Samuel Bellamy

English Sailor & Pirate

Born: Unknown

Died: 1717

According to the legends preserved by the old timers on Cape Cod, Samuel Bellamy was a young English sailor who arrived in the new world colonies seeking fame and fortune. In 1715 he persuaded a wealthy patron to finance a ship and crew and sailed south to search for sunken Spanish treasure off the coast of Florida.

Treasure was not the only thing on young Bellamy’s mind as he promised local beauty Maria Hallet that he would return one day sailing the longest, tallest ship ever seen. He made no predictions on speed records, however, as he hoped the ship would be so laden with gold and silver

The treasure hunt failed but Bellamy was loath to return to Massachusetts and Maria empty-handed, and the step to piracy was a small one. In little more than a year Samuel, now known as Black Bellamy, was captain of a notorious pirate crew that had plundered more than 50 ships.

One morning off Cuba, Bellamy and his buccaneers captured the Whydah, a 100-foot three-masted galley packed with ivory, indigo and thousands of silver and gold coins. Excited with his prize, he designated it as his flagship.

His fortune secured, Bellamy headed for home. By April 1717 he was off Cape Cod when his fleet was stuck by a stormy tempest completed with 70 mph gales and 40 foot tall waves. The Whydah was top heavy and highly susceptible to the driving winds blowing her ever closer to the shore. Amid scenes of mayhem the Whydah capsized, breaking her back with a heart-rending crack.

Only two men survived the natural holocaust. One was an Indian pilot who quickly disappeared into the mists of history, the other Thomas Davis, a Welsh carpenter, whose vivid account of the shipwreck was preserved and passed from generation to generation through Cape Cod folklore.

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