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Real Pirates

Captain Black Sam Bellamy

Captain Black Sam BellamySam Bellamy was born in born in 1689 in the English hamlet of Hittisleigh, Devon.

A sailor by trade, he arrived in New England after the end of the War of Spanish Succession (1702-1712) where, as legend has it, he met and fell in love with Maria Hallett of Eastham, Massachusetts.) Her parents didn't approve of the romance, however, because they believed a poor sailor would also make a poor husband. In 1715, Bellamy set out looking for fortune so he could win the approval of the Hallett family.

Bellamy and his friend, Palgrave Williams started out their pursuit of riches as ordinary treasure hunters, looking for shipwrecks. Their search was unsuccessful. Rather than return to Maria in Massachusetts empty-handed and defeated, Bellamy decided to "turn pirate."

In just a year of raiding, Bellamy and his crew plundered more than 50 ships on the Caribbean and Atlantic. Bellamy became known for his mercy and generosity toward those he captured on his raids.

In February 1717, Bellamy captured the Whydah, a three-masted English ship that was built to transport human captives from the West Coast of Africa to the Caribbean, but only made one such voyage before being captured. The Whydah carried gold and silver worth more than 20,000 pounds sterling. Combined with the plunder of the other captured ships, it amounted to the fortune that Bellamy had been seeking. He turned his fleet around and headed back to Massachusetts.

On April 26, 1717, the Whydah encountered one of the worst nor'easters ever recorded. It went down off the coast of Cape Cod, taking Bellamy and all but two of his 145 men with it.

Portrayed by:

Stephen Pearce

Stephen PearceStephen Pearce's Minnesota credits include The Oldest Story in the World with Novi Most Theatre Company; Othello at Park Square Theatre; and God's Ear at Red Eye Theatre. He spent the last two summers with Door Shakespeare in Door County, Wisconsin, appearing as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing and Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night. Stephen toured Colorado with No Holds Bard Theatre Company, performing in Macbeth, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night. He was a founding member of the Bug Children's Theatre Series, creating original musicals for children, including The Denver Post's 2002 "Best Show for Young Audiences," Spiderella. Other Denver credits include War Anthology and The Long Christmas Ride Home at Curious Theatre; A Midsummer Night's Dream and Comedy of Errors with The Bug; Metamorphoses at Avenue Theatre; and Shakespeare's R&J at Theatre on Broadway.