Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pirates Need Love, Too

Happy Valentine’s Day, mateys!

Today is a day to celebrate the ones we love. We give our special someone flowers, heart-shaped boxes of candy, jewelry, cards with chubby, half-naked cherubs, Spanish gold doubloons, and the blood of our enemies.  Ok, maybe not that last part. But, hey, pirates can have sweethearts, too.

Whydah gold!
Sure pirates are not known for being debonair or companionable. They generally weren’t what Hollywood romanticizes. Eighteenth-century lasses weren’t hanging posters of them in their bedrooms. Despite that there were many genteel and handsome pirates lurking in the seas, pirates were often a nasty lot. Ah, but pirates were still human and sometimes the most valuable treasures aren’t what could be taken, but given. One such pirate “Black Sam” Bellamy could attest to that. In an odd twist of fate, Sam Bellamy was driven to his occupation by one of the most powerful sources of motivation—love.

Whydah's resting place
Sam Bellamy was born in Devonshire, England in 1689. At a young age, he took to the sea as a sailor and in his teens served in the Royal Navy, perhaps not even willingly. Bellamy arrived in Cape Cod from England around 1714 purportedly to seek out relatives. There he met a young woman named Maria “Goody” Hallett. Together they fell madly in love. But he was a penniless sailor and her wealthy family denied him her hand. Lore has it, to win their favor, he set out to seek his fortune by the quickest means – he joined a pirate crew, of course.

Not long after Bellamy left, Maria found out she was with child. She gave birth to a boy but the infant died very shortly after. The speculation around the event is unclear. But whatever happened, the child’s demise incited a scandal and Maria was imprisoned for her son’s death. She served her short sentence and was exiled but stayed close in the town of Wellfleet, where she wandered the dunes of the shores waiting for her Sam’s return.

Meanwhile, with a strong will and expertise in his craft, it wasn’t long before Bellamy became one of the most successful pirates of his time. And one known for his generosity, not needlessly harming victims, and sending ships, crew, passengers on their way if they didn’t suit his purposes or needs.

A beautiful thief + a sexy libertine = wicked fun
He captured some 50 ships during his reign in the Caribbean, including a fine slave ship, Whydah. He chased the Whydah for three days. Without ever shooting his shipboard guns, the Whydah surrendered and Bellamy took the prize for his own. Now laden with riches, Bellamy charted his course north, back to his love, Maria. But as he reached Cape Cod, a terrible nor’easter raged and the sea ravaged the ship. Just a mere 500 feet from the shores of Cape Cod, the Whydah broke apart, tragically taking all but 2 of 146 on board, including Bellamy. It is a tragic love story, for sure.

Ah, those swashbuckling pirates. Bellamy could easily be the inspiration for a redemptive hero in a romance novel. And who doesn’t love a pirate captain who needs redemption? I know I do!

In A Kiss in the Wind, Captain Blade Tyburn pulls double duty as not only an opportunistic pirate but also as an infamous libertine known far and wide by swooning ladies, jealous husbands, and watchful fathers. Even the mighty fall and he may have met his match in Marisol, a knife-wielding, beautiful thief. Batten down the hatches. There are stormy seas ahead for these two.

About the Author

Jennifer is the award-winning author of the Romancing the Pirate series. Visit her at www.jbrayweber.com or join her mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways.




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