The Sack of Baltimore
From the fabulous web site “Baltimore & The Isles The “Fort of Jewels”
In the summer of 1631 Baltimore fell victim to a sensational attack by pirates. At that time the population consisted chiefly of settlers from England who had arrived some years earlier to work in the lucrative pilchard fishery under lease from the O’Driscoll chieftain, Sir Fineen O’Driscoll. Piracy was rife along the shores of West Cork, much of it of a home-grown variety; indeed the settlement’s founder, Thomas Crooke, stood accused of involvement himself. However, the danger in this case was from much farther afield.
On board two ships that left Algiers was a combined force of Dutch, Algerians and Turks under the command of one of the most successful leaders of Barbary pirates, a renegade Dutchman, Murat Reis the Younger. By the time they reached the coast of West Cork, more than 1,000 miles away, they had already seized a number of smaller vessels, imprisoning their crews. The captain of one was a Dungarvan man by the name of John Hackett. Reis’ original target was probably Kinsale, but Hackett declared the harbour there ‘too hot’ to enter and in return for his freedom he offered to pilot Reis to the defenceless village of Baltimore. Undetected, the pirates anchored outside the harbour ‘about a musket shot from the shore’ late in the evening of 19th June. From here they launched an attack on the sleeping village before dawn the next day.
Read all about here: http://www.baltimore.ie/heritage-history/the-sack-of-baltimore-1631.html