Battle at the Portuguese coast (1726)

The action of 29 November 1726 was a minor naval battle fought between a Portuguese ship of the line defending three merchant ships from two Algerian pirate ships off the Portuguese coast.

Action of 29 November 1726
Date29 November 1726
Result Portuguese victory
Kingdom of Portugal Portugal Regency of Algiers Algiers
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Portugal João Hartley Regency of Algiers Unknown
1 ship of the line
3 merchant ships
2 pirate ships
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown



In the beginning of 1726, the coasts of Portugal were once again patrolled by Portuguese and Dutch ships, the same happening in the coasts of Bahia.[1] However, Algerian privateers continued to operate off the coast, although perhaps with apparent less success, as news of attacks only emerged in the last months of the year.[1]

On 29 November 1726, three richly loaded Portuguese merchant ships, coming from Maranhão, were close to the Portuguese coast. Suddenly, they saw two sails sailing towards them, later identified as two ships of Algerian pirates, one equipped with 56 guns and the other with 50 guns.[1][2][3]



The Portuguese ships prepared for combat, however, when asked to surrender, they refused. The pirates then opened fire, subjecting the Portuguese ships to intense artillery and musketry fire for three hours. Despite the resistance of the Portuguese crew, they ended up surrendering when the pirates threatened to board them.[2] The merchant ship captured was the galley Santa Catarina e Almas.[1]

At a critical moment, the 64-gun Portuguese ship of the line Nossa Senhora da Vitória, commanded by capitão de mar e guerra João Guilherme Hartley, spotted the pirate ships. The Portuguese ship immediately opened fire, forcing the pirates to drop their prey and flee.[2]



With the intervention of the Portuguese ship of the line, the merchant ships from Maranhão managed to safely enter the Tagus, in Lisbon, on 5 December.[1][2]

Due to the presence of these pirate ships, the ship of the line Nossa Senhora das Ondas departed in December again to patrol the coast of the Kingdom.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Salgado, Augusto Alves (2022). Viagens e Operações Navais (1668-1823) (PDF) (in Portuguese). Lisbon: Academia de Marinha. p. 162.
  2. ^ a b c d "No. 49". Gazeta de Lisboa (in Portuguese). Lisbon. 5 December 1726. p. 392.
  3. ^ Saturnino Monteiro, Armando da Silva (1996). Batalhas e Combates da Marinha Portuguesa (PDF) (in Portuguese). Lisbon: Livraria Sá da Costa. p. 132. ISBN 972-562-331-2.