Sir Henry Morgan Fact File: Lifespan: 1635 - 1688 *** Full Name: Sir Henry Morgan *** Nickname: Barbadosed *** Occupation: Welsh Privateer *** Date of Birth: Sir Henry Morgan was born in 1635 the exact date is unknown *** Place of Birth: Sir Henry Morgan was born in Llanrhymny, Wales *** Family background: His father was Robert Morgan a famer in Caerau, Cardiff in Wales. His father was a decedent of Tredegar Morgan’s of the cadet branch, meaning younger son of a ruling noble family *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in Wales *** Education: Sir Henry Morgan’s education was basic, he admits that he left school early and was more familiar with a pike, a very long, spear type of weapon, than he was learning from books. He received his education after leaving school and began to travel the world ***
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 1: Sir Henry Morgan was born in 1635 during the period in history when politics and religion for foremost on the agenda.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 2: Sir Henry Morgan would marry his uncle’s daughter Mary but they had no children.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 3: It was said Sir Henry Morgan was the “Captain Morgan” that joined Christopher Myngs fleet in 1663.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 4: Sir Henry Morgan would also be part of the John Morris and Jackman expedition where they took Vildemos, Mexico, Trujillo in Honduras and Granada, Nicaragua formerly Spanish settlements.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 5: Sir Henry Morgan would be given command of a ship in late 1665 on the expedition set up by Sir Thomas Modyford and led by Edward Mansfield a privateer.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 6: They were able to seize the islands of Santa Catalina and Providencia, Columbia before Mansfield was captured and executed. When that happened the remaining privateers would elect Morgan to take the place of admiral.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 7: It was in 1661 that he was given his first command by Commodore Christopher Mings and he would have a key role to play in the Sack of Campeche in 1663.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 8: Commissioned by Lord Windsor in 1665 Sir Henry Morgan would continue to plunder the coast of Mexico.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 9: Lord Windsor was refusing to stop the pirate attacks and as Governor of Jamaica and loyal to the Crown and under the Crown’s dictate. He was removed and replaced with Sir Thomas Modyford.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 10: Sir Thomas Modyford however was not inclined to follow the Crowns directive on ceasing the pirate attacks on the Spanish vessels, although he was a staunch royalist, he continued nevertheless to grant letters of marque to Morgan allowing him to plunder both settlements and ships belonging to Spain.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 11: In 1667 Sir Henry Morgan was ordered to attack and take prisoner Spaniards from Cuba in order to determine the extent of the attack threatened on Jamaica.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 12: Modyford had also suggested Sir Henry Morgan attach Havana but it was decided he did not have enough men to accomplish this.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 13: Due to heavy storms Sir Henry Morgan and his crew became very low on provisions and needed to take on supplies. They landed on Cuba, although not directly where they had intended and came upon a French crew seeking the same provisions. They decided to join forces.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 14: Sir Henry Morgan and his crew owed substantial debts and needed to find a large payout before returning to Jamaica and decision was made to attack the city of Porto Bello.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 15: On their arrival near Porto Bello the extent of the fortifications became realistic but it was also true they had the element of surprise on their side.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 16: Their attach on Porto Bello was successful and the rewards of the wealth of the city enable Sir Henry Morgan to return to Jamaica.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 17: After their recent success the planned their next attach and decided on mainland Spain, Cartagena de Indias was the target but their downfall would be the journey to mainland Spain proving far too strenuous and depleted the crew by four hundred souls which resulted in a change of target.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 18: The second target also proved fruitless and they barely escaped with their lives.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 19: In 1670 Sir Henry Morgan recaptured Santa Catalina and would also regain possession of the San Lorenzo fortress off the coast of Panama in the Caribbean. It transpired the riches of Panama were not to the extent that they had hoped. In fact most of the moveable wealth had been transferred onto the La Fayette Santisima Trinidad, a Spanish galleon that continued to sail into the Gulf of Panama.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 20: It would transpire that if Sir Henry Morgan’s crew had not become so drunk on their success they may have realized that their plunder was escaping and quite likely would have been able to capture the ship and the treasures on board.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 21: Upon his return to Jamaica he would be arrested for violating the peace treaty of 1670 between England and Spain and transported back to England where he established he was unaware of the said treaty and would be released.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 22: Prior to returning to Jamaica in and taking up the post of Lieutenant Governor, he was knighted in 1674 upon the deterioration of relations between England and Spain.
Sir Henry Morgan Fact 23: Morgan spent his retirement years in Jamaica and he died there on August 25th 1688. His body was laid to rest in Palisadoes cemetery.
Influence and Legacy: Although he had married, the marriage remained childless. So under the proviso that his godsons Henry Archbold and Charles Byndloss agreed to adopt the Morgan name he would leave his property in Jamaica to them. These men were the issue of his female cousins. Sir Henry Morgan nephew, Edward Morgan would be the great-grandfather to Daniel Morgan who would become the Revolutionary War General and his own descendant would be John Hunt Morgan, a Confederate General.
Important Events of the era and during the life of Sir Henry Morgan include: King Charles I is beheaded and eventually Oliver Cromwell is made Lord Protector and Charles II of England will grant a land charter to William Penn who will become the founder of Pennsylvania.
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