Buccaneers > Dutch Buccaneers

Dutch Buccaneers

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration


Insula Curacao - Atlas van der Hagen (Late 17th Century)

The Dutch were the third major group with the English and the French to become buccaneers and raid the Spanish Main due to their unstable relationship with the Spanish and the Portuguese. The Dutch never had a formal pirate haven liked Port Royal of the English and Tortuga of the French but the Dutch colonial administrators often gave out pardons and did not some overly unfriendly due piracy. This is likely because the entire Dutch motive for being in the New World was to engage in commerce so they were not going to ask too many questions of people selling much needed goods.

Dutch buccaneering really began after the Dutch Republic became independent from Spain after the Eighty Years' War. In 1634 the first Dutch colonists began to occupy the island of Curacao and the Dutch East India Company (WIC) built the capital Willemstad on the Schottegat inlet. The island was overlooked by the Spanish due to a lack of gold deposits but was perfect to engage in commerce both legal and illegal. So while Dutch buccaneers were more likely to congregate on Tortuga or Port Royal, Curacao offered a place to offload stolen merchandise as not all pirate prizes offered gold and silver. Most of the stolen items during the golden age of piracy were trade goods like sugar, indigo, wine and more.

Dutch Buccaneers


French Buccaneers

English Buccaneers

Dutch Buccaneers


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