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View of the Thames with an executed pirate hanging from the gibbets in the background. Copper-plate engraving from London Magazine, 1782 (detail).

Pirates captured by an increasingly powerful British state were routinely executed. But what happened to the families they left behind?

The treasure hunting triggered by the wreckage of one fleet was a major stimulus for piracy and the rise of such notorious pirates as Blackbeard and ‘Calico’ Jack Rackham.

Our fascination with pirates and the search for buried treasure continues to make headlines.

C.R. Boxer describes how the cultivated Viceroy of Portuguese India, on his way home from Goa, had a costly misadventure in the Indian Ocean.

Rogers (right) receives a map of New Providence Island from his son, in a painting by William Hogarth (1729)Rogers (right) receives a map of New Providence Island from his son, in a painting by William Hogarth (1729)

M. Foster Farley describes the life of a great mariner and intrepid privateer; Woodes Rogers was at length appointed by a grateful government Governor-in-Chief of the Bahamas.

Stephen Clissold describes how many Christian prisoners in sixteenth and seventeenth century North Africa embraced the Islamic faith, willingly serving their new masters.

Christopher Lloyd offers a portrait of the most notorious pirate of his day, John Ward; who helped introduce Barbary corsairs to the use of the well-armed, square-rigged ships of northern Europe with which they terrorised the Mediterranean.

Tom Wareham examines the role played by a legendary yet ill-fated pirate in the consolidation of England’s early trading empire.

Early 17th century England saw the emergence of pirates, much romanticised creatures whose lives were often nasty, brutish and short. Adrian Tinniswood examines one such career.

Philip de Souza considers the impact of piracy on Roman economic and political life