26 Facts About Bartholomew Roberts


Bartholomew Roberts, born John Roberts, was a Welsh pirate and the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy, taking over 400 prizes in his career.


Bartholomew Roberts was born John Roberts in 1682 in Casnewydd Bach, between Fishguard and Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, Wales.


Bartholomew Roberts was thought to have gone to sea when he was 13 in 1695, but there is no further record of him until 1718, when he was mate of a Barbados sloop.


In 1719, Bartholomew Roberts was second mate on the slave ship Princess under Captain Abraham Plumb.


Davis, like Bartholomew Roberts, was a Welshman, originally from Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire.


Bartholomew Roberts was able to confide information to Roberts in the Welsh language, thereby keeping it hidden from the English and international crewmen.


Bartholomew Roberts is said to have been reluctant to become a pirate at first, but quickly came to see the advantages of this new lifestyle and saw it as a great opportunity for him.

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Bartholomew Roberts accepted of the Honour, saying, that since he had dipp'd his Hands in Muddy Water, and must be a Pyrate, it was better being a Commander than a common Man.


Bartholomew Roberts' first act as captain was to lead the crew back to Principe to avenge the death of Captain Davis.


Bartholomew Roberts took one of the vessels and ordered her master to point out the richest ship in the fleet.


Bartholomew Roberts pointed out Sagrada Familia, a ship of 40 guns and a crew of 170, which Roberts and his men boarded and captured.


Bartholomew Roberts headed for Dominica to repair the sloop, with twenty of his crew dying of their wounds on the voyage.


Bartholomew Roberts had a new flag made with a drawing of himself holding a flaming sword and standing upon 2 skulls, one labelled ABH and the other AMH.


Bartholomew Roberts raided the harbour of Ferryland, capturing a dozen vessels.


Bartholomew Roberts had captured all 22 merchant ships, but was angered by the cowardice of the captains who had fled their ships.


French sources confirm that while Bartholomew Roberts did capture and torture some French officials by pretending to hang them, he in fact released them, and Hurault was not among them.


Bartholomew Roberts himself made a gallant figure, at the time of the engagement, being dressed in a rich crimson damask waistcoat and breeches, a red feather in his hat, a gold chain round his neck, with a diamond cross hanging to it, a sword in his hand, and two pairs of pistols slung over his shoulders.


Bartholomew Roberts's death shocked the pirate world, as well as the Royal Navy.


Bartholomew Roberts profited financially, taking gold dust from Roberts' cabin, and he eventually became an admiral.


Bartholomew Roberts is commonly described as wearing a red waistcoat with scarlet breeches and a scarlet flamingo plume.


Bartholomew Roberts wore a large diamond cross which was reputedly the property of the King of Portugal.


Bartholomew Roberts hated cowardice, and when the crews of 22 ships in Trepassey harbour fled without firing a shot he was angry at their failure to defend their ships.


Bartholomew Roberts was the archetypal pirate captain in his love of fine clothing and jewelry, but he had some traits unusual in a pirate, notably a preference for drinking tea rather than rum.


Bartholomew Roberts is often described as a teetotaler and a Sabbatarian, but there is no proof of this.


Bartholomew Roberts certainly disliked drunkenness while at sea, yet it appears that he drank beer.

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Bartholomew Roberts sometimes gave gifts to cooperative captains and crews of captured ships, such as pieces of jewelry or items of captured cargo.