Perhaps the best known ‘type’ of pirate was the privateer. In a way, these were mercenaries commissioned by a state to attack enemy ships. In other words, a privateer was a pirate with papers. Privateers had existed long before the Golden Age of Piracy. For instance, during the Anglo-Spanish War that lasted from 1585 to 1604, English privateers like Sir Francis Drake targeted the Spanish treasure fleets that were carrying the riches of the New World back to Spain.