Morgan, Sir Henry

views updated Jun 27 2018

Morgan, Sir Henry (c.1635–88). Morgan was a buccaneer and adventurer in the Spanish main. He came from Glamorgan and was a nephew of Colonel Edward Morgan, lieutenant-governor of Jamaica, who was killed in 1665. The Caribbean was a scene of permanent warfare between the English and Spaniards. Morgan joined an expedition in 1666 led by a buccaneer, Edward Mansfield: when he was killed in action, Morgan was ‘chosen’ to lead the raiders. They captured Porto Bello, slaughtered the Spanish garrison, and ransacked the town—on the pretext that the Spaniards were preparing an invasion of Jamaica. Next Morgan plundered parts of Cuba, including the town of Maracaybo, and was appointed naval commander in the area, to be paid in plunder. He proceeded to capture Panama despite a pitched battle by its defenders. His atrocities caused his recall to England, but he gained favour with Charles II, was made lieutenant-governor of Jamaica in 1674, and knighted. He spent the rest of his life there as a stern defender of law and order. Ferocious and fearless, Morgan was a brilliant guerrilla leader and a scourge to the Spaniards.

J. A. Cannon

Morgan, Sir Henry

views updated Jun 08 2018

Morgan, Sir Henry (1635–88) Welsh adventurer in the Caribbean. He led a band of buccaneers against Spanish colonies and ships, capturing and looting Panama (1671). In 1672, he was sent back to England on a charge of piracy, but was greeted as a hero and returned to the West Indies with a knighthood as lieutenant governor of Jamaica.

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Sir Henry Morgan

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