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Who is Black Bart the Pirate?

Capturing more than 400 ships and more than 50 million pounds of loot, one of the most successful pirates in history is considered Black Bart. In this article, you will learn more about the legend and his exploits, where he exhibited a handful of interesting habits.

Around 1682, John Roberts (also known as Barti Ddu in Welsh) was born in Little Newcastle , a city situated in the southern part of Wales. Unrivaled by any other pirate in his day, John Roberts was transformed into Black Bart , a man who grew in popularity during what was referred to as the Golden Age of piracy. But he was not always a powerful marauder of the seas. He started off as a third mate, working on the British slaver Princess until he was captured and sent into slavery.

In June of 1719, Bart replaced pirate Howell Davis when he was killed during an attack on Principe, just off the Guinea coast. As captain, Bart exacted his revenge by leveled the town. It wasn’t long before Guinea didn’t pose so much of an interest to the pirate and he decided to sail to the Brazilian coast, where he happened upon a wealth of loot. Sometime in early 1720, he sailed to the north to catch his breath at Devil’s Island. Before he arrived in the Caribbean, the people were already quite aware of his reputation. Because of this, he made a quick exit and sailed further north to New England so he could sell some of his possessions and spoils.

The summer season of 1720 proved rather victorious for the pirate, as he settled in Newfoundland and enjoyed a range of captures. In the Bay of Treffisi, he successfully sunk and accumulated goods of 22 merchant ships, leaving only one untouched as the crews fled to shore before his arrival. The ship left standing was called the Royal Fortune , a French vessel that became Bart’s, which he had it outfitted with guns and set on course for the Caribbean after he failed to reach Africa.

The fall of 1720 marked a rampage for Bart, as he traveled throughout the West Indies , capturing around 100 ships in total , plundering that went without a struggle. In the process, he ruffled the feathers of many provincial governors. After taking one governor’s warship, he saw to it that the man was hung. Bart’s actions were also responsible for companies being scared to ship their goods out.

In 1721, Bart learned in the springtime that humans could turn a worthy profit and started to sell slaves from the ships that he encountered in passing. He traded for several weeks in Sierra Leone before he made his way to the east in August. Traveling toward Liberia, he captured the Royal Africa Company’s Onslow and transformed it into the last Royal Fortune.