Ancient Origins

In the tumultuous era of 1722, the notorious pirate Bartholomew Roberts carved a path of chaos and vengeance across the high seas. His ruthless demeanor, revealed in the wake of Captain Howell Davis’s demise, led to a bloody ascension as the commander of the Royal Rover. Born John Roberts, his origins shrouded in mystery, he embraced the pirate life with fervor, rejecting his past.

Roberts, a master navigator, employed cunning tactics to seize unsuspecting targets. Notorious for his grudges, he harbored a deep-seated hatred for the Irish, Barbadians, and Martinique, stemming from betrayals and humiliations endured during his piratical exploits. His reign of terror extended to the Newfoundland banks, where he became the master of a formidable fleet, terrorizing fishermen and capturing vessels with a flagrant disregard for mercy.

A cunning strategist, Roberts utilized shock and scare tactics, epitomized when he brazenly infiltrated a Portuguese fleet, leaving chaos in his wake. His loathing for Barbadians and Martinique manifested in a distinctive black flag adorned with the gruesome imagery of severed heads. Roberts, despite his ruthless nature, remains a complex figure in pirate lore. His legacy, a mosaic of violence, betrayal, and audacity, defines an era where maritime law clashed with the unyielding will of those who embraced a life of plunder.

Top image: An engraving from 1724 of Bartholomew Roberts (aka Black Bart Roberts), the notorious Welsh pirate (1682-1722). Source: Benjamin Cole/CC BY-SA 4.0

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell

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