Captain Edward Mansfield

Edward Mansfield (a Dutchman) was in command of a four-gun brigantine when he took part in Sir Christopher Myngs' assault on San Fransisco de Campeche in Mexico in 1663.
Between August 1665 and July 1667 the Dutch and England were at war with each other. During this time, the Jamaican Governor, Modyford, assembled buccaneers to attack the Dutch islands in the Caribbean. This first attack was led by Sir Edward Morgan, but only the islands of Saint Eustatius and Sabo were defeated. Consequently, Modyford organized a second expedition in November 1664 and Mansfield was elected admiral of the fleet.
Santo Spirito, Cuba being their first target, was sacked and burned in December. Even though Santo Spirito was a Spanish possession it was considered a valid target after several pirate captains produced documents showing Portuguese privateering commissions issued by the French governor at Tortuga. It is speculated that Pierre Le Grand is responsible for the raid upon Santo Spirito.
In January 1665, Mansfield's fleet sailed toward Curacao. The journey took them against the Eastern trade winds, so the journey took a lot of time. Along the route Mansfield sent various ships off to pursue other prey, causing several of the pirate captains to become disenchanted with him. Faced with mutiny, Mansfield changed course and headed for Boca del Toro along the border between Panama and Costa Rica. But this change wasn't enough to appease all of the captains under his command and several ships and crew who deserted. By the time Mansfield arrived at Costa Rica had only about 600 men left. They proceeded to march on the city of Cartago. Along the way, at Turrialbo, which was 90 miles inland, they encountered stiff resistance. Running low on supplies and unsuccessful in their attemp to penetrate Turrialbo's defences they turned back and sailed back to Baca del Toro. When they arrived, several more pirates left Mansfield command.
With only a small amount of booty and few men, Mansfield opted to attack Providence Island off the Honduran coast. Mansfield's fleet of four ships was joined by two French ships. His force attacked the island with more than 200 men. They took the garrison easily on May 16th. Their plunder was 55,000 and 150 slaves, some of which were free men and an officer from the garrison.
Mansfield left about 50 pirates to secure the garrison and returned to Jamaica around June 1665. Providence was recaptured by the Spanish in August.
There are two accounts of Mansfield's death, one according to Esquemelin within his book "The Buccaneers of America" has Manfield quarreling with Modyford at Jamaica and going to Tortuga where he died soon afterwards. The other has Manfield being captured and put to death at Havana.

Posted by Under The Black Flag on 12:15 μ.μ.. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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