Blackbeard the Pirate
Blackbeard rose above all the other pirates to become the most dreaded and cunning buccaneer of all time. Blackbeard was a wild pirate who even today his name still suggests fear and destruction. Blackbeard the pirate's real name may have been Edward Teach, although some maritime historians suggest it might have been Thatch or Drummond. He was born about 1680, in Bristol, England. He learned his sea craft during the War of the Spanish Succession which was fought between 1701 and 1714.
Blackbeard was the member of a crew of an English ship whose captain had been given a letter of marque which was an official document from the government to capture and pillage Spanish and French ships. Privateers and gentlemen pirates could legally attack ships from countries with whom they were at war. After the war was over, however, many of the privateers turned to piracy. Thus did Blackbeard start his career of terror.
Blackbeard started his life of piracy around the port of Nassau which was on the Northeast coast of New Providence. His captain was Benjamin Hornigold and he soon started to impress with his scary appearance, fearless nature, and his skills as a navigator. Blackbeard made several successful raids in the waters of the Caribbean and soon was put in charge of his own ship, a single masted six gun ship with a crew of seventy men.
Captain Hornigold and Blackbeard plundered ships along the east coast of North America as well. Blackbeard captured a French slaving ship called La Concorde and liked it so much that he took it for his own. He refitted the ship with more cannons, ending up with forty cannon. He renamed the ship Queen Anne's Revenge. Queen Anne's Revenge was 34 meters long and had a crew of 150 bloodthirsty pirates. By 1718 Blackbeard had become a feared name in the Caribbean as well as the east coast of North America.
Blackbeard soon became a source of irritation to the British Navy who sent HMS Scarborough to capture him. The two ships fought the battle of legends. This did not stop Blackbeard sailing to Charleston in South Carolina with four ships and hundreds of pirates to blockade the port. Blackbeard attacked any ships entering or leaving Charleston harbour and stripped their cargos and took hostages. Blackbeard then sailed for North Carolina but went aground at Beaufort Inlet, losing two of his ships. He then went on to the town of Bath, where he received a pardon and settled down.
But Blackbeard could not control himself and started once again to raid ships and the citizens were not happy about it. In 1718 Virgina posted a reward for Edward Teach - dead or alive - and sent two small ships to catch him under the command of leiutenant Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy. Blackbeard boarded Maynards ship but was shot and slashed with swords before falling. His head was chopped off and hung on the bowsprit of Maynard's ship as proof that the dreaded Blackbeard had finally been vanquished.