The True & Complete Memoirs of the Pyrate Captain Extraordinaire!
The Illustrious Captain, John ‘Bartholomew’ Roberts
The Most Successful Pyrate of ALL Time!
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As a pirate, Bonnet was merely an amateur. Unlike stealing or capturing a ship, as any respectable pirate would do, he purchased his own which was completely unheard of in the archives of piracy. This fast little ship was purchased in early 1717. It had ten pieces of artillery secured to her single gun deck. For unknown reasons, he renamed her the Revenge. Bonnet did another unheard of thing. He payed his crew out of his own pocket instead of drawing up a contract for them to sign. It was this strategy however, that kept him from being deposed by the crew. He found his crew in the taverns & grogshops of Bridgetown & ended up signing on about seventy destitute seamen.
For several days after its purchase the Revenge remained in the Bridgetown harbor which Bonnet explained as his intention of pursuing an inter-island trade. Then one night he cast off. He set his course for the Virginia Capes, where he captured a few ships. In the beginning the ships he captured were only plundered until he captured the ship the Turbes, which was burned. After this every Barbadian ship taken by Bonnet was burned. No one knows why.
After capturing prizes off the New England Coast & few in the northern waters, he returned to the south. At this time however, there was trouble brewing. His inexperience began to manifest itself to the crew who were slowly becoming hostile & they began whispering amongst themselves. During the increasing hostilities Bonnet dropped anchor in the Bay of Honduras where he met up with the Queen Anne's Revenge, along with her captain, Blackbeard. The two quickly befriended each other & decided to cruise together. This alliance soon proved a big mistake on the part of Bonnet. Teach became aware of his inexperience & invited Bonnet aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, where Bonnet became pretty much a prisoner. Teach tried to convince him that a man of his education and mannerisms should not be forced to the rigors of commanding a ship like the Revenge & to move himself & his belongings to the more comfortable & spacious quarters of the Queen Anne's Revenge. There was little Bonnet could do or say & soon after one of Blackbeard's lieutenants, by the name of Richards took over command of the Revenge & quickly stifled the threat of mutiny by imposing stern discipline, and gaining the crew's confidence. Eventually Bonnet convinced Blackbeard to allow him to command the Revenge again. Soon afterwards the two parted & Bonnet left his ship for the town of Bath and surrendered himself as a reformed pirate to the Governor of North Carolina, Charles Eden. This act however did not subside Bonnet's desire for Piracy & he continued plundering ships until his capture by Colonel William Rhett, from whom he escaped only to be recaptured, and brought to trial under a Court of Vice-Admiralty in Charles Town (Charleston), South Carolina. Sir Nicholas Trott Esq., who at that time was the judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court, sentenced Bonnet to death on the gallows. Stede Bonnet was hung for piracy on December 10, 1718.
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Captain Bartholomew Roberts