Blackbeard the Pirate

Edward 'Blackbeard' Teach - Pirate (1680 - 1718)

Probably the most notorious of all the pirates from what has become known as 'The Golden Age of Pirates'. As with so many pirates, his life was short lived, however the effect it had on history has ensured that the name Blackbeard will live on for many years to come. Blackbeard appeared as a character in the popular video game Assassins Creed IV Black Flag, and has been portrayed in many films including Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides and, more recently, the Peter Pan prequel - Pan.

This page details facts about Blackbeard's life and the events that shaped his history.

Blackbeard the Pirate - Fun Facts for Kids !

1: He was born as Edward Teach in Bristol around 1680.

2: He spent some time sailing on privateers.

3: Despite uncommon boldness and personal courage, he was never promoted to command a ship.

4: Itís believed that he became a pirate towards the end of 1716.

5: Edward Teach became known as Blackbeard having grown a large black beard that covered a large part of his face. He was known to twist it into small tails and tie them with ribbons.

6: He would light slow match fuses and hang them from under his hat. The resulting smoke and sparks made him look menacing.

7: He wore a sash across his body with three braces (pairs) of pistols.

8: The first ship that he commanded as a pirate was a sloop that he was put onto by Captain Benjamin Hornigold, who he'd served under for a time. Samuel 'Black Sam' Bellamy was also part of Hornigold's company at this time.

9: He was in league with Hornigold until early 1718 when Hornigold accepted a general pardon for pirates offered by King George l (dated 5th September 1717 to last until 5th September 1718).

10: In November 1717, he captured a French ship named La Concorde and changed itís name to Queen Anneís Revenge. To strengthen its fire power, he added 40 cannons.

11: He met a 10 gun sloop commanded by Major Stede Bonnet. On discovering Bonnet was an inexperienced sailor, Blackbeard, with consent from his crew, placed Captain Richards in charge of Bonnetís sloop. He then took Bonnet aboard his own ship telling him that he could live easy at his pleasure, and he would not be obliged to perform any duties.

12: After plundering five ships in the bay of Honduras, he let three of them go. The other two were burned, one because he spited the owner, the other because it was from Boston, where some men had recently been hung for piracy.

13: Blackbeard blockaded Charles Town, Carolina, taking many ships and prisoners. He sent a few pirates, with a prisoner, to the government of the province to demand a chest of medicine. The government gave in to his demands, and after plundering the ships, he released them and the prisoners.

14: His Company consisted of the Queen Anneís Revenge and three sloops, when he decided to break it up and keep the best of their money and plunder. Faking an accident, he ran the Queen Anne's Revenge aground and ordered one of the others to come and help. In doing so, the other ship also ran aground. He transferred to another of the ships with around forty hands. They sailed to an island where he marooned seventeen of them.

15: He sailed to North Carolina where he accepted the Kingís general pardon from the Governor Charles Eden.

16: During this time he bigamously married, what was said to be his fourteenth wife. It was believed that twelve of his wives were still alive.

17: Governor Charles Eden granted him one of the ships he had taken as a pirate. This was the start of a partnership between the two, which would see Blackbeard returning to piracy and sharing his spoils with the Governor.

18: In June 1718 he headed to Bermuda and met two or three English ships. He only robbed them of the provisions he required, then let them go.

19: Near Bermuda, he came across two French ships, one was empty the other loaded with Sugar and Cocoa. He set the crew of the loaded ship onto the empty ship then took the loaded ship back to North Carolina. The spoils were divided with a share going to the Governor and another to the Governorís Secretary.

20: He set the French ship alight in a river to destroy any evidence of this deed.

21: He spent three or four months in the river sometimes trading with other ships and sometimes pillaging them. He acted similarly with the local planters. It was believed that he also took liberties with their wives. While there he was visited by fellow pirate Charles Vane who remained for around a week.

22: Knowing that Governor Eden was in league with him, complaints against Blackbeard were made to the Governor of Virginia. This resulted in a Proclamation offering rewards for capturing or killing pirates.

23: The Proclamation, dated 14th November 1718, specified the reward for Blackbeard as being one hundred pounds.

24: A Lieutenant Robert Maynard, of the Royal Navy, was despatched, in secrecy, with two sloops by the Virginian Governor to deal with the pirate. Maynard finally encountered him on 22nd November 1718, and after Blackbeard boarded Maynardís ship he was shot by Maynard but continued to fight.

25: He finally fell after being shot five times and receiving 20 other wounds.

26: His head was cut from his body and mounted on the bowsprit of Maynard's ship. His body was thrown overboard.

27: Blackbeard, along with Anne Bonny, Benjamin Hornigold, Calico Jack, Mary Read and Charles Vane, has been included as a character in the popular video game Assassins Creed IV, Black Flag.

28: Blackbeard has been portrayed in many films including Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides. More recently, Blackbeard featured in the Peter Pan prequel - Pan, where he was played by Hugh Jackman the actor famous for playing the X-Men character Wolverine. He has also appeared as a character in the US TV series Black Sails.

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