Age of Pirates

Pirate Encyclopedia: Christopher Myngs

As a young man Sir Christopher Myngs entered the Royal Navy as a mere cabin boy and at his death he was among the elite of England's naval fleet. Similar to other pirates, he lived a life of contradictions as demonstrated by the diversity of his travel and activities. He was a military man, a pirate, and a leader.

Myngs was born in 1625 in the small English town of Norfolk. After going to sea with the navy, he later used the skills he learned as pirate, and reports indicate that he served extensively at sea prior to 1648. To begin his pirate career Myngs established himself in the waters off Jamaica where he saw his first battle, after which he was given command of a small naval fleet stationed in the harbor of Jamaica. With that same fleet, Myngs was able to conquer the Spanish city of Santa Marta and capture two Spanish warships.

Myngs continued his relentless pursuit of the Spanish fleet up the coast of Jamaica where he captured the "Martson Moor" a 44-gun frigate, and two more Spanish warships. Myngs also plundered several Spanish ships but refused to give up the treasure to England. The booty was speculated to be worth between 200,000 and 300,000 British pounds in 1659. As a result of his failure to share the wealth, he was arrested and sent back to England in 1660. As he sailed back to England a prisoner, Myngs had already become a legend along the coast of Jamaica as one of the most successful pirates on the open waters.

Eventually, the charges against Myngs were dropped and he once again returned to Jamaica in 1662 while in command of the ship "Centurion." Upon his return Myngs proceeded to capture the city of Santiago and take control of six Spanish warships. However, Myngs would soon find himself and his crew out of work as a result of a truce between England and France. It would be this truce that would prompt Myngs to compile his own fleet of ships and men to continue his plundering. He set sail with 12 ships and 1,500 men including such famous pirates as Henry Morgan, John Morris and Jack Rackam. It has been noted that Henry Morgan later copied tactics he learned while serving with Myngs. His efforts would land him 14 Spanish ships and an abundance of treasure.

In 1665, his bravery was recognized by England and he was knighted, becoming Sir Christopher Myngs. Myngs was then given a post as Vice Admiral for an English fleet fighting against the Dutch in the Second Anglo-Dutch War. After being shot in the shoulder with a musket ball, he returned to London an injured veteran where he died in 1666. It ws this battle wound which ended his illustrious career as a pirate of the high seas.

Copyright 2006 CleverMedia
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