Buccaneering Era > Sack of Veracruz (1683)

Sack of Veracruz (1683)

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration

Background

Veracruz - Johannes Vingboons (1660)

Veracruz - Johannes Vingboons (1660)

The Sack of Veracruz was a buccaneer raid on the Spanish port city of Veracruz led by Laurens de Graaf, Nikolaus van Hoorn and Michel de Grammont in 1683 along with other buccaneers such as Yankey Williams.

This attack occurred in the later years of the Buccaneering Era on 17 May of 1683 when the buccaneers arrived off the coast with a small fleet including five large ships, 8 smaller ones and an invading buccaneer force of about 1,300 men. The buccaneers used two Spanish ships to sail at the front of the fleet which confused the guards in thinking the entire fleet was Spanish.

While the buccaneer fleet was anchored offshore from Veracruz the buccaneers de Graaf and Yankey Williams landed ashore a few miles from the town and waited until early the following morning.

While most of the militia of Veracruz were sleeping the buccaneers infiltrated the defenses and disabled much of the towns fortifications. This allowed van Hoorn leading a large party of buccaneers to march overland and subdue the rest of the defenses of the cities. Following this the pirates ransacked the town and took scores of hostages including the governor of Veracruz.

On the second day of the buccaneers raiding and pillaging the town the Spanish Plate Fleet appeared on the horizon which prompted the pirates to retreat to nearby Isla de Sacrificios. Here they held some hostages and waited for a ransom payment from the Spanish. When the ransom did not come right away Van Hoorn ordered the buccaneers to execute twelve of the prisoners and send their heads to Veracruz. De Graaf was outraged with this blatant execution of hostages and ended up dueling over the incident. During the duel Van Hoorn was slashed across the wrist with a sword and returned to the ship in chains. He later died when his wound turned gangrenous. Following this the Spanish abandoned their prisoners and the idea of a ransom and just left without the Spanish noticing.

Buccaneer Raids

Sources

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