About Jean Baptiste du Casse
Golden Fleece - Knights: Spanish Branch
Jean Baptiste du Casse (Bayonne, 1646 – Bourbon-l'Archambault, June 25, 1715) was a French Buccaneer and Admiral.
In his youth, he was not allowed into the French Navy because his parents were Huguenots. He then went into the slave trade with the Compagnie de Sénégal, sailing between Africa and the Caribbean.
With the money of the slave trade he bought a ship in Saint-Domingue and privateered a packed Dutch ship. He sailed to France and offered half of the loot to the Crown. For this he was appointed Lieutenant in the French Navy by Louis XIV.
In 1687 he tried to conquer Elmina; in June 1689 he attacked Berbice and Fort Zeelandia in Surinam.
In 1691, he was appointed Governor of Saint Domingue, and gained the respect of the buccaneers of the island. In the following months he plundered the English colonies in the vicinity, including Port Royal which had just been struck by a devastating earthquake.
In 1697, under Baron de Pointis he successfully raided the South American city of Cartagena, but did not receive the promised 1/5 share of the loot. He then sailed to France, to claim his share from King Louis XIV in person. In fact he and his men received a compensation of 1.4 Million Francs. Furthermore he was promoted to admiral and made a knight in the order of Saint Louis.
In 1702, he defeated John Benbow near Santa Marta in what is known as the Action of August 1702.
In 1704 he fought in the vanguard on the Intrépide in the Battle of Vélez-Málaga.
In 1708, while in Spanish service, he commanded the Spanish treasure fleet during its annual voyage and suffered very few losses. For this he was awarded the Order of the Golden Fleece, the highest Spanish award possible.
In 1714, he commanded the French fleet during the Siege of Barcelona.
He was one of the last Caribbean buccaneers.
On 16 March 1686, he married Marthe Baudry from Dieppe, after forsaking together their Calvinist faith in 1685.