When James I succeeded Elizabeth as the head of England, political dynamics changed significantly. Unlike his fiery predecessor, James was interested in pursuing peace with Spain. In order to accomplish that goal, he banned privateering in 1614, and the age of “legal piracy” in England came to an abrupt end. But just as the English had followed the French in raiding Spanish treasure ships years before, the Dutch would take over where the English left off. For decades, the Dutch had a good relationship with the Spanish, but as time passed, that relationship disintegrated.
The Dutch would, in fact, become a painful thorn in Spain's side. In 1624, Dutch privateer Pieter Schouten led three ships through the West Indies, ransacking towns on the coast of the Yucatán and capturing a Spanish galleon. Roche Braziliano (also spelled Rock or Rok) was a cruel Dutch pirate who sometimes roasted his prisoners on a spit like pigs. Not to be outdone, in 1628 privateer Pieter (Piet) Heyn led an expedition of thirty-one ships to Matanzas, Cuba, where he captured an entire Spanish treasure convoy. Heyn was fifty-one years old at the time of the raid, which yielded a huge profit for both himself and Holland. The victory also helped keep the desire for Spanish gold and the bounty of piracy in the black hearts of pirates the world over.