Caribbean Pirates

Francis L'Olonais

Jacques Sores raiding Havana

A Spanish Galleon

The City of Nombre de Dios to the Crown, May 14, I573

Catholic Royal Majesty

The municipal council of this city of Nombre de Dios has already reported to your majesty on events in this kingdom and of the outcome expected if there should be delay in remedial measures against corsairs and cimarrones.

Lack of such measures has given these men, who are active, opportunity to accomplish their object by land and sea, to prevent which we are unable except by your majesty's assistance and favour.

For the French and English corsairs have entered into league and amity with the cimarrones in the back country, who number more than 3000. Although the Licentiate Diego Garc╠a is going to Spain to report all these events to your majesty (and credence may be given him, for in addition to being a cultured man, he is an old established resident of this kingdom, and has had much experience here), nevertheless, we will here briefly advise your majesty of what is occurring in this kingdom.

These corsairs have committed important piracies and have killed on such a scale that within the last seven years they have killed more than 300 persons on land and sea, and have stolen and carried off more than two millions in gold and silver. Lately (in the month of June, 1572) English corsairs entered this city, wounded many of its defenders, and killed nine.

Afterwards they entered into a confederation with the cimarrones of the back country, and aided and guided by them, crossed overland as far as the city of Panama. In the month of March of the current year they pillaged and burned Venta de Chagre, where they killed four inhabitants and a Dominican friar and wounded many other persons.

Accompanied by French corsairs who joined them presently, these same English, guided by the said cimarrones of the back country, on April 29 of the current year appeared on the highroad from the city of Panama to this city of Nombre de Dios, and two leagues from the latter stole more than 150,000 pesos in gold and silver, included in which amount were 20,000 pesos of gold on the way from the jurisdiction of Popayan to your majesty.

On receipt of this news, authorities went out from this city in all haste and gathered up a certain amount in bars of silver and gold, which the corsairs abandoned because they could not transport them. They killed two of these corsairs and one of the cimarrones, among them the French captain, according to the identification of the body made by another Frenchman who was taken prisoner as he wandered lost in the bush. He was presently executed. His confession and other testimony go forward by the Licentiate Diego Garc╠a, who is instructed to petition your majesty for measures necessary to the preservation of this land.

We entreat your majesty to deign to hear us and to take promptly the action we hope for from your majesty, since haste is what is most needed for the welfare of this land and of the provinces of Peru and good of your majesty's service. In the meantime we will do our part by placing our persons and our property, as is our duty, at the service of your majesty, whose Catholic royal person God preserve many years with increase of more kingdoms and dominions.

Nombre de Dios, May 14, 1573.

Your Catholic royal majesty's vassals and servants.

Diego Calderon.
Rodrigo de Salinas.
Juan Ordono.
Juan Crist█bal de Castilla.
Baltazar de Porras.
Francisco Ortiz.
Gaspar ----[?]
Clerk of the Council.