The Sack of Baltimore
took place on June 20, 1631, when the village of Baltimore
, West Cork
, was attacked by Algerian
pirates from the North African Barbary Coast
. The attack was the biggest single attack by the Barbary pirates on Ireland or Britain. The attack was led by a Dutch
captain turned pirate, Jan Janszoon
van Haarlem, also known as Murat Reis the Younger. Murat's force was led to the village by a man called Hackett, the captain of a fishing boat he had captured earlier, in exchange for his freedom. Hackett was subsequently hanged from the clifftop outside the village for his conspiracy.
Murat's crew, made up of Dutchmen
and Ottoman Turks
, launched their covert attack on the remote village on June 20th 1631. They captured 108 English settlers, who worked a pilchard industry in the village, and some local Irish people. The attack was focused on the area of the village known to this day as the Cove. The villagers were put in irons and taken to a life of slavery in North Africa
. Some prisoners were destined to live out their days as galley slaves
, while others would spend long years in the seclusion of the Sultan's harem
or within the walls of the Sultan
's palace as laborers. At most three of them ever saw Ireland again.
Conspiracy theories abound relating to the... Read More