“Black Bart” Roberts and his Royal Fortune(s) by Sky Purrington

Pirate ships of old spur the adventuresome imagination in us all. Especially those made famous by pirates such as Bartholomew Roberts, AKA “Black Bart” Roberts and his Royal Fortune(s). Yes, he named not one stolen ship that but several!


It all started July seventeen-twenty when he captured a French brigantine off the coast of Newfoundland. He outfitted the naval frigate with twenty-six cannons and promptly renamed her Good Fortune before he headed for the Caribbean. While there he repaired the vessel and renamed it Royal Fortune. Not long after, he captured a French warship and renamed it Royal Fortune as well then made it his new flagship.


But it didn’t end there.


Next, he sailed for West Africa, where he captured the massive frigate Onslow, mounted forty cannons on it and you guessed it, renamed her Royal Fortune. The newest Royal Fortune was nearly invincible. Only a well-armed navy vessel could hope to stand against her. In fact, she was as impressive a pirate ship as Sam Bellamy’s Whydah or Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge.


So why name every ship the same thing?


Nobody knows. Most assume it was laziness. Either way, Roberts’ many Royal Fortunes served him well. To this day, he holds the record for the most ships successfully plundered by a pirate. By seventeen twenty-two, he had captured and looted over four hundred vessels, terrorizing merchant shipping from Newfoundland to Brazil then from the Caribbean to the African coast. No other pirate of his age comes close to that number of captured vessels. Mainly because he thought big, typically commanding a fleet of anywhere from two to four pirate ships which could surround and catch victims.


The final Royal Fortune’s fame eventually ended February seventeen twenty-two, when Roberts was killed in battle against the warship Swallow, led by Britain’s Calloner Ogle. His pirates were reportedly anchored and celebrating off the coast of Cape Lopez when the fight broke out. As it happened, Roberts was hit by a cannon and “Black Bart” was the first to fall to his death.


Though no one knows why he named ship after ship the same thing, it certainly stands out in history as any great pirate ship(s) should. Speaking of notable pirate ships, be sure to sail the high seas with Captain Frasier MacLomain in The Seafaring Rogue (Pirates of Britannia). Then in May, keep on with Frasier’s fleet and join Captain Douglas “Hellion” MacLauchlin and his infamous—just one!—ship, The Sea Hellion. Learn more at www.SkyPurington.com.


Discover a magical tale of love, romance, and Scottish pirates!

Left for dead on the shores of Scotland, Fraser MacLomain falls in love with the healer who saves him. Yet Elspeth MacLauchlin has dark secrets – hidden truths rooted in a century old family feud. A vendetta is soon resurrected by vicious enemies who steal her away during a late night pirate attack.

Bent on saving her and reaping revenge, Fraser embraces a life of piracy. Cutthroat, out for blood, he relentlessly pursues his nemesis long after rumors of Elspeth’s death and long after he abandons love for bitterness. But even a hardened heart can be thawed, as he soon discovers when catching his foe and being reunited with his love.

The Seafaring Rogue is a high seas adventure ripe with passion, intrigue, and treasure.


Read it now!