Morgan's Bucanneers in Port Royal - 1668

Morgan's Bucanneers in Port Royal in 1668 Visual Arts Legends and Legendary People Social Studies World History

Henry Morgan was a famous 17th-century Welsh buccaneer. His successful raid on Portobelo, Panama—situated northeast of the town of Colón—netted him, and his fellow buccaneers, a great deal of loot. 

After Morgan held the city for several weeks, the Governor of Panama agreed to pay Morgan a very significant ransom for the town.

One might think that responding in such a way, to the demands of a buccaneer, would encourage the "bad guys" to keep "being bad." When it came to Morgan, however, we have to keep in mind ... he was working for the British Commonwealth.


Yes ... this Welshman, who was born in Cardiff, was working on behalf of the British Commonwealth. Here's what the BBC tells us about him (and his "job"):

And of course he was acting for the British Commonwealth to try and allow British trade in the area - so he would have been immune from any crimes related to piracy.

There had been some agreement by the Spanish that the Caribbean was part of their area.

But the British needed to trade and so had to go to other parts of the world. (John Weston, historian, quoted in the BBC article “Pirate Links with Hollywood Film,” published on August 15, 2003.)

According to Alexander O. Exquemelin's history, the ransom paid for the release of Portobelo—which was carried to the town by mules—included:

  • 27 bars of silver
  • Silver plate worth
  • Gold and silver coins

Keeping his promise not to sack the town if the ransom were paid, Morgan loaded his treasure onto his ship and sailed to Port Royal.  Since he shared "the take" with his men, the buccaneers had plenty of cash to spend when they arrived back in Jamaica.

This image depicts how the buccaneers may have behaved when they returned to Port Royal after their Portobelo exploits.  It appears in Buccaneers 1620-1700  (by Angus Konstam, illustrated by Angus McBridge).

Morgan was held in such high esteem that he was known as “Sir Henry” and became the acting Royal Governor of Jamaica.

After a life filled with exciting and danger-filled events, Morgan died on the island of Jamaica in 1688. He was one of the most-famous “pirates” of his day.

Click on the image for a better view.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Mar 17, 2017

Media Credits

Image, described above, online via Amazon.  Copyright Angus McBride and Osprey Publishing, all rights reserved.  Image provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new readers with the book and its illustrations.  


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"Morgan's Bucanneers in Port Royal - 1668" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jan 19, 2020.
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