Pirate Ships > Nossa Senhora do Cabo
Nossa Senhora do Cabo
The Nostra Senora della Cabo was a 700-ton Portuguese treasure ship that was carrying the wealth of the entire viceroyalty of Goa and was famously captured by pirates Olivier Levasseur and John Taylor in April of 1721. It was one of the largest captures of a Portuguese ship besides the one stolen by Bartholomew Roberts off the coast of Brazil.
The ship had become damaged during a storm in the Indian Ocean and was being repaired by the crew when the pirates captured it. The ship was carrying prominent people such as the Archbishop, the retiring Count of Ericeira, His Excellency Dom Luís Carlos Inácio Xavier de Meneses back to the capital at Lisbon and yielded wealth beyond imagining. The Nostra Senora della Cabo held so much treasure and gold they could not even take what they would have robbed from the individuals aboard that they just simply let them go. In addition to an artifact known as the Flaming Cross of Goa the pirates seized silver, gold, diamonds, gems, pearls, silk, spices, art and Church regalia.
After capturing the ship the looted was divided between the crews of the Cassandra and the Victory, captained by John Taylor and Olivier Levasseur respectively. The total haul for the capture of the Nostra Senora della Cabo was valued between £100,000 to £875,000, with some accounts of £1,000,000. Now the Portuguese would have probably wanted to keep the estimate on the lower side to save face as this is equivalent to around $400 million in current US dollars.
The seizure of this ship marked the largest pirate heist in history, netting over $400 million in current dollars. This is much larger than the heist by Henry Every and the pirates returned with the ship to their haven at Madagascar to astonishment.
Upon arrival in Madagascar the pirates burned their previous ship and renamed the Nostra Senora della Cabo the Victory. La Buse assumed captaincy over the new Portuguese prize. After an argument with Taylor the two would split. Taylor would continue pirating while Taylor sailed to the Spanish controlled Panama and got a pardon from the governor of Portobello in exchange for his ship and probably a hefty bribe as well.
La Buse would keep the Victory and continue pirating up until his execution in 1730 in the second Pirate Round. La Buse would use the Nostra Senhora do Cabo to remain one of the longest lasting and successful pirate captains of all time. While not as popular as infamous pirates like Edward 'Blackbeard' Teach, La Buse's career lasted much longer even double that of Bartholomew Roberts and would also be one of the last to be executed of the Flying Gang.
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