Books / Sullatober Dalton / Uncategorized

Pirates in Plymouth

This search started from two points of view, to find incidents involving the navy that would make story lines for an historical novel and to find out more of the growth of trade around the world under the Stuart kings. I have found N.A.M. Rodger’ book the Safeguard of the Seas some answers to both questions. He mentions William Hawkins pioneering trade with Brazil and Guinea in the time of Henry VIII and then in 1568, Huguenot privateers chasing a Spanish ship carrying money to pay army wages in the Netherlands, into Plymouth. “There were far too many pirates in and around Plymouth for it to be a safe place, so naturally it was the queen’s duty to take the money into safe keeping.” Imagine the Spanish captain trying to explain to the ambassador in London that he’d lost the money. The sequel is quite interesting – It was discovered that the money had been a loan from a Genoese bank and it seems that when their representative pointed out that the money belonged to them until repaid, Elizabeth accepted it as a loan to the English treasury. Now the representative has to explain this ‘forced’ loan to his superiors.