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Jan Mendoses

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Jan Mendoses

Jan Mendoses was a European pirate or merchant who lived during the 17th century. It is possible that Jan Mendoses' real name was Juan [de] Mendoza. There is considerable doubt about his nationality, some sources claiming he was a Belgian named Mandaus, others that he was Spanish. He may even have been a merchant heading for Russia, rather than the "notorious pirate" claimed by Danish sources.

According to the Danes, he had earlier been raiding the Faroe Islands with the English pirate Thomas Tucker who had formerly served under the English pirate Admiral Easton. In 1614, Tucker fitted out his first pirate command in Morocco and seems to have recruited Mendoses there. Mendoses was captured by the Danish Admiral Jørgen Daa off the north coast of Norway in 1615. The future explorer, Jens Munk, served on Daa's ship and a book, Compendio del arte de navegar, which he took from Mendoses' ship, is now in the Danish Royal Library. Mendoses was taken back to Copenhagen where he was hanged.


Jan Mendoses

  1. Navigatio, septentrionalis Det er: Relation Eller Bescriffuelse om Seiglads oc Reyse paa denne Nordvestiske Passagie, som nu kaldis Nova Dania, Jens Munk, Copenhagen: Henrich Waldkirch, 1624. Relation or Description of Navigation and Journeying in the Northwest Passage which is now called Nova Dania.
  2. [Author unknown]. Den Danske Admiral, Jens Munk. 1754.
  3. Danebrog magazine. Den Danske Admiral, Jens Munk. # 34. 20 May 1882
  4. Danish Arctic Expeditions, 1605 to 1620, Christian Carl August Gosch, James Hall, John Gatonbe, William Baffin, Miller Christy, Jens Munk, Printed for the Hakluyt Society, 1897, pp 23-24.
  5. Den danske ishavsfarer Jens Munk, Knudsen, Johannes, G.E.C.Gad, Copenhagen, 1902. 97 pp.
  6. Ordbog over det dankse sprog, Dahlerup, Verner, Gyldendal, 1919. p85, p151.
  7. The Life of the Icelander Jón Ólafsson, Traveller to India, Jón Ólafsson, Sigfús Blöndal, Bertha Surtees Phillpotts, Richard Carnac Temple, Lavinia Mary Anstey, Printed for the Hakluyt society, 1923. pp14, 30-31.
  8. Bog- og bibliotekshistoriske notitser, Ilsøe, Harald, Fund og Forskning XXI, 1974, pp. 165–166
  9. Den danske flådes historie, 1588-1660, Probst, Niels M., Christian 4.s flåde. Marinehistoriske Skrifter, 1996. ISBN 87-00-28586-2

Thomas Tucker

  • Pirates: An A-Z Encyclopedia, Rogozinski, Jan, Da Cappo Press, 1996
Rogozinski says Tucker had a brief career as a pirate captain, first commanding a ship at Russia, but the ship was wrecked off the Faroes. Tucker returned to England in 1615 and was pardoned in 1616.
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