Pirate Round > Capture of the Nossa Senhora do Cabo

Capture of the Nossa Senhora do Cabo

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration

Background

The Capture of the Nostra Senora della Cabo< was famous naval engagement which saw the pirates Olivier Levasseur and John Taylor capture a massive Portuguese treasure ship sailing out of the city of Goa. The massive 700-ton ship was carrying the Bishop of Goa, also known as the Patriarch of the East Indies along with the retiring Viceroy of Portugal. They were both returning to Lisbon with all of their wealth and artifacts when the ship was damaged in a storm.

The ship's main mast was broken during severe weather and the crew was forced to dump all of the 72 cannons overboard to prevent capsizing. They then anchored off the coast of Ile de France in order to make the necessary repairs to return home. The pirates captured the ship without firing any cannons and with minimal boarding action. The capture would later be referred to in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island by the character Long John Silver.

The entire haul of the loot consisted of bars of gold and silver along with diamonds, pearls, silk, art and religious objects. This included the Flaming Cross of Goa which was made of pure gold and inlaid with diamonds, rubies and emeralds. It was actually so heavy that it required three man to carry it over to the pirates ships.

In fact the pirates seized so much loot that day (around £100,000,000 in 1968) that they did not even bother to rob the people aboard the ship. When the loot was divided each pirate received nearly £50,000 in golden Guineas as well as 42 diamonds apiece. The two captains then split the rest of the objects and La Buse took the massive golden cross.

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