27 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.

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Bartholomew Roberts raided ships off the Americas and the West African coast between 1719 and 1722; he is noted for creating his own Pirate Code, and adopting an early variant of the Skull and Crossbones flag.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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'storians believe he was elected for his navigational abilities and his personality, which history reflects was outspoken and opinionated.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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 .

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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