Irish Privateers during the Civil War, 1642-50

By Jane H. Ohlmeyer, published June 1990


One of Spain’s treasure shipments was intercepted by an Irish privateer, one of many off the waters of Britain. Letters of marque issued by the Spanish authority in Flanders allowed privateers to hinder at sea all enemies to the ‘Catholic cause’.   The article details the use made of Ireland as a base for privateering, with their ships venturing as far as the Baltic. Local communities purchased the privateers’ booty, repaired their ships and took shares in the vessels. The conquest of Wexford eventually destroyed the privateering fleet.

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Filed under: English Civil War | Irish Sea | Other (location)
Subjects include: Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers

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