William Parker was a member of the lesser gentry near Plymouth. In 1587 he sailed in consort with Sir Francis Drake during Drakeís raid on Cadiz, Spain.
In the 1590ís Parker sailed the West Indies taking several prizes. He also plundered Puerto Caballos in Honduras in 1594 & 1595.
After 1596, as owner of his own vessel, he partnered with Sir Anthony Sherley, but this relationship ended when after a time no prizes were taken. Leaving Sherley behind, Parker attacked Campeche, Mexico. Parker was wounded in the attack but survived & succeeded in capturing a frigate carrying silver which was enroute to San Juan De Ulua.
Parker next captured Portobelo in February 1601. Portobelo was a very important port being the departure point from which Peruvian treasure left for Spain. Parker then sailed to Panama & plundered Saint Vincent in the Cape Verdes. He also captured & held for ransom the Cubagua pearl-boats & captured a Portuguese slave ship. His successes secured for him a prominent position in Plymouth, where he was looked upon as a hero of sorts & he became a founding member of the Virginia Company in 1606.
Parker was made Vice-Admiral & left on an expedition to the East Indies, but died
in Java in 1617.
Click on the Piece of Eight to return to the Main Page