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(also filibuster, buccaneer), a sea-going pirate who in the 17th century plundered mainly Spanish ships and colonies in the Americas.

In the 1620’s freebooters controlled the island of St. Christopher (St. Kitts), which became their first base of operations, and in the 1630’s they controlled part of Hispaniola. The freebooters were predominantly English, French, and Dutch. England and France made use of the freebooters in their rivalry with Spain for conquest in the colonies. In 1671, under the leadership of the Englishman H. Morgan, they captured the city of Panama and proceeded to attack the Spanish holdings along the entire Pacific coast. In the 1680’s freebooters captured and plundered Veracruz and several other cities in Mexico, as well as several cities in Peru. The depredations of the freebooters helped weaken the ties between Spain and her American colonies and seriously damaged her maritime power.

In the 19th century the term “filibusters” was applied to North American adventurers who attacked the countries of South and Central America—for example, W. Walker’s incursions in the 1850’s into Mexico and the countries of Central America.

References in periodicals archive ?
Freebooter intends to apply the features of its flexible manufacturing, developed for multiples - such as consistent quality and tight portion control - to increase its share of the catering and independent retail markets.
And how many races did Freebooter win over the Grand National fences?
Three months later, Freebooter put up a superb performance to win the Grand National, with Monaveen fifth.
After the war, he took the advice of Tim Molony and came to Britain to join Stewart Wright in Scotland before two years later moving to Bobby Renton in Yorkshire, for whom he won the 1950 Grand National aboard Freebooter, although in recent years he could remember very little about his biggest wins.
However, Bryan Marshall was receiving pounds 250 for riding Freebooter, the favourite.
When Novalyne first meets the brash literary freebooter, she's inspired by his verbal dexterity and creative energy.
After negotiations through consultant Roger Cutcliffe of RLC Associates, Northwood, Kershaws Frozen Foods of Southport has sold the multiple a full 40 foot reefer container of frozen ready meals, while Bluecrest Freebooter of Grimsby has done a similar deal for a full reefer container of frozen fish, including ready-to-cook convenience foods.
The word comes from the Spanish filibustero and means a freebooter or military adventurer.
March 25, 1950 Freebooter (11st 11lb) put up the best winning performance in a post-war Grand National.
Grimsby based Bluecrest Freebooter has scored a major export coup with contracts to supply chilled, prepared fish products to Belgian retailers.
The largest is Bluecrest Freebooter which employs 2,200 people in Grimsby and Hull and supplies processed fish and seafood to Sainsburys, Asda and Tesco.
PHOTO : A Triliner at Freebooter Seafoods showing the twin-belt turning section between the rubber-fingered overhead conveyors which drive the line