and privateers. Once again, Modyford refused.

After hearing a rumour that the Spanish planned to attack Jamaica in retaliation for the sack of Providence, Modyford gave yet another commission to the buccaneers. This time, he gave the commission directly to Morgan, to take Spanish citizens prisoner in order to protect the island of Jamaica. Modyford used the excuse of protecting the King's influence in the Americas, but this was most likely simply a guise for his own personal agenda of gaining money and keeping his post as Governor of Jamaica. Nonetheless, Morgan assembled a fleet of ten ships in a way that was quite different from most Admirals of the time. Instead of sending out a flyer to attract willing buccaneers of the region, Morgan sailed to the places where the most daring Buccaneers could be found. When he arrived in these ports, he wore silk, fancy gold, and jewels to make himself appear extremely successful. This drew more swashbucklers to him. Using word-of-mouth, he acquired five hundred of the best Buccaneers in the area.[citation needed]

Puerto Principe: first independent command[edit]

Puerto del Príncipe being sacked in 1668

In 1667, Modyford commissioned him to capture some Spanish prisoners in Cuba to discover details of the threatened attack on Jamaica. Collecting 10 ships with 500 men, Morgan landed on the island and captured and sacked Puerto Principe (Camagüey).

Modyford almost immediately entrusted Morgan with another expedition against the Spaniards, and he proceeded to ravage the coast of Cuba. In a meeting held by Morgan prior to the start of their journey, he proposed that the fleet attack Havana. Although this suggestion showed his arrogance, after much debate it was decided that they did not have enough men to take Havana, so they decided instead to take Puerto Principe. While on their quest for Spanish ships, Morgan's fleet encountered heavy storms that brought them to the south shore of modern-day Cuba as opposed to the north shore where they had originally aimed. Due to the rough journey, Morgan's men had very little food and water and were forced to land on the south shore to search for provisions instead of continuing on to the north shore of Cuba. Once on land, the crew met a French crew that had also been driven ashore in search of provisions and decided to join forces. A Spanish prisoner that Morgan held hostage escaped and warned the citizens of Puerto Principe of the impending attack. The citizens quickly deserted the town with their valuables, leaving very little for the buccaneers. After searching the town and torturing its residents for information regarding the location of their riches, Morgan's fleet was only able to gather fifty-thousand pieces of eight. This was not enough to pay off the debts that the buccaneers had accumulated back in Jamaica, so they were required to find more riches before returning to Port Royal.

Attack on Porto Bello[edit]

To cover their debts, Morgan and his men decided to aim for a city that harbored vast treasure. Porto Bello in modern-day Panama was the third most important Spanish city in the New World, making it an obvious choice for the buccaneers. Furthermore, Porto Bello was considered the center of Spanish trade in the Americas, as its warehouses contained the goods and valuables of many wealthy merchants. With its enormous concentration of wealth, Porto Bello was extremely well protected by three Spanish forts.

Henry Morgan Recruiting for the Attack
Morgan at Porto Bello.

However, the French crew refused to take part in this voyage, because they did not get along with Morgan's English crew. According to a report, there was a dispute between a Frenchman and an Englishman during their joint sacking of Puerto del Principe, and they had decided to resolve the quarrel with a duel. However, the Englishman stabbed the Frenchman in the back before the duel could take place. The Frenchmen desired revenge against the English, but Captain Morgan appeased them by putting the criminal in chains to be carried to Jamaica, promising that justice would be served. On return to Jamaica, Morgan kept his promise and had the Englishman hanged.[8][9] Nonetheless, the French believed Morgan had cheated them out of their fair share of the loot. This rumor would have ruined the reputation of most pirates, but Morgan sailed to sack Porto Bello with his original fleet of ten ships and five-hundred men.

When the fleet reached the settlement on the northern coast of South America, the buccaneers found the fortresses very intimidating. With this in mind, Morgan gave them a rousing speech in which he promised them gold and silver, and reminded them that the Spanish did not know of their presence. When the sun went down, the ships began to sail towards Puerto do Naos, where a river would lead them to Porto Bello. With information from a prisoner, the Buccaneers were able to surprise the first fort. Morgan's swordsmen attacked the soldiers manning the fort, some still asleep in their beds. Morgan's men came under heavy fire as they attacked the second fort, but managed to lay down suppressing fire while scaling ladders and storming the fort, an effort that cost his men many lives. However, the Spanish perceived that the first two forts were easily taken, and subsequently surrendered the third fort, enabling Morgan's buccaneers to overrun the city.

Not long after this, the Spanish counter-attacked in an attempt to protect their wealth and center of trade, but the buccaneers were ready for the battle and Morgan organized an ambush of the fleet in a narrow passage. After defeating the much larger and more powerful Spanish fleet, Morgan and his men remained in Porto Bello for two months. During this time, they collected all of the wealth they could find, and ransomed the Spanish for the safety of its town and citizens. From the ransom alone, Morgan and his men collected roughly 100,000 pieces of eight, which brought their take from Porto Bello to over 200,000 pieces of eight.

In a foreshadowing of Morgan's future endeavors, the Governor of Panama sent him message that asked him how he had beaten the Spanish army from his city with such a small force. The message included an emerald ring and a request that he not attack Panama. In reply, Morgan sent the Governor a pistol as an example of the arms used in the taking of Porto Bello, and a message that he intended to come and reclaim the pistol from him in Panama. Soon after, England sent Port Royal the HMS Oxford (as a gift to protect Port Royal). Port Royal gave it to Morgan to help his career.[10]

Modyford had already been warned to recall his pirates, and his recent commission to Morgan once again put him under pressure from the Crown. Modyford officially denounced the attacks on the town, saying he sanctioned only attacks on ships. He attempted to justify Morgan's commission by emphasizing the rumored Spanish invasion of Jamaica. However, he did not believe that merely talking of a rumored attack would be enough to save his governorship and dignity, so he decided to try to provoke the Spanish into actually attacking Jamaica. Though seemingly illogical, Modyford hoped to cover up his previous commission by granting Morgan yet another one. Morgan was appointed by the Governor "Commander-in-Chief of all the ships of War" of Jamaica.[11]

Cartagena de Indias Raid[edit]

As before, Morgan set out to assemble a fleet of buccaneers willing to engage in a bold attack on the Spanish Main. He attracted nine-hundred men to his eleven-ship fleet. Once gathered, Morgan brought his men to the Isla Vaca, also known as Cow Island, to decide which city to attack. After deliberation, they decided to target the Spanish settlement of Cartagena de Indias because of its riches. It was one of Spain's most important cities, and held all the gold in transit from Peru to Spain—so sacking Cartagena would not only provoke the Spanish into an attack, but would also produce much loot.

The night they decided to attack Cartagena, they celebrated. During the rum-filled activities, a few intoxicated sailors accidentally lit a fuse that ignited explosives on board Morgan's flagship, the Oxford and destroyed it. Many men lost their lives—and many others deserted, seeing the tragedy as a bad omen. This decreased the fleet to only ten ships and eight hundred men. However, Morgan still continued onto the Spanish Main to attack Cartagena in March 1669, after supplementing his fleet with another ship (a French vessel [Le Cerf Volant] of 36 guns; 24 iron, 12 brass[10]) that, coincidentally, he’d already deigned to acquire on the night of the explosion.

Morgan had planned to strengthen his fleet by adding this great vessel, but he knew the French would not join the English because of mistrust. Earlier, he had learned that an English merchant ship had crossed paths with these French pirates and given them credit for desperately needed provisions they could not afford. Morgan shrewdly, but underhandedly plotted to have the French imprisoned for committing acts of piracy against the English—and subsequently seize their ship.[8][9][10]

This he achieved, albeit in a manner he had not expected, after inviting the French Commander and several of his men aboard his great ship to dine—with the deceptive intention to instantly take them prisoners under accusations of piracy against the English for their dealings with the merchant ship. That same night, the unfortunate mishap with the lighting of that fuse occurred. Now Morgan desperately required the French vessel more than before, and decided to add to his previous accusation that the French prisoners had also caused the explosion on the ship out of revenge for their imprisonment.[8][9][10]

With Morgan’s accusation heard, the French ship was searched. Here, a commission given to the French from the Governor of Baracoa was uncovered. This stipulated that the French were permitted to trade in Spanish ports, etc., but crucially to also cruise on any English pirates due to the hostilities they had committed against Spain during a time of peace between the two nations (Spain and France). Morgan manipulated this letter’s intent into being a direct threat: that the French be allowed to exercise piracy and war against them. The French could not clear themselves of this accusation, and hence had their great vessel seized and themselves sent to Jamaica, where they continued to try to clear their names, but all in vain, as they were detained in prison and threatened with hanging.[8][9][10]

Morgan and his men set out to continue their design on Cartagena, but the voyage was disastrous to the strength of the fleet. Since the crew was forced to sail into the wind the entire way to the Spanish Main, many vessels couldn't continue—because either the sailors were too exhausted from working day and night, or the ship was under too much stress. When Morgan finally made it to the Spanish Main, his original crew of nine-hundred had fallen to only five hundred, a force far too weak to overtake the highly-protected city of Cartagena. A French captain (Pierre Le Picard[10]) onboard suggested to Morgan that they attempt to sack Maracaibo that he had been to three years prior under the leadership of the notoriously brutal pirate Francois L'Olonnais.[8][9][10]

Maracaibo and Gibraltar Raids[edit]

Henry Morgan destroys the Spanish Fleet at Lake Maracaibo 1669

Reaching the town of Maracaibo, however, was no easy feat. The town was located on Lake Maracaibo, but to reach the lake they had to go through a narrow and shallow channel. Although the channel was only twelve feet deep, narrow, winding, and sprinkled with islands and sandbars, the French captain claimed that he could direct the ships safely through it. Unknown to him, the Spanish had built the San Carlos de La Barra Fortress at the channel's narrowest point since the last time the captain had been there three years before. When the fleet reached this point, they were unable to navigate the rough terrain because of the cannon and gun fire coming from the fort. Morgan was left with no choice but to order his men to land on the beach despite their lack of protection from the Spanish gun fire. Once nightfall arrived, Morgan and his men slowly entered the fort but found that there were no Spaniards there at all. Instead, the Spanish had left a slow-burning explosive as a trap for the buccaneers, which Morgan's crew discovered within 15 minutes of their arrival. Upon discovery, Morgan snatched away the lit match near the powder train saving himself and his men.

To protect his fleet for their voyage back through the channel, Morgan stole all of the supplies from the fort and ordered his men to bury the cannons in the sand. Because the Spanish already knew about Morgan's plan to attack Maracaibo, the men took canoes and small vessels through the channel to the town as opposed to the lengthy process of bringing the larger vessels. This modified plan was still not quick enough and the residents of Maracaibo were able to escape with their valuables before the buccaneers arrived. After searching the area and torturing any citizens they could find for three weeks, Morgan and his men loaded the large vessels with their provisions and booty, as well as prisoners to use as messengers, and set off to attack the nearby town of Gibraltar on the southeastern shore of Lake Maracaibo.

After collecting the wealth of the town and ransoming its citizens, Morgan loaded the ships to return home. Returning to Maracaibo, Morgan found three Spanish ships, the Magdalena, the San Luis, and the La Marquesa, waiting at the inlet to the Caribbean. In the time that Morgan was ransacking the two towns, the Spaniards had reinforced fort San Carlos located at the narrowest point of the passage and barricaded the passage with the three Spanish warships. Morgan and his men were given a choice to either surrender or be arrested, so they decided to fight for their freedom.

The buccaneers were outnumbered, so they were forced to devise a plan to outsmart the Spanish. Morgan ordered crews to turn the pirates' largest ship, the Satisfaction, into a "fire ship" that would sail directly into the Spanish flagship, the Magdalen. They hollowed out logs, filled them with explosives, and dressed them to look like a pirate crew. The twelve men who manned the ship were instructed to throw grappling hooks into the riggings of the Magdalena so that it couldn’t sail away. Miraculously, Morgan's plan worked and Magdalena was destroyed. The second largest Spanish ship, the San Luis, was run ashore by the ship Morgan was now in control of. The final ship, La Marquesa, was taken by the pirates after the ropes tangled. After the battle, Morgan still couldn't cross the channel because of the fort, but the Spanish had no ships to attack him. Finally, he ingeniously faked a landward attack on the fort that convinced the governor to shift his cannon, allowing Morgan to slowly creep by the fort using only the movement of the tide. In doing so, he eluded the enemy's guns altogether and safely escaped. On his return to Jamaica, the governor Modyford again reproved him, but imposed no punishment.

The Spaniards for their part started to react and threaten Jamaica. A new commission was given to Morgan as commander-in-chief of all the ships of war in Jamaica, to levy war on the Spaniards and destroy their ships and stores - the booty gained in the expedition being the only pay. Thus Morgan and his crew were on this occasion privateers, not pirates. After ravaging the coasts of Cuba and the mainland, Morgan determined on an expedition to Panama.

Burning of Panama and the loss of English support[edit]

River Chagres and Fort San Lorenzo from On the Spanish Main, by John Masefield
Ruins of the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción at Panamá Viejo

He recaptured the island of Santa Catalina on 15 December 1670 and, on 27 December, he gained possession of the fortress of San Lorenzo in the Caribbean coast of Panama, killing 300 men of the garrison and leaving 23 alive. Then with 1,400 men he ascended the Chagres River towards the Pacific coast and Panama City.

On 28 January 1671, Morgan discovered that Panama had roughly 1,200 infantry.[12] He split his forces in two, using one to march through the forest and flank the enemy. The Spaniards were untrained and rushed Morgan's line, where he cut them down with gunfire, only to have his flankers emerge and finish off the rest of the Spanish soldiers. Although Panama was a rich city, Morgan and his men obtained far less plunder than they had expected. Much of the city's wealth had been removed onto the Spanish treasure galleon, La Santisima Trinidad, which then sailed out into the Gulf of Panama, beyond the looters' reach.[13] (This ship would be taken nearly a decade later by English pirates, including one William Dampier,[14] participating in the adventures of Captain Sharp et al. into the South Seas.[8][9])

Had Morgan's men not decided that celebrating the capture of Panama was more important than risking their efforts with a ship of little value, they would have remained fit enough to attack the ship before it had had time to exit the bay.[citation needed] In reasoning, their decision at that time did not appear a bad one.[according to whom?] As well as considering the further risk they would have exposed themselves to after battling with the Governor of Panama and his army, they were still in desperate need of food to satiate their hunger after weeks of arduous marching from Fort San Lorenzo. The Spanish had tried to starve them on their approach by emptying all villages of provisions, and had set up numerous ambuscades to attack and taunt them.[8][9]

However, on learning the extent of the wealth transferred to that galleon, they realized they had made an error. If they had remained sober enough to use their superior nautical skills, they may have[citation needed] landed the amount of spoils they had expected. Most of the inhabitants' remaining goods were destroyed in a fire of unclear cause. Morgan's men tortured those residents of Panama they could catch, but received very little gold from the victims. After Morgan's attack, the Panama city had to be rebuilt in a new site a few kilometres to the west (the current site). The former site is called Panamá Viejo and still contains the remaining parts of the old Panama City.

Because the sack of Panama violated the 1670 peace treaty between England and Spain, Morgan was arrested and conducted to the Kingdom of England in 1672. He proved he had no knowledge of the treaty. When Spanish and English relations deteriorated, Morgan was knighted in 1674 before returning to Jamaica the following year to take up the post of Lieutenant Governor.[citation needed][15]

By 1681, then-acting governor Morgan had fallen out of favour with King Charles II, who was intent on weakening the semi-autonomous Jamaican Council, and was replaced by long-time political rival Thomas Lynch. He gained considerable weight and a reputation for rowdy drunkenness.[citation needed]

Retirement and legacy[edit]

In 1683, Morgan was suspended from the Jamaican Council by the machinations of Governor Lynch. Also during this time, an account of Morgan's disreputable exploits was published by Alexandre Exquemelin, who once had been his confidante, probably as a barber-surgeon, in a Dutch volume entitled De Americaensche Zee-Roovers (About the Buccaneers of America).[8][9] Morgan took steps to discredit the book and successfully brought a libel suit against the book's publishers William Crooke and Thomas Malthus, securing a retraction and damages of two hundred English pounds.[16] The book nonetheless contributed much to Morgan's reputed fame as a bloodthirsty pirate during the time he was in Newport.

When Thomas Lynch died in 1684, his friend Christopher Monck was appointed to the governorship and arranged the dismissal of Morgan's suspension from the Jamaican Council in 1688. Morgan's health had steadily declined since 1681. He was diagnosed with "dropsie", but may have contracted tuberculosis in London, and died on 25 August 1688. He is buried in Palisadoes cemetery, which sank beneath the sea after the 1692 earthquake.[17]

Morgan had lived in an opportune time for privateers. He was able to successfully use the conflicts between England and her enemies both to support England and to enrich himself and his crews. With his death, the pirates who would follow would also use this same ploy, but with less successful results.

Henry Morgan’s will 1688[edit]

Henry had married his cousin, Mary Elizabeth Morgan in 1666. There was no issue and she died in 1696. In his will, signed 17 June 1688, he left his Jamaican property to his godsons Charles Byndloss (b.1668) and Henry Archbold on condition they adopted the surname of Morgan. These were the children of his two cousins Anna Petronilla Byndloss (née Morgan), and Johanna Archbold (née Morgan). Their father, Colonel Edward Morgan (Lt-Gov. Jamaica 1664–1665), was Robert Morgan's younger brother (see early life). To his sister Catherine Loyd (née Morgan) he awarded £60 per annum from his estate "paid into the hands of my ever honest cozen (sic) Thomas Morgan of Tredegar".[4]


General Daniel Morgan
General John Hunt Morgan

Henry's nephew, Edward Morgan, was great-grandfather of Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan,[18] and Daniel's own descendant was Confederate General John Hunt Morgan[19]

In 1944, the Seagram Company started manufacturing rum under the "company" name Captain Morgan, named after Henry Morgan. In 2001 the Captain Morgan brand was sold to Diageo, a multinational alcoholic beverage company based in London, UK. There has been some controversy over where the rum is produced, as it was initially labelled as a product of Puerto Rico, whereas Henry Morgan is seen more as a Jamaican cultural figure.

Discovery of ship[edit]

On 4 August 2011 archaeologists from Texas State University reported having found what may be one of Morgan's ships off the coast of Panama.[20] The dive was conducted off the Lajas Reef; some sources are stating it was at the mouth of Panama's Chagres River, where a 52-by-22-foot (16 by 7 m) section from the starboard side of a wooden ship's hull was found.[21] The find was hoped to be Morgan's flagship, Satisfaction.[22]

The wreckage found by Hanselmann was later confirmed as the Encarnación, a colonial Spanish nao, or merchant ship, Encarnación was one of several ships that sank in 1681 when a storm engulfed the Tierra Firme fleet en route to Portobelo, Panama from Cartagena, Colombia. [23]

Unopened cargo boxes and chests encrusted in coral were found, in addition to the section of hull.[24]

The dives are being led by Texas State University underwater archaeologist Frederick Hanselmann and assisted by the U.S. National Park Service Submerged Resources Center and volunteer divers from Aquarius Reef Base, a joint operation of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and University of North Carolina Wilmington, and in cooperation with Panamanian authorities and colleagues. The finds will stay in Panama.[25]

Popular culture[edit]

Film and television[edit]


  • Rafael Sabatini's novel Captain Blood is based in large part on Morgan's career.
  • Emilio Salgari's Caribbean saga is centered on the fictitious character of Emilio di Roccabruna, aka The Black Corsair, whose lieutenant is the historical Henry Morgan. He becomes the main character in Salgari's 1904 novel Yolanda, the Black Corsair's daughter.
  • John Masefield's 1920 poem Captain Stratton's Fancy (famously set to music by Peter Warlock) identifies Capt. Stratton as "the old bold mate of Henry Morgan."
  • John Steinbeck's first novel, Cup of Gold (1929), is about Henry Morgan's life.
  • Book 1 of Nicholas Monsarrat's The Master Mariner has anti-hero Matthew Lawe sailing with Morgan as Mate.
  • Doc Savage seeks Henry Morgan's lost treasure on the Canadian Pacific coast in Brand of the Werewolf, Doc Savage Magazine, January 1934, and reprints.
  • F. Van Wyck Mason's 1949 novel Cutlass Empire romanticized Morgan's life, loves and battles.
  • Josephine Tey's 1952 novel The Privateer dramatized Morgan's life.
  • Kage Baker's short novel The Maid on the Shore, published in the short story collection Dark Mondays, features Henry Morgan during his expedition to Panama.
  • Berton Braley's 1934 poem This is the ballad of Henry Morgan
  • Ian Fleming's 1954 novel Live and Let Die centres round events that follow the discovery of treasure hidden by Morgan.
  • Dudley Pope's Harry Morgan's Way: The Biography of Sir Henry Morgan combines firsthand sailor's knowledge of the Caribbean and use of primary documents; noted in the bibliography of James Stuart Olson and Robert Shadle Historical Dictionary of the British Empire 1996
  • Morgan is likely the inspiration for the privateer Charles Hunter in Michael Crichton's novel Pirate Latitudes.[26]
  • James A. Michener's 1989 novel, Caribbean, features a chapter on Henry Morgan's exploits.
  • In Isaac Asimov's Robots In Time, Book 2, Marauder, time travelers met Captain Henry Morgan when they went back in time in search of a fugitive robot.
  • In the 1954 novel Deadmen's Cave by Leonard Wibberley, Morgan plays a major role in a hearty pirate tale of adventure, revenge, treasure, and redemption.
  • In Nicholas Monsarrat's 1978 novel The Master Mariner, Book 1: Running Proud, Morgan appears in part 3 as a notorious, charismatic Buccaneer admiral, with unstable personality, charming one day and diabolically evil the next day.
  • In James A. Owen's novel series, The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, Henry Morgan is in reality, a Yankee engineer named Hank Morgan (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court), who served as one of the time travelling Messengers of the Caretakers of the Geographica (one of his assignments landed him in the Arthurian Age). After accidentally getting lost in time and space, he ends up in the Caribbean Islands and alters his name to Henry Morgan, where his attempts to find solutions to get back to his own time and ends up becoming the famous pirate.
  • Stephan Talty's 2007 novel 'Empire of Blue Water' chronicles Morgan's early days right up to his death, and offers a wildly exciting and historically accurate insight into the rise and fall of privateering in the Americas
  • Lloyd Shepherd's 2012 novel The English Monster features Henry Morgan.
  • He is mentioned in the 2013 novel, Time Riders: The Pirate Kings by Alex Scarrow when two of the main characters, Liam and Rashim, go back in time to 1666 and become privateers in the Caribbean Sea.


  • There is a traditional Welsh air known as "Captain Morgan's March" — translated into English as "Forth to the Battle". Also known as "Rhwym Wrth Dy Wregys; Rhyfelgyrch Capten Morgan". However, it likely refers to Morgan, a chieftain of Morgannwg in the 14th century.
  • Celtic rock band Tempest immortalized Morgan in "Captain Morgan", featured on their albums Bootleg, The 10th Anniversary Compilation and 15th Anniversary Collection.
  • The album Good 'N' Cheap by Eggs over Easy featured a song titled "Henry Morgan" written and performed by Brien Bohn Hopkins and inspired by the novel Cup of Gold by John Steinbeck.
  • The Mighty Diamonds recorded a song named "Morgan the Pirate".
  • Scottish heavy metal band Alestorm named their first album Captain Morgan's Revenge, and prior to this, had an instrumental called "The Curse of Captain Morgan" on their EP "Terror on the High Seas", in part of the song "Captain Morgan's Revenge", before signing with Napalm Records and renaming themselves from Battleheart.
  • Reggae Artist Prince Far I featured Morgan in his song "Head of the Buccaneer" from the 1981 album Voice of Thunder.
  • OPM reference Captain Morgan in the song El Capitan.
  • Pirate themed Celtic Punk/Folk Rock band Ye Banished Privateers pay homage to Henry Morgan in the song Welcome to Tortuga on their album Songs and Curses.
  • In Peter Tosh's song 'You Can't Blame The Youth' Morgan is highlighted as a figure from Jamaica's history who, although being revered, was in actuality a monster. Tosh points out that the youth should not be blamed for bad behavior when the 'Great men' they are taught about were, in reality, violent criminals. "You teach the youth about the Pirate Morgan, and you say he was a very great man. So you cant blame the youth, you can't fool the youth. All these great men were doing - robbing, kidnapping, raping and killing, So called 'great men' were doing robbing, raping, kidnapping. So you can't blame the youth."[27]
  • The band Wylde Nept has a song about Captain Morgan 'taking Royale' without cannon fire, a humorous view at his change from being a pirate to the governorship. The last verse opines that Captain Morgan will return to his former ways in the afterlife, when he finds there is no rum in heaven.
  • Richard Fariña wrote and recorded a song titled "Morgan the Pirate", although beyond the title no reference is made to Morgan; rather the song is a rebuke to Fariña's friend and rival Bob Dylan (the "Morgan" of the title).

Other products[edit]

  • The Captain Morgan brand of rum is named after the privateer.
  • The Hotel Henry Morgan, located in Roatan, Honduras, the Port Morgan resort located in Haiti and Captain Morgan's Retreat and Vacation Club on Ambergris Caye, Belize are all named after the privateer.
  • The video game Sid Meier's Pirates! features Henry Morgan as the greatest pirate in the Caribbean. Incorrectly, Morgan's flagship in the game is the Queen Anne's Revenge, which was historically the ship of fellow pirate Blackbeard.
  • Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships (2009 video game) features Henry Morgan as one of the greatest pirate in the Caribbean, the Chief-in-Commander of Brotherhood of Coast, and player can complete series of tasks given by Henry Morgan.
  • In the Japanese comic-book series, One Piece there is a character named Captain "Axe-Hand" Morgan. Series creator Eiichiro Oda confirmed in a Q&A section in the serialized manga that Morgan is indeed named after Henry Morgan.
  • In the video game Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, set a few decades after Morgan's death, his outfit is an unlockable feature. His sacking of Panama is also mentioned by Laureano de Torres y Ayala, Governor of Cuba, during a conversation with Lawrence Prince, overheard by the main character.
  • The 1933 Australian radio series Afloat With Henry Morgan featured Morgan as a main character, and contains many references to Morgan's exploits. It was produced by and starred George Edwards.
  • In the video game Caribbean! by Snowbird Games, Henry Morgan appears as a vassal of the Brotherhood of Coast, one of the main factions in the game.


  1. ^ "True Caribbean Pirates" (2006); History International Documentary; retrieved 3 July 2011
  2. ^ Stockton, Frank Richard (2006) [1898]. Buccaneers and Pirates of Our Coasts. Echo Library. p. 59. ISBN 1-4068-3064-X. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Cordingly, David (1996). Under the Black Flag. Random House. pp. 42–55. ISBN 0-15-600549-2. 
  4. ^ a b Harry Morgans Way: (1977) Biography of Sir Henry Morgan, 1635-84 Dudley Pope, Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, ISBN 0-436-37735-7
  5. ^ Cordingley, David (1995). Life Among the Pirates. London: Abacus. ISBN 0-349-11314-9
  6. ^ ODNB: "Sir Henry Morgan"; mentions a third undocumented conjecture that he came as one of Oliver Cromwell's soldiers. Exquemelin from p.62, online reproduction of 1984 English edition.
  7. ^ Mansfield was disguised as "Mansvelt" in Exquemelin's account, according to Clarence Henry Haring, The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the XVII Century, (London: Methuen, 1910), note 242, noting Beeston's journal.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h The Buccaneers of America (dutch)
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h The Buccaneers of America (english)
  10. ^ a b c d e f g The Monarchs of The Main by Walter Thornbury
  11. ^ Cundall, p. xx
  12. ^ Earle, Peter (2007). The sack of Panamá Captain Morgan and the battle for the Caribbean (1st U.S. ed.). New York: Thomas Dunne Books. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-312-36142-6. 
  13. ^ Michener, James A., Caribbean (1989), p. 211 ff
  14. ^ Dampier's New Voyage Round The World - 1697
  15. ^ http://www.thepirateking.com/bios/morgan_henry.htm
  16. ^ The Libel Suit Against Malthus. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  17. ^ "Henry Morgan: the Pirate King". Jamaica-gleaner.com. 2002-12-09. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  18. ^ GENi: Gen. Daniel Morgan (Continental Army)
    Daniel Morgan is related to the famous Welsh privateer and pirate, Henry Morgan. Henry was Daniel's great-great-grandfather Edward Morgan's nephew.
  19. ^ GENi: Brig. General John Hunt Morgan (CSA)
    It is said that he was a lineal descendant of Daniel Morgan, of Revolutionary fame.
  20. ^ TSU researcher discovers pirate shipwreck
  21. ^ Boyle, Alan. "Capt. Morgan's lost fleet found?". Cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  22. ^ "Wreck of Capt. Morgan's Pirate Ship Found, Archaeologists Say". Scitech.foxnews.mobi. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ "Henry Morgan's 1671 ship hull and chests rediscovered". 3 News. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  25. ^ "The Search for Captain Henry Morgan's Lost Fleet". Social.taylorstrategy.com. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  26. ^ "Lisa reads: Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton". When Falls the Coliseum. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  27. ^ "Peter Tosh - Can'T Blame The Youth Lyrics". Songlyrics.com. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Lynch
Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica

Succeeded by
John Vaugh
Preceded by
John Vaugh
Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica

Succeeded by
The Earl of Carlisle
Preceded by
The Earl of Carlisle
Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica

Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Lynch