Post-Spanish Succession Period > Capture of the Portuguese Treasure Fleet
Capture of the Portuguese Treasure Fleet
The Capture of the Portuguese Treasure Fleet was a naval engagement off the coast of Portuguese Brazil that saw the seizure of forty-two treasure ships of the Portuguese Empire by the infamous pirate Bartholomew Roberts. The ships were waiting for an armed escort to bring them back to Portugal.
At the time Roberts only had a 26-gun ship and he knew he would not be able to get past the two 70-gun Portuguese warships that guarded the fleet in open combat. However, Roberts had a different and much more ingenious plan to capture the fleet. He started off by raising Portuguese flags and sailing up to the smallest ship he could find, pretending to be part of the fleet. However, once they got close enough the pirates jumped aboard and took everyone hostage including the officer and inquired which ship held the most treasure.
One of the Portuguese sailors pointed the main treasure ship out to the pirates and then the pirates left their captives and sailed right up to it. A swarm of pirates boarded the massive Portuguese treasure ship and seized it without firing a single shot. They managed to loot 90,000 gold moidores coins along with a massive fist sized blood diamond that was hand cut for the King of Portugal from the ships cargo hold alone and escaped before the warships could move within range to fire upon them. Bartholomew Roberts would wear the gemstone around his neck for the rest of his life until his death in the Battle of Cape Lopez.
Following the great success of this raid the wealth would be stolen by an Irish pirate named Walter Kennedy which would lead Roberts to establish his version of the Pirate Code. His grudge would also carry against all Irish who were not allowed to become part of the crew following this.