In the 17th century it was often raided by buccaneers, notably in 1606, when it was completely sacked.
BUCCANEERS, the name given to piratical adventurers of different nationalities united in their opposition to Spain, who maintained themselves chiefly in the Caribbean Sea during the 17th century.
Eight years later, however, watching their opportunity when many buccaneers were absent in the larger island, the Spaniards attacked Tortuga, and massacred every settler they could seize.
But the others returned; and the buccaneers, now in open hostility to the Spanish arms, began to receive recruits from every European trading nation, and for three-quarters of a century became the scourge of the Spanish-American trade and dominions.
England was absorbed in the Civil War, and the buccaneers had to maintain themselves as best they could, - now mainly on the sea.