Buccaneers > Pierre le Picard
Pierre le Picard
Pierre le Picard (1624 - 1679) was a famous French buccaneer who served alongside Francois L’Ollonais and Henry Morgan during their respective raids on Maracaibo and other Spanish settlements. Not much is known about his early life and he is first recorded as being an officer under L'Ollonais on a buccaneering cruise headed out of Tortuga.
During the cruise he was in command of a brigantine along with 40 buccaneers and followed L'Ollonais with him on his raids of Maracaibo and Gibraltar in 1666. He served under L'Ollonais again in 1667 when they sacked and plundered the cities of Puerto Caballos and San Pedro in 1667. Following these raids the buccaneers captured a Spanish ship off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula. L'Ollonais then called a meeting among his officers to propose sailing the fleet to Guatemala.
The other buccaneers including Picard and Moise Vauquelin disagreed with L'Ollonais and the buccaneer fleet broke apart following this meeting. Picard and Vauquelin proceeded to cruise around the coast of Costa Rica where they captured and pillaged the city of Veraguas. The two then unsuccessfully tried to siege the city of Nata but were repelled by the Spanish. An account of this attack is documented in Alexander Exquemelin in his primary source book De Americaensche Zee Roovers or the Buccaneers or America;
Following the defeat the two buccaneers parted ways and Picard ventured to one of the various pirate havens most likely Port Royal but possibly Tortuga as well. From there he met up with Henry Morgan and sailed with him on his expeditions in 1669 to Maracaibo where he provided expertise about the location in order to sack it. During this time he was known to have been captain of a 10-gun ship named Saint-Pierre. Not much is known about Picard following the sack of Maracaibo and Gibraltar.
His death was reported in 1679 and published but he was also mentioned by Henry Morgan in his position as the Governor of Jamaica as being an active buccaneer against British and Spanish shipping in 1682. This goes to show you the unreliability of any of the real death or fates of any of these pirates. There is also a recorded Captain le Picard in 1685 who joined a buccaneering expedition along with Francis Gorgnet and Captain Townley to cross the Isthmus of Panama and plunder the Spanish settlements on the South Seas.
This expedition was joined by the English buccaneers Edward Davis, Charles Swan and Peter Harris. Despite contention between Picard and the English buccaneers they proceeded to sack the city of Gauyaquil in May of 1687. Following this Picard returned to the West Indies While on his way to Saint-Domingue Picard pillaged the city of Segovia. After his buccaneering he eventually retired near Acadie in Canada.
It is believed that he may have served during King Williams War and was responsible for attacking the British controlled Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1690. However, due to heavy losses the French were forced to retreat.