Black Bart

11 January 2011

Black Bart - The Real Captain Jack Sparrow

"His name was Bartholomew Roberts. The most successful raider in the history of piracy, he took prisoner an astounding 470 vessels, and so renowned was his ferocity that many of those ships were surrendered to him without a fight.

Black Bart was the nickname he was given - and not only because of his black locks and dark eyes. When this swashbuckling Welsh buccaneer had to fight for his prizes, he was merciless.
In 1720, the crew of a 42-gun Dutch vessel anchored off Dominica in the Caribbean dared to resist. In the close-quarters cannonade which followed, several of his crew were cut down. Even more were slaughtered in the hand-to-hand fighting as Black Bart?s pirates swarmed over the vessel.
Roberts ordered an exemplary revenge. Those Dutchmen who had not been killed in the fighting were hung from the yardarm, or stripped of their shirts and lashed at the masthead until they lost consciousness in the blistering sun, then mutilated.
The Dutch captain?s ears were cut off and presented to him as a reminder to listen harder when Roberts told him what to do. The torture and butchery did not end until the last Dutchman had been dragged out and carved up in similar fashion.
Roberts renamed the ship the Royal Fortune, and sailed it with his great black flag at the helm, which showed Black Bart standing, with cutlass uplifted, on two skulls, representing his dominance over the islands of Barbados and Martinique.
He was one of the many sailors who took to freebooting after his own ship had been captured by pirates.
Born in Wales, 325 years ago this month, he went to sea in 1695 at the age of 13. He served on British merchant vessels before fighting in the 1702-1713 War of the Spanish Succession.
Apart from a brief mention of him as mate of a Barbados sloop, he is not heard of again until 1719, when he sailed as third mate aboard the slave ship Princess.
The Princess was anchored at a small, semi-derelict fort on the Gold Coast of West Africa (present day Ghana) when she was captured by two pirate ships, the Royal James and the Royal Rover, led by another Welshman, Captain Howell Davis.
Roberts was said to have been reluctant to be forced into piracy - but he soon saw the point of it.
A contemporary quotes Roberts as saying: "In an honest service, there is thin victuals, low wages and hard labour. In this, plenty and satiety, pleasure and ease, liberty and power...
"No, a merry life and a short one shall be my motto." "

More information here.

This is a really good insight into Black Bart - He was a well renowned pirate and again there is a lot of imagery surrounding him and what he did. He was defiantly one of the more grotesque pirates that i have looked at. I also like that there is a quote around him and his perspective on piracy this is defiantly something that I would possibly use in my animation designs in the future.

A real letter composed by Black Bart. Not 100% sure
what he says but i like the type and this gives me an insight
into what fonts i could use and the style
they used to use when writing letters etc.