Pirates, Rum and the Thomas Family
Although films such as Pirates of the Caribbean are set around exotic islands, the coast of Wales was as much a haunt for pirates and smugglers as the Caribbean ever was. The inlets and harbors of Pembrokeshire are littered with evidence of real life buccaneers. From the 15th to 18th century, piracy continued to vex the Welsh coastline.
Since the early 18th century, the Thomas family has comprised sailmakers, ropemakers, shipwrights and mariners in the Pembroke and Milford Haven area.
The family continues to preserve its maritime heritage, including a fondness for rum!
Bartholomew Roberts (1682 – 1722) -'Black Bart‘ - the famous Welsh pirate of the early 18th century, was born in this same part of Wales as the Thomas family's ancestors (owners of Black Bart Navy Rum). Roberts was forced into piracy after his merchant ship was captured off West Africa in 1719. The captain of that pirate ship was another Welshman- Howell Davies - (1690-1719) who was born in the same town as the Thomas forbearers - Milford Haven.
Howard Thomas (1919-2007) sailed all his life. He owned numerous ships, including the square-rigged brigantine Rendezvous in San Diego. He bequeathed this love of the sea to his three sons, Baron, Drake and Lance.