A British Hero as a privateer from 1625-1666.
Knighted for his services to the crown.
A captain in the English Royal Navy, Myngs was among the first to enlist buccaneers for raids upon other nations for his profitable ventures. Later Henry Morgan copied Myngs techniques, especially those of using former soldiers to attack fortified cities.
Born at Norfork, Myngs enlisted in the Royal Navy as a cabin boy & eventually rose threw the ranks to become a Captain. In January 1656 he sailed his 44-gun frigate Marston Moor to Jamaica, a port which had been recently occupied by English forces where by he took part in a raid upon Santa Marta, Venezuela in May 1656. In January 1657 he took command of the naval squadron anchored at Jamaica. By October 1658, Myng had his eye on the Spanish treasure fleet. He hid his squadron along the Central American coast. When the treasure fleet arrived however, Myngs' forces were not up to full strength. Several English ships had left to obtain fresh water. The Marston Moor & another ship passed through the 29 Spanish ships trying to scatter them to no avail. With his plan failing, the English fleet burned Tolu (now in Columbia ), captured two large ships in the harbor, & devastated Santa Marta.
In 1659 Myngs sailed east against prevailing head winds in a daring effort to take Spanish colonists by surprise & was a terrific success. Myngs only took the Marston Moor & two other warships & plundered Cumana, Puerto Caballos, & Coro in Venezuela. Myngs' booty was the largest haul ever taken into Jamaica, estimated between £200,000 to £300,000. When they arrived in Jamaica, the booty was split & Myngs refused to give the government any share in the prize. Myngs was arrested by the governor of Jamaica & sent back to England to be tried for his offense. When word of the huge plunder got out, dozens of pirate captains from all ports of call, came to Port Royal, wanting to be among those who sailed with Myngs. At this time, back in England, King Charles II was returned to power & during the confusion, Myngs' charges were dropped. Myngs returned to Jamaica in command of the Centurion in 1662. In October 1662, Myngs had captured Santiago which was Cuba's second largest city. The Spanish fortress was blown to hell & in the confusion he captured six ships. Myngs' fleet was full of soldiers as the English & French had drawn up a truce & soldiers were suddenly unemployed. Myngs (with government consent) launched a second expedition. Myngs' fleet consisted of 12 pirate ships & 1,500 buccaneers. His crew comprised of English, French, & Dutchmen. His reputation of bringing in large hauls attracted notable captains such as Edward Mansfield & Abraham Blauvelt as well as younger pirates such as Henry Morgan, John Morris & Jack Rackham.
In February 1663, Myngs' force had taken control of San Francisco in the Bay of Campeche. San Francisco was a large town which had never been attacked. Such audacity was never expected & through this arrogance they seized 14 Spanish ships were taken as well as 150,000 pesos. The Spanish government was outraged & halted the sailing of the treasure fleet until warships could arrive. The Spanish protests to the English government were persuasive for King Charles II forbade any future assaults in April 1663.
Myngs not having any reason to stay in the Caribbean went back to England in 1665, where he became vice-admiral of a squadron fighting the Dutch forces in the English Channel. For his actions for the crown, Myngs was knighted later that same year.
During a battle in 1666, Myngs was wounded & consequently died. His Last Will & Testament only mentioned small sums of money even though he had taken extremely valuable prizes. Whether he was a spendthrift or hid his money is not known.
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