Captain Henry Morgan:The History Behind Everyone’s Favorite Pirate Seen On The Bottles Of All Spiced Rum

All this happened a long long time ago,almost 340 years,in the 16th century,before our parents or grandparents were even born,so,here goes.

He is known to be everyones favorite pirate,and there are many legendary tales surrounding captain morgan,but here are some of the true story of the buccaneer.

Captain morgan was not born in jamaica as everyone first thought,neither was he from panama nor spain. he was a welsh man from wales who traveled to jamaica with some of his family,to settle and work as privateers and later on became jamaican citizens.

His birth took place in 1635 in Llanrhymny Glamorgan wales monmouthshire;a village in cardiff and near newport in south wales and he and his family worked as farmers there,before he went to jamaica to become a privateer also known as buccaneer.

In those days it was common for some privateers to be empowered by governments or representatives of government bodies,to carry out task in the 16th to 17th century.

They were sometimes called upon to carry out raids on enemy ships on governments behalf,and the privateers were allowed to keep some of the loots for themselves,because they were seen as(legal pirates),while other pirates that were not appointed by the goverment were seen as foot soldiers,independent workers,common pirates,or criminals depending on the level of their activities,and could be forced into administration at any given time,by the appointed legal pirates or privateers.

Througout the many years of his life living as a jamaican and welsh citizen,he traveled back and forth from jamaica to wales and england,carrying out business trades and deals.

He is one of the historical faces of the movie pirates of the caribbean. Morgan was the oldest of his siblings and owned land in wales,and made his way to jamaica to become a swash buckling pirate in port royal,and at the age of 27 was made captain of his ship.

His most successful raid was in 1666 in panama,where he fought off 3000 spanish privateers,and took some of their wealth,but they managed to hide away their gold and silver before the attack was carried out.

In that same year in 1666 he was named colonel of the royal militia and elected admiral by his fellow privateers,and then later appointed commander in chief of all jamaican forces in 1669 and by 1670 he was commanding 36 ships and had 1800 men working for him.

Legend has it that he was once kidnapped by spanish privateers and put to work as an indentured worker or enslaved by a spanish privateer in barbados in an articled subtitled ”barbadosed”according to his surgeon alexandre exquemilin from panama,who some say did not like henry morgan,and wrote it himself,and when captain henry morgan heard of the publication,he was angered because his reputation as a privateer could be at stake,so morgan sued and forced alexandre to retract the statement.

In the end they came to an understanding and morgan accepted a better version,that he joined forces with english commander cromwell and his fleet,and something similar but not too disturbing as the kidnapping and forced to labour happened etc.

Anyway,one of captain henry morgan’s ship (the satisfaction) was found in 2011 beneath the panama sea waters buried deep under sand for 340 years,near a fort which morgan and his privateers battled against spanish privateers,morgan succeded in raid but they lost five ships during heavy drinking of rum in celebration of their victory.

Artifacts found within the ship remained the property of the panama government,to teach others what life was like during those days working as a privateer.

Where he spent his childhood is uncertain,wales or jamaica,it cannot be traced but he died in jamaica at a place known as lawrencefield on the 25 august 1688 at age 53.

He was active from 1663-1671,until his death from dropsie or tubercolosis he caught when he traveled to london or kidney failure,we’re still not sure how sir captain morgan died but that is some of what is written by historians.

His body was laid at kings house in jamaica for public viewing,and he was buried at the palisadoes cemetary.

He was appointed knight bachelor in november 1674 in the uk;morgan was aquainted with king charles 11 who imprisoned him,rumour has it that it was piracy,but uncertainty still surround his time in prison.

Another version states that morgan was sent to prison,because a treaty was signed between england and spanish privateers from spain,morgan was not aware of the treaty had he known he probably would not have carried out the attack.

To appease the spanish england sent an order to jamaica for his arrest,the jamaican government was hesitant to give over their citizen at first,but later complied and he was later handed over to london and remained a prisoner of the state charged with piracy.

Back in jamaica the privateers from his side lost confidence when morgan was no longer their leader,and was hesitant in engaging in battles without their leader.

Lucky for them King charles had a change of heart,and freed morgan and returned him to jamaica to work as lieutenant governor,because troubles were brewing in the caribbean and the lucrative sugar trade was at risk.

Captain henry morgan acted as lieutenant governor of jamaica,and served on assembly of jamaica until 1683.

Like the popular english poet shakespeare,captain morgan’s life too was romanticised after his death and became the pirate themed fiction across many gennres.

Morgan’s uncle edward morgan,was also living and working in jamaica as a lieutennt governor.

Captain morgan later marry his uncle’s daughter,mary elizabeth morgan in 1665,but never had any children,rumour has it that he had children by his mistresses.

From the enormous wealth that he gained in jamaica,from working as a pirate or privateer,in port royal and also raids during those years,he bought plantations in jamaica and the 120 slaves that was sold to him by african traders worked the fields.

He was a well groomed man,some of his male slaves were appointed to wash and keep his clothes uncrushed, and other male slaves were to clean his shoes and boots,A step up the ladder for them to be that close to the master,and a much better position at the time than the slaves working the fields in the hot sun.

There were also male slaves that were appointed to report to him,if any of the field slaves were trying to run away from their duties on his plantation,the news carrier slaves were nicknamed coconuts by the slaves that were trying to free themselves.

An earthquake struck port royal on the 7 june 1692,and two thirds of the town sank,kingston harbour went under after the main shock.

Palisadoes cemetary where morgan was laid to rest went down into the sea,and his coffin was never recovered from the waters.

The legend of the 16-17th century welsh buccaneer captain morgan now lives on in stories books and movies.

Captain henry morgan lived his retirement and the rest of his years as a wealthy man in port royal jamaica.

He carried on in politics and overseered his plantations,and passed away his time by drinking rum with his old privateers and comrades. And the legend of him lives on through the many versions of his spiced rum.

28 thoughts on “Captain Henry Morgan:The History Behind Everyone’s Favorite Pirate Seen On The Bottles Of All Spiced Rum

  1. historic article. I’m doing a project in class and each of us are suppose to write a skit,about any historic event that took place,and whoever wins will get a price of 1000 pounds. To be honest I was searching the internet and found a few and then came across this website and this is one of the most interesting. I’m definitely going to write a skit on captain henry Morgan.


  2. are a black couple from the Caribbean and was happy to have come across your blog. We’re very much interested in very old history and when we came upon this article,it’s like we’ve hit the jackpot. Always happy to find new information of what took place in those days,and not the edited versions that everyone is selling. I didn’t even know that he owned slaves,so this information is new to me. Thanks! Keep up the good work.


  3. those times during the height of slavery mixed race women that looked similar to Melissa Steele, rihanna,beyonce,Halle berry,those three girls from the band known as stooshe were used as cooks in the slave masters kitchen,because everyone knew including the master himself that they were his children and grand children. So it was not just the men who looked after the slave masters clothes and shoes were allowed inside, women were too.


  4. Excellent writing,keep it up. Don’t ever think of getting rid of the history section because I like it. Too often I visit history blogs with black history and then when I go back a few years time they disappear.


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