Joost Banckert

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Joost van Trappen Banckert (c.1597 – 12 September 1647) was a Dutch Vice Admiral who worked most of his sailing life for the admiralty of Zeeland. He was born at Vlissingen in 1597 or 1599. Early in his career he was active against the Dunkirkers and was promoted to captain in 1624. That year he took service for the Zeeland Chamber of the Dutch West India Company (WIC), remaining there until 1636.He defeated four Spanish Galleons in 1626 when commander of a squadron of three ships taking or sinking three of them, he also repeatedly defeated the Dunkirk corsairs Banckert often fought together with Piet Hein with whom he attacked and captured the Portuguese settlement Salvador on the coast of Brazil in 1624 and as a Vice Admiral helped capture the Spanish treasure fleet in the Bay of Matanzas in 1628. Thanks to these and other feats he earned the nicknames "Scourge of the Marranos" (the latter word then being used as a pejorative nickname for the Spanish in general) and "Terror of the Portuguese".

Having rejoined the navy he was promoted to Rear-Admiral on 3 May 1637, being a Vice-Admiral in the WIC not entailing an equivalent rank in the navy. From 1 October 1637 to 11 January 1638 he was a temporary Vice-Admiral. In 1639, again Rear-Admiral, he served under Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp and was present at the first skirmish (the Action of 18 September 1639) against a large Spanish fleet in the English Channel and the subsequent Battle of the Downs. He again came into the service of the WIC from 1645 until his death. He again attained the navy rank of temporary Vice-Admiral on 10 December 1646. In 1647 he once again set sail for the coast of Brazil and on the return voyage suddenly fell ill and died at sea. He was married to Adriana Janssen. One of his sons was the later famous Lieutenant-Admiral Adriaen Banckert, another captain Joost Banckert de Jonge who was killed at the Battle of Portland, a third captain Jan Banckert who was killed on the Delft in the Battle of Lowestoft.


  • Beylen,J van & Groote P.A & Kampen,Anthony van (1970). Maritieme Encyclopedie (deel 1 t/m 7). 1. 
  • G. Hellinga (2006). Zeehelden uit de Gouden Eeuw. 

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