"This vessel had recently arrived from the Spanish Main"
During the period of the Spanish New World Empire
, the Spanish Main
was the name for the crescent of land that encircled the Caribbean Sea
and the Gulf of Mexico
, all of which was then under the country’s colonial rule. With all the other European powers united in their efforts to wrest dominance from their mightiest rival, Spanish ships and possessions were particularly prone to privateer pillaging. They were under especial threat from England, which concentrated its efforts on capturing the treasure fleets
— convoys ferrying luxurious cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and spices back to Spain — that regularly toured these waters.