According to DigoPaul, the term buccaneer comes from the French word boucanier, according to what was reported by the DigoPaul in its dictionary. The concept alludes to the pirates who used to attack the Spanish ships that sailed through the so-called New World in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Originally the idea of buccaneer referred to those who inhabited the western region of the island of Hispaniola. These people used to hunt pigs and cows and then carry out a process of smoking the meat and marketing it to sailors.
When the Spanish left the western region of Hispaniola in the 16th century, French travelers who adopted this technique settled there. Some time later, Spain invaded the island since its residents did not pay taxes to the Crown and annihilated the animals. Thus, many people who lived in Hispaniola settled on the island of La Tortuga – where the filibusters already resided – and began to get involved with piracy against Spanish ships.
These historical antecedents mean that today the notions of buccaneer, filibuster and pirate are often used synonymously. Sometimes privateers are even used, who were sailors who had a “marque license” to sabotage vessels from countries that were enemies of the government that issued the license in question.
The overexploitation of hunting and the murder of the animals of La Tortuga by the Spanish to harm the buccaneers caused these people to leave the Spanish region of the island little by little.
Throughout history there have been many important buccaneers, among which we can highlight some such as the following:
-Blackbeard (1680 – 1718). He is one of the most famous buccaneers and his real name was Edward Teach. He was born in Bristol and was soon noted for being very cruel to both his ship’s crew and those he made prisoners. The nickname with which we know him today was due, as one might imagine, to his long, curly and thick black beard.
-The Olonese (1635 – 1668). He was a very feared character in the Spanish colonies because he was capable of committing all kinds of atrocities.
-Calico Jack (1682 – 1720). He is considered the first to use the flag that we all associate with piracy today: the skull with two cross-shaped bones. A flag that responds to the name of Jolly Roger.
-Edward England (1685-1721). This other buccaneer has the particularity of having gone down in history as one of the most humane and less ruthless and cruel. Among its most important ships were Fancy and the Pearl.
-Henry Every (1659-1699). Within the history of piracy we cannot ignore this other who was known as “the king of pirates.” It is true that he did not have a great “career” as a buccaneer, but the spoils he achieved and even the one he retired before dying or being arrested, made him a true legend.