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The Sack of Baltimore took place on June 20, 1631, when the village of Baltimoremarker, West Corkmarker, Irelandmarker, was attacked by Algerianmarker pirates from the North African Barbary Coast, led by a Dutch captain turned pirate, Jan Janszoon van Haarlem, also known as Murat Reis the Younger. Murat's force was led to the village by a man called Hackett, the captain of a fishing boat he had captured earlier, in exchange for his freedom (it brought Hackett no luck, as he was later hanged for his part in aiding the raiders). The raid was one of Murat Reis' many profitable adventures against European communities.

Murat's crew was made up of Dutchmen, Algerian and Ottoman Turks. They launched their covert attack on the remote village on June 20th 1631, capturing 108 English planters and local Irish people, but not much in terms of valuable treasure. Almost all of the villagers were put in irons and taken to a life of slavery in North Africa. Some prisoners were destined to live out their days as galley slaves in the bellies of pirate ships, while others would spend long years in the seclusion of the Sultan's harem or within the walls of the Sultan's palace as laborers. Only two of them ever saw Ireland again.

The incident inspired Thomas Osborne Davis to write his famous poem, The Sack of Baltimore. A detailed account of the sack of Baltimore can be found in the book The Stolen Village: Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates by Des Ekin.

See also

The Turkish abductions Icelandic raid

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