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Swashbuckling Dread Pirate Roberts

Bartholomew Roberts with his ship and captured merchant ships in the background (copper engraving from A History of the Pyrates by Captain Charles Johnson c. 1724

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Sep 19

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"Roberts had grown so rich, he wanted to retire. He took me to his cabin and he told me his secret. 'I am not the Dread Pirate Roberts' he said. 'My name is Ryan; I inherited the ship from the previous Dread Pirate Roberts, just as you will inherit it from me. The man I inherited it from is not the real Dread Pirate Roberts either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Roberts has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia."

~ The Princess Bride, 1987

Inspiration for this dance's namesake character was a real dreaded pirate with the name of Roberts - Bartholomew Roberts, a Welsh pirate who raided ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy as measured by vessels captured, taking over 400 prizes in his career. He is also known as Black Bart (Welsh: Barti Ddu), but this name was never used in his lifetime. ​🏴‍☠️

Swashbuckling Dread Pirate Roberts

From the popular novel, "The Princess Bride" published in 1973, Dread Pirate Roberts is a pirate of near-mythical reputation, feared across the seven seas for his ruthlessness and sword fighting prowess, and is well known for taking no prisoners.

It is revealed during the course of the story that Roberts is not one man, but a series of individuals who pass the name and reputation to a chosen successor once they are wealthy enough to retire. When the time comes, "Roberts" and his chosen successor sail into port and discharge the crew. Then they hire a new crew, the ex-Roberts staying aboard as first mate and referring to his successor as "Captain Roberts". Once the crew grows accustomed to the new Roberts, the previous captain leaves to enjoy his retirement.

Inspiration for this character was a real dreaded pirate with the name of Roberts - Bartholomew Roberts, a Welsh pirate who raided ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722.  He was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy as measured by vessels captured, taking over 400 prizes in his career. He is also known as Black Bart (Welsh: Barti Ddu), but this name was never used in his lifetime.

For more on this fascinating pirate, click the vintage trading card of Bartholomew Roberts - 1888 Allen & Ginter Pirates of the Spanish Main.

Swashbuckling Dread Pirate Roberts

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

Swashbuckling Dread Pirate Roberts

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