Robert Blondel the Pirate
Captain Robert Blondel
(French Corsair) (c.1553) - Raided the Spanish population in the
Caribbean, he was trapped with John Hawkins by Spanish in
San Juan De Ulua, Hawkins escaped, Blondel probably did not.
Pirate Roster: http://www.geocities.com/pirates_hold/roster/pirate_roster_b.html
Sir Francis Drake, having been grievously endamaged at San Juan de
Ulua in the Bay of Mexico, with captain JOHN HAWKINS, in the years 67
and 68, not only in the loss of his goods of some value, but also of
his kinsmen and friends, and that by the falsehood of DON MARTIN HENRIQUEZ
then the Viceroy of Mexico; and finding that no recompense could be recovered
out of Spain, by any of his own means, or by Her Majesty's letters; he
used such helps as he might, by two several voyages into the West Indies
(the first with two ships, the one called the /Dragon/, the other the /Swan/,
in the year 70: the other in the /Swan/ alone in the year 71),
to gain such intelligences as might further him, to get some amends for
The Project Gutenberg Etext of Sir Francis Drake Revived
A Possible Candidate for Robert Blondel's Ship
"A General History of the Pyrates" By: Daniel Defoe;
pp. xliiv, xliv, xlv
San Juan de Ulua & Veracruz
Drake & John Hawkins
Artist, XVIIe s.
LeClerc's Home in France
This Home is Approximately
500 Years Old
By its picturesque and its state of conservation, Crasvillerie
is certainly one of the most known manors of the Valley of Saire. The house
at right angles, the presence of a tower within the angle of the two buildings,
the mullioned windows chamfered, the profiled attic window are elements
of Gothic spirit, which can date construction between the end from the
XV 2nd and the XVI 2nd century old middle. It was the residence of
a famous corsair who illustrated himself into the Antilles and in the Canaries
and that anoblit François Ier: François LeClerc, known as
"Wooden leg", that the good lord de Gouberville quotes in his "book of
Quoted From: Manors
The Pirate Blondel assisted LeClerc in the LeClerc expeditions
as per this site: LeClerc)
and as such was one of the first slave traffickers to the northern coast
of Hispaniola from the island of Tortuga. He sailed with LeClerc
(known as "peg leg" because of his wooden leg) and Captain Sores.
LeClerc had lost a leg and greatly damaged an arm in fighting for the English
Queen. He was knighted for this valor. LeClerc would later betray
his French heritage by fighting against the French at Le Havre -- in contrast
Blondel fought for and with the French. This naval expedition attacked
the capitol of Cuba, Santiago, and did so much damage that it would never
recover and was eclipsed and later replaced by Havana. It would be
a dozen years later that Blondel would join forces with John Hawkins.
Hawkins was the mentor of his own nephew Francis Drake. The three
captains, Hawkins, Drake & Blondel sailed together pillaging the Spanish
forces at will. It was the betrayal of these men by the Mexican Viceroy,
Don Martin Henriquez, who violated a negotiated legal truce he had made
with them, in an agreement not to engage in hostile activity against
them while they repaired their storm ravaged ships that doomed Blondel.
The viceroy did indeed turn and attack them in their vulnerable state with
a murderous rampage that Drake believed was unparalleled in cruelty.
Drake would later retaliate and become so feared by the Spanish that he
was known throughout their empire as the "Dragon."
We believe that the French fleet commanded by Captain
Blondel had previously joined forces with Hawkins' (which included Francis
Drake) fleet off the West Coast of Africa. Here the French
commissioned Blondel placed his Royal French authority in unison to the
Royal English authority of John Hawkins and Francis Drake. Together they
intended to strike their common enemy: The supply lines and wealth of the
powerful Spanish Armada, and indeed they did.
It was later that Francis Drake would petition the Spanish
crown to be recompensed for damages in San Juan de Ulua. He was been
turned down. He then sailed with a vengance and rage that caused
him to plunder the Spanish without mercy. To escape the traps laid
for him, he "simply" circumnavigated the globe. For this act he would
forever find himself proclaimed as England's hero and golden knight.
Thus, he became the second man to circle the globe after Ferdinand Magellan.
At one point the plunder that Sir Francis Drake delivered to the Queen
of England was valued at $300,000,000.00. An awesome figure considering
it was almost 500 years ago.
In Rogozinski's "Pirates!:
An A to Z Encyclopedia" there is a listing for
Robert Blondel. It reads:
BLONDEL, ROBERT (French corsair; Caribbean; active 1553-1568)
commanded a vessel when Francois Le Clerc raided Puerto
Rico and Hispaniola in 1553. In contrast to Le Clerc, however, he
fought against rather than collaborating with English troops that occupied
the French port of Le Havre in 1563.
As Sir John Hawkins' third West Indian
expedition (1557-1568) was
passing West Africa, Hawkins was joined by French corsairs
led by a "Captain Bland" -- almost certainly an English version of Blondel.
During the battle with Hawkins' fleet at San Juan de Ulua, Mexico, the
Blondel's ship, and he was killed or taken prisoner.
Many thanks to Christine
& Michael Lampe for the the above information!
© Blondel 1998-2002 Blondell