Buccaneering Era > Buccaneers

Buccaneers

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration

Background

17th century pirates were also known as buccaneers and operating mostly during the Buccaneering Era. Called boucaniers, the English term 'buccaneers', these groups of French and English pirates would raid Spanish settlements and ships alike in a state sponsored piracy campaign. In fact on more than one occasion, entire Spanish settlements were razed to the ground and the inhabitants slaughtered. The buccaneers of the 17th century were more ruthless, vengeful and more merciless than the 18th century pirates (with some exceptions).

Operating out of their bases at Port Royal and Tortuga, the Brethren of the Coast were not pirates in the sense they were conquerors. Buccaneers raided ship at sea when it was convenient for them but they also had massive armies with which they would militarily take out Spanish troops and invade settlements from the land. They were known for sacking and ransoming cities however, there total take was a lot less than the 18th century pirates in that they had more men to split the loot with.

De Americaensche Zee Roovers

Most of the exploits of the buccaneers are only known about through the Dutch or French surgeon aboard Henry Morgan's ship named Alexander Exquemelin. His primary source book first published in Dutch as De Americaensche Zee Roovers (1678), also known in English as the Buccaneers of America, is one of the best documents in understanding the biographies and stories of the buccaneers. Without Exquemelin's work many of the most famous exploits of the buccaneers would have been lost to history.

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources