[CLICK HERE: To read the speech made by, Lord Dennis, a fellow crewman which lead to Roberts being elected Captain.]
When Captain Roberts was accordingly elected, tho’ he had not been above six Weeks among them, the Choice was confirm’d both by the Lords and Commoners, and he accepted of the Honour saying: "Since I hath dipp’d my Hands in muddy Water, and must be a Pyrate, it is better being a Commander that a common Man."--Bartholomew Roberts
["Muddy Water" meaning unlawful.]Later, saying to the fresh men as his reason:
" ’Twas to get rid of the disagreeable superiority of some masters peregrinations had accustomed me. In an honest Service there is thin Commons, low Wages, and hard labour; in this, Plenty and Satiety, Pleasure and Ease, Liberty and Power; and who would not balance Creditor on this side when all the Hazard that is run for it, at worst, is only a sour Look or two at choaking. And for the Love of Novelty and Change1,2.". No, A merry Life and a short one, shall be my Motto."--Bartholomew Roberts [which Eloquently & Concisely states the why.] .
"Let's drink a Damn to the Halter, lads, and them that lives to wear it"--Bartholomew Roberts
[This was a toast to which Cap'n Roberts drank in tay 'tea' upon his ship with his crew prior to Every engagement.]
When Captain Roberts found that rigor was not expected from his people he often practiced it to appease them, then he would give strangers to understand that it was pure inclination that induced him to a good treatment of them, and not love or partiality to their persons, saying: "For there is none of you but will hang me, I know, whenever you can clinch me within your power."
['Tis obvious that Captain Roberts cared deeply, which is why he maintained forebearance with all those that allowed him, as for those who did not, they, well— for them he had none.]
. Much later on, when Captain Roberts found that gentle means were no longer able to govern such a large company, he employed rougher deportment, correcting those he found unfit. For those who challenged his authority, he told them, "they might go ashore and take satisfaction of him, if they thought fit, at sword and pistol, for he neither valued or feared any of them."
[the above quotes were obtained, verbatim, from: A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates, by Captain Charles Johnson; pub. 1724]
When Captain Roberts and a crew, after suffering ill winds and currents and provisions and water were gone, they sailed into St Christophers, (aka St. Kitts) and after being denied all scour were fired upon, while those who remained thwarted off death from both dehydration and hunger had not the ability to also manage the winds and current upon entering the harbour, however, in retaliation sank one ships and captured another despite these hardships. Returning the next day, the same being the case and seeing their Royal Rover burnt, knowing some of his crew, that was with great distress left behind had been used barbarously, Captain Roberts sent the following letter was sent to the English governor of the Island.
"Gentlemen,Sept, 27, 1720
This comes expressly from me to lett you know that had you come off as you ought to a done and drank a Glass of wine with me and my Company I should not harmed the least vessell in your harbour. Further it is not your Gunns you fired that affrighted me or hindered our coming ashore, but the wind not proving to our expectation that hindered it. The Rover you have already burnt and barbarously used some of our men but we have now a ship as good as her and for revenge you may assure yourselves here and hereafter not to expect anything from our hands but what belongs to a pirate as farther Gentlemen that poor fellow you now have in prison at Sandy Point is entirely ignorant and what he hath was gave him and so pray make conscience for one let me begg you and use that man as an honest man and not as a C. If we hear any otherwise you may expect not to have quarters to any of your Island.
Yours Bathll. Roberts"
'Twas about one month later when news arrived of the mistreatement of said prisoner and, as promised, Captain Roberts dealt out justice, sinking 15 or 16 of the ships in the harbour and shelled the island. [the above quote was obtained, verbatim, from: The Ocean Almanac by Robert Hendrickson]
"..... a merry life, and a short one."
Not to say he was forced physically, but rather by the times, which was the drive behind the desire to, in his own relentless way, help those he could from oppression and serve as the sword of justice.