Black Bart – Pembrokeshire’s Infamous Pirate

©Ieuan Morris

The subtitle of Ieuan Morris’s excellent new book, Photographing Pembrokeshire, is A Paradise for Pirates. And he has employed the term “pirates” as a theme in its broadest sense, taking in all kinds of rogues – from olden times to the present day – who have found ways to exploit the nature of Pembrokeshire for their own ends.

He inevitably devotes space to “the greatest of all pirates” – who was born at Little Newcastle, or Casnewydd Bach, in Pembrokeshire in 1682.

John Roberts was also known as Bartholomew Roberts – and later as Black Bart, or Barti Ddu.

Ieuan tells how Black Bart left home at 13 and worked on merchant ships and slave ships before throwing in his lot with another Pembrokeshire pirate, Hywel Davies, from Milford Haven. When Davies passed on, Bart took over as captain and the rest is pure swashbuckling history… for he became the most infamous pirate of his day, “the scourge of the Atlantic and the Caribbean”.

For the full story and more information on Photographing Pembrokeshire – A Paradise for Pirates (£12.99, Y Lolfa) visit or iantomor–

Nigel Summerley

Nigel Summerley retired from The Oldie magazine to return to freelance journalism. He previously held executive staff jobs at the London Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Express before freelancing for 20 years for newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Guardian and the ‘i’ paper, plus a wide range of magazines. He continues to write about music, travel and health, and blogs at

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