Henry Morgan

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Henry Morgan
Henry Morgan in colour.jpg
Sir Henry Morgan, in an 18th century woodcut
Born c. 1635
Llanrhymny (Llanrumney), Wales;
or Pencarn, Monmouthshire
Died 25 August 1688 (aged 53)
Lawrencefield, Jamaica
Piratical career
Allegiance Kingdom of England
Years active 1663–1671
Later work Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica

Sir Henry Morgan (Welsh: Harri Morgan, c. 1635 – 25 August 1688) was a Welsh pirate, privateer and buccaneer. 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 (c. 1635 – c. 1660)[edit]

Henry Morgan was born in around 1635 in Wales, either in Llanrumney, Glamorgan or Pencarn, Monmouthshire;[1][n 1] The historian David Williams, writing in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography, observes that attempts to identify his parents and antecedents "have all proved unsatisfactory".[3] The only exception to this is in Morgan's will, in which he referred to "my ever-honest cozen ([sic]; cousin), Mr Thomas Morgan of Tredegar".[2] Several sources state Morgan's father was Robert Morgan, a farmer; the name of Henry's mother is unknown.[1][n 2] Details of his early life are uncertain, although in later life he stated that he had left school early and was "much more used to the pike than the book".[1]

It is unknown how Morgan made his way to the Caribbean, although there are several possibilities. The first is that he was part of the army of Robert Venables, sent by Oliver Cromwell as part of the Caribbean expedition against the Spanish in the West Indies in 1654.[4] Another theory is that Morgan served as an apprentice to a maker of cutlery for three years in exchange for the cost of his emigration.[3] The third possibility was suggested by Richard Browne, who served as surgeon under Morgan in 1670; Browne stated that Morgan had travelled as a "private gentleman" soon after the 1655 capture of Jamaica by the English.[1] Another is that he was kidnapped in Bristol and transported to Barbados, where he was sold as a servant.[5] In the 17th century the Caribbean offered an opportunity for young men to become rich quickly, although a significant investment was needed to obtain the high returns from the sugar export economy. Other opportunities for financial gain were through trade or plunder of the Spanish Empire.[1] Much of the plunder was from privateering, which was an activity whereby individuals and ships were commissioned by government to attack the countries enemies; a letter of marque showed the licence to attack and seize vessels had been granted.[6][n 3]

Early career as a privateer (c. 1660 – 1666)[edit]

Sir Christopher Myngs, under whom Morgan served

Details of Morgan's early career are unclear,[1] although it is probable that in the early 1660s he was active with a group of privateers led by Sir Christopher Myngs attacking Spanish cities and settlements in the Caribbean and what is now central America. By 1663 Morgan captained one of the ships in Myngs' fleet for the attacks on Santiago, Cuba and the Sack of Campeche on the Yucatán Peninsula.[4][9][10] In August 1665 Morgan, along with his fellow captains John Morris and Jacob Fackman, returned to Port Royal with few casualties but a large cargo of valuables. The new Governor of Jamaica, Sir Thomas Modyford was impressed enough with the spoils to report back to the government that "Central America was the properest [sic] place for an attack on the Spanish Indies".[1][11]

Modyford had been appointed Governor of Jamaica in February 1664 with instructions to limit the activities of the privateers; he made a proclamation against their activities on 11 June 1664, but economic practicalities led to him reversing the policy by the end of the month.[12][n 4] Morgan's activities over the following two years are not documented, but in early 1666 he was married in Port Royal to his cousin, Mary Morgan, the daughter of Edward, the island's Deputy Governor; the marriage gave Henry access to the upper levels of Jamaican society. The couple had no children.[13]

Hostilities between the English and Dutch in 1664 led to a change in government policy: the authorisation to colonial governors that they could issue letters of marque against the Dutch.[n 5] Many of the privateers, including Morgan, did not take up the letters, although an expedition to conquer the Dutch island of Sint Eustatius led to the death of Morgan's father-in-law, who was leading a 600-man force.[15]

Sources differ about Morgan's activities in 1666.[16] H. R. Allen, in his biography of Morgan, considers the privateer was the second-in-command to Captain Edward Mansvelt. Mansvelt had been issued a letter of marque for the invasion of Curaçao, although he did not attack the city, either after he decided that it was too well-defended or that there was insufficient plunder.[17][18][n 6] Alternatively, Jan Rogoziński and Stephan Talty, in their histories of Morgan and piracy, record that during the year, Morgan oversaw the Port Royal militia and the defence Jamaica; Fort Charles at Port Royal was partly constructed under his leadership.[19][20][n 7]

Attacks on Puerto Principe and Porto Bello (1667–1668)[edit]

Puerto Principe being sacked in 1668

In 1667 diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of England and Spain were worsening, and rumours began to circulate in Jamaica about a possible Spanish invasion. Modyford authorised privateers to take action against the Spanish, and issued a letter of marque to Morgan "to draw together the English privateers and take prisoners of the Spanish nation, whereby he might inform of the intention of that enemy to attack Jamaica, of which I have frequent and strong advice".[21] He was given the rank of Admiral and, in January 1668, assembled 10 ships and 500 men for the task; he was subsequently joined by 2 more ships and 200 men from Tortuga.[20][22]

Morgan's letter of marque gave him permission to attack Spanish ships at sea. Any plunder obtained from the attacks would be split between the government and the owners of the ships. The letter gave no permission for attacks on land, and any resultant plunder would be retained by the privateers. Rogoziński observes that "attacks on cities were illegal piracy—but extremely profitable",[20] although Nuala Zahedieh, writing for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, records that if Morgan was able to provide evidence of a potential Spanish attack, the attacks on cities were justifiable under the terms of his commission.[1] Morgan's initial plan was to attack Havana, but this was changed to Puerto Principe (now Camagüey), a town 50 miles (80 km) inland. Morgan and his men took the town, but the treasure obtained was less than hoped for.[23][24] According to Alexandre Exquemelin, who sailed with Morgan, "It caused a general resentment and grief, to see such a small booty".[25] When Morgan reported the taking of Puerto Principe to Modyford, he informed the governor that they had evidence that the Spanish were planning an attack on British territory: "we found seventy men had been pressed to go against Jamaica ... and considerable forces were expected from Vera Cruz and Campeachy ... and from Porto Bello and Cartagena to rendezvous at St Jago of Cuba [Santiago]".[26]

Morgan's attack on the Castillo de San Jeronimo, Porto Bello

After the action, one of the English privateers quarrelled with one of his French shipmates and stabbed him in the back. Before a riot between the French and English sailors began, Morgan arrested the English sailor, and promised the French sailors that the man would be hanged on his return to Port Royal.[27] After dividing the spoils of the conquest of Puerto Principe, Morgan announced the plan of attacking Porto Bello (now in modern-day Panama); the 200 French privateers, unhappy with the division of the treasure and the murder of their countryman, left Morgan's service. [28]

Morgan and his ships returned briefly to Port Royal before leaving for Porto Bello, the third largest and strongest city on the Spanish Main, and one of the main routes of trade between the Spanish territories and Spain. Because of the wealth passing through its port, Porto Bello was protected by two castles in the harbour and another in the town.[29]

On 11 July 1668 Morgan anchored short of his target and transferred his men to 23 canoes, where they moved to within three miles (4.8 km) to the target before landing and approaching the castle from the landward side, where they arrived half an hour before dawn. The three castles and the town fell quickly.[30][31] Exquemelin wrote that in order to take the third castle, Morgan had constructed ladders wide enough for three men to climb abreast; when they were completed he "commanded all the religious men and women whom he had taken prisoners to fix them against the walls of the castle ... these were forced, at the head of the companies to raise and apply them to the walls ... Thus many of the religious men and nuns were killed".[32] Terry Breverton, in his biography of Morgan, writes that when a translation of Exquemelin's book was published in England, Morgan sued for libel and won. The passage about the use of nuns and monks as a human shield was retracted from subsequent publications in England.[33] The privateers lost 18 men, with a further 32 wounded; Zahedieh considers the action at Porto Bello displayed a "clever cunning and expert timing which marked ... [Morgan's] brilliance as a military commander".[1]

Morgan with a prisoner

Morgan and his men remained in Porto Bello for a month. He wrote to Don Agustín, the President of Panama, to demand a ransom for the city of 350,000 pesos. As they stripped the city of its wealth it is probable that torture was used on the residents to uncover hidden caches of money and jewels. Zahedieh records that there were no first-hand reports from witnesses that confirmed Exquemelin's claim of widespread rape and debauchery.[1] After an attempt by Don Agustín to recapture the city by force – his army of 800 soldiers was repelled by the privateers – he negotiated a ransom of 100,000 pesos.[34] Following the ransom and the plunder of the city, Morgan returned to Port Royal, with between £70,000 and £100,000 of money and valuables (between £10.1 million and £14.5 million in 2016 pounds[35]) and each privateer received £120 (£17,400 in 2016 pounds[35]) – equivalent to five or six times the average salary of a sailor of the time.[1] Morgan received a five per cent share for his work;[36] Modyford received a ten per cent share, which was the price of Morgan's commission.[37][38] As Morgan had overstepped the limits of his commission, Modyford reported back to London that he had "reproved" him for his actions although, Zahedieh observes, in Britain "Morgan was widely viewed as a national hero and neither he nor Modyford were rebuked for their actions".[1]

Raids on Maracaibo and Gibraltar (1668–1670)[edit]

Maracaibo and Gibraltar in modern day Venezuela.

Morgan did not stay long in Port Royal and, in October 1668, he sailed with ten ships and 800 men for Île-à-Vache, a small island he used as a rendezvous point.[39] His plan was to attack the Spanish settlement of Cartagena de Indias, the richest and most important city on the Spanish Main.[40] In December he was joined by a former Royal Navy frigate, the Oxford, which had been sent to Port Royal to aid in any defence of Jamaica. Modyford sent to the ship Morgan, who made it his flagship.[41] On 2 January 1669 Morgan called a council of war for all his captains, which took place on the Oxford. A spark in the ship's powder magazine destroyed the ship, as were over 200 of the ship's complement.[n 8] Morgan and the captains seated on one side of the table were blown into the water and survived; the flotilla's four captains on the other side of the table were all killed.[45][46]

San Carlos de La Barra Fortress, which guarded the entrance to Maracaibo

The loss of the Oxford meant Morgan's flotilla was too small to attempt an attack on Cartagena. Instead he was persuaded by a French captain under his command to repeat the actions of the pirate Francois L'Olonnais two years previously, in an attack on Maracaibo and Gibraltar, both on Lake Maracaibo in modern day Venezuela.[47] The French captain knew the approaches for the ships to take, which was through a narrow and shallow channel. Since L'Olonnais and the French captain had visited the town, the Spanish had built the San Carlos de La Barra Fortress; Talty states that the fortress was placed in an excellent position to defend the town, but that the Spanish had undermanned it, and left only nine men to load and fire the fortress's 11 guns.[48] Under covering canon fire from privateer's flagship, the Lilly, Morgan landed his men on the beach and they stormed the fortification; they found it empty when they eventually breached it's defences. A search soon found that the Spanish had left a slow-burning explosive as a trap for the buccaneers, which Morgan's was discovered and extinguished.[49]

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.

Henry Morgan destroys the Spanish Fleet at Lake Maracaibo 1669

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 (1670–1674)[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.[50] 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.[51] (This ship would be taken nearly a decade later by English pirates, including one William Dampier,[52] participating in the adventures of Captain Sharp et al. into the South Seas.[53][54])

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.[53][54]

On learning the extent of the wealth transferred to that galleon, they realised 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.[55]

Retirement and death (1681–1688)[edit]

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]

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).[53][54][54] 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.[56] 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.[57]

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.

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".[58]


General Daniel Morgan
General John Hunt Morgan

Henry's nephew, Edward Morgan, was great-grandfather of Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan,[59] and Daniel's own descendant was Confederate General John Hunt Morgan[60]

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.

In 2011 archaeologists reported the find of what they hoped was one of Morgan's ships off the coast of Panama,[61] although the wreckage was later confirmed as the Encarnación, a colonial Spanish merchant ship, which 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.[62]

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 centred 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 romanticised Morgan's life, loves and battles.
  • Josephine Tey's 1952 novel The Privateer dramatised 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 first-hand 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.[63]
  • 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 travellers 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.[64]
  • 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.

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. ^ Information on the year of Morgan's birth is unreliable; in a deposition sworn in November 1671 he gave his age as 36.[2]
  2. ^ The sources that show Robert as Henry's father include:
    • Zahedieh, Nuala (2004). "Morgan, Sir Henry (c.1635–1688)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
    • Blalock, Glenn (2000). "Morgan, Sir Henry". American National Biography.
    • Pope, Dudley (1978). The Buccaneer King: The Biography of the Notorious Sir Henry Morgan 1635–1688.
    • Breverton, Terry (2005). Admiral Sir Henry Morgan: The Greatest Bucaneer of them all.
  3. ^ According to the anthropologists Shannon Lee Dawdy and Joe Bonni, pirates are defined as "bandits, or sailors who seize property and/or people by force"; privateers are defined as those "who operate with a legal license from a state government to attack enemy ships and ports during wartime, keeping a contracted share of seized goods". Dawdy and Bonni define buccaneers as "originally castaway colonists (usually French or English) on Hispanio (from French) who survived by hunting or raising livestock",[7] although the historian Jon Latimer observes that the terms pirate and buccaneer have been interchangeable in English since the 17th century.[8]
  4. ^ About 1,500 privateers used Jamaica as a base for their activity and brought in significant revenue to the island. As the planting community of 5,000 was still in a nascent form, the revenue from the privateers was needed to avoid economic collapse.[12]
  5. ^ The hostilities led to the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–1667).[14]
  6. ^ Mansvelt instead selected the more lucrative city of Cartago, the capital of Costa Rica, as the target for his attack.[18]
  7. ^ Rogoziński points out that the erroneous report of Morgan's presence on Mansvelt's expedition was from Alexandre Exquemelin's history The Buccaneers of America, although there is no record of Morgan being part of Mansvelt's group.[20]
  8. ^ Some sources, including Breverton and Allen, state that there were only ten survivors from a crew of 350;[42][43] Pope states that more than 250 were killed.[44]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Zahedieh 2004a.
  2. ^ a b Pope 1978, p. 62.
  3. ^ a b Williams 1959.
  4. ^ a b Blalock 2000.
  5. ^ Gosse 2007, p. 154.
  6. ^ Cordingly 2006, p. xvii.
  7. ^ Dawdy & Bonni 2012, p. 678.
  8. ^ Latimer 2009, p. 4.
  9. ^ Cordingley 2006, p. 444.
  10. ^ Talty 2007, pp. 44–45.
  11. ^ Allen 1976, p. 16.
  12. ^ a b Zahedieh 2004b.
  13. ^ Allen 1976, pp. 12–13.
  14. ^ Latimer 2009, p. 146.
  15. ^ Latimer 2009, p. 148.
  16. ^ Thomas 2014, 563.
  17. ^ Allen 1976, pp. 16–17.
  18. ^ a b Thomas 2014, 568.
  19. ^ Talty 2007, pp. 78–79.
  20. ^ a b c d Rogoziński 1995, p. 228.
  21. ^ Latimer 2009, p. 164.
  22. ^ Thomas 2014, 756.
  23. ^ Breverton 2005, pp. 36–38.
  24. ^ Gosse 2007, p. 156.
  25. ^ Esquemelin 2010, pp. 138–139.
  26. ^ Pope 1977, p. 145.
  27. ^ Talty 2007, p. 90.
  28. ^ Esquemelin 2010, p. 139.
  29. ^ Breverton 2005, p. 40.
  30. ^ Pope 1977, p. 147.
  31. ^ Cordingly 2006, p. 45.
  32. ^ Esquemelin 2010, pp. 144–145.
  33. ^ Breverton 2005, p. 43.
  34. ^ Cordingly 2006, p. 47.
  35. ^ a b UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2016), "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
  36. ^ Thomas 2014, 1113.
  37. ^ Barbour 1911, p. 556.
  38. ^ Allen 1976, p. 49.
  39. ^ Pope 1977, p. 163.
  40. ^ Thomas 2014, 1171.
  41. ^ Breverton 2005, pp. 50–51.
  42. ^ Breverton 2005, p. 52.
  43. ^ Allen 1977, p. 54.
  44. ^ Pope 1977, p. 166.
  45. ^ Cordingly 2006, p. 48.
  46. ^ Talty 2007, p. 145.
  47. ^ Pope 1977, pp. 169–171.
  48. ^ Talty 2007, p. 149.
  49. ^ Thomas 2014, 1346.
  50. ^ 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. 
  51. ^ Michener, James A., Caribbean (1989), p. 211 ff
  52. ^ Dampier's New Voyage Round The World - 1697
  53. ^ a b c The Buccaneers of America (dutch)
  54. ^ a b c d The Buccaneers of America (english)
  55. ^ http://www.thepirateking.com/bios/morgan_henry.htm
  56. ^ The Libel Suit Against Malthus. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  57. ^ "Henry Morgan: the Pirate King". Jamaica-gleaner.com. 2002-12-09. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  58. ^ Harry Morgans Way: (1977) Biography of Sir Henry Morgan, 1635-84 Dudley Pope, Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, ISBN 0-436-37735-7
  59. ^ 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.
  60. ^ GENi: Brig. General John Hunt Morgan (CSA)
    It is said that he was a lineal descendant of Daniel Morgan, of Revolutionary fame.
  61. ^ TSU researcher discovers pirate shipwreck
  62. ^ [1]
  63. ^ "Lisa reads: Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton". When Falls the Coliseum. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  64. ^ "Peter Tosh - Can'T Blame The Youth Lyrics". Songlyrics.com. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 



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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