Pirates are people who rob or commit illegal violence at sea or on shore. In the most commonly-used sense, pirates were seafaring adventurers and criminals that were most famous for their exploits in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. Pirates such as Blackbeard, William Kidd, Bartholomew Roberts, Henry Morgan, Jack Rackham, Charles Vane, Anne Bonny, and Mary Read rose to fame for their exploits in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean, attacking and plundering merchant ships. Some pirates would be recruited as privateers by the empires in the Caribbean such as Great Britain, Spain, and France, being allowed to attack enemy ships in the name of their patron country. This would allow them to head to the ports of their employing country and to fly their flag, giving them the license to kill and plunder. The Golden Age of Piracy lasted from the late 17th to the early 18th centuries, with most of the famous pirates being captured and killed by the 1720s.