Born in Wales in 1690, Captain Howell Davis was one of the most successful pirates that operated during the so called ‘Golden Age’. He started a career in piracy at the age of just eleven, when famous buccaneer Edward England captured a ship which Davis was serving on. Captain Davis made a name for himself by using trickery and deceit rather than brute force to defeat his enemies.
He was an intelligent and attractive man, charismatic enough to win over whole crews – even convincing the crew of Captain Rogers to perform a mutiny. He once took on two ships, by pretending he outnumbered them. On another occasion he got himself invited to dinner with a governor by disguising himself as a gentleman, Davis then held the governor captive for ransom.
Famous buccaneer, Bartholomew Roberts (Black Bart) also served as part of Davis’ crew – holding first the position of third mate, then apprentice to Davis. Davis was always on the recruit for more crewmates, leading one of the most loyal crews known to a pirate.
However he also had one of the shortest pirate careers; not much longer than a year. It was trickery that eventually led to his demise. In June, 1719, he was killed unexpectedly by a devious ambush led by Portuguese soldiers.