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François l'Olonnais

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AC Pirates Jean-David Nau

François l'Olonnais

Jean-David Nau (c. 1635 – c. 1668), better known as François l'Olonnais, was a French pirate famous for his cruelty, and active in the Caribbean around the 1660s.


L'Olonnais became a pirate in the early 1660s. At one point, while he and his crew were holding a town hostage, the governor of Havana sent a ship to kill the pirates. L'Olonnais captured the crew and beheaded all of them save one, whom he spared so that he could spread the tale of the pirate's cruelty.

Being an expert torturer, l'Olonnais would use instruments such as a Facón, a knife used by the Gaucho tribe, to inflict horrible pain on his prisoners.

In 1667, l'Olonnais sacked Maracaibo, earning thousands of reales; he then traveled south to Gibraltar, doing the same. Not long after, l'Olonnais and his crew ran aground in Darién, where they were captured by natives and l'Olonnais eaten alive, with a golden tooth being the only remnant of him left behind.

In 1717, another pirate, Alonzo Batilla, found several artifacts linked to l'Olonnais, including the aforementioned golden tooth.



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