An Air Warrior who has published over a100 short stories and 8 books on fiction,5 novels, and 4 books on military history
Pirates and David Cordingly
One aspect of the oceans that thrills most people is the pirates. These were men of the sword who pillaged and robbed merchant vessels on the high seas and also carried out forays on coastal towns and villages to loot and kidnap. Some of the famous names like Black Beard, William Kidd, Francis Drake and many more enrich our lives with tales and folklore. Black Beard( Edward Teach) was an English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of Britain's North American colony..
Many pirates also kidnapped young white girls from the coastal villages for the harems of the Muslim sheikhs of the Middle East and Turkey. This exciting subject has an authority in the shape of Dr.David Cordingly. Saving their young girls from the marauding pirates had become a big issue for the coastal villagers of Europe that they shifted 50-75 miles away from the coast to avoid capture.
David Cordingly is universally recognized as an authority on pirates and has written numerous books on this subject. He is a man whose life is immersed in the study of pirates and their deeds. David Cordingly was born on 5 December 1938. Right from his childhood he was interested in the sea and at a young age learnt to sail.
David after his schooling completed his BA and MA in history from Oxford University and went on get a doctorate from the University of Sussex for his thesis on the life of artist John Brett. In 1966 he left England for a year for a teaching job in Jamaica. This was the period when he developed his interest in pirates and went on to become an authority on them. He returned and joined the British Museum in 1968.
Authority on Pirates
That was the time when David Cordingly who had been a seaman began to do research into his favorite topic of pirates.David did not look back and carved a niche for himself as an authority on pirates. He remained on the staff of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich for twelve years. This was also the period when he was appointed Keeper of Pictures and later became Head of Exhibitions. In his capacity as Head of Exhibitions he organized major exhibitions on a variety of subjects, but his main thrust was on piracy and his exhibition on Captain James Cook, navigator, Henry VIII at Greenwich (in collaboration with Dr David Starkey) and Pirates: Fact and Fiction stand out. He remained with the Museum for 12 years (1968-80)
His book Under the Black Flag was also published and added laurels to his cap as he was appointed curator for exhibitions of piracy in New York, Virginia, and Nassau in the Bahamas. Hollywood also took him on as a consultant and his expertise was used for the film Pirates of the Caribbean with Johnny Depp.
Dr. David has authored a number of books on pirates which have been well received. Prominent among them are Under the Black Flag, Spanish gold, Cochrane the dauntless; the life and adventures of Thomas Cochrane, the Billy ruffian: his majesty’s ship Bellerophon and Downfall of Napoleon and Heroines and Harlots: Women at sea in the great age of sail, pirates fact and fiction ( with John Falconer).In this historical narrative,David Cordingly shows that an astonishing number of women went to sea in the great age of sail. Some traveled as the wives or mistresses of captains. A few were smuggled aboard by officers or seaman and later became pirates.
One of his more famous books concerns a pirate hunter. It is Pirate Hunter of the Caribbean: the adventures of Captain Woods Rogers. Woods Rogers was an English sea captain and privateer and, later, the first Royal Governor of the Bahamas(1679-1732)
Dr David is now retired and happily married to Shirley who is a garden designer. He stays by the sea at Brighton Marina and is the proud owner of a 26 foot yatch, which he sails regularly from Brighton Marina to Sussex. David has 2 children and 3 grand children. HIS daughter Beth has made a name for herself as an actress.
Dr David is recognized as an authority on pirates and has given lectures to important institutions and museums in the UK and USA as well. He is one writer who has opened the mystery world of Pirates to the common man. He also brings out the facts the Pirates were human as well and many were great lovers. Some of them were really bloodthirsty but then its all part of the game. Cordingly wrote 31 books and one can buy them on line or at bookstores. Cordingly did not write just about pirates but he also wrote on allied subjects and his book on Nicholas Pocock is an example. He was a British artist known for his many detailed paintings of naval battles during the age of sail.
MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 13, 2020:
The Royal Navy did this in the 19th century. Earlier even King Richard while returning from Crusades was kidnapped by pirates and released after a ransom was paid. pirates are even now operating off the coast of Somalia where it's a full-time vocation. Thanks for commenting.
MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on December 12, 2020:
Thank you, Colonel. Yes, Indian pirates did capture girls from Kerala but I think most of them were Arab. There is an interesting tale of an Arab pirate who captured a girl and then decided he wanted the mother so he went back and left the girl and took the mother. Obviously, a lot of money must have changed hands along with the sword.
Lt Col Parduman Singh on December 12, 2020:
I enjoyed reading this article Thank you very much for it. There were Indian Pirates also who captured girls from Kerala and took them to the Middle East. Hollywood has made many exciting movies on Pirates Unfortunately in India Bollywood has not need anything worthwhile.