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Facts about Blackbeard the Pirate

If you are looking for facts about Blackbeard the pirate, then keep reading to find out why he was one of the most notorious and feared pirates.

Edward Teach - Blackbeard

Blackbeard the Man

Blackbeard was the nickname of Edward Teach, who was born in England in the late 1600s. He was very impressive physically, being tall, muscular, and having black hair and beard. Historians are not sure that was his real name, as some refer to him as Edward Thatch.

Edward Teach became a pirate after serving on a British privateer. The ship and its crew were hired by Queen Anne of Britain to attack enemy ships. It attacked and plundered French and Spanish ships during the War of the Spanish Succession. By the time the war ended, Teach was very experienced at being a pirate, and he joined a band of Caribbean pirates lead by Captain Benjamin Hornigold. Hornigold soon handed the ship over to Blackbeard.

Blackbeard the Pirate

In 1717, Blackbeard met Stede Bonnet, known as "The Gentleman Pirate" who was captain of the Revenge. He invited Bonnet to accompany him, but soon realized he was not a good leader or sailor. Blackbeard gave control of the Revenge to another pirate and held Bonnet prisoner. Bonnet was well treated and released a few months later when the company disbanded.

Soon, Blackbeard seized control of a French slave ship named Concorde, increased her armament and renamed her. During the next seven months, Queen Anne’s Revenge and the Revenge were active in the Caribbean and the along the east coast of North America. After gaining two more ships, his fleet of four ships and over 300 pirates sailed up American coast in the spring of 1718.

Image is Everything

Blackbeard’s appearance was menacing, especially with his red coat, two swords, and knives and pistols stuffed into a bandoleer across his chest. Many victims surrendered at the sight of Blackbeard’s flag. The black flag featured a skeleton with horns, holding a drink in one hand and a spear in the other and designed to intimidate. The spear had pierced a red heart, with red spots of blood dripping below. This, along with other facts about Blackbeard the pirate, added to his fierce reputation.

He would take their valuables, weapons, and rum before letting them set sail. If they resisted, he would maroon the crew and burn the ship. It is said he sometimes stuck cannon fuses under his hat and lit them during battle.

Blackbeard’s Last Battle

In November of 1718, the governor of Virginia, Alexander Spotswood, sent ships from the Royal Navy and troops to capture Blackbeard. Robert Maynard took control of the HMS Pearl and the HMS Lyme to approach from the sea. The Assembly of Virginia offered a reward for Blackbeard’s capture in addition to what would be received from England.

The pirates were found on November the 21st on Ocracoke Island and Blackbeard died the next day. According to reports, he was shot five times and received at least 20 severe cuts. Maynard decapitated him, throwing his body into the inlet and hung his head from the bowsprit of his ship as proof so he could collect the reward.

Miscellaneous Facts about Blackbeard the Pirate

There are many "facts" about Blackbeard the Pirate that people believe they know, but not all of them are true.

  • He had a long black beard, which he would braid ribbons into before battle.
  • One of the biggest myths was the number of Blackbeard’s wives. It is commonly believed he had twelve, but this fact is not true.
  • He received a pardon from King George I, but it arrived in Bath Town a month after he was killed.
  • Many believe he named his ship Queen Anne's Revenge after a distant cousin, Anne Boleyn, who was Henry VIII's second wife and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I. The remains of his ship may have been found in 1996 off the coast of Florida.
  • Blackbeard claimed he never killed anyone who was not trying to kill him. His reign of terror only lasted a few years.