A 1631 Raid on West Cork: When Barbary Pirates Came To Prey - Part 3 of 3: Aftermath

By James Doherty

A British sailing ship of the "Welp" type.

A deeply unhappy king ordered an inquiry with high-ranking admiralty officials blaming the captain of the ill-fated Fifth Whelp with incompetency. The captain in turn blamed officials for corruption. The public and the government needed a scapegoat, though, and they ultimately set on John Hackett, Hackett was accused of treason, for the act of piloting the raiders into Baltimore. The Englishman Fawlett seemed to avoid this fate, with no sentence recorded against him. Local folklore suggests that Hackett was hung on a cliff overlooking the bay. However, he was probably executed in the town of Kinsale. Becoming a hero was the villager Harris who single handily spooked the corsairs. At the inquiry, after Harris gave his testimony, admiralty officials awarded him a commendation and small cash award.

Events in England would soon eclipse the memory of Baltimore. King Charles, enraged by incidents such as the Baltimore invasion, introduced the Ship Money Tax in 1634. This was designed to offset the cost of coastal defences and was introduced without the consent of parliament. The levying across England of this deeply unpopular tax was a contributing factor in the English Civil War.

Photo by James Doherty
Baltimore Harbor from the sea today. Click on the image for a larger view.

Fear of further raids forced the survivors of Baltimore inland, and the town was effectively abandoned. Only much later would the town come back to life, as people returned to settle in the area as the fishing industry thrived. Today, the natural harbor, which once appealed to pirates of every description, attracts members of the yachting community to the picturesque bay and surrounding islands. Where once locals eked an existence from the sea and consorted with pirates, they now make their living from tourism, with fine dining and a lively social scene.

Little is known about the fate of the slaves. The English civil war, waged between the monarchy and parliament, raged for years and the plight of the captives on the Barbary Coast was forgotten. Fourteen years after the raid, two Baltimore women were ransomed when a diplomatic mission from England came to negotiate the freedom of European slaves. Joanne Broadbook and Ellen Hawkins had spent over a decade in captivity, but what became of them on their release? They had lost their families, and their homes were gone. Their fate is unknown, but local folklore maintains that they were given jobs as servants in the two houses of Parliament in London, where they spent the rest of their days. These two are the only captives of the Baltimore raid whom we know the fate of.

By Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904)
An Arab slave market. Click on image for a larger view.

Back in Algiers, Morat Rais terrorized the Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans for several more years until his luck (temporarily) ran out. Rais was captured by Christians engaged in piracy, from Malta. Rais languished for five years in the dungeons of Malta until he paid a staggering ransom and was freed. He returned to Algiers to live out his days in luxurious retirement. Rais' legacy did not end there his son Anthony moved to the New World and settled in what was then called New Harlem. The descendants of Anthony von Jansen, as he was known, would give birth to the Vanderbilt dynasty of New York.

The slave markets of the Barbary Coast continued the trade unabated for hundreds of years. The Barbary pirates were never a significant military force. Still, different countries preferred to forge a detente with them at the expense of their enemies rather than end their vile trade. The powerful maritime nations often profited from piracy not directed at their ships, a case of 'an enemy of my enemy is my friend.' The Pashas of Algiers skilfully manipulated the political intrigues of more powerful nations to further their own interests.

In 1801, a newly independent American nation were infuriated at having to pay levies to protect their shipping in the Mediterranean from the kingdom of Tripoli. The fledgling government took offensive action against Tripoli, culminating in the 1805 Battle of Derne, the first overseas land action fought by the American nation. The engagement led to a peace treaty between Tripoli and America. The piratical practices of the kingdom of Tripoli continued despite American and Anglo-Dutch bombardment of the city in 1816. It was not until the French seizure of most of North Africa in 1830 that the pirate menace ended in the Barbary Coast. WGT

Read Part 1 of the 3-Part Series

The Naming of the Two Baltimores

"The Sack of Baltimore" (Amazon.com)

"The Stolen Village" (Amazon.com)


James Doherty is a Waterford-based writer who focuses on the preservation of the history of the Irish worldwide.

This feature was edited by Gerry Regan and Doug Chandler and produced by Joe Gannon.

Copyright © 2011 by James Doherty and GAR Media LLC. This article may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed without prior permission from the author. Direct questions about permissions to permissions@garmedia.com.

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Tags: 1631, Barbary, Cork, Pirates, Raid, West


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