Buccaneers > Edward Collier

Edward Collier

Chapter Decoration

Background

Edward Collier (?? - ??) was a British buccaneer that was the second in command to Henry Morgan throughout his most famous expeditions during the Buccaneering Era. Not much is known about his early life but he is first recorded as being in command of one of the ships that led the raid on Portobello in 1668 under Morgan. He next was given command of the 34-gun ship the Oxford and given a commission to become a pirate hunter and track down Captain le Veven and his pirate ship the Satisfaction.

Collier would later rejoin Henry Morgan on the expedition to siege the city of Cartagena de Indias. Collier would captain the Oxford on the voyage however, the night before the raid was to commence the buccaneers through a party. Some of the pirates managed to light a fuse which caused an explosion of the gunpowder magazine and the entire ship to explode. Two hundred of the buccaneers were killed and the raid on Cartagena was aborted due to the loss of about a third of Morgans invasion force.

While Morgan would continue to siege the cites of Maracaibo and Gibraltar, Collier was so upset over the destruction of his flagship that he was allowed to leave the fleet and given command over the Satisfaction. He then spent the next 18 months plundering ships off the coastline of the Spanish Main.

Collier was convinced by Morgan in September of 1670 to join him on the raid on Panama Viejo and he was given the title of vice-admiral. As Morgan gathered buccaneers from throughout the region for the expedition it was Collier's job to take six ships to Venezuela to gather supplies and other provisions along with information from local native tribes. Collier arrived at Rio de la Hacha and ended up capturing the Spanish garrison there and demanding the coins in the local treasury. He tortured the prisoners for the information and many Spanish went to their graves without revealing anything.

Collier was unable to find the main treasure of the city and after looting supplies and provisions from the colonists he returned back and rejoined Morgan's fleet in early December of 1670. During the eventual January 1671 assault on Panama the left wing of the invasion force was lead by Collier. Him and his buccaneers proceeded to loot the town with the rest of Morgan's buccaneers and some of his group were believed to have murdered a Franciscan friar in the city during the pillage. However, after the looting of Panama Viejo the buccaneers returned to the city of Port Royal. While Morgan would be imprisoned for two years following the raid on Panama it appears no one else came under any royal scrutiny for the actions.

Morgan claimed he had no knowledge of the treaty in place that outlawed buccaneering and he was later released along with governor Thomas Modyford. For his troubles Morgan was knighted and made governor of Jamaica and retired to his 1,000 acre plantation on the island of British Jamaica that was given to him in 1668.

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