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Bartholomew Roberts Flag
Bartholomew Roberts

The Great Pirate Roberts aka Black Bart
(1682 - 1722)
Bartholomew Roberts aka Black Bart

Roberts was born in Wales in 1682. He became a merchant. His pirate career began when the ship he was on was ambushed by pirates. He and the crew were taken prisoners. When the captain of the pirates as well as several of the crew were killed in an ambush Roberts led the pirates to safety. The crew elected to replace their dead captain with Roberts.

Within a few weeks they came upon a fleet of forty-two Portuguese treasure galleons & two warships anchored off the coast of Brazil. Sailing alongside the heaviest laden ship Roberts fired a full broadside. The treasure ship was bordered, captured and back to the open sea before the pursuing warships could catch them. Their booty consisted of furs, hogsheads of sugar & tobacco, jewels & 40,000 gold pieces

($130,000) and the diamond studded gold cross, which he wore from then on, it was to be a gift for the king of Portugal.

He was a very fancy dresser, wearing a rich waistcoat & breeches, a hat with a red feather & his diamond cross which hung on a heavy gold chain around his neck. He would wear fine clothes while in battle. During battle, he carried two pairs of pistols at the end of a silk sling across his shoulder. His fellow pirates thought he was a bit of a dandy when it came to his choice of attire, though his valor was never questioned.

Roberts seem to be the most successful pirate. Between 1719 and 1722, he captured more than 400 ships off the coast of West Africa and Canada and the Caribbean. Roberts was a religious man and banned his crew from gambling. He was cruel to his prisoners.

Bartholomew Roberts, referred to as the " Great Pirate Roberts", roamed the seas in the early eighteenth century. He traveled the coasts of North and South America. His reputation had grown so immense that guard ships stationed in the West Indies were reluctant to get involved with him, and even seemed to sail out of their way to avoid confrontation.

His boldness was reflected in his reliance on the unusual, relying on the both surprising and awesome. For example he was recalled to have sailed into Trepassey in Newfoundland, in a sloop of ten guns manned by sixty men, with "black colors flying, drums beating and trumpets sounding." The crews of the twenty-two ships in anchor in the harbor, immediately withdrew from the site and fled to safety off shore.

Bartholomew's Articles

1. All important decisions to be put to a vote.

2. Any man caught stealing shall be marooned.

3. All pistols and cutlasses will be kept clean.

4. No women allowed on board.

5. Any man who deserts ship in battle shall be put to death.

6. All crews quarrels will be settled on shore.

7. The captain and quartermaster to receive two shares of the booty; the master gunner, and boatswain, one and a half shares; other officers one and a quarter shares; all others, one shares each.

8. Injuries to be compensated. Any man who loses a limb in battle shall receive extra booty.

Roberts held so much hatred for the people of the islands of Martinique and Barbados, that he created his black flag to illustrate it. On it was an image of himself holding a flaming sword in one hand, and dagger in the other. His feet resting on two human skulls. Under one the initials A.M.H., for A Marinican’s Head, and beneath the other, A.B.H., for A Barbadian Head.

Roberts career came to an end when he was killed at sea in a conflict off the coast of Africa.

Anne Bonney
Bartholomew Roberts
Charles Vane
Edward Low

Edward Teach
Emanuel Wynne
Henry Every
Jack Rackham
Mary Read

Richard Worley
Stede Bonnet
Thomas Tew
Walter Kennedy
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