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Captain Robert Blondel

Blondel, Robert:
                 (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:

Sir Francis Drake, having been grievously endamaged at San Juan de Ulua in the Bay of Mexico, with captain JOHN HAWKINS, in the years [15]67 and [15]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 [15]70: the other in the /Swan/ alone in the year [15]71), to gain such intelligences as might further him, to get some amends for his loss.
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


 Francis Drake & John Hawkins
Anonymous 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 reason."

Quoted From:  Manors of Reville

More about:

  • 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. 
    • The "LeClerc" here is the LeClerc of the date 1565 and not to be confused with the brother-in-law of Napoleon "LeClerc."   That "LeClerc" was sent to the French colony of Saint Domingue to put down the Haitian Revolution of 1791.  In about 1568 Captain Blondel joined forces with Hawkins and is said to have been killed by the Spanish when Hawkins was captured:  Click on the image of the naval battle below for more information.

      Anonymous Artist

      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)  Blondel
      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 Spaniards captured
      Blondel's ship, and he was killed or taken prisoner.

      Many thanks to Christine & Michael Lampe  for the the above information!

    Spanish Site For Captain Blondel
    French Site For Captain Blondel



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