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While many freelance operators abounded with the Age of Exploration, national interests were also paying attention and quickly organized their own expeditions. The individuals on these ships were also frequently also explorers, but their main mission was to deliver the Rule of Law -- for each's respective country -- on the High Seas.
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Cross-listed in Pirates

Captain Antonio el Majorcam

bornactivedied
unknown1820sunknown
At one time an officer in the Spanish Navy. Became a notorious West Indian pirate, but about 1824 he retired from the sea to become a highwayman on shore.
Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Explorers

Alessandro Malaspina

borndied
1754, Nov 51810, Apr 9
an Italian explorer who spent most of his life as a Spanish naval officer. Under a Spanish royal commission, he undertook a voyage around the world from 1786 to 1788, then, from 1789 to 1794, a scientific expedition (the Malaspina Expedition) throughout the Pacific Ocean, exploring and mapping much of the west coast of the Americas from Cape Horn to the Gulf...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Pirates

Arnaut Mami

aka: Mahomed the Albanian
bornactivedied
unknown1572-1576unknown
an Ottoman Albanian renegade, the squadron admiral and the supreme commander of all Islamic vessels in North Africa and Pasha Algiers, known as the most formidable corsair of that period for his terrorizing of the narrow seas. He was also captain general of Turkish galleys in Algers.
Links (1)


Cross-listed in Commerce

Jonathan Martin

borndied
17821838, Jun 3
an English arsonist, famous for setting fire to York Minster in 1829. After he witnessed the murder of his sister by a neighbour, he was sent to his uncle's farm to recover from the shock. He was apprenticed to a tanner but was press ganged in London in 1804. He served in the Royal Navy ship HMS Hercule for six years, including the Battle of Copenhagen in 18...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Thomas Mathews

borndied
1676, Oct1751, Oct 2
a British officer of the Royal Navy, who rose to the rank of admiral. Mathews joined the navy in 1690 and saw service on a number of ships, including during the Nine Years' War and the War of the Spanish Succession. He interspersed periods spent commanding ships with time at home at the family estate in Llandaff. He distinguished himself with service with Si...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Explorers

John Minor Maury

borndied
17951824, Jun 23
a lieutenant in the United States Navy. What has been described as "a very interesting sketch" of his career was given by James Edmonds Saunders in his late 19th-century work Early Settlers of Alabama. John and other sailors (five killed by cannibals and two survived) had been marooned on the island of Nuku Hiva for two years surviving Cannibalism between th...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in AstronomersEducators

Matthew Fontaine Maury

borndied
1806, Jan 141873, Feb 1
an American astronomer, historian, oceanographer, meteorologist, cartographer, author, geologist, and educator. n 1825 at age 19, Maury obtained a midshipman's warrant in the United States Navy. When a leg injury left him unfit for sea duty, Maury devoted his time to the study of navigation, meteorology, winds, and currents. He became Superintendent of the U...
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Links (1)


Robert Maynard

borndied
1684, Sep 191751, Jan 4
a lieutenant and later captain in the Royal Navy. He served as first lieutenant of HMS Pearl, most famous for his part in the defeat of the notorious English pirate Blackbeard in battle. Robert Maynard was made a lieutenant on 14 January 1707. From 1709 he was third lieutenant on HMS Bedford. He became first lieutenant of HMS Pearl in 1716. He was promoted t...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Governance

Charles Middleton

aka: 1st Baron Barham
borndied
1726, Oct 141813, Jun 17
a Royal Navy officer and politician. As a junior officer he saw action during the Seven Years' War. Middleton was given command of a guardship at the Nore, a Royal Navy anchorage in the Thames Estuary, at the start of the American War of Independence, and was subsequently appointed Comptroller of the Navy. He went on to be First Naval Lord and then First Lor...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Pirates

Daniel Montbars

aka: Montbars the Exterminator, Montbars the Destroyer
bornactivedied
16451660s-1670s1707 ca
a 17th-century French buccaneer. For several years, he was known as one of the most violent buccaneers active against the Spanish during the mid-17th century. A former French naval officer and gentleman adventurer, he engaged in a violent and destructive war against Spain in the Caribbean and the Spanish Main. His reputation as a fierce enemy of the Spanish ...
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Links (2)Notes (1)


Fairfax Moresby

borndied
17861877, Jan 21
a Royal Navy officer. As a junior officer he took part in the unsuccessful expedition to capture Ferrol in Spain during the French Revolutionary Wars. He later saw action during the blockade of Brest during the Napoleonic Wars before becoming commanding officer of a sloop which was sent to the Aegean Sea to defend the population of Malta from pirates; the gr...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Pirates

Sir Henry Morgan

bornactivedied
1635 ca1663-16881688, Aug 25
a British privateer, buccaneer, and admiral of the Royal Navy. He made himself famous during activities in the Caribbean, primarily raiding Spanish settlements, and was considered a pirate only to the Spanish, whom he was lawfully attacking. He earned a reputation as one of the most notorious and successful privateers in history, and one of the most ruthless...
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Timeline (3)Links (12)Notes (3)


Cross-listed in ExplorersAstronomers

Ernest Mouchez

bornactivedied
1821, Aug 241843-18871892, Jun 29
a French naval officer who became director of the Paris Observatory and launched the ill-fated Carte du Ciel project in 1887. Born in Madrid, Spain, Mouchez embarked on a career in the French Navy as an ensign in 1843. This was a period of relative international maritime peace and much of the navy's activities were dedicated to exploration and discovery. Mou...
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Links (2)


Cross-listed in Explorers

Francisco Antonio Mourelle

borndied
17501820, May 24
a Galician naval officer and explorer serving the Spanish crown. He was born in San Adrián de Corme (Corme Aldea, Ponteceso), near La Coruña, Galicia. Mourelle served the Spanish navy in the Guyanas, Trinidad, and the Antilles before becoming stationed at New Spain's Pacific Ocean naval base at San Blas, Mexico in 1774. During his service at San Blas, Mou...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in MilitaryGovernance

Joachim Murat

borndied
1767, Mar 251815, Oct 13
a Marshal of France and Admiral of France under the reign of Napoleon. He was also the 1st Prince Murat, Grand Duke of Berg from 1806 to 1808, and King of Naples from 1808 to 1815. He received his titles in part by being Napoleon's brother-in-law through marriage to his youngest sister, Caroline Bonaparte, as well as personal merit. He was noted as a daring,...
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Timeline (6)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Alexander Murray

borndied
1755, Jul 121821, Oct 6
an officer who served in the Continental Navy, the Continental Army, and later the United States Navy, during the American Revolutionary War, the Quasi-War with France and the First Barbary War in North Africa. From July 1805 until late 1806, Murray commanded the frigate Adams, cruising along the eastern coast of the United States from New York to Florida pr...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)

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