Roche Braziliano

Roche as depicted in Alexander Exquemelin's book The Buccaneers of America, 1678. Original in the public domain.

Born: 1630
Years of Service

Roche Braziliano was a Dutch born pirate. Believed to have been born in Holland around 1630 as Gerrit Gerritszoon, he moved to Brazil with his parents, and operated as a privateer out of Bahia until 1654, when he relocated to Port Royal and turned full pirate. Roche was known to have worked with Henry Morgan, and was able to escape Spanish imprisonment once, partly due to threats of reprisals from his followers. Roche had a strong hatred of the Spanish, and was notoriously cruel. He once roasted two farmers alive on a spit when they refused to give him their pigs, and would routinely dismember and burn alive Spanish prisoners. He also would threated to shoot people if they refused to drink with him. Roche's reign of terror lasted until 1671, when he disappeared. It is unknown if he was lost at sea, or retired, but he had the honor of being played by Anthony Quinn in the 1952 movie Against All Flags.