Captain Henry Morgan is best known today as the face of a famous brand of spiced rum. However, this legendary buccaneer was actually a real life character, known for his incredible adventures on the high seas. According to Historic UK, Henry Morgan was born in 1635 to a wealthy farming family in South Wales.
Although Morgan came from a relatively privileged background, little is known of his early life other than the fact that he left for the West Indies as a young man.
Some early biographers argued that he was kidnapped and sold into indentured service, but it is now widely accepted that he joined Cromwell’s troops in 1654 and was sent to the Caribbean to attack the Spanish. As part of this expedition, Morgan landed in Barbados in 1655 and participated in the conquest of Jamaica.
During this period, according to Historic UK, the British were engaged in a protracted war against the Spanish, much of which was fought in the Americas and the Caribbean. In order to destabilize their Spanish foes, the British empowered private merchant vessels crewed by men known as privateers, and granted them license to attack Spanish ships in times of war.
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