Jan Lichthart

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Jan Cornelisz Lichthart (died 30 November 1646), also known as Johan or Johannes Lichthart, was a Dutch admiral in the service of the Dutch West India Company.[1] He distinguished himself as a buccaneer, attacking Spanish and Portuguese fleets and forts in the Caribbean and South America, particularly along the coast of present-day Brazil.

Lichthart, who had lived in Lisbon and spoke Portuguese,[2] played a major part in the Dutch struggle against the Portuguese for possession of Brazil from 1630 onwards (see further Dutch Brazil). For instance, a squadron under his command conquered São Luis do Maranhão from the Portuguese in 1641.[3] And at Tamandaré on September 9, 1645, a squadron under his command destroyed a Portuguese squadron under the command of Jerônimo Serrão de Paiva.[citation needed]

In 1630, he defeated a squadron of three Dunkirker ships following a pitched eight-hour battle.[4]

He died on 30 November 1646 in Brazil, near the São Francisco River, after "drinking cold water when he was much heated." [5]


  1. ^ "Maritieme kalender", Nationaal Scheepvaartmuseum (Dutch)
  2. ^ Robert Brock Le Page and Andrée Tabouret-Keller, Acts of identity: Creole-based approaches to language and ethnicity, CUP Archive, 1985
  3. ^ . H.J.M. Nellen and Cornelia M. Ridderikhoff (eds.), Briefwisseling van Hugo Grotius, Vol. 13, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1990 (Dutch)
  4. ^ "Lighthart (Johan)" in A.J., Van der Aa., Biographisch Woordenboek der Nederlanden (Dutch)
  5. ^ Robert Southey, History of Brazil, Oxford University, 1817, p. 189