Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Piracy in the Baltic? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Grayson C.




Location: NCF, Sarasota, FL
Joined: 25 Oct 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 223

PostPosted: Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:24 am    Post subject: Piracy in the Baltic?         Reply with quote

Does anyone have any sources regarding Baltic piracy? I would be most grateful if you could provide them. So far, I only have an obscure article published in Speculum in 1943, which gives a short (but good) description of the political strife between Albert I of Sweden and Margaret I of Denmark that led to two large stages of Piracy.

Sources specifically dealing with the Victual Brothers would be most welcome.

Thanks!
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,078

PostPosted: Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:45 am    Post subject: Re: Piracy in the Baltic?         Reply with quote

Grayson C. wrote:
Does anyone have any sources regarding Baltic piracy? I would be most grateful if you could provide them. So far, I only have an obscure article published in Speculum in 1943, which gives a short (but good) description of the political strife between Albert I of Sweden and Margaret I of Denmark that led to two large stages of Piracy.

Sources specifically dealing with the Victual Brothers would be most welcome.

Thanks!


This is an interest of mine as well. I have no souces currently other than the Wiki's, which are interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victual_Brothers

They also appear to be related to the famous battle of Wisby, of which so much ink has been spilled due to all the armor they found, was basically Germans being used to drive them out of Gotland. Their successors were the Likedeelers, a similar group, lead by the infamous Stortebecker

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaus_St%C3%B6rtebeker

Whose principle enemy in the Hanseatic league was Simon of Utrecht

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_of_Utrecht

..who captured Stortebecker in 1401.

The Victual Brothers / Likedeelers appear to also be related to the 15th-16th Century Frisian Pirates of the Arumer Zwarte Hoop, most famous of whom was Pier Gerolfs Donia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grote_Pier

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arumer_Zwarte_Hoop

Like you I'd be interested in some more concrete sources on any of the above.

J

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
View user's profile Send private message
Nicolai Overgaard




Location: Denmark
Joined: 09 Mar 2006

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Look up the name of Stig Andersen Hvide in Wikipedia. He is a famous man in danish history and a pirate.
View user's profile Send private message
Grayson C.




Location: NCF, Sarasota, FL
Joined: 25 Oct 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 223

PostPosted: Wed 17 Feb, 2010 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, all.

Two primary sources that I'm fairly certain are impossible to get my hands on (but it's worth a shot) are...

The "Younger Zealand Chronicle" and the "Visby Chronicle"

Any portion of these texts, translated or not, would make me one happy student...
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,078

PostPosted: Wed 17 Feb, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Found an interesting excerpt from a book called The Hansa Towns:

http://books.google.com/books?id=XjRLAAAAMAAJ...mp;f=false

J

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Thu 18 Feb, 2010 7:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes.... look up info on the Hanse. They employed piracy quite often. It is likely piracy was common from the vikings into fairly modern times.

Southampton got attacked in the second half of the 15th by 'easternlings' which were men from the scand/baltic area. East Anglia and kent got the most attacks made on them but typically during war time or trade disputes.

I am more familiar with English maritime matters but here are some books that might help.

Alban, J. ‘English Coastal Defence: Some Fourteenth-Century Modifications Within the System’ Patronage, the Crown and the Provinces in Later Medieval England. Ed. R.A. Griffiths. Gloucester, 1981, pp. 57-78.

Friel, I. ‘Winds of Change? Ships and the Hundred Years War’, Arms, Armies and Fortifications in the Hundred Years War. Eds. A. Curry and M. Hughes. Woodbridge, 1994, pp. 183-194.

Friel, I. The Good Ship. Baltimore, 1995.

Friel, I. ‘Oars, Sails and Guns: The English and War at Sea, c. 1200-c.1500’, War at Sea in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Eds. J.B. Hattendorf and W.U. Unger. Woodbridge, 2003, pp. 69-79.

Hutchinson, G. Medieval Ships and Ship Buildings. London, 1994.

Loads, D. The Tudor Navy: An Administration, Political and Military History. Studies in Naval History. Cambridge, 1992.


Friel is a great place to start if you find any of his other works as well.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Toke Krebs Niclasen




Location: Copenhagen
Joined: 31 Jan 2010

Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu 18 Feb, 2010 7:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think piracy in the baltic is a bit limited, the Faroe islands got their share of piracy from the south, some of them still got a dash of "turkish" /north african look to them.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Thu 18 Feb, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Toke,

I am fairly sure that most piracy in Europe was both on and by Europeans. Heck a great deal of it was done by people in the same country....

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Grayson C.




Location: NCF, Sarasota, FL
Joined: 25 Oct 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 223

PostPosted: Thu 18 Feb, 2010 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall, thanks so much for the sources!

Regarding your second point, regarding piracy in European being mostly done by Europeans, this is not entirely true. According to many sources, the Hospitallers (after their several year stay in Cyprus) devoted themselves to combating Arab piracy in North Africa. According to E.E. Hume's "Medical Work of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem" the pirates were having a large affect on European trading in the Mediterranean; at the very least it was enough for the order to spend all of its military strength on combating it.

You may have just been talking about piracy in the North, if so my apologies.


edit: Also, any particularly good sources on an account of the conflict between King Albert I of Sweden and Margaret I of Denmark would be welcome. I have a feeling that, since Piracy was a large part of this war sources would hve to mention something. I'll be scouring the library and Jstor
View user's profile Send private message
Toke Krebs Niclasen




Location: Copenhagen
Joined: 31 Jan 2010

Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu 18 Feb, 2010 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Toke,

I am fairly sure that most piracy in Europe was both on and by Europeans. Heck a great deal of it was done by people in the same country....

RPM


The north africans did most of their piracy in the Mediterranean, but were active as far as the Faroe Island as well.
They are also the only ones getting a mention as pirates going ashore for slaves and plunder.

I guess the European pirates/privateers stuck mostly to ships.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,078

PostPosted: Thu 18 Feb, 2010 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Grayson C. wrote:
Randall, thanks so much for the sources!

Regarding your second point, regarding piracy in European being mostly done by Europeans, this is not entirely true. According to many sources, the Hospitallers (after their several year stay in Cyprus) devoted themselves to combating Arab piracy in North Africa. According to E.E. Hume's "Medical Work of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem" the pirates were having a large affect on European trading in the Mediterranean; at the very least it was enough for the order to spend all of its military strength on combating it.

You may have just been talking about piracy in the North, if so my apologies.


edit: Also, any particularly good sources on an account of the conflict between King Albert I of Sweden and Margaret I of Denmark would be welcome. I have a feeling that, since Piracy was a large part of this war sources would hve to mention something. I'll be scouring the library and Jstor


Last time I was in France, I was in the beautiful town of Ramatuelle for a while. The Arabs captured the town in the 9th century and held it until 975 AD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraxinet

The piracy from the Berber areas of North Africa remained in full swing through the 19th Century. This book is a good overview

http://www.amazon.com/White-Gold-Extraordinar...amp;sr=1-1

There were also numerous European pirates operating out of Brittany and the various 'lesser' British Isles, the Hebrides etc.

Two colorful examples of female pirates:

Irish pirate Grainne Ni Mhaille of the 16th Century

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%A1inne_N%C3%AD_Mh%C3%A1ille

and Breton pirate Jeanne De Clisson in the 14th

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_de_Clisson


Sorry I know this is all non-baltic stuff but I'm still working on that Wink. Hopefully this grants some perspective on the reality that piracy was in fact rife throughout Europe, probably going back to the invention of boats.

J

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Fri 19 Feb, 2010 7:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Grayson,

Sorry I was focused in my comments more on the North as the topic was on the Baltic but I am still not convinced Europeans were not usually their worst enemies. Even if North African's were a high threat to those in the Mediterranean I kind of doubt still they were the most common or the most frequent or did the most damage. I took a look through a few North Italian port records from the fifteenth and it looks like by and large the main attacks are still by other cities and rival countries than anyone else. Maybe this is not true the closer you get to North Africa, I am sure the closer the target the more likely attacks become but even in Spain the rival kingdoms likely launched maritime raids just as often as their southern enemies. Really one needs to get into local or royal records to see the frequency, usually in the forms of petitions to the king to get their stuff back. It likely is that it also changes over time. When the English are more engaged in war wih France raids by other English drops... though you get increased French attacks.... until Edward III destroys their fleet at SLuys in 1340. I have done looking mostly in the 13th to 15th so crusader era I'd need to look into what primary port books are still around.


Toke,

No doubt they made it that far north. My point was I do not think they were the most common, in the north I'd think it very, very uncommon. The shipping lanes between England and the continent were pretty busy places and a medeterranean ship would draw everyones attention... that and the ships of North Africa did not tend to be very good in the open ocean, let alone the very choppy and rough Atlantic.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Grayson C.




Location: NCF, Sarasota, FL
Joined: 25 Oct 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 223

PostPosted: Fri 19 Feb, 2010 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Grayson,

Sorry I was focused in my comments more on the North as the topic was on the Baltic but I am still not convinced Europeans were not usually their worst enemies. Even if North African's were a high threat to those in the Mediterranean I kind of doubt still they were the most common or the most frequent or did the most damage. I took a look through a few North Italian port records from the fifteenth and it looks like by and large the main attacks are still by other cities and rival countries than anyone else. Maybe this is not true the closer you get to North Africa, I am sure the closer the target the more likely attacks become but even in Spain the rival kingdoms likely launched maritime raids just as often as their southern enemies. Really one needs to get into local or royal records to see the frequency, usually in the forms of petitions to the king to get their stuff back. It likely is that it also changes over time. When the English are more engaged in war wih France raids by other English drops... though you get increased French attacks.... until Edward III destroys their fleet at SLuys in 1340. I have done looking mostly in the 13th to 15th so crusader era I'd need to look into what primary port books are still around.


Toke,

No doubt they made it that far north. My point was I do not think they were the most common, in the north I'd think it very, very uncommon. The shipping lanes between England and the continent were pretty busy places and a medeterranean ship would draw everyones attention... that and the ships of North Africa did not tend to be very good in the open ocean, let alone the very choppy and rough Atlantic.

RPM


Randall,

Actually there is a HUGE period of Piracy between the English and French around the turn of the 15th c. (I believe the end date was 1403, but my memory is a little fuzzy).

Anyways, Mediterranean pirates - I think the majority of actual pirates in the sea were undoubtedly North African in origin. however I believe you may be correct in saying that fellow Europeans would have posed perhaps a more constant and dangerous threat. I find it hard to believe that the pirates of North Africa would have done much actual viking-esque raiding on European shores compared to pirates from Europe. Not to say that they were not a major source of raiding, just that Europeans could manage more successful and frequent raids simply due to proximity. However, this is only referring to actual raiding - Don't forgot ship to ship piracy. In this matter I believe that the North African prates were undoubtedly Kings, especially in affecting international trading (particularly in to the Holy Land). I think it's really just a matter of how close to Europe a merchant's voyage would take him. A journey from Venice to Acre (In the 1260's, both under heavy control of the Empire, so not unfeasible) would be much more susceptible to Arabic pirates than a journey from Narbonne to Salerno.
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Fri 19 Feb, 2010 11:54 am    Post subject: Re: Piracy in the Baltic?         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
The Victual Brothers / Likedeelers appear to also be related to the 15th-16th Century Frisian Pirates of the Arumer Zwarte Hoop, most famous of whom was Pier Gerolfs Donia


I don't think so... "Greate" Pier Donia, as well as a large portion of the population of Friesland, was allied to the Duke of Gelre against basically the Burgundian influence. As Holland (the old arch-enemy of Friesland) was under Burgundian influence at that time, that was who they fought.

As soon as Greate Pier realised that the Duke of Gelre was mainly interested in helping himself rather than the Frisian populace, he withdrew from the entire conflict.

In other words, it's not that they were mainly in it for the money, or to fight against social injustice, as was the case with the Likedeelers.

The Wiki article is flawed in that it translates Hollander as Dutchman, where Hollander means inhabitant of county Holland where Dutchman later came to mean inhabitant of the Netherlands, which came to be a federation of 7 counties and duchies of which Holland is one, Friesland another.
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,078

PostPosted: Fri 19 Feb, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Piracy in the Baltic?         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
The Victual Brothers / Likedeelers appear to also be related to the 15th-16th Century Frisian Pirates of the Arumer Zwarte Hoop, most famous of whom was Pier Gerolfs Donia


I don't think so... "Greate" Pier Donia, as well as a large portion of the population of Friesland, was allied to the Duke of Gelre against basically the Burgundian influence. As Holland (the old arch-enemy of Friesland) was under Burgundian influence at that time, that was who they fought.

As soon as Greate Pier realised that the Duke of Gelre was mainly interested in helping himself rather than the Frisian populace, he withdrew from the entire conflict.

In other words, it's not that they were mainly in it for the money, or to fight against social injustice, as was the case with the Likedeelers.

The Wiki article is flawed in that it translates Hollander as Dutchman, where Hollander means inhabitant of county Holland where Dutchman later came to mean inhabitant of the Netherlands, which came to be a federation of 7 counties and duchies of which Holland is one, Friesland another.


Hi Paul,

Several of the sources said that many members of the Likedeelers fled specifically to Friesland / Frisia in the 1450's, which is what gave me that idea that there might be a connection. I think they were also on friendly terms with some towns in the general area (Friesland and in Saxony as well) in the early 1400s . I do understand about the different parts of the United Provinces. Friesland seems to have had some piratical as well as more mainstream maritime activity going back a long way.

I thought Pier Dania was mainly opposed to the Hapsburgs? History at this level is always very complex but that is what makes it so fun to delve into. The wiki said his initial motivation was that his wife was raped by German "landsknechts".

The Arumer Zwarte Hoop seemed to have some political ideology somewhat similar to the Likedeelers, at least initiially, but over time (after Piers death) they seem to have lost support among the Frisians and started robbing indescriminately.

J

P.S. are you the same paul from Schola forum?

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic


Last edited by Jean Henri Chandler on Fri 19 Feb, 2010 1:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,078

PostPosted: Fri 19 Feb, 2010 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Toke,

No doubt they made it that far north. My point was I do not think they were the most common, in the north I'd think it very, very uncommon. The shipping lanes between England and the continent were pretty busy places and a medeterranean ship would draw everyones attention... that and the ships of North Africa did not tend to be very good in the open ocean, let alone the very choppy and rough Atlantic.

RPM


You should really read that book i linked to. The Barbary corsairs launched slave raids into England as late as the 18th Century. They took over 1,000,000 Eurpean slaves from the 16th - 18th Century, according to the author Milton.

J

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Fri 19 Feb, 2010 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean,

When I have time to look it over I will but as I said before the hard evidence I have seen does not support a big change in my earlier statement. That might be true for the early modern to modern period but I am not convinced it is so for the medieval period. I have looked through all the major collections of royal records that should relate to piracy in England from Henry III to Henry VII and have seen almost 0 evidence of heavy raids or piracy by anyone outside europe on England. Even if from 1500-1799 there were a million people taken I'd still figure that the lions share, perhaps four-fifths or even nine-tenths, or more were from the southern european countries and after that even ignoring this fact the majority of piracy is still european against european. This would likely once again have a very limited impact then on the Baltic being a world away. There are some local town accounts I have seen that are hundreds of folios that only list, page after page european attacks on English ships-no mentions of anything else. So no matter how you slice it or dice it I still think there is not any real hard evidence that proves the north africans were a majorirty or even a major player in european piracy. Some areas had such a harsh reputation for piracy I'd be very surprised if europe had much room for external pirates.


RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,078

PostPosted: Fri 19 Feb, 2010 5:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I honestly don't know enough about the overall piratical statistics, though I would definitely agree with you that the majority of the piracy in the North Sea and Baltic (and in England) was probably European on European. My only point is that the Arab, Turkish and Moorish piracy was also considerable particulalry in Southern Europe.

Like I said before, I started to wonder about Mediterranean piracy when travelling in France, half the streets in the beautiful town of Ramatuelle are named "avenue de Saracan" or "rue de corsair" etc.. Asking a few questions revealed the surprising story to me that it had been the center of a band of arab pirates for more than a century.

In the Med I think there was also a lot of Arab and "moorish" piracy, and obviously later from on the Turks. The two peaks were during the initial Arab expansion in the 7th-10th Centuries and then again later with the Ottomans and the 'Barbary Corsairs' after the 16th, which means the Medieval period was quieter, but I'd wager in between you had a good deal of activity from the Mamelukes particularly in the Medieval period, and from various Turks and Arabs as the Byzantine Empire declined. I know the Arabs actually occupied Sicily until 1075 AD.

In the Giles Milton book he claims that the trouble in North Africa really started in the end of the Reconquista, a lot of the Moors who had been thrown out of Spain remained in Morrocco and Algeria very embittered about their treatment and determined to wreak havoc on Christendom, which they did.

As an aside, one fact I was surprised to learn in reading about Mediterranean piracy was that the famous author Cervantes was captured by the Moors and had to work as a galley slave for five years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_de_Cervan..._captivity

But yeah the Europeans quite likely preyed upon each other probably more than all the Muslims combined. It would be interesting to see some statistics. Piracy in general is intriguing and I think the Baltic piratical groups are particularly fascinating.

J

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2010 7:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean,

Likely so. I think you have hit it on the head. We are looking at several factors that set up an increase in piracy at different times. After the Reconquista I'd suspect in the western mediterranean an increase in attacks. That said though it goes two ways. The spanish and others are making their own attacks on their southern rivals. In the east you see once the land wars cool down in the near east piracy increase... since the former crusader states and such had many of the islands still this makes some sense. Once most of the islands fall they then proceed to push on europe on land and sea. Since europeans also had pirates in the eastern mediterranean once again it goes both ways. In some ways much piracy from the muslim south halts for a few decades after Lepanto in 1571.... the Turks losing three-quarters of their able sailors and perhaps half their famed archers and a huge number of their artillerymen and ships.After reading most of the book you recommended I think the importance of time became clear again. At least for his initial story he states often that in 1625 that this was a new occurence.

Cervanes indeed was captured and later ransomed by his parents.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Piracy in the Baltic?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum