English expedition to Algiers (1620–1621)

The English Expedition to Algiers occurred between 1620 and 1621, it was a naval attack ordered by King James with the goal of ending Muslim piracy.[2][1]

English Expedition to Algiers
The platt of Argier and the parts adioyning wthin the view thereof Made by Robert Norton the Muster Mr of his mats fleet ther ao- di 1620 and by his own carfull and dilligent observations then not without danger RMG D4229.tiff
Depiction of Algiers in 1620
Result Algerian victory[1][2][3]
 England Flag of Ottoman Algiers.svg Algiers
Commanders and leaders
Mansell Kassan Kaid Kussa
20 ships Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

King James of England ordered a naval attack against Algiers aiming to put an end to Muslim piracy.[2][1]

On 27 November in the year 1620, Mansell arrived at Algiers with 20 ships and formally demanded that the Dey of Algiers surrender all of the English subjects, all of the English vessels and he also demanded the execution or capture of all of the pirates who had taken them.[1] The Algerians pretended to show eagerness to comply with his demands and released some four-and-twenty captives. Mansell was aware that this was a small amount since the Algerians had captured 150 English vessels in the past six years, however he was not prepared to fight and sailed away.[1]

On 21 May, he returned to Algiers and three days later launched his attack.[1] The English launched their fireships against the pirate shipping, flames were seen shooting up in no less than seven places amongst the rigging.[1] The English were low on ammunition and the Algerians took advantage, the Algerians hurried back and drove of the English.[1] The failure of the English expedition was complete.[1][2][3]

English shipsEdit

Ship Guns Commander Notes Ref.
Lion 40 Admiral Sir Robert Mansell [4]
Vanguard 40 Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Hawkins
Rainbow 40 Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Button
Constant Reformation 40 Captain Arthur Manwaring [4][5]
Antelope 34 Captain Sir Henry Palmer [4][6]
Convertine 36 Captain Thomas Love [4][7]
Mercury 20 Joined 26 February 1621 [4]
Spy 18
Golden Phoenix 24 Hired merchant ship [8]
Samuel 22
Marygold 21
Zouche Phoenix 26
Barbary 18
Centurion 22
Primrose 18
Hercules 24
Neptune 21
Bonaventure 23
Restore 12
Marmaduke 12



  • Winfield, Rif (2009). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1603–1714. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Seaforth. ISBN 978-1-78346-924-6.