Pirates of the Golden Age

Meet seven of the most fearsome pirates from the Golden Age of Piracy. Like pirates? Read more about William Dampier, a most fearsome pirate -- and naturalist.

During what is known as the Golden Age of Piracy, pirates reaped great rewards—and, if they were caught, faced terrible punishments. Here are some of the most legendary pirates of that time.
Engraving of pirate Captain Henry MorganPirate Henry Morgan arrives with his rifle and his crew  in Panama CityCaptain William Kidd at Gardiner's IslandCaptain William KiddBlackbeard may have been the most notorious pirate of all. Fierce and ferocious-looking, he stood 6’4” tall and had wild eyes and an explosive temper. To add to the effect, he tucked slow-burning cannon fuses under his hat.Blackbeard the Pirate engravingBlackbeard's head suspended from the end of a bowsprit.Major Stede Bonnet on a ship, shown in an engraved printStede Bonnet at his hanging in Charleston, North CarolinaPirates Ann Bonny and Mary Read shown in men's clothesPirates Ann Bonny and Mary Read. After their capture, they were granted stays of execution because of their conditions.Pirate captain Bartholomew Roberts dressed in embroidered coats and hats with feathered plumes, like an elegant gentleman.Pirate captain Bartholomew Roberts in his finery.