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Edward Collier

English Buccaneer

Born: 1550

Died: 1605

Although nothing is known about his earlier career, Collier was an experienced captain when he took part in Sir Henry Morganís expeditions. Many witnesses, both English and Spanish, claimed he tortured prisoners even more cruelly than Morgan and the other Buccaneer captains.

Collier commanded a pirate vessel during Morganís 1668 raid on Portobelo. At the end of 1668, the 34gun Oxford was sent to defend Jamaica and to put down piracy. The islandís governor gave Collier command, when her previous captain killed the shipís master during a quarrel. Collier captured Captain la Veven, a French pirate, whose ship was seized and renamed the Satisfaction.

Soon after, Collier joined Morgan, who was gathering the Buccaneers for his raid on Maracaibo and Gibraltar, Venezuela. The drunken pirates blew up the Oxford in January 1669, but Morgan and Collier were among the lucky survivors. Following this disaster, Collier went off on his own, taking the Satisfaction on an 18-month independent cruise to Mexico and possibly to Cuba.

In September 1670, Collier enlisted in Morganís Panama expedition and was named ďvice-admiral.Ē While the pirates were gathering off southwestern Haiti, Collier took six ships to Venezuela to gather food and information. At Rio de la Hacha, he captured the fort and garrison and ferociously tortured his prisoners. He enjoyed his victimsí agonies too much for efficient interrogation, for he missed 200,000 pesos hidden by the fortís commander. After extorting a ransom in salt, com, and meat, he rejoined Morganís main fleet early in December. When Morgan routed Panamaís defenders in January 1671, Collier commanded the Buccaneersí left wing. He and his men chased after and slaughtered the fleeing enemy. After the Spaniards surrendered, Collier killed one of their chaplains, a Franciscan friar.

Collier took ample plunder during his voyages. In 1668, Jamaicaís governor gave him a 1,000-acre plantation next to one of Morganís estates. Plantations of this size were granted only to men with substantial funds to purchase slaves and tools. Collier did not share Morganís disgrace after the assault on Panama. Although a new governor arrested Morgan, Collier remained in Jamaica and led preparations to defend the island against a possible foreign invasion.

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