Roche Braziliano

a.k.a. Roc Braziliano, Rock Braziliano

Dutch Pirate
   

Born: c. 1630

Died: c. 1675


Rock Brasiliano (a.k.a., "Roche Brasiliano") was one of the more successful Dutch pirates in the Caribbean. Little is known of Rock's early life, except that he was born in Groningen, The Netherlands, and at an early age relocated to a Dutch settlement in Brazil. The Portuguese captured the colony sometime in 1650-55, at which point the young man relocated to Jamaica, where he joined the local buccaneers as a common sailor.

A brave man and a fine sailor, Brasiliano was popular with his fellow pirates, where he earned the nickname "Rock of Brasiliano" (his real name has been lost to history). In a short time he was elected captain of his own vessel, a barque stolen from other pirates.

Brasiliano liked to cruise the rich waters off of Campeche, picking off treasure ships sailing from New Spain (Mexico) to Havana or Europe. Between voyages Brasiliano would return to Port Royal, Jamaica to rest, refit and recruit, and he quickly gained a reputation as one of the most dangerous men in that dangerous city. Rock would get roaring drunk and roam the city, waving his cutlass and attacking passers-by as the whim took him. He was equally brutal at sea, where he badly mistreated prisoners - particularly Spanish prisoners - torturing and killing them with or without justification.

At one point Brasiliano was captured and imprisoned in the Campeche dungeons. The city had suffered much pain and hardship at his hands, and the Governor decreed that Brasiliano would hang. But Brasiliano was too clever for him. Somehow acquiring pen and paper, Brasiliano forged a letter, which he got smuggled out of the dungeon and delivered to the Governor of Campeche. The letter purported to come from a group of buccaneers cruising outside of the city; it stated that if the Governor harmed Brasiliano they would have no mercy on the city, its shipping, or its people. As the city had previously almost fallen into buccaneer hands, the Governor took this threat very seriously indeed.

Looking for some way to save face (while keeping his own skin intact), the Governor had Brasiliano brought before him. He told Rock that he would send him back to Spain if he would swear to give up piracy forever: if not, the villain would be hanged immediately. Rock readily gave his solemn oath, and the governor put him on the first ship heading to Europe. Predictably, once in Spain, Brasiliano took passage back to Jamaica, where he quickly resumed his piratical cruises.

Not much else is known of Brasiliano's career - or his end. No one ever reported capturing or killing him; it is possible that, his blood-hatred of Spain slaked, Rock retired to live out his days in anonymity in some quiet corner of the world. It is more likely, however, that his vessel was lost at sea with all hands.


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