Simon Simonson

Sailor & Pirate

Born: Unknown

Died: 1609

Simonson was born in Dordrecht, Holland. Simonson moved around 1606 from Marseilles to Algiers, with experience as a shipbuilder, leaving his family behind. At Algiers, Simonson's fame quickly grew and within 3 years he was given the name Delli Reis by the locals. Simonson had been using captured ships and was teaching the Muslim captains how to sail them. He personally captured around 40 prizes all of which were incorporated into the corsair fleet. Simonson had also led the corsairs through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Atlantic. Once in the Atlantic, they hunted Spanish treasure fleets and raided as far north as Iceland. After reeking much havoc with the Barbary corsairs, Simonson feeling homesick wished for a return home.

In 1609, his chance came. He used Jesuit priests which had been captured off Valencia to negotiate with the French court. The French conceded to his requests, and after a quarrel between his men and several Algerians erupted, he fled back to Marseilles. Simonson's flight from Algiers wasn't without consequence however for Simonson stole four ships and booty worth 400,000 crowns, as well as killing 150 Algerians and stealing two large brass cannons belonging to the Algerian government. Once back in Marseilles he rejoined his family and had his citizenship restored. In 1610, Simonson had a plan to raid the city of Algiers, which he presented to the royal court. His plans were denied but Simonson was paid to maintain a squadron patrolling against the corsairs. During one of his patrols, Simonson was captured by the corsairs, taken to Tunis, and there executed in 1616.

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