The later half of the seventeenth century saw the swashbuckling heyday of piracy in the West Indies. Here, English, French, and Dutch buccaneers, and audacious seafarers claiming no nation, roamed the seas almost at will, delighting particularly in preying on galleons flying the Spanish flag and in sacking and ransoming cities along the Spanish Main. It is true that the policy of European nations was changing from encouraging or winking at buccaneer activities to supporting legitimate trade with Spanish America, and some serious efforts were made to curb these seagoing marauders. Nevertheless, this was of little consolation to the inhabitants of Panama, which was ravished by the Englishman Henry Morgan in 1671, or to those of Maracaibo, which was destroyed by the Dutchman l’Olonnais in 1667, or to those of Vera Cruz, which was surprised by the Frenchman the Sieur de Grammont in 1683. In this same period similar fates befell many other cities, and their hapless residents endured unspeakable indignities.
Wright, Jr., J. Leitch
"Andrew Ranson: Seventeenth Century Pirate?,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 39
, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol39/iss2/3