Manuel Pardal Rivero

Spanish Privateer

Born: Unknown

Died: 1670

Spain, a long time victim of piracy, suffering heavy losses from the pirates & deciding that Sir Henry Morgan’s Portobelo raid in 1669 was the last straw, sanctioned the governors of its colonies in the procurement of privateers & disbursement of "Letters of Marque". Seen as a distasteful and barely legal enterprise, few Spanish pirates responded to this act. Rivero, however, who was Portuguese, quickly accepted the offer and rushed out to seek enemy nation’s ships to prey upon.

In 1670, Rivero, in command of the San Pedro left Cartagena for Jamaica, but was forced to change course because of winds. Rivero sacked the poor settlement on Grand Cayman Island & seized two small boats as well as taking four children. With his meager booty, he went to Cuba. Once there he found out that Bernard Speirdyke, the dutch pirate, was at Manzanillo. Rivero set out to do battle with Speirdyke. Rivero was victorious in the battle & seized the Dutchman’s ship.

Rivero returned to a hero’s welcome in Cartagena in March 1670 & was made admiral of the Spanish corsairs. Rivero next went to Jamaica with two ships & captured a sloop and raided isolated villages in the north. His next venture took him to the southern coast of Jamaica where he issued a challenge to Henry Morgan.

Governor Modyford of Jamaica commissioned Morgan to defend Jamaica. Morgan assembled all French & English pirates that were at Jamaica & set sail, but instead of looking for Rivero, they sailed to Panama & sacked the town. While all this was going on, John Morris encountered Rivero off the Cuban coast. Rivero’s ship was boarded by Morris’ men. The crew panicked & jumped overboard, where they either drowned or were shot by Morris’ men. Morgan chased Rivero ashore & shot him to death in 1670.

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