The real pirate of the Caribbean

Posted: 08/11/2011 in all marine news

Simon Edge – 

He was one of the most notorious privateers of all time, plundering Spanish possessions in the Caribbean for his own personal gain. 

When he died he had built up one of the biggest fortunes in Jamaica. So when archaeologists discovered his sunken flagship full of unopened cargo boxes and coral-encrusted chests, you can imagine their commercial sponsors would be over the moon at the prospect of doubloons and pieces of eight.

Actually what they are hoping for is rum. For the gentleman in question was the Welsh-born Sir Henry Morgan, a man who bent all the rules of diplomacy in his pursuit of treasure and was one step up from a pirate (although he sued two newspapers that called him that). He was the inspiration for the Errol Flynn film Captain Blood but today he is best known as the swashbuckling mascot of Captain Morgan’s Rum – the company putting up the money for the salvage.

“When the opportunity arose for us to help make this discovery mission possible, it was a natural fit for us to get involved,” says marketing manager Ali Wilkes. “The artefacts uncovered during this mission will help bring Henry Morgan and his adventures to life in a way never thought possible.”

Although details of his early life are sketchy, Morgan seems to have been born around 1635 – in the reign of King Charles I – in Glamorgan. He arrived in the West Indies in his early 20s, shortly after the English had captured Jamaica from the Spaniards – and may even have been a soldier in the victorious army.

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