Buccaneers > William Wright

William Wright

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Background

William Wright was a famous English buccaneer and privateer who was responsible for joining in some of the raids on Spanish coastal towns during the Buccaneering Era. Not much is known about Wright's early life before he came to Saint-Domingue in the mid 1670's. Since he was an English man headed to the largest French slave colony it is likely he was an indentured servant.

However, soon he accepted a commission from the French governor in 1675 to raid the Spanish at Segovia along with other buccaneers. He first sailed to the San Blas Islands to put together a buccaneering crew. After he traveled to the Mosquito Coast where he met up with fellow buccaneer John Gret. Gret went back to the San Blas Islands where he was to set up an alliance with local natives to siege the local Spanish town of Chepo.

The buccaneers were joined by Jean Bernanos and despite the buccaneers best efforts they failed to take the city. After the failure to take Chepo Wright took left for Petit-Goave. From here Wright is next documented as sailing with Thomas Paine from the city of Cartagena de Indias to Caracas where they captured a Spanish ship that was being protected by the Armada de Barlovento.

In May of 1680 Wright and Paine were joined off Isla Blanca by Michel de Grammont who all worked together to capture the La Gauyra port in Caracas before the Spanish forced their retreat in July. In May of 1681 Wright was in command of a small barque with 4-guns and buccaneer crew of forty. Wright planned along with eight other privateers and fifty English South Sea buccaneers to meet up at the San Blas Islands and raid the Spanish city of Cartago in Costa Rica. The attack was unsuccessful as many buccaneers and privateers failed to meet up at San Andres Island.

From here Wright went on to loot Spanish ships in the region such as a tartane that he gave to thirty of the South Sea buccaneers who had deserted their captain back at San Andres Island. Next Wright was known to have been sailing with the French captains Archembeau and Toccart to Corn Island and later Bluefield's River. Here he separated from the French privateers and arrived in Bocas del Toro a few weeks later. Here he joined with buccaneer Yankey Williams and sailed south along the coast of Columbia.

Here they captured a Spanish merchant ship holding tobacco and sugar. Wright took over Yankey's barque who in turn took the Spanish merchant's ships as his own prize. Wright burned his old ship and the two traveled on towards Curacao. Here they tried to sell the plundered Spanish trade goods but were rebuked and forced to leave the port by the Dutch governor.

Eventual Fate

From Curacao Williams and Wright sailed towards the Isla Aves and the Islaes Roques where they careened and stayed until February of 1682. Not much is known about Wright after 1682. It is believed he returned back to Saint-Domingue and lived out the rest of his days.

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