Events

Two real-life pirates you’ve probably never heard of

When most people think of pirates they probably think of eye patches, buried treasure, parrots on shoulders, and maybe a touch of scurvy.

If you ask 10 people to name a pirate there’s a good chance you’ll see these guys mentioned at least once.

Captain Hook, sort of a pirate I guess?

Captain Jack Sparrow

Most people however will not know the names of the pirates who were known, respectively as the Pirate Queen and the King of the Sea.

Ching Shih, Pirate Queen

Ching Shih was born in 1775 in the Guandong province of China. When she was 26 years old she married Cheng I (also known as Zheng Yi) who was a notorious pirate in his own right. After their marriage Ching Shih joined right in with the family business helping her husband form alliances with rival pirate fleets to create one of the most feared pirate fleets in China, known as the Red Flag Fleet.

Hayreddin Barbarossa, King of the Sea

Khizr (later named Hayreddin) Barbarossa was born in 1478 on the island of Lesbos in what is now Greece. Khizr, along with his three brothers, became seamen and later turned to piracy. Khizr and his brother Oruc became some of most successful pirates of their era.