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Hendrik Jacobszoon Lucifer (15..? - 1627)


He was a privateer and the Admiral of a Dutch squadron that sailed from the Dutch republic on 22 January 1627. The squadron consisted of 3 ships (Laet, 1644):
NameSizeCannonCrewCaptain
Ter Veere180 tons2073Hendrik Jacobsz. Lucifer
Leeuwinne200 tons2069Jan Pietersz.
Vlieghende Draeck90 tons1442Geleyn Stapels
The squadron was in the employ of the Dutch West Indies Company. When they sailed on 22 January they were to bring 36 colonists and their cargo to Brazil. They also had a letter of Marque for Spanish merchant ships.

On 3 March 1627 the ships arrived at the river Amazon. Due to heavy weather they arrived at the colony Wapioco only on 7 March. They found that the colony had been abandoned by the previous colonists. To find out what had happened two of the ships were sent to find the Indians who could tell them what had happened. They returned the next day with two indians who guided them to the nearest indian village. The Indians of the village fled when they saw that the ships began to unload the cargo of the New colonists. From other indians in the area the eventually heard why they had fled: some time ago a group of colonists had landed at the village and had been killed by these indians. Only three colonists were taken prisoner. Three indians were immediately taken hostage and a fourth was sent out to retrieve what appeared to be the missing Dutch colonists. These three were brought aboard the next day. They told them what had happened to the colony.

No repercussions were taken, however, because Jan van Ryen and the 35 other colonists intended to establish a new colony. Peace was made with the Indians in the area and a small fort was built before the ships left for Barbados. The squadron arrived there on 25 March. From Barbados he intended to sail to the Western coast of Cuba. On the way he made several stops at the coast of Brazil, granada and the Island Isla Blanca (Blanquilla). At these stops Lucifer traded with native Indians and took in fresh water and supplies. The native indians were also a source of information on the whereabouts of the Spaniards. On 24 April they spotted a ship and tried to chase it, but it managed to get away. Sometime later, in the neighbourhood of Caracas, they helped out an English ship that was extremely short on supplies. On 4 May 1627 they encountered two Dutch ships, the Kater and the Bruinvis, who decided to join them.

On May 10 they found a Spanish ship that was drifting aimlessly in the water. It had been attacked and captured by an English privateer and after plundering the vessel had been abandoned. The Dutchmen took several useful items from the Spanish ship and then set fire to it. Sometime later a Portuguese slaver was captured by the Dutch fleet. The slaver had sailed from the Western coast of Africa with 225 slaves on board. After taking 22 of the best slaves they let the ship go on its way. They were not interested in life cargo. On 26 of May 1627 they were near Haïti. On 10 June the fleet split up. They may have decided to increase their chances of meeting a Spanish ship this way. Three ships sailed along the South coast of Jamaica and the other two ships sailed along the South coast of Cuba. They met again shortly at an island. The Squadron, under the command of Lucifer, set sail for the Bay of San Antonio on the West coast of Cuba. They captured a frigate from Mexico there and after relieving it of 26 bales of silk and several other things, added it to the fleet.

On 8 July 1627 the fleet encountered two big Spanish merchant ships. After catching up to them the Kater and the Ter Veere attacked the vessels. The Leeuwinne, commanded by Lucifer, was at that time not close enough to attack yet. The Spanish ships were hard to enter since they were built much higher than the attacking ships. The Spanish Admiral ship even managed to escape for a while, because it was too fast of the Dutch ships. The Dutch ships immediately attacked the other ship that could not get away from them. When the Spanish Admiral ship saw this it returned to help out its companion. Together the Spanish ships sandwiched the Dutch ship the Leeuwinne that came under heavy fire by the cannons of both Spanish ships. Spanish lances made it impossible to enter the Spanish ships until hand grenades were thrown aboard. The Admiral ship managed escape eventually, but the other ship had caught fire from the hand grenades. The Dutchmen were finally able to go aboard the vessel and after capturing her had to extinguish the fire that had been caused by the hand grenades. The captured Spaniards of the St. Anthony were put aboard the frigate and were free to go. The cargo of the St. Anthony consisted of 1404 chests of Indigo, 4280 animal skins, 32 jars of balsam ointment and several other items. Lucifer died of his wounds on the voyage home. The fleet set sail for the Dutch Republic and arrived there on 5 September 1627.

In December of that year his son became the captain of the vessel Ter Veere.


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For this text I drew heavily on:
Roos, Doeke
Zeeuwen en de WestIndische Compagnie (1621-1674) / door Doeke Roos Hulst : Van Geyt productions, 1992

Laet, Joannes de
Historie ofte jaerlijck verhael van de verrichtinghen der Geoctroyeerde West-Indische Compagnie, zedert haer begin tot het eynde van 't jaer sesthien-hondert ses-en-dertich : begrepen in derthien boecken ende met verscheyden koperen platen verciert / Joannes de Laet. - Leyden : Bonaventuer ende Abraham Elsevier, 1644
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