60 Facts About Henry Morgan


Sir Henry Morgan was a Welsh privateer, plantation owner, and, later, Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica.


Henry Morgan was born in an area of Monmouthshire that is part of the city of Cardiff.


Henry Morgan was probably a member of a group of raiders led by Sir Christopher Myngs in the early 1660s during the Anglo-Spanish War.


Henry Morgan subsequently conducted successful and highly lucrative raids on Puerto Principe and Porto Bello.


In 1671, Henry Morgan attacked Panama City, landing on the Caribbean coast and traversing the isthmus before he attacked the city, which was on the Pacific coast.


Henry Morgan served on the Assembly of Jamaica until 1683 and on three occasions he acted as Governor of Jamaica in the absence of the current post-holder.


Henry Morgan's life was romanticised after his 1688 death and he became the inspiration for pirate-themed works of fiction across a range of genres.


Several sources state Henry Morgan's father was Robert Henry Morgan, a farmer.


Many of the privateers, including Henry Morgan, did not take up the letters, although an expedition to conquer the Dutch island of Sint Eustatius led to the death of Henry Morgan's father-in-law, who was leading a 600-man force.


Allen, in his biography of Henry Morgan, considers the privateer was the second-in-command to Captain Edward Mansvelt.


Modyford authorised privateers to take action against the Spanish, and issued a letter of marque to Henry Morgan "to draw together the English privateers and take prisoners of the Spanish nation, whereby he might inform of the intention of that enemy to attack Jamaica, of which I have frequent and strong advice".


Terry Breverton, in his biography of Henry Morgan, writes that when a translation of Exquemelin's book was published in England, Henry Morgan sued for libel and won.


Henry Morgan wrote to Don Agustin, the acting president of Panama, to demand a ransom for the city of 350,000 pesos.


Henry Morgan received a five per cent share for his work; Modyford received a ten per cent share, which was the price of Henry Morgan's letter of marque.


Henry Morgan's plan was to attack the Spanish settlement of Cartagena de Indias, the richest and most important city on the Spanish Main.


Modyford sent the vessel to Henry Morgan, who made it his flagship.


The loss of Oxford meant Henry Morgan's flotilla was too small to attempt an attack on Cartagena.


Henry Morgan arrived at Maracaibo to find the city largely deserted, its residents having been forewarned of his approach by the fortress's troops.


The town's occupants refused to surrender, and the fort fired enough of a barrage to ensure Henry Morgan kept his distance.


Henry Morgan anchored a short distance away and his men landed by canoe and assaulted the town from the landward approach.


Henry Morgan met scant resistance, as many of the occupants had fled into the surrounding jungle.


Henry Morgan spent five weeks in Gibraltar, and there was again evidence that torture was used to force residents to reveal hidden money and valuables.


Henry Morgan was told that a Spanish defence squadron, the Armada de Barlovento, was waiting for him at the narrow passage between the Caribbean and Lake Maracaibo, where the San Carlos de la Barra Fortress was sited.


The forces, under the command of Don Alonso del Campo y Espinosa, had 126 cannon with which to attack Henry Morgan, and had re-armed San Carlos de la Barra Fortress.


The final offer put by the Spanish commander was for Henry Morgan to leave all their spoils and slaves and to return to Jamaica unmolested, but no agreement was reached that would allow Henry Morgan and his men to pass the fleet with their spoils but without attack.


Henry Morgan put the Spaniards' offers to his men, who voted instead to fight their way out.


Henry Morgan still needed to pass the San Carlos de la Barra Fortress, but was still out-gunned by the stronghold, which had the ability to destroy the privateer fleet if it tried to pass.


That evening, with Spanish forces deployed to repel a landing, Henry Morgan's fleet raised anchor without unfurling their sails; the fleet moved on the tide, raising sail only when it had moved level with the fortress, and Henry Morgan and his men made their way back to Port Royal unscathed.


Henry Morgan took the town and occupied Fort San Lorenzo, which he garrisoned to protect his line of retreat.


Henry Morgan sent a 300-strong party of men down a ravine that led to the foot of a small hill on the Spanish right flank.


The value of treasure Henry Morgan collected during his expedition is disputed.


Talty writes that the figures range from 140,000 to 400,000 pesos, and that owing to the large army Henry Morgan assembled, the prize-per-man was relatively low, causing discontent.


Henry Morgan probably remained at liberty throughout his time in London, and the political mood changed in his favour.


Carbery wrote to the Secretary of State to bemoan Henry Morgan's "drinking and gaming at the taverns" of Port Royal.


Henry Morgan admitted he had met the French officials, but indicated that this was diplomatic relations, rather than anything duplicitous.


However, Henry Morgan was undermined by his Secretary Rowland Powell, who forged his name on a proclamation that ran contrary to established law in favor of the monopoly of the Royal African Company.


Criticism of Henry Morgan's governance was fomented in London by two former governors of Jamaica, Carbery and Lynch.


Henry Morgan had been a heavy drinker for several years; he felt his reputation tarnished and received the news of the revocation of his positions badly, increasing his intake of alcohol to the point where his health began to suffer.


In 1684 an account of Henry Morgan's exploits was published by Exquemelin, in a Dutch volume entitled De Americaensche Zee-Roovers.


Henry Morgan took steps to discredit the book and successfully brought a libel suit against the book's publishers William Crooke and Thomas Malthus.


Henry Morgan dismissed Molesworth and gave Morgan an unofficial role as advisor.


Henry Morgan achieved some success against the Maroons, who withdrew further into the Blue Mountains, where they were able to stay out of the reach of Henry Morgan and his forces.


However, Henry Morgan failed in his attempts to either capture de Serras or to subdue his community of runaway slaves.


Henry Morgan left most of his estate to his wife for the rest of her life.


Henry Morgan left some land in Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica, to his friend, Roger Elletson, who was the ancestor of a future governor of Jamaica with the same name.


Henry Morgan's will was probated in 1689, and at his death he owned 131 Africans as slaves on his estates, of whom 64 were male and 67 female.


Henry Morgan was buried at Palisadoes cemetery, Port Royal, followed by a 22-gun salute from the ships moored in the harbour.


Palisadoes cemetery, including Henry Morgan's grave, was one of the parts of the city to fall into the sea; his body has never been subsequently located.


Rogozinski observes that Henry Morgan is probably the "best-known pirate" because of Exquemelin's book, although, Cordingly writes that Exquemelin bore a grudge over what he saw was Henry Morgan's theft of the bounty from Panama.


Henry Morgan's experience explains "why he painted such a black picture of Morgan and portrayed him as a cruel and unscrupulous villain", which subsequently affected historians' view of Morgan.


Allen observes that, partly because of Exquemelin, Henry Morgan has not been well-served by historians.


Henry Morgan cites the examples of the historians whose biographies were so flawed they wrote that Morgan had died in either London, prison or the Tower of London.


Exquemelin wrote that Henry Morgan's men undertook widespread torture in several of the towns they captured.


Henry Morgan always fought with a commission from the governor of Jamaica.


In 2001 the Captain Henry Morgan brand was sold to Diageo, the multinational drinks company based in London.


The name of Morgan has been attached to local sites in the Caribbean, such as Morgan's Bridge, Morgan's Pass and Morgan's Valley in Clarendon, Morgan's Harbour Hotel and Beach Club in Kingston, the Hotel Henry Morgan, located in Roatan, Honduras, the Port Morgan resort located in Haiti and Captain Morgan's Retreat and Vacation Club on Ambergris Caye, Belize.


The anthropologist Anne M Galvin and the historian Kris Lane separately see Morgan as obtaining wealth to become a member of the landed gentry; Galvin wrote that Morgan showed "social mobility through self-interested acts of outlawry, political wiles, and business acumen".


Glenn Blalock, writing for the American National Biography, claims that Henry Morgan was seen as a hero to many Jamaicans and British both for his exploits as a buccaneer and for ensuring Jamaica remained a key part of the British Empire.


Henry Morgan was a planner, a brilliant military strategist and intensely loyal to the king, to England and to Jamaica.


Henry Morgan was an adept politician and held office longer than any of the governors of his time.