Black Bart, Bartholomew Roberts the Pirate

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Interesting Facts:
-Black Bart was one of the most successful pirates of his time, with the capture of over 400 ships and over 50 million Pounds of loot. - He encouraged prayer, drank a lot of tea instead of alcohol, and forbid drinking and gambling. - He preferred to wear fancy gentleman's clothes: a rich crimson waistcoat and breeches, a hat with a red feather, and a diamond cross hanging from his neck.

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Bartholomew Roberts, pirate

Bartholmew Roberts

Born John Roberts (Barti Ddu in Welsh) in Little Newcastle, southern Wales about 1682, Black Bart was the last great pirate of the Golden Age and had no equal in his day. While working as a third mate on the British slaver Princess, he was captured to be a slave - forced hand by noted pirate Howell Davis in June 1719 and elected captain when Davis was killed in attack on Principe, off the Guinea coast. Roberts leveled the town in retribution. Robert's Articles

Growing tired of the pickings around Guinea, Black Bart sailed to the Brazilian coast, took several good prizes, and in early 1720 went northward for some rest at Devil's Island. His reputation arrived in the Caribbean before him, where he quickly exited and sailed north to New England to sell what he had accumulated.

Black Barty- book by Aubrey Burl

Summertime 1720 was very successful in Newfoundland with many captures, most notably the plunder and sinking of all but one of 22 merchant ships in the Bay of Treffisi when the crews fled to shore just at his arrival. The spared ship was a French brig he named the Royal Fortune, which Black Bart added guns to and sailed to the Caribbean after a failed attempt to sail to Africa.

In the fall of 1720, Captain Roberts began a six-month tear through the West Indies. With the almost unchallenged captures of 100 ships or more, he angered the provincial governors, one of whom he hanged after taking his warship.Bartholomew Robert's Last Battle With shipping coming to a standstill, he went to Africa in the spring of 1721, where he learned to profit from the sale of slaves off the ships that got in his way. After careening and trading for several weeks in Sierra Leone, Black Bart headed east in August of 1721 toward Liberia, where the capture of the Royal Africa Company's Onslow became the last Royal Fortune.

A legendary 30-month career came to an end on February 10, 1722, when the warship HMS Swallow captained by Challoner Ogle Challoner Oglecaught up with Black Bart off the coast of Cape Lopez (now Gabon). It is uncertain whether he was trying to escape or size up the opponent, but the grapeshot killed him either way. His crew threw his body overboard as he had always requested, and they eventually stopped their disheartened resistance.

Cape Coast Castle, West AfricaAfter being thrown into prison under the Cape Coast Castle in West Africa, those who remained were given the largest pirate trial and execution of the time on March 28, 1722. 54 were hanged, 37 received prison or hard time, 70 African pirates were sold into slavery, and the rest were acquitted.

Bartholomew Robert's Articles-

ARTICLE I. Every man shall have an equal vote in affairs of moment. He shall have an equal title to the fresh provisions or strong liquors at any time seized, and shall use them at pleasure unless a scarcity may make it necessary for the common good that a retrenchment may be voted.

ARTICLE II. Every man shall be called fairly in turn by the list on board of prizes, because over and above their proper share, they are allowed a shift of clothes. But if they defraud the company to the value of even one dollar in plate, jewels or money, they shall be marooned. If any man rob another he shall have his nose and ears slit, and be put ashore where he shall be sure to encounter hardships.

ARTICLE III. None shall game for money either with dice or cards.

If A Pirate I Must Be- book

ARTICLE IV. The lights and candles should be put out at eight at night, and if any of the crew desire to drink after that hour they shall sit upon the open deck without lights.

ARTICLE V. Each man shall keep his piece, cutlass and pistols at all times clean and ready for action.

ARTICLE VI. No boy or woman to be allowed amongst them. If any man shall be found seducing any of the latter sex and carrying her to sea in disguise he shall suffer death.

ARTICLE VII. He that shall desert the ship or his quarters in time of battle shall be punished by death or marooning.

ARTICLE VIII. None shall strike another on board the ship, but every man's quarrel shall be ended on shore by sword or pistol in this manner. At the word of command from the quartermaster, each man being previously placed back to back, shall turn and fire immediately. If any man do not, the quartermaster shall knock the piece out of his hand. If both miss their aim they shall take to their cutlasses, and he that draweth first blood shall be declared the victor.

ARTICLE IX. No man shall talk of breaking up their way of living till each has a share of £l,000. Every man who shall become a cripple or lose a limb in the service shall have 800 pieces of eight from the common stock and for lesser hurts proportionately.

ARTICLE X. The captain and the quartermaster shall each receive two shares of a prize, the master gunner and boatswain, one and one half shares, all other officers one and one quarter, and private gentlemen of fortune one share each.

ARTICLE XI. The musicians shall have rest on the Sabbath Day only by right. On all other days by favour only.