Sharp, Bartholomew

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Sharp, Bartholomew

Bartholomew Sharp (late 1600s), one of the last of the buccaneers. In 1679, Captain Bartholomew Sharp and other buccaneers from Jamaica raided the Caribbean ports of Honduras, plundering royal storehouses and carrying off some 500 chests of indigo, as well as cocoa, cochineal, tortoiseshell, money, and silver plate.

Later that year the same buccaneers, including Sharp and Captain John Coxon, set out upon a plan of much larger design. Six captains met at Point Morant, Jamaica, and on 7 January 1680, set sail for Porto Bello. They entered the town on 17 February. Meeting little resistance, they pillaged it, took prisoners and booty, and departed just after the arrival of Spanish troops. Then they captured two Spanish vessels headed for the port and divided their large haul of plunder. Finally, Sharp and the other buccaneers marched across the Isthmus of Darién to the coasts of Panama and the Pacific, wreaking havoc as they went.

In May 1680, Lord Charles Carlisle, governor of Jamaica, put out a warrant for the apprehension of Sharp and his associates. On 1 July, Henry Morgan issued a similar arrest order. Sharp eventually returned to England, where he was charged with committing piracy on the South Seas, but he was acquitted because of a reported lack of evidence.

See alsoPiracy .


A. D. Exquemelin, The Buccaneers of America (1678, repr. 1972).

Philip Ayres, The Voyages and Adventures of Captain Barth. Sharp and Others (1684).

C. H. Haring, The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the XVII Century (1910).

N. M. Crouse, The French Struggle for the West Indies, 1665–1713 (1943).

Additional Bibliography

Lane, Kris E. Pillaging the Empire: Piracy in the Americas, 1500–1750. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1998.

Lucena Salmoral, Manuel. Piratas, bucaneros, filibusteros y corsarios en América: Perros, mendigos, y otros malditos del mar. Madrid: Editorial MAPFRE, 1992.

Marley, David. Pirates and Privateers of the Americas. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1994.

                                       Blake D. Pattridge