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8 real pirate havens worth a visit

The 17th and 18th centuries were the “golden age” of piracy, inspiring many myths and legends. Yes, the images of Jolly Roger-flagged ships, peg-legged sailors, plank walking, X-marked treasure maps, and hard-drinking and hard-fighting ruffians are based on fact. But the nonromanticized version of piracy is just as fascinating as the mostly fictional tales. In a handful of places around the world, you can see this history and touch the relics of piracy's past. There ...

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Bartholomew Roberts (17 May 1682 – 10 February 1722), born John Roberts, was a Welsh pirate who raided ships off America and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy, as measured by vessels captured, taking over 470 prizes in his career. He is also known as Black Bart, but this name was never used in his lifetime, and also risks confusion with Black Bart of the American West. He also had "Sunday services" on his first vessel.

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The Golden Age of Piracy, encompassing roughly the first quarter of the 18th century, produced some of the most outrageous characters in maritime history. From its earliest days, Charleston was a vital port of call and center of trade, which left it vulnerable to seafaring criminals. From the “Gentleman Pirate,” Stede Bonnet, to Edward “Blackbeard” Teach and famed pirate hunter and statesman William Rhett, the waters surrounding the Holy City have a history as rocky and wild as the high…

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Mary Read (died 1721) was an English pirate. She is chiefly remembered as one of only two women (her comrade, Anne Bonny, was the other) known to have been convicted of piracy during the early 18th century, at the height of the Golden Age of Piracy.