Samuel Bellamy (1689 – 1717), also known as Black Sam and the Prince of Pirates, was an English pirate and a member of the British Brotherhood of Assassin, who operated in the West Indies during the Golden Age of Piracy. He was also an associate of fellow pirates Alonzo Batilla and Olivier Levasseur.
Becoming a pirate
- "I am getting very tired of playing this part. The clothes I wear, the flourish with which I speak. This Prince of Pirates is but a pathetic fake, a bawdy actor without flair or panache. Yet everyone seems fooled by my performance, and the more I act, the more they believe my words."
- ―Bellamy in his journal.[src]
At some point in his life, Bellamy became a member of the Assassin Brotherhood. In order to infiltrate the pirate community, he began taking on the role of the "Prince of Pirates", speaking with a sophisticated voice and dressing in expensive clothing. Although he thought that the role was amateuristic and poorly performed, he acknowledged its effectiveness.
Bellamy and his friend Paulsgrave Williams soon rose through the pirate hierarchy, double-crossing fellow pirate Henry Jennings, and taking his bounty and crew. Afterwards, Bellamy and Williams caught up with the pirate Benjamin Hornigold west of Cuba, intending to join his fleet by exploiting the hostility between Hornigold and Jennings to remain safe. Having made an impression on Hornigold, Bellamy was given command of the newly captured Marianne, creating a highly successful crew.
In July 1716, Bellamy and Hornigold's men had grown tired of Hornigold's reluctance to attack British ships. After the crew voted in favor of deposing Hornigold, the young pirate Alonzo Batilla appeared, offering to take the deposed captain away.
Working with Batilla
- "Their ideals are rotten! Look around you, Alonzo. We pirates are the last of the free men... Slaves, soldiers, citizens... all subjects to kings, Gods and merchant princes!"
- ―Bellamy telling Alonzo about the European empires, 1717.[src]
In the meantime, Bellamy was about to attack a slave ship. Having dropped off Hornigold, Batilla insisted on participating in the attack. Bellamy accepted, and after they had boarded the ship, he advised Batilla to take on one of the slaves, Aaminah, as a crew member.
Having been assigned by his Order to acquire a mysterious Piece of Eden known as the "Fragment", around November 1716, Bellamy heard that it was carried by the Spanish treasure fleet. Meeting with Batilla and Levasseur, he told them of his intention to attack it, without mentioning the Fragment, however. Although Levasseur and Batilla questioned Bellamy's motives, Batilla agreed to attack the convoys. During this time, Bellamy sailed away from the battle.
Around January 1717, Bellamy received a letter from a fellow Assassin. According to the letter, the Fragment was being taken from Africa to the West Indies on board a slave ship called the Whydah, captained by the Dutch slaver Laurens Prins. Later that month, Bellamy met with Batilla near Havana. Apologizing for abandoning Batilla, he told him to find Prins' planned route. While Batilla was away, Bellamy was attacked by the Templar Francis Hume. However, Batilla intervened and rescued Bellamy.
One month later, Bellamy and Batilla met again, ready to take the Whydah. Bellamy attacked the Whydah along with Batilla and Levasseur, taking the artifact for the Assassins and the ship for himself. Afterwards, Bellamy and his crew converted the Whydah from a ten-gun galley to a twenty-eight gun galley.
- "My friend. A lot has happened since we parted. I think our trick has worked, but I am now being hunted. The Whydah is an exceptional ship. It is fixed and manned with more cannons, and we have captured many prizes... but I am trapped in this character I have created, this fearless captain. My men are happy, yet I know the trail we are leaving behind us will be our doom. When they come for us, they will show no mercy."
- ―A letter written by Bellamy.[src]
Using the Whydah, Bellamy subsequently plundered several ships near Virginia. Along with Bellamy's other ships, the Whydah then attempted to reach Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island. With the weather worsening, the ships soon lost contact with each other. On 26 April 1717, while near Cape Cod, the Whydah was hit by a storm.
It was at this time that the Templars attacked, believing that Bellamy still held the Fragment of Eden; however, he had passed it into Batilla's care shortly after taking the ship. In the cover of the storm, the Templars destroyed the Whydah and killed Bellamy and the entirety of his crew.