December 16, 1821: Greek rebel and Naval Captain Antonis Oikonomou is killed

Greek Antonis Oikonomou (1786 - December 16, 1821)

From the island of Hydra, Antonis Oikonomou (1786 – December 16, 1821) was a Greek rebel and Naval Captain during the Greek War of Independence.

A sailor from a young age, he already had his own ship which ended up being sunk off Gibraltar.

Following this event, he headed to Constantinople to commission a new one, and while there, he was initiated into Filiki Etaireia by Papaflessas.

Oikonomou dedicated himself to the mission of the Greek liberation struggle, a desire he brought back with him to Hydra.

Hydra at the time was full of wealthy families and shipowners, who had a good thing going under the Turks or did not believe independence via a Revolution could be achieved right at that moment.

Feeling sidelined by Oikonomou’s plans, the islanders opposed him.

However, with the help of the members of Filiki Eteria from the Peloponnese, he landed on the island (30 March 1821) and expelled the governor, Nikolaos Kokovilas.

The leaders of Hydra, knowing that most of Oikonomou’s supporters were sailors and already out on the seas, grabbed their opportunity to charge and arrest him.

After he was read his charges, relatives of his intervened and managed to help him escape to the town of Kranidi in the Peloponnese. There he was arrested again and put behind bars.

Once more he managed to escape though and traveled to Argos to meet with other revolutionary figures.

Hearing this, the leaders of Hydra, worried that he will drum up help against them, sent a military contingent to kill him.

Revolutionary leader Theodoros Kolokotronis discovered their plans and dispatched 200 men under Tsokris to protect Oikonomou.

The men did not succeed in reaching him on time and he was killed on December 16, 1821.

In later years, however, Hydra did come to have a major role in the Greek Independence struggle under the leadership of Andreas Miaoulis.

READ MORE: EFTHYMIOS KAOUDIS: Hero of the Cretan Revolt, Macedonian Struggle and Balkan Wars.