Piracy Timeline

The Most Important Facts

  • 2nd century – Piracy rose in Asian waters after the fall of the Chinese Han dynasty.
  • 13th century – Piracy rose in Mediterranean.
  • Late 14th century – English and French fleets combined their forces in battle against African based corsairs.
  • 1400 – Klaus Stoertebeker, one of the most famous German pirates was beheaded.
  • 15th century – Chinese Ming Dynasty regained their power over Asian waters.
  • 16th century – rise in maritime technology and trade traffic between Europe, Africa and New World gave rise to the piracy. Numerous ships and towns were ransacked in the newly discovered America.
  • 1557 – Conflict between England and Spain brought the rise of privateers. Many famous privateers fought in the seas of Central America, most notably Sir Francis Drake.
  • 1623-1638 – Caribbean became haven for pirates. Over 500 ships destroyed or raided.
  • 1650 to 1680 - Anglo-French commenced their attack on Spanish shipping lanes and ports, creating the first phase of “Golden Age of Piracy”.
  • 1695Pirate Captain Henry Every captured Indian treasure ship that contained incredible wealth.
  • 1690s – Caribbean based pirates started doing their “Pirate Round” by sailing to the Indian and Red sea in search for trade ships sailing from and to India.
  • 1701 – Trial and execution of famous Scottish pirate William Kidd.
  • 1718 – Beginning of the end of the “Golden Age of Piracy”. Infamous pirate captain Blackbeard died in battle.
Picture Of Mosaic Of A Roman Trireme Ancient Piracy
  • 1720 – English government managed to capture famous pirate captain Jack Rackham and his two female shipmates Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
  • 1722 – Death of most wealthiest pirates of his time - Bartholomew Roberts.
  • 1716 to 1730 – Final stage of “Golden Age of Piracy”. It was marked with scores of ex privateers who refused to retire after the hostilities between European countries ceased. They returned to piracy, until combined military forces of Europe and America weeded them out.
  • 1775 to early 1800s – Piracy returned to the Atlantic and Mediterranean during the length of American Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.
  • 1807 – Female pirate captain Ching Shih (also known as Zheng Yi Sao) united Asian pirates into immense organization that counted 800 ships and 80-150 thousand men.
  • 1810-1820 – American pirate Jean Lafitte raided operated in the waters of northern Gulf of Mexico.
  • 1820 – Piracy eliminated in Central America.
  • 1850 – Piracy eliminated in Asian waters.
  • 1991 – Somali government collapsed, and ensuing civil war gave rise to the first acts of piracy around Gulf of Aden.
  • 2005-2006 – Rise of the organized pirate activity around Somalia.
  • 2008 – International Combined Task Force 150” started protecting the waters between India and Suez Canal.
  • 2011Somali pirates continue to operate around the waters of their country...
Picture Of Mosaic Of A Roman Trireme Ancient Piracy
Picture Of Cheung Po Tsai Pirate
Picture Of Blackbeard Famous Pirate