Family Puigcérda 1657

Entry by Manuel Puigcérda

Today I was scouring over old family records in my spare time and came across a very interesting note. It was a dispute over one of my ancestors trading partners, a certain Greek merchant named Zykanthos Marmaretos. While transporting a load of salt and wine to Tunis his ship was attacked by Knights of St John from the island of Malta. The ship he was on was flying the flag of Saint Andrew’s Cross, and was boarded for suspecting trade with the Turks. Since he was working with the Turks in a trade deal his goods were taken and he was imprisoned on their ship. He suspected the Captain to possibly be doing a deal with the corsairs, because they did not pay him (nor did he request, as was his right) a sequestro[1] nor did the captain inquire about a compensation for the goods taken by the fancily-named pirates. According to this note our friend was taken to court at his request on the island of Malta. The details of his trial are unknown to us, but he was not released and this loss of a good merchant partner as well as a large chunk of our investment gone upset my great great great grandfather deeply. According to our families financial records the arrest and confiscation of our goods set us back significantly, which my great great great grandfather was never able to recover from. Perhaps it was this inability to rebound is part of the reason why there is no mention of him trying to seek restitution from the church or the local governor.


[1] Molly Greene, Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants (Princeton NJ:Princeton University Press 2010), 61.

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