Henry Avery

I served under him, I did, although in those days he went under the name of Henry Avery,” explained the old seaman.

Captain Avery from a woodcut from A General History of the Pyrates (1725)

Henry Avery was one of the most successful pirates of all time in terms of the plunder he accumulated, depite only being one for two years. Not much is known about his early life, but it is commonly accepted that he was born in 1659 in the West Country of England, probably in Newton Ferrers, a village about six miles south-east of Plymouth, Devon. The more common spelling of Avery’s surname is Every. He also was known under several alias including Long Ben and Benjamin Bridgeman.

He joined the English Navy, although the exact year is unknown. He is recorded as working as a midshipman aboard a sixty four gun ship named the HMS Rupert, under Captain Francis Wheeler and probably participated in the Nine Years War, but was probably a seaman long before then.…