Blackbeard was a notorious English pirate who struck fear into the hearts of his opponents during the early 18th century. His life has inspired several video games, TV miniseries, and films. Tim Powers' novel On Stranger Tides houses a fictionalized version of Blackbeard; the novel was later adapted into a film titled Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Irish pirate Anne Bonny is considered one of the most famous female pirates of all time. She operated in the Caribbean in the early 18th century. As a teenager, she became the partner and lover of the notorious English pirate captain Calico Jack Rackham. She was captured in 1720 when she was pregnant. Her fate remains unknown.
Calico Jack was a British pirate captain who operated in Cuba and in the Bahamas during the early 18th century. Active towards the end of the Golden Age of Piracy, Calico Jack is best remembered for having two female pirates, including his lover Anne Bonny, as part of his crew.
A legendary female pirate of the early eighteenth century, Mary Read took to piracy when her ship was seized by Jack Rackham in West Indies. By then, she had started dressing as a man and had served in the military, which might have helped her to become a successful buccaneer. Captured in 1720, she died in prison five months later.
Charles Vane was an English pirate who was active during the dusk of the Golden Age of Piracy. Renowned for his cruelty, Vane often tortured and killed the sailors from the ships that he captured. Charles Vane and his crew have been portrayed in films and video games like Treasure of Pirate's Point and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.
Ching Shih went from being a prostitute who worked in a Canton brothel to a notorious pirate who controlled the Red Flag Fleet. Legend has it that pirate Zhèng Yi, or Cheng I, had married Ching Shih when he raided her brothel, and she had then taken over his fleet.
Known as La Buse, or the Buzzard, because of his speed of attacking his opponents, French pirate Olivier Levasseur was surprisingly born into an affluent family and was trained as an architect. He apparently threw a cryptogram toward the crowd, while being hanged, and challenged them to access his loot.
Robert-François Damiens was a French domestic servant best remembered for his failed attempt to kill King Louis XV in 1757. Although the king was only slightly wounded, Damiens was sentenced to death. He was executed in public and was the last person in France to be executed by dismemberment.
William Brodie was a Scottish cabinet-maker, Edinburgh city councilor, and deacon of a trades guild. Brodie was also a housebreaker, a secret which he maintained almost all his life. He used the stolen money to fund his gambling habit and to maintain the household of his two mistresses. He was captured in 1788 and was sentenced to death by hanging.
Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova was a noblewoman, serial killer, and sadist. She achieved notoriety for torturing and killing at least 38 female serfs. Since she was well-connected with the Russian nobility and with those in power at the royal court, Darya got away with many of her murders until she was found guilty in a trial organized by Empress Catherine II.