In the following decades, Miguel Enriquez would continue to build his business. With trade picking up in the Caribbean, so would piracy and privateering in the immediate decade. As a result, his business improved and he remained very active at sea for most of his career.
On land is where he constantly ran into trouble. Enriquez was a mulatto with power in political, social, and economic circles. He could bend the ear of influential people in his favor if things got too hot or his business was threatened. It also helps that he got results. While he could butter up a don here or a priest there with gifts and money, he was also effective at protecting Spanish interests and boosting them.
Then came the legal troubles pushed by Governor Matias de Abadia.
Miguel Enriquez’s Slow Fall From Grace
His influence would be steady and effective until the late 1720s when Spanish interests turned elsewhere. With new people moving into powerful positions he lost even more influence and protection. The safety net of war disappeared as well as treaties brought about a time of change with the superpowers of the time. While they wouldn’t last, this time of peace did make his work much harder.
In other words, Enriquez was someone without a use and was never prompted or placed where his skills could be of use. He also ran into legal trouble because of an assassination attempt on former governor Camino some years prior.
This and another case in 1732 resulted in him losing almost 10,000 pieces of eight. These weren’t the only cases against the privateer as almost 28 cases and debt dating back to the early 1710s totaled to almost 200,000 pieces of eight and more. Charging Miguel Enriquez were the Catholic Church, governors and others.
Enriquez was financially ruined as most of his assets were seized to pay his debts. Unfortunately, he still was still in debt and opted to flee, heading to the Convent of Santo Tomas in late 1735. Abadia hunted Enriquez for whatever wealth he possibly stored away until their deaths. In the end, Enriquez would outlive his foe and die in November 1743, five months after the governor.
All the wealth he amassed and the service he provided to Spain in combat and in commerce didn’t matter in the end. Enriquez’s fall ended with him in poverty and a burial in a mass grave.