- Term Papers and Free Essays

If A Pirate I Must Be

Essay by   •  March 21, 2011  •  1,565 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,246 Views

Essay Preview: If A Pirate I Must Be

Report this essay
Page 1 of 7

If a Pirate I Must Be is a story of the many adventures of the early eighteenth century pirate Bartholomew Roberts, also known as Black Bart. Although many perceive pirates as rum drinking, treasure hunting savages, Black Bart was quite the opposite. Black Bart was a simple man who at first was reluctant to become a pirate. This book clearly illustrates why Black Bart is said to be the most successful pirate living during the Golden Age of Piracy. Also this book clearly states how Black Bart did affect the Caribbean and other economies more than one would expect.

Roberts was born in May of 1862 in the Village if Casnewydd Bach, in south Wales. While growing up, Bartholomew always wished to be on the sea. He first got a shot at the sea through joining the Royal British Navy. Roberts and the crew would sail to the West Coast of Africa. There the ship he sailed on, The Princess, would pick up and transport slaves. The Slave Trade was a very difficult task for the crews. “Roberts knew that by the end of his voyage it was more likely he would be dead than one of the slaves. Studies later in the century showed that more than one in five if the slaving crews died during the Course of the three-legged journey between Europe, Africa and the West Indies, compared to one in eight of the slaves вЂ" although they, of course, were on board for only one leg of the journey.” (Page 4) This is the first instance in the book where Roberts clearly has impact on the economies of Africa and all other countries involved in the Slave Trade. The Slave Trade was a huge business; millions of Africans were sold as slaves annually.

On June 6, 1719 along the Gold Coast of West Africa, pirates captured the Princess.

Leading the pirates who captured the Princess was captain Howell Davis with his two ships, the Royal Rover and the Royal James. Davis was also a Welshman, and was born only a few miles south of the town where Rogers was born. Thirty-four men of the Princess’ crew including Roberts were forced to join the Davis’ crew. “As Roberts looked around him on the Royal Rover, one of the most striking features of Davis’ crew was that almost a third of the men were black.” (Page 42-43) It is ironic that Roberts first was at sea transporting black men as slaves, now he is working along side of them as his equals.

A few weeks later, Captain Davis and the Royal Rover headed for the island of Princes to capture the governor and hold him for ransom. However Davis did not know that the Portuguese have figured out his true identity. “The next day, when Davis came ashore to escort the governor aboard the Royal Rover for вЂ?an entertainment’, the governor prepared an ambush.” (Page 52) Davis was killed along with most of the men he came ashore with. A new captain now had to be elected. Davis' crew was divided into "Lords" and "Commons", and it was the "Lords" who had the right to propose a name to the remainder of the crew. Within six weeks of joining the crew, Roberts was elected captain. This was an unusual move since he was openly against his even being on board the ship at first, and was probably because Roberts had outstanding navigational abilities. The first thing that Roberts did as a captain was set the rules for the crew. These rules were a list of eleven clear articles that the crew must follow.

The first adventure that Roberts had as captain was to avenge the death of Captain Davis. So they went back to the island of Princes where Roberts and his crew sprang onto the island in the darkness of night, killed a large portion of the male population, and stole all items of value that they could carry away. This is another clear illustration of how Roberts affected the economy of Princes. Soon afterwards Roberts captured a Dutch ship, then two days later he captured an English ship called the Experiment. While the ship took on water and provisions on the Gold Coast of West Africa at a city called Anamboe, a vote was taken on whether the next voyage should be to the East Indies or to Brazil. The crew voted to sail to Brazil in early August 1719.

Roberts and his crew crossed the Atlantic and spent about nine weeks off the Brazilian coast, but saw no ships. They were about to leave for the West Indies when they encountered a fleet of 42 Portuguese ships in the Todos os Santos’ Bay, waiting for two men-of-war of 70 guns each to escort them to Lisbon. Roberts took one of the vessels, and ordered her master to point out the richest ship in the fleet. He pointed out a ship called Sagrada Familia with 40 guns and a crew of 150, which Roberts and his men boarded and then captured. The fight proved to be very easily won by the pirates even though the seemed to be heavily outmatched. “’The dispute was hot and warm wherein many of the Portuguese fell, and two only of the pirates.’ Within half an hour the battle was over. The Sagrada Familia contained 40,000 gold moidors and jewelry including a cross set with diamonds, designed for the King of Portugal. Roberts captured many more ships in South America and Brazil and greatly affected their economies.

The next place that Roberts and the crew sailed to was Newfoundland. After capturing a number of ships around the Newfoundland



Download as:   txt (8.8 Kb)   pdf (110.4 Kb)   docx (11.9 Kb)  
Continue for 6 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2011, 03). If A Pirate I Must Be. Retrieved 03, 2011, from

"If A Pirate I Must Be" 03 2011. 2011. 03 2011 <>.

"If A Pirate I Must Be.", 03 2011. Web. 03 2011. <>.

"If A Pirate I Must Be." 03, 2011. Accessed 03, 2011.