Nothing stirs the curiosity quite like stories of swashbuckling pirates and their tales of plunder. From fiction's Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Hook to the infamous true-life tales of Blackbeard and Captain Henry Morgan, we explore the gripping world of pirates and their part in history.

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Designers from Vivienne Westwood to Galliano and Chanel have all created collections inspired by naval wear and maritime culture. 

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Aaron Jaffer explores how the Romans reacted to piracy in the Mediterranean. 

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Curator of Art, Melanie Vandenbrouck looks at playful portrayals of pirates in our collection.

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Curator of Naval History James Davey shares examples of real pirates who were far more characterful than those of fiction. 

'Captain Teach commonly call'd Black Beard'

The Caird Library has a new display featuring archive and library items connected with crimes and criminals at sea.

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Grace O’Malley (a. 1530 - 1603) is one of the most famous pirates of all time. From the age of eleven, she forged a career in seafaring and piracy and was considered a fierce leader at sea and a shrewd politician on land.  She successfully defended the independence of her territories at a time when much of Ireland fell under the English rule and is still considered today ‘the pirate queen of Ireland.’


A hand-drawn story book from 1879 containing three stories, 'The Adventures of a Castaway', 'The Adventures of Tom and Jerry' and 'Ye Pirate'.

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Blackbeard or Edward Teach (c.1680-1718) is one of the most infamous pirates to have ever lived. Known for his fearsome image and daring acts on land and sea throughout the West Indies and along the North American East coast, his legacy has been the inspiration for many depictions of pirates throughout history.


This time the Item of the Month is a little different: .. -. -.. .. .- - ---- -.-. …. .. -. .- (or India to China) (NMM Ref: PBH3535).

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19 September is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. But did pirates really say and do the things we think they did?