British Admiral and Knight. Known as one of the world's most daring and dangerous pirates, he was actually a privateer. This means that he was commissioned by the British Government to loot and plunder any and all Spanish ships, since England and Spain were at war. The loot that he captured was his payment. He was of Welsh descent and was born as Hari [i.e. Harry] Morgan. Little is known of his youth and much of his later life is a combination of myth and truth. What is known is that he was considered the "Terror of the Caribbean" from the time of his commissioning as a privateer in 1662 until 1683 when he retired. From the Jamaican Islands, he not only terrorized the Spanish shipping industry, he also looted the ports and mining cities up and down the coast of Central and South America. In 1666 he was made the Admiral over all the privateers. From Puerto del Principe in Cuba he captured 50,000 Spanish pieces of eight, legal tender throughout much of the world. He sailed to Puerto Bello, Panama and held the entire city captive until he received a ransom of 250,000 pieces of eight and all of the cargo held within the hulls of the ships that were in port at the time. In a second raid on Panama he took 400,000 pieces of eight. This raid, however, had occurred after England and Spain had reached an agreement on a peace treaty and Morgan was arrested and returned to England where he was to be placed in prison. Fortunately, England and Holland went to war before he reached prison. The King found his services were better served in Jamica than in jail, and returned him to Jamaica as Lieutenant Governor. Just before Christmas of 1675 he was made a Knight. His privateering days were over, but he gained power and prosperity as the owner of several sugar plantations. In 1681 he was diagnosed with dropsy, but most historians believed that he died from tuberculosis that he had contracted while in England.
Bio by: Tom Todd