Famous Pirate: Samuel Bellamy
The Romantic Pirate
In 1984, the first pirate ship that has been recovered from the sea was Bellamy's flagship, Whydah. Among many interesting relics, coins and cannons, divers found dreams of 140 pirates who just wanted to return home from their last sail and live a normal life. The most beautiful dream was Captain Bellamy Samuel's, whose only wish was to see his beloved Maria Hallett again.
We do not know a lot about Bellamy Samuel's early days. According to some historians, he was born in 1689 in Devonshire, England. In his late teens, he joined the British navy and fought in several battles. Leaving his wife and child in England, he sailed to the coast of Florida to look for the sunken Spanish treasure.
On his journey, he stopped in Eastham Harbor, Massachusetts, where he met a local beauty, 15-year-old Maria Hallett. Her parents liked Samuel, but they did not think that poor self-confident sailor was good enough for their daughter. With his friend Paulsgrave William who paid for a new treasure hunt expedition, he set sail with a promise that he'd return as the respected Captain of the greatest ship that world has ever seen! After Samuel went, Maria gave birth to his child who died soon after. It was a big scandal and she even ended up in jail. Sentence was not long, but she was exiled out of town. Even after that, she still waited for him.
Many months passed, but Samuel and Williams could not find Spanish treasure. Disappointed, but still willing to risk everything to get rich, Samuel and Williams decided to join Captain Benjamin Hornigold's pirate crew. Harnigold Benjamin was capable Captain, who was famous for his generosity to prisoners and his codex about attacking only French and Spanish ships. In June 1716, the crew revolted against him, because they wanted to attack an English ship. Samuel Bellamy and Paulsgrave Williams were appointed for the new Captain and Quartermaster, respectively. They proved to be very successful. In one year, they robbed more than fifty ships, mainly in the Atlantic and the Caribbean.
Captain Samuel Bellamy, now known as Black Bellamy, was a tall, strong, well-mannered and very tidy man. He liked expensive clothes, especially black coats. His favorite weapons were four dueling pistols that he always carried in the sash. His captain rules were almost democratic. Crew liked him a lot and sometimes even called him "Pirate Robin Hood".
Captain Bellamy was also a good strategist. Usually, he had two ships under his control. His flagship was powerful with many cannons and the second one was light but fast, which made a good balance. With coordinated attacks, they managed to capture ships easily without damaging them.
In February 1717, after three days chase, Bellamy and Williams managed to capture English slave ship Whydah, which was on its way to Jamaica, packed with indigo, ivory and a lot of gold and silver. It was much more than anyone of them even imagined. It would have taken them about 20 years to make that much money as honest sailors. Satisfied, Bellamy decided to keep Whydah for himself, and gave Sultana, his flagship, to crew of Whydah. With enough gold, to secure their lives, the crew decided to retire and live the rest of their lives in peace. However, cursed Whydah had different plans.
In the late afternoon, at April 26, near Cape Cod, almost at reach of Samuel's Maria Hallett, Whydah was hit by intense storm. Everything started with a thick fog, which was followed by rain and strong wind. Whydah and Paulsgrave's ship lost sight of each other. In the morning, Paulsgrave Williams could only find the floating remains of Whydah.
Whydah had 148 people aboard. Only eight of them survived the crash. Six of them were hanged and only two lived to tell the stories of Prince of Pirates in Cape Cod folklore.
Almost all facts that we know about Samuel Bellamy came from stories of Thomas Davis, Welsh carpenter that survived the Whydah crash.