Following the War of the Spanish Succession, King Philip V of Spain, the grandson of Louis XIV of France, was in dire need of financial relief. Since Spain had accumulated a vast amount of wealth in the Americas during the war, the King ordered that his treasure be brought back to Spain. On July 13, 1715, a fleet under the command of Captain-General Don Juan Esteban de Ubila left Havana.
The galleons and their extremely valuable haul were bound for Cádiz, Spain, but they encountered a storm on July 19, while in the Straits of Florida. All ships were lost. The wrecked Spanish treasure fleet attracted many pirates, and changed the fortunes of William Jennings, Benjamin Hornigold, Edward Thatch, and Charles Vane, among others.