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Database: Laurens Prins

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Born: 1630s, Amsterdam
Died: 1717

Laurens Prins -- often anglicized as Laurence Prince -- was a Dutchman from Amsterdam who spent the majority of his life in and around the West Indies. Operating out of Port Royal, Prins saw an incredible amount of action and adventure in his long life.

Sailing as a privateer in the early days of the Golden Age of Piracy (1650s) he developed a reputation for courage fighting the Spanish on behalf of the British crown, sometimes bearing a letter of marque, often without. He even played a pivotal role in Sir Henry Morgan's infamous raid on Panama in 1671, for which he was roundly celebrated.

Prins eventually retired from privateering and settled in a large acreage of land in Jamaica. It must have been around this time that he entered into the slave trade as a means of bolstering his wealth, an occupation he pursued well into his seventies.

In 1717, his flagship slave galley, The Whydah, was attacked and captured by the pirate "Black Sam" Bellamy. Prins managed to survive the encounter, and fell back into his old occupation until his death some months later.

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