The Most Successful Pirate: A Ranking of Notorious Seafaring Legends

Choose the pirate you think is the most successful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Mar 4, 2024 06:52
Ahoy, mateys! Welcome aboard StrawPoll's thrilling voyage through the high seas of history, as we set sail on a swashbuckling adventure to discover the most successful pirate ever to hoist the Jolly Roger! We've scoured the seven seas to bring you a treasure trove of the fiercest, craftiest, and most notorious buccaneers, privateers, and freebooters that have ever pillaged and plundered their way to infamy. Now, it's your turn to weigh anchor and cast your vote to crown the ultimate Pirate King or Queen! Don't see your favorite marauder on our list? Fear not, for you can add your own suggestion to the ranks and let your voice be heard. So batten down the hatches, grab a tankard of grog, and join us as we navigate the thrilling waters of piracy – where legends are born and fortunes are made!

What Is the Most Successful Pirate?

  1. 1
    He was one of the most feared and successful pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy. He captured numerous ships and amassed a large fortune.
  2. 2

    Henry Morgan

    He was a privateer turned pirate who became the governor of Jamaica. He was known for his daring raids and attacks on Spanish settlements.
    Henry Morgan was a legendary English pirate who became one of the most successful and feared pirates of the Caribbean during the 17th century. He is widely known for his daring exploits and strategic leadership.
    • Birthdate: 1635 (approximate)
    • Nationality: English
    • Nickname: The Buccaneer
    • Notable exploits: Sack of Panama City
    • Leadership: Commanded a fleet of pirate ships
    Henry Morgan in other rankings
  3. 3

    Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts (himself)
    He was known as "Black Bart" and was one of the most successful pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy. He captured over 400 ships and became one of the wealthiest pirates in history.
    Bartholomew Roberts, also known as Black Bart, was one of the most successful and feared pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy. He was known for his daring and tactical abilities as a captain, as well as his strict code of conduct among his crew.
    • Years Active: 1719-1722
    • Ships Captured: 400+
    • Estimated Loot: $100 million (adjusted for inflation)
    • Successful Raids: Dozens
    • Crew Size: Over 2,000 at the peak
  4. 4
    She was one of the few female pirates and was known for her fierce spirit and bravery. She sailed alongside Calico Jack Rackham and was infamous for her exploits.
    The Anne Bonny was a notorious pirate ship that operated during the Golden Age of Piracy in the early 18th century. With a fearsome reputation, it struck fear into the hearts of many sailors and traders.
    • Ship Type: Sloop
    • Origin: Unknown
    • Captain: Anne Bonny
    • Crew Size: Estimated 80-100 pirates
    • Armament: Cannons and various small arms
    Anne Bonny in other rankings
  5. 5
    William Kidd
    James Thornhill · Public domain

    William Kidd

    William Kidd
    He was a Scottish sailor who was commissioned by the British government to capture pirates. However, he became a pirate himself and was eventually captured and executed.
    William Kidd, also known as Captain Kidd, was a notorious 17th-century pirate. He was initially commissioned by English authorities to capture pirates in the Indian Ocean but later turned to piracy himself. Kidd gained significant notoriety and has become one of the most famous pirates in history.
    • Nationality: Scottish
    • Years Active: 1696-1701
    • Notable Actions: Sailing through the Caribbean, capturing ships of various nations
    • Infamous Acts: Capture of the Quedagh Merchant and the subsequent murder of William Moore
    • Trial and Execution: Kidd was captured, brought to England, and stood trial for piracy. He was found guilty and hanged in 1701.
  6. 6

    Edward Low

    Edward Low himself
    He was a vicious pirate who was known for his cruelty and brutality. He captured numerous ships and was feared by many.
    Edward Low was a notorious pirate who operated in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea during the early 18th century. Known for his brutal and sadistic nature, Low was feared by both his enemies and his own crew.
    • Year of Activity: 1719-1724
    • Nationality: English
    • Areas of Operation: Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea
    • Flag: Sometimes flew the Jolly Roger, a black flag with a skull and crossed bones
    • Crew Size: Varied, ranging from several dozen to several hundred
  7. 7
    He was a French pirate who operated in the Gulf of Mexico and was known for his smuggling and piracy. He played a significant role in the War of 1812.
    Jean Lafitte in other rankings
  8. 8
    Ching Shih
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain

    Ching Shih

    Ching Shih herself
    She was a Chinese pirate who commanded a fleet of over 300 ships and was known for her cunning and strategic mind. She retired from piracy and lived a peaceful life.
    Ching Shih was a renowned pirate who terrorized the seas during the early 19th century. She was one of the most successful pirates in history, commanding a fleet of hundreds of ships and thousands of pirates.
    • Name: Ching Shih
    • Years Active: 1801-1810
    • Territory: South China Sea
    • Fleet Size: Hundreds of ships
    • Crew Size: Thousands of pirates
    Ching Shih in other rankings
  9. 9
    He was a French pirate who was known for his brutal and savage attacks. He was feared by many and captured over 400 ships during his career.
    François l'Olonnais was a notorious French pirate who operated in the Caribbean during the 1660s. He was known for his extreme brutality towards prisoners, earning him a fearsome reputation. Despite his violent nature, l'Olonnais had a successful career as a pirate, accumulating significant wealth and leading successful raids.
    • Nationality: French
    • Years active: 1660s
    • Region of operation: Caribbean
    • Brutality: Extremely violent
    • Reputation: Feared by many
  10. 10
    He was known as the "Prince of Pirates" and was one of the most successful pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy. He captured over 50 ships and became one of the wealthiest pirates in history.

Missing your favorite pirate?


About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most successful pirate. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or pirate is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 177 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each pirate once every 24 hours. The rank of each pirate is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most successful pirate

Pirates have always been a fascinating subject for people of all ages. They were known for their daring raids and their ability to amass great wealth through piracy. But who was the most successful pirate of all time? While there is no definitive answer to this question, there are several contenders for the title. One of the most famous pirates of all time was Blackbeard, also known as Edward Teach. He terrorized the seas off the coast of North America in the early 18th century, capturing more than 40 ships in his career. Blackbeard was known for his fearsome appearance, with a long black beard and a reputation for being ruthless. Another contender for the title of most successful pirate is Captain Kidd. He was active in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and is said to have captured over a dozen ships during his career. Kidd was eventually captured and executed for piracy, but his legend lives on. Other pirates who could be considered for the title of most successful include Bartholomew Roberts, also known as Black Bart, and Henry Every, who is sometimes called the "King of Pirates." While the exact number of ships captured by these pirates is not known, they both had successful careers as pirates and amassed great wealth. Ultimately, the question of who was the most successful pirate is difficult to answer definitively. Each pirate had their own unique style and approach to piracy, and each left their mark on history in their own way.

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