Other than his attack on Havana, little is known of de Sores. He was nicknamed "The Exterminating Angel" ("L'Ange Exterminateur"). He was the leader of a band of Huguenot pirates and a lieutenant or former lieutenant of another French pirate, François le Clerc, who was called "Pegleg" or "Jambe de Bois" on account of his wooden leg. Le Clerc and Sores had set out from France in 1553 with three royal ships and a number of privateers under commission from Francis I of France who was envious of the riches returning to Spain from the New World. Le Clerc had raided Santiago de Cuba in 1554, and some accounts mention a raid on Santiago de Cuba by de Sores, although whether this was as part of the attack by le Clerc is not clear. He may have used Cayo Romano and Cayo Coco in the archipelago of Jardines del Rey adjacent to the northern Cuban coast as a base of operations.
Details of the attack on Havana are also sketchy: the number of ships that de Sores used in the attack varies in different accounts from 2 to 20. Regardless of the number of ships involved, de Sores had little trouble in capturing the lightly defended town. Most accounts make it clear that he was expecting to find stores of gold in the town, while some claim he ransomed important members of the population. All agree... Read More