Vastness of the island

The row with san martin Cornelis de Vries

While the Spanish presence on the island was restricted to colonies concentrated on its southern side, the hinterland was unoccupied. This soon provided a haven for English, Dutch and predominantly French settlers, who regarded the very vastness of the island as a safe haven. The pattern was repeated on several of the smaller islands of the Antilles, where cattle and pigs roamed wild and could be hunted down for food and as a source of income. These hunters cured the meat they caught by smoking it in a fire that used a smoking platform known as a boucan, a word derived from a native Arawak source. Читать далее

The rise of the buccaneers

It was only in the 1670S that the Spanish crown diverted resources to improve the region’s defence. Regular Spanish troops were sent to the Americas, and money was spent on the training and re—equipping of the militias. Fortifications that had been easily overcome by the buccaneers were strengthened, and yet more money was spent on local naval patrols by the Armada de Barlavento, tasked with protecting Spanish shipping within the Caribbean basin. Although the Spanish Main was still subjected to attacks from French buccaneers and others, the Spanish were at least capable ofputting up a more spirited defence. Spanish attacks on Saint Domingue during the 1690S also showed that they had learned from their enemies, and were capable of employing the aggressive defensive strategy that had been used so successfully against them 30 years before.

tall ship

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Scourge of the Seas


The Privateer Fry, a painting by Francis Holman, 1779. In the stern view she appears heavily manned, as was often so with privateers. Both the flags and armament are consistent with this being a portrait of the Royal Naval cutter Fry of 1779. Fast vessels, like cutters and sloops, made the best privateers.

Though the anti—piracy campaign ended piratical activity in the Atlantic and Caribbean, for centuries pi~acy continued to be practised by non—Europeans in the Far East, and piracy is alive and well today. Indonesian waters are still plagued by modern—day pirates, equipped with fast speedboats and assault rifles. Although the methods have changed, the basic nature of violent crime and extortion on the high seas is the same as it was in the time of Caesar. Читать далее

The Buccaneers and Their Victims

The author of Robinson Crusoe. The book concentrated on pirates operating in the 30 years before its publication. Characters such as Edward Teach CBlackbeard’), Edward Low and Henry Every were portrayed as ogres, and their actual deeds embellished with bloodcurdling fictional anecdotes. One of the problems is that the line between fact and fiction is extremely blurred. While many elements of his portrayals were based on fact, it is vital to sift through his descriptions, comparing his version with the pirates mentioned in other contemporary accounts.


Where possible, the section on privateering in the Americas has drawn on original material — letters of marque, shipping records from ports such as Salem and Baltimore, reminiscences of privateering captains and newspaper reports written during the last upsurge of piracy. What is apparent is that these records are often incomplete, as folios have been misplaced, returns were never submitted or there was little documentation to begin with. Some of the gaps in the narrative have been filled in by consulting a number of privateering histories, and the most readily available of these are listed in the Further Reading section. Scourge of the Seas The frontispiece of the second edition of Captain]ohnson’s History of Pirates published in 1725, with plates showing blind justice and a sea battle between a pirate ship and a vessel of the Royal Navy. The book was an enlarged version of the original edition, published the previous year. Читать далее