Ahoy me hearties! Here be a tale of the most notorious plunderer the seven seas did ever see! Okay, enough of the pirate talk for now, here are several facts about the most famous pirate there ever was, Blackbeard. A pirate so famous that statues have been made of him which can be seen in the US Virgin Islands and also in North Carolina. This list is a veritable Davy Jones’ locker of Blackbeard facts, and if you don’t read them, you’ll be forced to walk the plank, matey.
Blackbeard by name, black beard by nature
This will not come as a shock. Blackbeard had a black beard. Who would have thought it? Not much was known of his origins, but many people believe he was born in Bristol, England. He is thought to have been named Edward Thatch, but this also isn’t clear. What is clear is that he was a man, with a beard, that was black.
He was also a privateer
Privateering involves engaging in combat on the seas under the commission of war. Countries would essentially hire these ships, and its sailors, to attack whoever the enemies of the nation were. The privateers would be given a “Letter of Marque,” which was an instruction manual, detailing where to go and who to plunder. Think of them as mercenaries. Anyway, Blackbeard was believed to have started his maritime career on one of these ships, going by the name Edward Thatch at the time.
Fast N’ Loud – but for ships
Blackbeard’s boat was said to have been an ex-slave craft that he converted into the Queen Anne’s Revenge – his flagship. In fairness, the vessel wasn’t a junker when he found it. His men caught sight of it and captured it, despite the 16 cannons the 200-tonne ship boasted. By the standards of those times, it was a good ship and had been on several voyages trading slaves across the Atlantic.
This is a little strange, and probably something that became legend rather than fact. It was said, when Blackbeard went into battle, his eyes would become wild and fierce, turning him into a hellish force. Seemingly, he achieved this look in a peculiar fashion, he essentially lit matches and stuck them under his hat. Then he would tuck them under the edge of his headwear, and the fire would reflect off his eyes, giving him his infamous crazed appearance.
He was a party animal
The pirate life is associated with sailing the seven seas and plundering ships. It might surprise you to discover that Blackbeard was also a superb party planner and he even threw a huge bash for his shipmates. Another notorious pirate, Charles Vane, wanted Blackbeard’s help in attacking Nassau. After chasing him down, the two sea captains decided they would throw a huge beach party on Ocracoke Island. The party reportedly lasted for several days. We’re sure many a sea chanty was sung, and plenty of pirates were three sheets to the wind during the riotous party.
When Blackbeard’s demise was brought about, the sea captain responsible put his severed head on display for all to see. Blackbeard suffered multiple bullet and sword wounds. The rotten scallywags had killed him in the most brutal fashion. Naval officer, Robert Maynard, was in charge of the crew, and he ordered the severed head to be placed on a spike in Virginia as a warning to any other pirates out there.
Shiver me timbers, that was Blackbeard in a nutshell. The most famous pirate to sail the seven seas, although his adventures, surprisingly, only lasted two years. He showed that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. Unfortunately a lot of what he wanted to accomplish involved harming other people, so eventually his actions caught up with him.