The Badass of the Week.

Captain Henry Morgan




Sir Henry Morgan was a hard-drinking, hard-fighting charismatic badass privateer and entrepreneur who sailed the Spanish main during the Golden Age of Piracy, breaking necks, cashing checks, sacking towns, making scurvy bastards walk the plank and generally just being awesome.

Not much is known about Henry Morgan's childhood.  It is believed that he was born in Wales and was sold into indentured servitude in Barbados at a young age, but most of that is just speculation by people with nothing better to do.  He first starts showing up in any significant historical context as a soldier in an armada sent by British Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell to kick the ass of the Spanish in Santo Domingo.  Basically, Cromwell was all pissed off that Spain was mining a shitload of gold and silver in the New World, so he sent his goons over to try and get a piece of the action.  However, the assault on Santo Domingo in 1655 was a total clusterfuck and the majority of the British fleet was completely obliterated by angry Spaniards.  The remnants of the British force retreated to some island called Jamaica that nobody had ever heard of before and after capturing a small Spanish fort there the British decided to set up their own base of operations.  For their colossal failure, the commanders of the British force were thrown into the Tower of London and eaten by lions.  Henry Morgan didn't really have a whole lot going on and was in no rush to return to indentured servitude, so he decided to chill out in Jamaica for a while.

Over the next couple of years, disease and Spanish attacks whittled away at the British garrison but through it all Morgan successfully avoided death.  In 1662 the British government had enough of Spain's crap and decided to give out Letters of Marque commissioning British sailors as privateers.  Basically this was like the Queen's way of saying, "If you assholes get out there and fuck those Spanish bastards up, you can keep whatever gold and shit you find".  Of course, this was a pretty sweet deal so Morgan got a crew together and sailed out for adventure and ass-kickery.

In 1663 Morgan set out on an epic voyage, where he basically terrorized the Spanish main.  He sacked cities all throughout South and Central America, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Caribbean, plundering towns, taking ransoms, sinking treasure galleons and essentially holding everybody he came across upside-down by their ankles and shaking them for loose change.  His M.O. was to sail towards a town with his ships, overpower the Spanish garrison, loot whatever he could from the town and then be like, "OK jerks, give me like a hundred thousand pieces-of-eight or I'll burn your crappy town to the ground." and then probably burn their town to the ground anyways.  By the end of his voyage, everyone involved was wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.

When he got back, everyone though he was so badass that they made him Colonel of the Port Royal (Jamaica) Militia and "Admiral" of all English privateers in the Caribbean.  If you think this (combined with the millions of dollars and all the hot babes) stopped him from going out on other expeditions though, you obviously don't know a lot about pirates and privateers.  He set out again like a year later and sacked Puerto Principe, Portobelo, Maracaibo, and pretty much every city in Pirates! Gold for the SEGA Genesis.  He struck so much fear in the hearts of Spaniards that many times they wouldn't even try to put up a fight against his insane-o cutlass-wielding peg-legged buccaneer badasses.

Unfortunately, Britain and Spain ended their war while Morgan was still sailing around like a madman stealing all the gold he could get his hands on.  Being a true badass, this didn't stop Morgan from sacking Panama and plundering the Spanish Silver Train.  However since it was apparently some crazy violation of the peace treaty to have your privateers plunder and burn cities, the British were forces to call Morgan back to England and put him in jail for his crimes.  This sucked, but as you may have guessed, Henry Morgan is way too badass to spend his days rotting in a British jail.

Before long, England and Holland went to war, and those crazy Dutch started attacking the British fort in Jamaica.  Well without Captain Morgan, the Brits were getting their shit fucked up big time.  So the Queen decided to pay Morgan a visit in jail.  She was all like, "Captain Morgan, we're getting ass-reamed by the goddamned Dutch!  Please save us!" but Morgan was obviously still pretty pissed about being tossed in the slammer for no good reason.  So not only did they let him out of jail, but they fucking knighted him AND made him the goddamned Lieutenant-Governor of all Jamaica!  Morgan was so pumped up about this that he went out and bludgeoned the entire Dutch navy to death in an hour and a half by swinging a two-ton ship cannon like a baseball bat.  Then he ate an entire cannonball in one bite just to prove how awesome he was.

Once he was the Governor he couldn't really go out plundering any more, so he decided to settle down and become a respectable businessman in the sugar industry.  This worked out pretty well for him, and by the time he died of illness in 1688 he was a highly-regarded politician and trader.

Sir Henry Morgan is about as badass as any pirate/privateer could possibly hope to be.  He sacked dozens of towns, hauled off as much gold and silver as he could carry, beat the crap out of anybody who crossed him and was revered as a hero among the entire population of the British Empire.  His deeds are legendary;  his exploits the stuff of movies.  He kicked ass for a living and made himself quite a reputation as a notorious badass.  And today, his legacy lives on as a badass drink.




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