Captain Kidd

Edward Teach - Blackbeard (English pirate active 1716 - 1718)

Thought 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 in 1716.

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.

Teach maintained 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.

Blackbeards pirate career was short-lived. In 1718 the Governor of Virginia, Al Spotswood, offered a 100 reward for the capture of Blackbeard - DEAD OR ALIVE!

He commissioned 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.

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