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Sir Henry Morgan

Morgan, Sir Henry, 1635?–1688, Welsh buccaneer. In his youth he went to the West Indies, eventually joining the buccaneers there. On the death (1667) of Edward Mansfield, Morgan took his place as commander of the buccaneers. He operated as a privateer, and was commissioned in his activities by the British authorities. His exploits included the capture of Puerto Príncipe (Camagüey, Cuba) and the sack of Puerto Bello (1668), the capture of Maracaibo (1669), the ravaging of the Cuban and American coasts (1670), and the famously daring capture of Panama (1671). His operations were always marked by brutality and debauchery, but were sometimes executed with skill against great odds. Ordered arrested by Charles II and sent (1672) as a prisoner to England on complaints of piracy, he was never imprisoned or punished, but instead soon became a hero, was knighted (1673), and named lieutenant governor of Jamaica, where he spent the rest of his life and was acting governor (1680–82).

See biographies by P. Lindsay (1950), H. R. Allen (1976), D. Pope (1978), and T. Breverton (2005); studies by J. Ure (1983), S. M. Petrovich (2001), P. Earle (1982 and 2007), and S. Talty (2007).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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