Samuel Bellamy

Samuel (Black Sam) Bellamy - Pirate (1689 - 1717)

Having started his career with Hornigold and Blackbeard, Samuel Bellamy went on to have a very short, but very successful, career as a pirate. He became famous for the mercy and generosity he showed his victims.

This page details facts about Samuel Bellamy's life and the events that shaped his history.

Samuel Bellamy the Pirate - Fun Facts for Kids !

1: Samuel Bellamy was born in Hittisleigh, in the county Devon, England in 1689.

2: He went to sea at an early age, and became a sailor in the Royal Navy while still a teenager. During his service with the Royal Navy, Samuel Bellamy saw action in several battles.

3: Samuel Bellamy was reputed to have had a wife and child in England, when he left to seek his fortune in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

4: While in Cape Cod, Samuel Bellamy took up with a local 15 year old, Maria Hallett, who is believed to have lived in nearby Wellfleet. Although her parents liked him, they weren’t convinced that he would be a suitable husband.

5: In order to support Maria, Samuel Bellamy left Cape Cod with his friend, Palsgrave Williams, to salvage treasure from the Spanish treasure fleet that had sunk off the coast of Florida in 1715.

6: While Samuel Bellamy was gone, Maria gave birth to a child which died shortly after birth. This scandal resulted in Maria being jailed for a short time before being exiled from the town.

7: Samuel Bellamy was unsuccessful as a treasure hunter and consequently turned to piracy, joining the crew of Benjamin Hornigold on the ‘Marianne’.

8: Benjamin Hornigold wouldn’t attack English ships, which led to his crew voting to replace him as captain. His replacement, as captain of the ‘Marianne’ was Samuel Bellamy.

9: Samuel Bellamy went on to capture the ‘Sultana’ which, with the approval of his crew, he put under the command of Palsgrave Williams.

10: Samuel Bellamy became known as 'Black Sam'. He liked expensive clothing and tended to wear black coats. He also had long black hair that he tied back with black ribbon, rather than wearing the white powdered wigs that had become fashionable at the time. He wore four duelling pistols in a sash, and a sword at his left hip.

11: In February 1717, Samuel Bellamy captured the ‘Whydah’, a slave ship commanded by Captain Prince. The ship was loaded with a rich cargo, including gold. Bellamy gave the ‘Sultana’ to Captain Prince in return for the ‘Whydah’.

12: Samuel Bellamy then set sail for Virginia, where he took several vessels. Following a severe storm which damaged their ship, Bellamy headed for the Carolinas before changing course again and sailing to Rhode Island.

13: While sailing off Rhode Island Samuel Bellamy took a sloop, from Boston, commanded by Captain Beer. They plundered the ship, which Bellamy intended to return to the command of Beer. However the crew voted to burn the ship instead, leaving Beer on Block Island, 13 miles south of Rhode Island.

14: Two weeks later they took a wine ship off the coast of Cape Cod, before Samuel Bellamy and his ships headed north to the Penobscot River in Maine. They sailed a couple of miles upriver before anchoring. They emptied and cleaned the Whydah, then set sail for Fortune Bay in Newfoundland.

15: While there Samuel Bellamy plundered several vessels and sank them after forcing the crews to join him. About this time, Samuel Bellamy’s ships became separated during a storm that lasted for several days. After the storm Samuel Bellamy spotted a sail off the island of St. Paul, and set off after it. When he caught up with it, the ship turned out to be a 36 gun French ship carrying soldiers to Quebec in Canada. The ships engaged each other with the French twice managing to board the Whydah before being fought off again. Deciding that the French were two strong, Samuel Bellamy withdrew and tried to sail away. The French ship sailed after him, and he only managed to escape under the cover of night.

16: Samuel Bellamy and the Whydah sailed to Newfoundland where he met up with the others. As a result of the battle with the French, the Whydah was damaged so, having decided to sail to New England, Samuel Bellamy decided to hug the coastline. Between the Nantucket Shoals and St. Georges Banks, they took the ‘Mary Anne’.

17: The Master of the Mary Anne knew the coast well so was left aboard her, with some pirates to keep an eye on him, so that he could guide the other ships along the coast using a light. One stormy night the pirates became drunk while celebrating, so the Master took his chance, grounded the Mary Anne and was the only one who managed to survive the resulting wreck.

18: Samuel Bellamy was killed when the Whydah, which had been following the light, also became grounded and wrecked by the storm. There were only a handful of survivors, who were captured and put on trial. The testimony of the Master of the Mary Anne helped condemn the pirates who went on to be executed.

19: In 1984 the wreck site of the Whydah was found off the coast of Cape Cod.

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