- Blackbeard (English pirate active 1716 - 1718)
to have been born in Bristol around 1680 Edward Teach (his official
name along he used the aliases Thatch, Tash and Drummond) served as
a seaman on privateers sailing out of Jamaica before turning to piracy
He was made captain
of a captured trading sloop while serving under the pirate Captain Benjamin
Hornigold. The later capture of a French merchant ship the Concord provided
Teach with his flagship which he renamed the Queen Annes Revenge. Famed
for his alarming appearance, Teach had a thick, jet-black beard (the
obvious source of his nickname). He went into battle with three pairs
of pistols strapped across his chest, a number of daggers and pistols
in his belt, a cutlass and a slow-burning fuses (made from thick hemp
cord) tucked under his hat.
his cruel reputation by being as savage with his crew as he was with
his prisoners. In his General History Captain Johnson tells a story
of Blackbeard shooting his first mate Israel Hands at point-blank range
while in his cabin having a drink.
career was short-lived. In 1718 the Governor of Virginia, Al Spotswood,
offered a £100 reward for the capture of Blackbeard - DEAD OR ALIVE!
Lieutenant Robert Maynard of HMS Pearl who tracked Blackbeard down to
one of his favoured anchorages at Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina. After
a confused and bloody battle in which Maynard engaged Blackbeard in
a hand-to-hand fight on the deck of the pirate ship Blackbeard collapsed
in a pool of blood with 20 cutlass wounds and 5 pistol shots. On seeing
their captains fall the pirates surrendered.
Maynard had Blackbeards
head cut off and returned for his reward with it hanging from the bowsprit
of his ship. Blackbeards crew were tried in Virginia and all but one
was found guilty and hung.