Black Bart - Bartholomew Roberts

Black Bart - Bartholomew Roberts

Bartholomew Roberts - born John Roberts (aka) Black Bart Was a Welsh pirate who was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy.  During his piracy career he took over 470 prized ships.  He raided ships of the Americas and West African coast between 1719 - 1722.  His success was due to his boldness and a fearless leader.  He was described as a tall attractive man who loved expensive clothing and jewelry.  He was often seen dressed in gorgeous crimson waistcoat with an expensive hat which always had a unique red feather.  It has been said that even in battle he was dressed to kill (nice). 

He created his own Pirate Code that included strict rules for his crew about gambling, women, and the splitting of profits and even afforded all pirates an equal vote in important matters.  His wounded or injured pirates were afforded a pension depending on the severity of their wounds.  His crew would be punished harshly for fighting on board and no man was allowed to leave the company of pirates until every member had equal shares.  His flag was black and was a design that illustrated Roberts drinking with the Devil himself. 

It was said that Roberts seemed to be a calm person.  However, on the contrary he was a cold-blooded pirate who did not hesitate to do cruel deeds when needed.  Once, he captured a slaver with 80 slaves on board. He burned that ship with all slaves on it. The reason was he wouldn't waste any time or efforts to unshackle the unfortunate people.  Roberts assembled the entire fleet around him and his reputation grown immensely.

In the summer of 1720, he sailed along the American coastline and, even more, ships were captured until they reached the Caribbean. The fearsome captain made completely new terror as he raided 15 English and French ships.  The biggest prize was a Dutch warship, which had 42 cannons. His attempt to sail to Africa failed because of the poor winds..

In early February of 1722, Captain Challoner Ogle was dispatched by the British Government to find and capture Roberts. His warship, the "Swallow", chased Roberts from the Caribbean, caught up with the "Royal Fortune" and attacked. The Pirates were anchored in Cape Lopez, where they were celebrating. The fight started and Bartholomew Roberts was the first to fall. He was hit by grapeshot and died on the spot. The horrified crew threw his breathless body into the sea. It was his wish, in a case of his demise.


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