In 1619, when Sir Robert Rich ordered his Galleon Warwick to sail to the American Colonies with a load of much needed supplies, he may have had more than merchant work in mind. Sir Robert, the Earl of Warwick, was a major shareholder in the Bermuda Company. Although his stake in the joint-stock company was intended to be an important source of income, Sir Robert involved himself in privateering – legal piracy – on the side.
Warwick was a sturdy, well armed merchantman. Although she was a supply vessel, she had to be capable of making long voyages alone through potentially hostile waters. However, the little vessel may have been armed for more than self defense.
Warwick sank in 1619, in Castle Harbor, Bermuda. It was a hurricane, and not battle, that brought the end to the robust English Galleon. In November 1619, a fierce northwest wind whipped across the…
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