Baltimore, West Cork Ireland was attacked by Algerian and Turkish pirates and over 100 people were taken to a life of slavery in North Africa in 1631. At the time slave-raiding of Christian settlements by Muslim pirates was a fairly common occurrence.
Two ships crewed by Turkish and Algerian natives and captained by Dutch native Murad Reis arrived off the coast of Cork on 19th June 1631. By then the pirates had already seized a number of smaller vessels and taken the crews as prisoners. With the help of a man called Hackett, one of those already captured, Reis led a reconnaissance mission ashore. The mission provided him with a comprehensive outline of the layout of the town.
Reis began his surprise raid on Baltimore at 2 am the following morning. Over 100 people consisting of 20 men, 33 women and 54 children were taken prisoner. They were brought back to Algiers and a life of slavery. On the journey women and children, who were the most valuable, were well treated but men were harshly treated. Hackett was released by the pirates in return for his help but was later hanged in Baltimore.
All 107 people who had been taken prisoner in Baltimore arrived alive in Algiers. They were put up for sale. Some ended up as galley slaves and many of the women ended up in the Sultans harem. Those not sold were kept as labourers. At least three of the captives were freed when a ransom was paid.
The sack of Baltimore, Co Cork, Ireland, by Algerian and Turkish pirates, took place in the year 1631 On This Day.
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