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Bartholomew Roberts (Black Bart)

Bartholomew Roberts, pirate (born circa 1682 in Pembrokeshire, Wales; died 10 February 1722 in Guinea, West Africa). Nicknamed “Black Bart,” Bartholomew Roberts became a pirate, captaining more than 400 ships off the coasts of Africa, North America and South America, including the Caribbean and Newfoundland and Labrador. Only three years after becoming a pirate, he was killed by a cannon blast in a battle with a British ship off the coast of Guinea.


Sir Henry Mainwaring

Sir Henry Mainwaring, privateer, pirate, royal advisor, vice-admiral (born c. 1587 near Ightfield, England; died in 1653 in London, England). In 1610, Mainwaring was sent to capture the English pirate, Peter Easton. Later, Mainwaring was awarded a letter of marque and ordered to attack foreign ships. He acted on behalf of the King but also became a pirate seeking his own fortune on the African coast and, for a several months, in Newfoundland. Pardoned by King James I in 1616, Mainwaring returned to England where he was nominated as a member of parliament. He also became a naval advisor, vice admiral and was knighted. Mainwaring lost his position of power in the English Civil War.


Louis-Olivier Gamache

Louis-Olivier Gamache, sailor, merchant (born in 1784 in L’Islet, Quebec; died September 1854 on Île d'Anticosti, Quebec). Gamache lived on Île d'Anticosti at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and his exploits, either true or legend, became part of the region’s oral tradition. He is said to have joined the British navy and many years later, returned to Quebec to settle on Île d'Anticosti where he was a merchant and, according to legend, a dangerous pirate. Some accounts also allege that Gamache demonstrated supernatural powers and had a personal relationship with the devil.


Sheila Na Geira

According to legend, Sheila Na Geira (also spelled NaGeira and Nagira) was an Irish aristocrat or princess who, 300 or 400 years ago, while travelling between France and Ireland, was captured by a Dutch warship and then rescued by British privateers. She fell in love and was married to one of the privateers, Lieutenant Gilbert Pike. They settled at western Conception Bay. By the early 20th century, the legend was being told as part of Newfoundland’s oral tradition, and has since been popularized by poems, novels, scholarly articles and several plays.


Eric Cobham and Maria Lindsay

Tales of swashbuckling pirates have captured audiences from around the globe for centuries. Among them is the story of Eric Cobham and his wife Maria Lindsay. Legend has it that the couple established a base in St. George’s Bay, Newfoundland, from which they attacked ships in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from 1740 to 1760. The couple is then said to have moved to France where they lived in a lavish estate. Cobham became a magistrate and judge while still occasionally committing acts of piracy. Lindsay died under mysterious circumstances and Cobham died in 1780 after allegedly dictating the story of his exploits. However, his memoirs were lost and therefore, the adventures of Cobham and Lindsay can’t be proven. This has led some experts to contend that the couple are nothing more than characters in a pirate tale.


Peter Easton

Peter Easton, privateer, pirate (born c. 1570 in England; died c. 1620). Easton visited Newfoundland in 1602, a year before becoming a pirate. He returned to Newfoundland in 1612 and built a fort at Harbour Grace. Easton plundered Basque, Spanish, English, French and Portuguese ships on the Newfoundland coast, in Puerto Rico and at the Azores islands. When pardoned by the English King James I, Easton purchased a castle in Savoy where he lived a life of leisure.