Pirate Ships > Carrack


Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration


From around 1515, Portugal had trade exchanges with Goa in Portuguese India, consisting of 3 to 4 carracks leaving Lisbon with silver to purchase cotton and spices in India. Out of these, only one carrack went on to Ming China in order to purchase silk, also in exchange for Portuguese silver. From the time of the acquisition of Macau in 1557, and their formal recognition as trade partners by the Chinese, the Portuguese Crown started to regulate trade to Japan, by selling to the highest bidder the annual "Captaincy" to Japan, in effect conferring exclusive trading rights for a single carrack bound for Japan every year. That trade continued with few interruptions until 1638, when it was prohibited on the grounds that the ships were smuggling priests into Japan. In the middle of the 16th century the first galleons were developed from the carrack. The galleon design came to replace that of the carrack although carracks were still in use as late as the early 17th century.

Famous Carrack

Santa María, in which Christopher Columbus made his first voyage to America in 1492. São Gabriel, flagship of Vasco da Gama, in the 1497 Portuguese expedition from Europe to India by circumnavigating Africa. Flor do Mar or Flor de la Mar, served over nine years in the Indian Ocean, sinking in 1512 with Afonso de Albuquerque after the conquest of Malacca with a huge booty, making it one of the mythical lost treasures. Victoria, the first ship in history to circumnavigate the globe (1519 to 1522), and the only survivor of the Spanish expedition. La Dauphine, Verrazzano's ship to explore the Atlantic coast of North America in 1524. Grande Hermine, in which Jacques Cartier first navigated the Saint Lawrence River in 1535. The first European ship to sail on this river past the Gulf. Santo António, or St. Anthony, the personal property of King John III of Portugal, wrecked off Gunwalloe Bay in 1527, the salvage of whose cargo almost led to a war between England and Portugal. Great Michael, a Scottish ship, at one time the largest in Europe. Mary Rose, Henri Grâce à Dieu and Peter Pomegranate, built during the reign of Henry VIII — English military carracks like these were often called great ships. Grace Dieu, commissioned by Henry V Santa Catarina do Monte Sinai, a war ship built in India by the Portuguese Santa Anna, a particularly modern design commissioned by the Knights Hospitaller in 1522 and sometimes hailed as the first armoured ship. Madre de Deus, which was seized by the Royal Navy off Flores Island. Built in Lisbon during 1589, it was the world`s largest ship. It was stolen by the English in 1592 with an enormously valuable cargo that is still considered as the second-largest treasure ever found. Santa Catarina, Portuguese carrack which was seized by the Dutch East India Company off Singapore in 1603. Nossa Senhora da Graça, Portuguese carrack sunk in a Japanese attack near Nagasaki in 1610 Peter von Danzig, ship of the Hanseatic League in 1460s-1470s.

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