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Back in the day, if someone took your ship they were either doing so under the auspices of a country (privateer) or for their own benefit (pirate, buccaneer, corsair, etc.)...either way, whomever it was, you will probably find him (or her) listed here...
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Cross-listed in Explorers

Lionel Wafer

bornactivedied
16401679-17051705
a Welsh explorer, buccaneer and privateer. A ship's surgeon, Wafer made several voyages to the South Seas and visited Maritime Southeast Asia in 1676. The following year he settled in Jamaica to practise his profession. In 1679 two noted buccaneers named Capt John Cook and Linen convinced him to become a surgeon for their fleet. In 1680, Wafer met more
Links (2)Notes (1)


Thomas Wake

bornactivedied
unknown1696 ca1700 ca
Pirate Captain. Vessel: The Susannah ....... English pirate captain on the ship SUSANNAH, known as the Boston pirate. With piracy began in 1696. worked on the East Coast of America and in the Caribbean. He was on the list of pirates who had William Kidd seize o...
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Notes (2)


William Wakeman

bornactivedied
unknown1696 caunknown
Shoemaker turned Pirate


Cross-listed in GovernanceCartographers

Johannes van Walbeeck

bornactivedied
160216341649+
a Dutch navigator and cartographer during a 1620s circumnavigation of the earth, an admiral of the Dutch West India Company. Captured Curaçao in 1634 and later served as first governor of the Netherlands Antilles.
Timeline (3)Links (1)


John Walden

aka: Miss Nanney
bornactivedied
unknown1720-1723 unknown
Born in Somersetshire. Taken in the Blessing, of Lymington, by Roberts in Newfoundland, he joined the pirates, and was later on hanged at the age of 24 in West Africa. Walden was one of Captain Roberts's most active men. On taking Captain Traher's ship, Walden carried a pole-axe with which he wrenched open locked doors and boxes. He was a bold and daring man...
more
Notes (1)


John Walker [2]

bornactivedied
unknown1696 caunknown
Quartermaster to William Kidd
Notes (1)


Cross-listed in GovernancePhysiciansLegal

William Walker

bornactivedied
1824, May 81852-18601860, Sep 12
an American physician, lawyer, journalist and mercenary, who organized several private military expeditions into Latin America, with the intention of establishing English-speaking colonies under his personal control, an enterprise then known as "filibustering." Walker usurped the presidency of the Republic of Nicaragua in 1856 and ruled until 1857, when he w...
more
Timeline (4)Links (12)Gallery (8)


Rachel Wall

aka: Rachel Schmidt
bornactivedied
1760 ca1781-17891789, Oct 8
an American female pirate, and the last woman to be hanged in Massachusetts. She may also have been the first American-born woman to become a pirate. Born in Carlisle, PA. Rachel and her husband George Wall were active off the New Hampshire coast until George and the crew were washed out to sea. She was hanged in Boston on 8 October 1789.
Links (3)


Wang Zhi

bornactivedied
unknown1540s-1550sunknown
a Chinese pirate and trader of the 16th century, one of the chief named and known figures among the wokou ("Japanese" pirates) prevalent during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor. Although he was the leader of a great smuggling syndicate that launched many raids against China, he himself had never participated in a raid in person. It is said he was the captain...
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Links (1)


Thomas Wansley

bornactivedied
unknown18311831, Feb
A negro steward on the brig Vineyard, he mutinied and assisted to murder the captain and mate, afterwards becoming one of Captain Charles Gibbs's crew. Hanged at New York in February, 1831.
Notes (3)


Captain William Want

bornactivedied
unknown1693-1695unknown
Pirate Captain. Vessel: The Dolphin ……A Carolina pirate who commanded a ship named the “Dolphin.” Most of his piratical activities seem to have been confined to the Red Sea in 1695-1696.
Notes (2)


Captain Ward [1]

borndied
unknownunknown
As a poor English sailor he went to Barbary, turned Mohammedan, offered his services to the Moors, and became captain of a galley. He grew to be very rich, and "lived like a Bashaw in Barbary."
Notes (1)


Ward [2]

bornactivedied
unknown1600s-1610sunknown
One of the first English pirates to establish himself on the Barbary coast in North Africa. By the year 1613 some thirty others had their headquarters at the mouth of the Sebu River.
Notes (1)


Jack Ward

borndied
17801841


John Ward [1]

aka: Jack Ward, Yusuf Reis
bornactivedied
1552/531590s-1610s1622
a notorious English pirate around the turn of the 17th century who later became a Barbary Corsair operating out of Tunis during the early 17th century. Around 1603, Ward was pressed into the Royal Navy, where he was placed in the Channel Fleet and served aboard a ship named the Lyon's Whelp. After two weeks he and a group of about 30 of his colleagues desert...
more
Links (2)Notes (2)


William Warren

borndied
unknownunknown
Joined Captain Pound's crew from Lovell's Island.
Notes (2)


Thomas Warrington

borndied
unknownunknown
(pirate)
Notes (1)


John Waters

bornactivedied
unknown1730s1734, Jul 19
Quartermaster to Captain Charles Harris. Tried and hanged at Newport, Rhode Island, on July 19th, 1734. Aged 35.
Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Military

John Watkins [1]

bornactivedied
unknown1680s1689
An English soldier stationed at Fort Loyal, Falmouth, Maine. Deserted and sailed with the pirate Pound. Killed at Tarpaulin Cove in 1689.
Notes (1)


Captain John Watling

aka: Watlins
bornactivedied
unknown1680-1681unknown
Buccaneer. When Bartholomew Sharp's crew mutinied on New Year's Day in 1681 on the Most Holy Trinity, they clapped their captain in irons and put him down below on the ballast, and elected an old pirate and a "stout seaman," John Watling, in his place. One of...
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Notes (2)


Henry Watson

bornactivedied
unknown1710s-17221722, Mar 11
Member of Lowther’s crew. Hanged at St. Kitts, March 11, 1722.
Notes (2)


Edward Watts

borndied
unknown1722
Born at Dunmore. One of Captain Roberts's crew. Hanged in 1722 at the age of 22.
Notes (1)


Samuel Watts

borndied
unknownunknown
Of Lovell's Island. One of Captain Pound's crew.
Notes (1)


William Watts [1]

borndied
unknownunknown
An Irishman. Hanged, at the age of 23, along with the rest of Roberts's crew.
Notes (2)


William Watts [2]

bornactivedied
unknown1820s1830, Dec 16
Captured, charged with piracy, and convicted. One of the last two final hangings on Execution Dock (the other being George James Davis) on December 16, 1830.
Notes (1)


John Way

bornactivedied
1670 ca1703-1710 ca1746 ca
an English pirate, he worked in the Caribbean. He was a member of the crew of the pirate ship The Charles, led by Captain Daniel Plowman. The Charles sailed from Boston in July 1703 on a pirate expedition against the French and Spanish ships. Not...
more
Notes (2)


Captain Brigstock Weaver

borndied
unknownunknown
Of Hereford, England. One of Captain Anstis's crew in the Good Fortune when he took the Morning Star. After the prize had been converted for Anstis's use, Weaver was given command of the Good Fortune. He proved himself to be a capable pirate captain, taking between fifty and sixty sailing ships in the West Indies and on the Banks of Newfoundland.
Notes (1)


Lieutenant Joseph Wells

borndied
unknownunknown
An officer on board Captain John Quelch's Charles galley. Attempted to escape at Gloucester, Massachusetts, in the Larimore, but was captured by Major Sewell and brought to Salem, and there secured in the town gaol until tried for piracy at Boston in June, 1...
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Notes (2)


Richard West

bornactivedied
unknown1710s-17221722, Mar 11
Member of Lowther’s crew. Hanged at St. Kitts, March 11, 1722.
Notes (2)


Tee Wetherley

bornactivedied
unknown1690s-17001700
A Massachusetts pirate, with only one eye. Captured in 1699 with the pirate Joseph Bradish and put in prison. They escaped two months later. A reward of £200 was offered for the recapture of Wetherley, which was gained by a Kennekeck Indian called Essacambuit, who brought him back to prison. He was taken, in irons, to England in H.M.S. Advice in 1700, and t...
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Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Naval

Thomas Whetstone

borndied
16301668 ca
an English privateer and naval officer whose career resulted from nepotism and his connections to Oliver Cromwell, his maternal uncle. Whetstone was probably born in the Netherlands. His father was an army officer, and his mother was the favourite sister of Oliver Cromwell. During the Interregnum, Whetstone volunteered for naval service on the expedition to ...
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Links (1)


Sir Thomas Whetstone

aka: Whitstone
bornactivedied
unknown1661-1667unknown
Buccaneer. In 1663 he commanded a ship, a Spanish prize, armed with seven guns and carrying a crew of sixty men. In August, 1666, Sir Thomas was with a small English garrison of some sixty men in the buccaneer stronghold of New Providence in the Bahama Islands. Suddenly a Spanish fleet arrived from Porto Bello, and after a siege of three days the garrison ca...
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Notes (1)


Alexander White

bornactivedied
unknown17841784
Hanged for piracy in Cambridge, Massachusetts in November 1784.


James White

bornactivedied
unknown1710s1719
A member of Edward Teach's crew. Hanged in Williamsburg, Virginia, 1719.
Notes (2)


Robert White [2]

bornactivedied
unknown1710s-17221722, Mar 11
Member of Lowther’s crew. Hanged at St. Kitts, March 11, 1722.
Notes (2)


Cross-listed in Naval

Captain Thomas White

bornactivedied
unknown1690s-1700s1708
White migrated to Barbados from Plymouth after serving in the Royal Navy. Circa 1698, White was in command of a ship taken by French pirates which was later captured by John Bowen. After refusing to join Bowen's crew, Bowen made a slave & shared by both John Bowen & G...
more
Links (1)Notes (1)


William White [1]

bornactivedied
unknown1720s1724, Jun 2
A Newfoundland fish-splitter. With John Phillips and three others, he stole a fishing-boat at St. Peter's Harbour in Newfoundland in August, 1723. The other four were made officers in the pirate craft, White having the distinction of being the only private man in the crew of five. He appears to have been a man lacking in ambition, as he never showed any desi...
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Notes (2)


William Whiting

aka: Whitting
bornactivedied
1670 ca1703-1710 ca1745 ca
an English pirate, he worked in the Caribbean. He was a member of the crew of the pirate ship The Charles, led by Captain Daniel Plowman. The Charles sailed from Boston in July 1703 on a pirate expedition against the French and Spanish ships. Not...
more
Notes (2)


Francis Wife

aka: Wise
bornactivedied
unknown1720sunknown
Member of Phillip Roche's gang.
Notes (2)


Moise van Wijn

aka: Klijn
bornactivedied
unknown1668unknown


Richard Wilday

bornactivedied
unknown1700 caunknown


William Wiles

bornactivedied
1670 ca1703-1710 ca1747 ca
an English pirate, he worked in the Caribbean. He was a member of the crew of the pirate ship The Charles, led by Captain Daniel Plowman. The Charles sailed from Boston in July 1703 on a pirate expedition against the French and Spanish ships. Not...
more
Notes (2)


Captain Wilgress

bornactivedied
unknown1670sunknown
Buccaneer. Of Jamaica. Sent by the Governor of Jamaica in 1670 to search for, and capture or sink, a Dutchman called Captain Yallahs, who had entered the Spanish service to cruise against the English logwood cutters. But Wilgress, instead of carrying out his orders, went a-buccaneering on his own account, chasing a Spanish vessel ashore, stealing logwood, an...
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Notes (1)


Jacob Willekens

bornactivedied
1564/711590s-1630s1633/1649
a Dutch admiral on a fleet to the Dutch Indies, and a herring seller, who went to sea again at the age of fifty for the Dutch West Indies Company. His most well-known success was undoubtedly the conquest of São Salvador da Bahia, the then capital of Brazil. His fleet, which included Dutch corsair Piet Hein as vice admiral, brought between 26-36 ships and 3,...
more
Timeline (1)Links (1)


Jan Willems

aka: Yankey, Yanky, Jankie, Janke
bornactivedied
unknown1678-16871688
a 17th-century Dutch buccaneer. Based out of Petit-Goâve, Willems participated in a number of expeditions against the Spanish in the Caribbean during the early to mid-1680s with other well-known privateers including Michiel Andrieszoon, Thomas Paine, Laurens de G...
more
Timeline (2)Links (1)


Frans Willemsen

bornactivedied
unknown1600sunknown
Privateer sailing from Duinkerken. He had a letter of marque from Spain. In August 1600 he sailed as part of a fleet that attacked the Dutch fishing-fleet near the coast of Scotlan He ransomed 8 fishermen who were brought to Duinkerken.


David Williams

borndied
unknown1709
This son of a Welsh farmer was a poor pirate but a born soldier. He was described by one who knew him as being morose, sour, unsociable, and ill-tempered, and that he "knew as little of the sea or of ships as he did of the Arts of Natural Philosophy." But it is recorded to his credit that he was not cruel. He started life in a merchant ship bound for India, ...
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Notes (1)


Lt. James Williams

bornactivedied
unknown1724-17251725, Jun 11
Welsh pirate. Sailed as a hand on board the George galley from Amsterdam in 1724. Conspiring with Gow to bring about a mutiny, he took an active part in murdering the captain, the chief mate, super cargo, and surgeon. Gow promoted him to be his mate. He was a violent, brutal man, and a bully. On one occasion, he accused Gow of cowardice, and snapped his pist...
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Notes (1)


John Williams [1]

bornactivedied
unknown1670sunknown
A Cornish pirate, who sailed from Jamaica with Captain Morrice, and was captured by the Dutch. Eventually he reached Boston, and sailed with Captain Roderigo in 1674 in the Edward and Thomas, a Boston vessel. Tried for piracy, but acquitted.
Notes (1)


Captain John Williams [2]

aka: Yanky
bornactivedied
unknown1680sunknown
Buccaneer. In 1683, when the pirate Hamlin in his famous ship, La Trompeuse, was playing havoc with the English shipping around Jamaica, Governor Lynch offered Williams a free pardon, men, victuals, and naturalization, and £200 as well if he would catch the Frenchman.
Notes (1)


Captain Morris Williams

aka: Maurice
bornactivedied
unknown1664-1666unknown
Buccaneer. In November, 1664, he applied to Governor Modyford to be allowed to bring into Port Royal, Jamaica, a rich prize of logwood, indigo, and silver, and, in spite of the Governor's refusal, he brought the ship in. The goods were seized and sold in the interest of the Spanish owner. At this time the English Government was doing all it could to stamp ou...
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Notes (1)


Palgrave Williams

aka: Palsgrave
bornactivedied
16781715-1723unknown
Paulsgrave Williams was born on Rhode Island, in 1678. He succeeded long family tradition and became a goldsmith. In 1715, he met Samuel Bellamy, a poor sailor who came to the Caribbean to look for sunken Spanish treasures. Williams liked his new friend so much,...
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Links (3)Notes (1)


Captain Paul Williams

bornactivedied
unknown1716-1717unknown
A Carolina pirate who began his career as a buccaneer in the West Indies. Accepted the King’s pardon at New Providence in 1718, but soon returned to piracy. Was hanged a short time later at Eastman, Massachusetts.
Notes (1)


William Williams [1]

borndied
unknownunknown
"Habitation—nigh Plymouth." One of Captain Roberts's crew. Deserted the pirates at Sierra Leone, but was delivered up by the negroes, and as a punishment received two lashes from the whole ship's company. Hanged at the age of 40.
Notes (1)


Robert Willis

bornactivedied
unknown1710s-1722unknown
Member of Lowther’s crew, Tried for piracy at St. Kitts in March, 1718. Acquitted
Notes (2)


Alexander Wilson

bornactivedied
unknown1670s1672
One of the mutineers of the ship Antonio. Hanged at Boston in 1672.
Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Physicians

George Wilson

bornactivedied
unknown1720sunknown
Surgeon and pirate. Originally he sailed as surgeon in a Liverpool ship, the Tarlton, which was taken by the pirate Bartholomew Roberts. Wilson voluntarily joined the pirates. One day, being accidentally left on shore, he had to remain amongst the negroes at Sestos on the West Coast of Africa for five months, until he was eventually rescued by a Captain Shar...
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Notes (1)


James Wilson [1]

bornactivedied
unknown1710s-17181718, Nov 8
Of Dublin, Ireland. Crew member of Revenge/Royal James, commanded by Major Stede Bonnet. Hanged at Charleston, South Carolina, November 8, 1718.
Notes (2)


John Wilson [2]

bornactivedied
unknown1720sunknown
Of New London County, CT. Tried for piracy in 1723 at Newport, Rhode Island, and acquitted.
Notes (1)


Christopher Winter

bornactivedied
unknown1716-1720sunknown
Of New Providence Island. He took a sloop off the coast of Jamaica, the mate on board which was one Edward England, who, on Winter's persuasion, turned pirate and soon reached the summit of his new profession. In 1718 Winter accepted the King's offer of pardon to all pirates who surrendered. Winter soon afterwards not only returned to piracy, but did even wo...
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Notes (1)


John Winter

bornactivedied
unknown1720s1725
One of Gow's crew in the Revenge. Hanged in 1725 at Wapping.
Notes (1)


William Winter

aka: Mustapha
borndied
unknownunknown
A renegade English sailor amongst the Algiers pirates. Taken prisoner in the Exchange, on which vessel he was carpenter.
Notes (1)


Thomas Winthorp

bornactivedied
unknown1726 caunknown
Member of William Fly’s crew.
Notes (2)


Captain Francis Witherborn

borndied
unknownunknown
Captured, with his ship, by Major Beeston and brought to Jamaica. Tried for piracy at Port Royal, he was condemned to death, and sent a prisoner to England.
Notes (1)


Cornelis Wittebol

bornactivedied
unknown1622unknown
Dutch corsair in Spanish service. In February 1622, attacked a fishing fleet from the Veere and Maasmond sinking several ships and bringing back the survivors to ransom in Duinkerken......Privateer with a letter of marque from Spain. In February 1622 he sailed from Duinkerken and attacked several herring-boats from Veere and the Maasmond-area. He sunk severa...
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Captain William Wollervy

bornactivedied
unknown1683unknown
A New England pirate who sailed in company with a Captain Henley in 1683 off the Island of Elenthera. He burnt his vessel near Newport, Rhode Island, where he and his crew disappeared with their plunder.
Notes (1)


Lady Mary Wolverston

aka: Lady Killigrew, Elizabeth Trewinnard
bornactivedied
1525 ca1570s-15821582 ca
a gentlewoman from Suffolk, married into an ancient Cornish family, who was accused of piracy during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603). Several sources have confused this lady with her husband Sir John IV Killigrew's mother Elizabeth Trewennard/Trewinnard and even with his grand-daughter-in-law Jane Fermor. She and her husband received and stored st...
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Links (1)


William Wood

bornactivedied
1695 ca1720s1722, Apr
One of Captain Roberts's crew. Hanged in April, 1722, at the age of 27.
Notes (1)


Nicholas Woodall

borndied
unknownunknown
Ship: Wolf, sloop 30 tons
Notes (1)


Conway Woollerley

bornactivedied
unknown1683 caunknown
Pirate Captain


Richard Worley

bornactivedied
16861718, Sep-17191719, Feb 17
a pirate who was active in the Caribbean Sea and the east coast of the American colonies during the early 18th century. He is credited as one of the earliest pirates to fly the first version of the skull and crossbones pirate flag. The name of Worley's ship has never been identified, nor those of the four ships that he captured during his five-month career f...
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Links (3)Notes (2)


Daniel Wormall

bornactivedied
unknown1720sunknown
Master of The Charles, commanded by John Quelch. Attempted to escape from Gloucester, Massachusetts, by sailing off in the Larimore galley, but was followed and caught by Major Sewell and taken to Salem. Here he was kept in the town gaol until sent to Boston...
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Notes (2)


Hendrik Worst

bornactivedied
unknown1624unknown
Dutch corsair who accompanied Pieter Schouten in his expedition to the West Indies.


Captain William Wright

bornactivedied
unknown1675-1682unknown
an English privateer in French service and later buccaneer who raided Spanish towns in the late 17th century. Little is known of William Wright before he settled in French Hispaniola in the mid-1670s. Accepting a French commission of war from the French Governor in 1675 he later raided the Spanish colony of Segovia (present day Nicaragua) with several other ...
more
Links (1)


Emanuel Wynn

aka: Emanuel Wynne
bornactivedied
unknown1690s-1710sunknown
a French pirate of the 18th century, and is often considered the first pirate to fly the Jolly Roger. His design incorporated an hourglass beneath the bones to represent that time was running out. Wynne began his piratical career raiding English merchantmen off the coast of the Province of Carolina near the end of the 17th century. He later moved to the more...
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Links (3)Gallery (1)


Henry Wynn

bornactivedied
unknown1724 caunknown
Captured


John Wynter

bornactivedied
1540 ca1577 ca1610 ca
Pirate Captain. Vessel: Aid.....English captain and pirate. Son of George and Anne Wynter. Nephew William Wynter. From his youth he sailed on merchant ships of his father. He was the captain of the ship ELIZABETH in the fleet, Vice Admiral Francis Drake. The m...
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