The country of São Tomé and Principe consists, perhaps not surprisingly, of one island called São Tomé and one island called Principe. They are located in the Gulf of Guinea, about 150 miles off the coast of Gabon. Both islands used to be run by the Portuguese, and with Portugal having long been friends with us, we haven’t really invaded São Tomé and Principe. Though, on occasions, the Royal Navy has used the islands as a base. However, one lot of Brits did launch their own unofficial invasion of Principe.
Captain Howell Davis was a Welsh pirate. He had succeeded in deceiving the commander of a Royal African Company fort in the Gambia into thinking he was a privateer and, as a result, he was able to capture the commander at dinner and demand a ransom.
Encouraged by this, in 1719 Howell decided to try a similar plan to kidnap the Portuguese governor of Principe. So, with this in mind, he sailed into the harbour flying the flags of a British man-of-war. Howell must have thought his plan was working because he was invited to the fort for a drink. But instead of a drink, Howell, much to his (brief, since he didn’t survive the day) disappointment, was ambushed and killed.
The pirates then elected another Welsh pirate, Bartholomew Roberts, as their leader and he subsequently launched a revenge raid on Principe, looting and killing.