Adventurers: Explorers, Pirates, Map Makers

This part of our website includes allsorts of interesting people from Welsh Pirates like Black Bart to explorers and cartographers (map makers) to magnificent hero's like Harold Lowe. True one would expect nearly all of these people to be historical personalities but there are adventures with a Welsh connection alive and well and doing their best to open frontiers today, even in space with NASA astronaut Joe Tanner.

Black Bart, Ogle scores first success

Black Bart, Ogle scores first success. (page 6) At dawn on the 5th of February the' Swallow 'came in sight of three ships at Cape Lopez and recognised them straight away. According to the admiralty account, Ogle could not simply drive in an assault because a sand bank blocked his way so he had to steer out to sea for a while. The pirates misinterpreted this as fear, thinking this new comer had gone to run and typically gave chase with the captured French ship, re-named 'The Ranger'.

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Black Bart, The jackpot, again!

Black Bart, The jackpot, again! (page 5) By the end of June 1721 they'd found a small settlement lead by one Jack Crackers, a notorious pirate now retired. Here they traded in like company and made good their vessels. Here he was told of two British men-o-war, 'The Swallow' and the 'Weymouth' that had visited just a month earlier with the intention of returning by the following Christmas. He was well aware of their firepower but felt safe since Christmas was half a year away.

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Bartholomew Roberts, A stolen sloop to Barbados

Black Bart, A stolen sloop to Barbados. (page 3) There were numerous laws including the banning of some pastimes pirates would normally take for granted. For instance, anyone caught stealing from the ship would be marooned, no gambling with cards or dice, and no drinking alcohol below deck after eight in the evening. No children or women were allowed on board; further to this if a man smuggled one aboard the penalty was death!

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Bartholomew Roberts, South to St. Bartholomew

Black Bart, South to Saint Bartholomew. (page 4) They finally arrived at St. Bartholomew in the West Indies where they were given a marvellous welcome. They spent freely and indulged themselves as pirates would, the natives being more than happy to oblige. Here they planned their next adventure, another trip across the Atlantic.

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Bartholomew Roberts, A prize for the plundering

Black Bart, A prize for the plundering. (page 2) On a few occasions each year the Portuguese would mass a convoy to take produce from Brazil back to Europe. After a few weeks of aimless sailing off the Brazilian coast one such convoy, forty-two ships, came into view. It had not yet fully configured itself, two men-o-war set to guard it but were dragging their anchors some way behind, no doubt thinking they were safe still close to the coast.

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Bartholomew Roberts, Black Bart from Haverfordwest, West Wales

Bartholomew Roberts Black Bart, the legendary Pirate On the 10th of February 1722, at Cape Lopez in what is now the West African state of Gabon a Captain Challoner Ogle of the Royal Navy engaged and defeated one of the worlds most notorious outlaws, Bartholomew Roberts. Roberts had come a long way from his roots in the little Welsh town of Haverfordwest both figuratively and literally. His journey so far had taken him across the Atlantic from the cool waters of Newfoundland to the blistering equatorial heat he and...


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