Pierre la Grande

(Peter the Great)

~ 1620
Pierre la Grand.

Pierre le Grand was a French pirate who terrorized the Caribbean during the 1600s. Proof of his existence comes only from Alexandre Exquemelin’s Buccaneers of America, a sourcebook of seventeenth century piracy, and some historians question whether his story is more truth or legend. Nothing is known of Pierre’s history until his arrival in Tortuga. He is famous only for his attack of a Spanish ship near the coast of Hispaniola. Legend tells that Pierre ordered the crew’s surgeon to cut a hole in his own boat and sink it, to force the pirates to fight their hardest without any means of retreat. They took the galleon’s crew by surprise, slaying the guards and seizing the weapons room to prevent a Spanish defense. He took some of the men into his service, leaving the rest in Hispaniola, before sailing off with his newly acquired ship and disappearing from history.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Exploits of Pierre le Grand  in  The Buccaneers of America  by  John Esquemeling
Peter the Great  in  Buccaneers and Pirates of Our Coasts  by  Frank R. Stockton

Image Links

Pierre le Grand commanding the Spanish Captain to surrender the ship
 in The Buccaneers of America

Short Biography
Samuel de Champlain Founded French colonies in the St. Lawrence seaway and great lake region. Father of 'New France.'
Francis L'Ollonais Notorious Pirate of the Spanish Main.
John Esquemeling Nobleman who became a pirate, then returned to Europe and penned a famous book on the subject.