11 Fun Captain Blackbeard Facts: Learn About The Most Famous Pirate | Kidadl


11 Fun Captain Blackbeard Facts: Learn About The Most Famous Pirate

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Unlike other popular pirates during his time, pirate Blackbeard had a short career of around two years as a pirate captain.

Despite his short tenure pirate Blackbeard became one of history’s most famous pirates of the seven seas. A notorious pirate throughout, there are very few reliable sources of his life as a pirate.

The accounts for his life before he became a pirate captain are virtually unknown. But his adventures as a British Privateer and a Pirate are immortalized in the famous book 'A General History of the Pyrates' which was first published in 1724. Written by a person named Charles Jhonson, there is a great dispute over its authenticity, with many historians questioning the relevance of the book’s many mythical contents.

But it is undisputed to be the most important account of Captain Blackbeard’s life and other pirates during his time. Here we will answer various questions surrounding the infamous Blackbeard by stating 11 facts surrounding his life.

After reading the interesting Captain Blackbeard timeline aboard the famous Captain Blackbeard ship, also check Captain America facts and Captain Cook facts.

When was Blackbeard born?

One wonders about popular villains such as Blackbeard and what their life was like before they became criminals. Before taking up piracy full-time, Blackbeard was a British Privateer, until 1715.

Privateers were like pirates, but they were commissioned legally through the Letter of Marque. Their job was to attack enemy ships for the British, and during peacetime, they had to split their loot with the British Empire. They were commissioned during Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713).

Before becoming Blackbeard the Pirate, Blackbeard was known as Edward Thache. According to various sources, his second name varies leading to other names such as Edward Thatch. Edward Teach was speculated to be about 35-40 years of age at the time of his death in 1718. Due to the lack of any reliable source and definite dating, historians speculate that Edward Teach was born around 1680 in the port of Bristol in England.

Bristol was a major port in England that was used to trade slaves to and from the West Indies, the Americas, and parts of Africa. Historians speculate since he was born in the port city of Bristol Blackbeard or Edward Thache must have taken to sailing since his early life. Many historians speculate that he was well educated and must have come from a prominent and respected family. Pirates changed their names and adopted aliases so as to not tarnish their family names, which is one of the reasons historians believe Captain Blackbeard’s surname has been a topic of contention.

Edward Teach operated as a British Privateer from Jamaica during the Anglo-French War, which was a part of the War for Spanish Succession, before becoming a pirate. This made him incidentally a party to Queen Anne's War, which took part in the control of the South American Islands. The British Navy had to fend off the Spanish and the French from these waters. Privateers were valuable to the Royal Navy of Britain during the wars as they held off enemy ships of Spain and France. The Royal Navy also collected a part of the privateers' loot which helped them financially. Edward Thache is noted to have been one of the most revered of Privateers. He was admired for his unparalleled courage and strategic mind. He apparently had excellent nautical skills which would become fruitful later on in Blackbeard’s career.

Blackbeard’s Ship

After the war ended in 1713, Edward Thache like many of his contemporary privateers had no legal jobs to do. The British Government and its colonies turned their backs on the privateers. Hence, many of the privateers turned into Pirates as looting, plundering, murdering, and intimidating was second nature to them.

Edward Teach, now a pirate, sailed from Jamaica and went to a new island called 'New Providence'. It was abandoned as it had endured multiple attacks, but many of its structures and ports were still intact. It was a haven for pirates and many pirate vessels were docked there. Many pirates anchored there and Edward Teach’s visit to the island would be detrimental. There, on the island, he met Benjamin Hornigold one of his fellow pirates aboard his British turned French vessel La Concorde. He had captured the ship around a year prior to his death when most of the defenses of the ship including cannons had been removed to create more space for keeping the African slaves.

Hornigold was, many historians speculate, Blackbeard’s first and best mentor. They apparently had a very close relationship which would end with Hornigold being given the Royal Pardon, whence he would become a pirate hunter. Under Hornigold’s apprenticeship, Blackbeard would claim his infamous vessel Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Queen Anne’s Revenge was formerly a French ship. It carried around 500 enslaved African slaves. The slave ship was originally named La Concorde. The slave ship encountered Captain Blackbeard’s crew who sailed in pirate sloops and Blackbeard himself, whilst on its way to West Indies. Blackbeard and Hornigold were leading sloop adventures on the coast of Virginia where they plundered multiple ships. While returning to the Caribbean, they came across La Concorde. La Concorde had a combined crew of 60 men, many of whom were suffering from scurvy and dysentery. Blackbeard's crew of 150 men were no match and La Concorde’s captain Pierre Dossett surrendered without resistance as the ship had no defenses to ward off the pirates. Then the ship was renamed Queen Anne’s Revenge. The ship would be the protagonist vessel in Blackbeard’s career as a pirate.

Queen Anne’s Revenge was sunk and lost with its captain in 1718. Off of the coast of North Carolina at the Beaufort Inlet, the ship had been sunk. The shipwreck site was discovered in 1996 and in 2011 the state of North Carolina confirmed that archeologists confirmed that the shipwreck was Queen Anne’s Revenge. By looking at the huge size of the ship’s wreckage and the massive weapons found, they concluded that at the time of the wreckage no other ship at the Beaufort Inlet other than Queen Anne’s Revenge could have been of this magnitude.

What was Blackbeard famous for?

Blackbeard during his reign plundered around 40 ships. But his methods made him popular as compared to his contemporaries. During his reign, he is said to have not tortured or killed people in his expeditions. His cunning use of tactical fear is what made him infamous.

Blackbeard used to put flaming matches under his hat. This story grew more and more creepy as it was told by more and more people who encountered him. The smoke that would be created due to the matches is said to have given Blackbeard a frightening look which was used by him to intimidate other pirates and sailors. The smoke would make his eyes red and this sight would make almost all his trespassers surrender without any resistance. Due to this fear factor historians believe that Blackbeard neither killed nor tortured his captives until his last battle when he was killed. In his own right, he was merciful.

In 1718 Blackbeard blocked the Port of Charleston in South Carolina. As his own crew were 400 men and four vessels, which was an intimidating factor to seal off the port completely. Any ships passing by were plundered. One of those ships happened to be The Crowley aboard which was one of the members of the colony’s governing council Samuel Wragg and his son. Blackbeard held them hostage and in order to release them, he asked for the chest of medical supplies to be surrendered to him, which he duly received.

After his expedition in South Carolina, his ship Queen Anne’s Revenge sank off of the coast of North Carolina. Blackbeard sailed with his crew of pirates to Bath, North Carolina where he received pirate amnesty via a royal pardon from the governor. He set up base in Ocracoke Island in August 1718. But he returned to his old ways by plundering French Ships out in the sea and claiming 18 barrels of sugar. This move would cost him eventually.

HMS Pearl and HMS Lyme operated under the command of Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

How tall was Blackbeard?

Blackbeard’s greatest weapon was his imposing figure. Unlike other pirates, he is not known to have committed brazen acts. He used his sheer frightening look to intimidate other pirates and merchants to willingly submit to him.

Many historians suggest that Blackbeard had an imposing figure. Apart from his pitch-black beard and frightful smoky head he was very tall. Historians suggest that he was about 6 ft 5 in (1.95 m) tall and weighed over 220 lb (100 kg). This sheer size coupled with his tactical and intimidating techniques must have made him a formidable pirate in the Caribbean.

Blackbeard’s Timeline

Edward Teach, alias Blackbeard, was speculated to have lived for about 40 years from 1680-1718 until his demise. He is supposed to have become a privateer at the onset of the 18th century.

But there is more clarity over his reign as a pirate. He is speculated to have operated as a pirate for a little over two years from 1715-1718. But his time in the seas and the world ended after his brazen act of looting the French ships after gaining amnesty.

Teach or Blackbeard claimed that the barrels of sugar he looted were from an abandoned ship. But very few believed him. The governor of the neighboring state of North Carolina, that is, Virginia was cynical of Teach. He decided to deal with Teach for once and for all. He sent the Royal Navy headed by Robert Maynard to hunt Teach down. Lieutenant Maynard and his crew outnumbered Teach’s fleet. They outnumbered them by three to one to surprise Teach. But Teach and his men fought bravely. He was finally killed by Maynard's men. He was beheaded off of the coast of North Carolina. He had 20 sword cuts and four bullet wounds.

His severed head was hoisted over the post bridge of Maynard’s ship and paraded across the sea to show that he was killed. This marked the end of the reign of Blackbeard’s terror in the region which although lasted for only about two years, but still has been etched in everyone’s memory.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Captain America facts, then why not take a look at Captain John Smith facts or Captain Marvel facts?

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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