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Manoel Rivero Pardal

Copyright 2004, David Stapleton

Unfortunately, much of the history that I am able to find is written by the English, the result being that I don't often have the opportunity to write about the pirates on the Spanish side. Rivero Pardal is one such pirate.

Receiving a letter of marque on January 3, 1670 from Pedro de Ulloa (governor of Cartagena) he set sail in in the ship San Pedro (also known as the Fama) armed with 14 cannon and carrying a crew of about 70. His first acts were off the Caymen Islands where he set fire to several fishing villages and captured a ketch and large canoe.

Prior to May 1670 he came across the Mary and Jane, enroute from Jamaica to Cuba with the buccaneer Bernard Speirdyke commanding to negotiate a peace. After a fierce combat in which most of the of the buccaneers, including Speirdyke were killed the corsairs captured the ship.

In May he is reported leaving Cartagena in consort with the Gallardina, a captured French ship. On 11 June he captured one of William Harris' ships (a tender) and sacked Montego Bay. Rivero Pardal continued his depradations, receiving reinforcements from Cuba. The buccaneers in Jamaica set to sea to put an end to his actions. It was even rumored that Henry Morgan set sail to finish him.

The Fama chased an English ship, the Dolphin, commanded by one of Morgan's lieutenants, John Morris. A storm drove both ships toward the Cuban coast. Seeking refuge, Rivero Pardal sought safety in a harbor, only to find the Dolphin already there. The battle that ensued saw the capture of the Fama and the death of Manoel Rivero Pardal, shot in the throat.

While the history paints him as notorious, I am left a little bit less than impressed with the recounting of his credentials.


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