The True & Complete Memoirs of the Pyrate Captain Extraordinaire!
The Illustrious Captain, John ‘Bartholomew’ Roberts
The Most Successful Pyrate of ALL Time!
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Hawkins sailed for England in one of his ships and sent the two others to Seville. At Seville the Spaniards seized the cargoes. Although Hawkins lost the two ship's cargoes, he nevertheless made a substantial profit. Pirates realizing the profits made from slaving increased their elicit trade and tensions between England and Spain increased. Spain suspended trade with England and arrested English ships. Spain was immensely powerful at the time, controlling the seas and most of the colonies of the Americas. As such Spain was the enemy of many European nations. It was because of her control that England and France had planned a joint assault on Florida, but the plan wasn't to come to fruition and Queen Elizabeth I, having heard of Hawkins success in the Caribbean decided to support Hawkins. The Queen wanted Hawkins to go on another slaving expedition and the plan was financed by courtiers and merchants. The Queen gave Hawkins the 700-ton Jesus of Lubeck and Hawkins set sail with the Jesus as well as three other smaller ships in October 1564. Hawkins sailed to Borburata, Venezuela pirating along the way. By the time he reached Borburata, he had gathered around 400 slaves. After Borburata, Hawkins sailed to Rio de la Hacha. The Spanish officials tried to prevent Hawkins sale of the slaves by imposing taxes. Hawkins refused the taxes and threatened to burn the towns. The Spanish were no match for Hawkins’ crew and backed down. After selling his cargo, Hawkins sailed to a French colony in Florida for a respite. Hawkins returned to England in September 1655, his expedition a total success as his financiers made a sixty percent profit.
The Spanish government, outraged at Hawkins activities, persuaded the English government to forbid Hawkins next expedition. Hawkins ignored the order from his government, financing John Lovell with a contribution of three ships. Lovell's expedition, which included Francis Drake, left for Africa in October 1566. Lovell's voyage proved a financial disaster as Lovell's force was too small to force Spanish trade. After the disastrous Lovell expedition, Hawkins once again gained support from the crown, and Hawkins left England in October 1567. This time, Hawkins was in command of two royal warships and four smaller ships.
Hawkins course was the same as his last expedition, but this time Francis Drake (who had joined the expedition) received command of a captured Portuguese ship, and Hawkins was forced to take hostages at Rio de la Hacha as well as burning part of the town to make the Spanish permit trade. On the return voyage, Hawkins ran into a severe storm which forced Hawkins to a nearby port. The closest port was San Juan de Ulúa in Mexico, and Hawkins anchored off an island in the harbor on September 15, 1568. At the island, Hawkins took several hostages. The next day a Spanish treasure fleet commanded by the viceroy of Mexico arrived at the port. The viceroy, seeing the occupation by the English, ordered the Spanish forts and ships to attack on September 23. Hawkins force lost four of the six ships as well as three-fourths of the crew along with large sums of money. The remainder of Hawkins’ force arrived in England several months later. Hawkins’ days as a slaver were over and he settled into the title of Treasurer of the Navy in 1577. In 1588 he became Naval comptroller as well as treasurer. While serving these positions, Hawkins rebuilt older galleons as well as helped design faster, more heavily armed ships. He also improved the sailor's lot, providing better working conditions and more pay. In 1588, Hawkins commanded a squadron against the Spanish armada which was trying to invade England. Hawkins was knighted for his performance in the foray. Hawkins next tried, unsuccessfully, to intercept the Spanish treasure fleet off Portugal with the aid of Martin Frobisher in early 1590.
Hawkins next joined Francis Drake in an expedition to the West Indies in 1595. During the voyage, Hawkins became ill and died as the fleet was reaching San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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