Privateers on inland waterways?

May 2019
138
Earth
I'm aware of river piracy existing in various parts of the world at different times, but what about privateering on rivers or lakes? In many parts of the world, rivers have formed vital arteries for commerce, as well as strategic border lines. Lakes have also been centres of shipping, especially in areas where they make up borderlands (e.g. the Great Lakes between America and Canada).
Are there any examples from history of privateers being licensed/paid to attack targets on inland waterways?
 

Triceratops

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,003
Late Cretaceous
The vessel on the left hand side of the picture is a vlieboot (flyboat) used by the Dutch Watergeuzen ( Sea Beggars), licensed by Calvinist nobles as privateers in the late 16th century.

Due to its' geography the Netherlands varies rapidly between rivers, land and sea.




wiki:
The Battle of Haarlemmermeer was a naval engagement fought on 26 May 1573, during the early stages of theDutch War of Independence. It was fought on the waters of the Haarlemmermeer – a large lake which at the time was a prominent feature of North Holland (it would be drained in the 19th century).



The old city of Brielle on the river Maas, captured by the Sea Beggars in 1572:
 
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May 2019
138
Earth
@Triceratops Thanks for that, I'll see if I can find more info on those guys. Not surprising to see the Dutch using privateers at that time, considering the infancy of their own state and navy...
 
Oct 2016
1,157
Merryland
not too many privateers I think, but undoubtedly some fresh-water piracy

Jean LaFitte of Louisiana
and Samuel Mason come to mind (USA)

Mason and his gang, including his family members, were taken to the Spanish colonial government in New Madrid, Spanish Upper Louisiana Territory, along the Mississippi River, where a three-day hearing was held to determine whether Mason was truly involved in river piracy, as he had been formally accused of this crime. Although he claimed he was simply a farmer, who had been maligned by his enemies, the peculiar presence of $7,000 in currency and twenty human scalps found in his baggage was the damning evidence that convinced the Spanish he indeed was a river pirate.

source: Samuel Mason - Wikipedia
 
May 2019
138
Earth
not too many privateers I think, but undoubtedly some fresh-water piracy
Thanks. Yeah I'm aware of several examples of river/lake piracy through the ages. Was interested to learn about licensed privateering in the same arena. There would definitely have been opportunities for it (and riverine vessels on average would be cheaper for a private individual to operate than a large ocean-going craft), just don't know how much they were taken advantage of...
 

Triceratops

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,003
Late Cretaceous
Sir Walter Raleigh's 1595 expedition to the Orinoco combined raiding with exploration, in an attempt to find the legendary city of El Dorado.

The Gallego, a small ex-Spanish ship was lightened for travel along the river and was used along with small boats and canoes.

The expedition reached some 400 miles along the Orinoco basin, as far as Mount Roraima.



Raleigh's El Dorado Expedition - Wikipedia
 
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Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,375
Netherlands
The vessel on the left hand side of the picture is a vlieboot (flyboat) used by the Dutch Watergeuzen ( Sea Beggars), licensed by Calvinist nobles as privateers in the late 16th century.

Due to its' geography the Netherlands varies rapidly between rivers, land and sea.
Just to add. William of Orange did supply them with letters of marquee.