Blackbeard went by the name “Edward Teach.” Most historians agree that he was born about the year 1680 in Bristol, England. Some believe however, that he may have been born in Jamaica or even in Bath North Carolina. He was able to read and write which suggests his family had money. As with most pirates, little is known of his early life.
Sometime in the early eighteenth century, Teach left Bristol for Jamaica to sail on the ships of privateers. When England revoked the privateer’s license, Teach joined forces with Captain Benjamin Hornigold. Hornigold took Teach under his wing and taught him everything he knew about taking ships. This alliance lasted for a little over two years. It was during this time that Teach first came to Carolina.
By March of 1718, Blackbeard had decided to leave the Caribbean and sail up the east coast of America. On his way he encountered several ships that joined forces with him. By the time they reached Charleston in late May, Blackbeard had nearly four hundred men under his command.
Blackbeard and his fleet blockaded Charleston harbor for nearly a week and stopped all ships coming and going. Blackbeard’s only demand from the Governor was for a chest of medicine. Several prominent citizens had been taken hostage but were released when the demands were met. Blackbeard’s fleet left Charleston without firing a single shot.
Shortly after the blockade of Charleston, Blackbeard sunk his flagship “Queen Anne’s Revenge” in Beaufort Inlet. The booty he had stolen in Charleston was put on a small sloop which he named the Adventure.
By mid-June Blackbeard and his crew were in Bath, North Carolina and had accepted the Kings pardon for piracy. During the next few weeks Blackbeard bought a house in Bath and was married by the governor to his fourteenth wife, Mary Ormond. However, it was not long before Blackbeard and his crew left Bath and committed one more act of piracy. When he brought the ship back to Carolina the Governor and Secretary held a hearing and judged the ship abandoned and divided the spoils between themselves and Blackbeard. This action by the governor made many of the colonists believe that he was working with Blackbeard.
Governor Spotswood of Virginia was called on by local plantation owners to track down Blackbeard and run him out of Carolina. Unknown to his council, Governor Spotswood sent troops by land to Bath and Lt. Maynard by sea to capture Blackbeard.
On the morning of November 22, 1718, Lt. Maynard and Blackbeard fought a bloody battle near Teach’s Hole at Ocracoke Inlet. Blackbeard received twenty sword wounds and five gunshot wounds before he was brought down. Lt. Maynard ordered his head cut off and the body thrown overboard. Blackbeard’s head was tied to the bowsprit of the Adventure and taken back to Virginia. The death of Blackbeard signaled the end of “The Golden Age of Piracy.”