Capture of Ormuz (1622)
In the 1622 Capture of Ormuz, a Anglo
Anglo is a prefix indicating a relation to the Angles, England or the English people, as in the terms Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-American, Anglo-Celtic, Anglo-African and Anglo-Indian. It is often used alone, somewhat loosely, to refer to people of British Isles descent in The Americas, Australia and...

-Persian force combined to take over the Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 garrison at Hormuz Island
Hormuz Island
Hormuz Island , also spelled Hormoz, is an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf. It is located in the Strait of Hormuz and is part of the Hormozgān Province.-Geography:...

, thus opening up Persian trade with England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

. Before the capture of Ormuz, the Portuguese had held the Castle of Ormuz for more than a century, since 1507 when Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque[p][n] was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, an admiral whose military and administrative activities as second governor of Portuguese India conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian Ocean...

 established it in the Capture of Ormuz (1507)
Capture of Ormuz (1507)
The Capture of Ormuz in 1507 occurred when the Portuguese Afonso de Albuquerque attacked Hormuz Island to establish the Castle of Ormuz. This conquest gave the Portuguese full control of the trade between India and Europe passing through the Persian Gulf....

, giving them full control of the trade between India and Europe through the Persian Gulf. "The capture of Ormuz by an Anglo-Persian force in 1622 entirely changed the balance of power and trade".

Anglo-Persian alliance

The English side consisted of a force supplied by the English East India Company consisting of five warships and four pinnace
Pinnace (ship's boat)
As a ship's boat the pinnace is a light boat, propelled by sails or oars, formerly used as a "tender" for guiding merchant and war vessels. In modern parlance, pinnace has come to mean a boat associated with some kind of larger vessel, that doesn't fit under the launch or lifeboat definitions...

s. The Persians had recently gone to war with the Portuguese, and a Persian army was besieging the Portuguese fort in Kishm, but English help was needed to capture Ormuz. Shah Abbas
Abbas I of Persia
Shāh ‘Abbās the Great was Shah of Iran, and generally considered the greatest ruler of the Safavid dynasty. He was the third son of Shah Mohammad....

 wished to obtain English support against the Portuguese, and the commander Imam Kuli Khan, son of Allahverdi Khan
Allahverdi Khan
Allahverdi Khan was an Iranian general and statesman of Georgian origin who, although initially a ghulām , rose to high office in the Safavid state....

, negotiated with the English to obtain their support, promising the development of silk trade in their favour. An agreement was signed, providing for the sharing of spoils and customs dues at Hormuz, the repatriations of prisoners according to their faith, and the payment by the Persians of half of the supply costs for the fleet.


The English fleet first went to Kishm, some 15 miles away, to bombard the Portuguese position. The Portuguese quickly surrendered, and the English casualties were few, but included the famous explorer William Baffin
William Baffin
William Baffin was an English navigator and explorer. Nothing is known of his early life, but it is conjectured that he was born in London of humble origin, and gradually raised himself by his diligence and perseverance...


The Anglo-Persian fleet then sailed to Ormuz and the Persians disembarked to capture the town. The English bombarded the castle and sank the Portuguese fleet, and Ormuz was finally captured on 22 April 1622. The Portuguese were forced to retreat to another base at Maskat.

Although Portugal and Spain were in a dynastic union
Iberian Union
The Iberian union was a political unit that governed all of the Iberian Peninsula south of the Pyrenees from 1580–1640, through a dynastic union between the monarchies of Portugal and Spain after the War of the Portuguese Succession...

 between 1580-1640, England and Portugal were not at war, the Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham KG was the favourite, claimed by some to be the lover, of King James I of England. Despite a very patchy political and military record, he remained at the height of royal favour for the first two years of the reign of Charles I, until he was assassinated...

 threatened to sue the Company, but he removed his claim when he received the sum of 10,000 pounds, supposedly 10% of the proceedings of the capture of Ormuz. James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 also received the same sum when he complained "Did I deliver you from the complaint of the Spaniards, and do you return me nothing".
The capture of Ormuz gave the opportunity to the Company to develop trade with Persia, attempting to exchange English cloth and other artifacts for silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

, but only with difficulty. The English adventurer Robert Shirley
Robert Shirley
Sir Robert Shirley was an English traveler and adventurer, younger brother of Sir Anthony Shirley and of the adventurer Sir Thomas.-Diplomatic Activities:Robert went with his brother Anthony to Persia in 1598...

also took an interest in developing this trade.
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