Edward Teach was born in Bristol, England. Teach began his career working
as a sea merchant out of England. During the Queen Anne's War, Teach joined
on a privateering ship. He operated out of Kingston, Jamaica, and his ship
preyed on French shipping vessels. After the war, Teach still had a taste
for the privateering life, and so signed up on the pirate vessel of Captain
Benjamin Hornigold. His new base of operations was New Providence in the
Bahamas. While on board Hornigold's ship, Teach distinguished himself
as having the right stuff for the job. Teach's big break came when
Hornigold's ship captured a French merchant vessel. Hornigold, having stored
away a fortune in plundered goods, accepted King George I's offer to pardon
pirates who chose to reform. Hornigold left Teach in change of his vessel.
After taking control, Teach rechristened the ship the Queen Anne's Revenge to show the inspiration for his career. Queen Anne's Revenge, formerlly the Concorde, was a ship to be reckoned with. It was a Dutch flute, a common merchant ship of the time. Origionally outfitted with 26 cannons, Teach wanted more power and increased the arsenal to 40 cannons. Teach's crew was also skilled at manning cannons and dealing with combat situations. This ship was designed for hit and runs,and was more than well adapted for looting merchants. Surprizingly though, the rough and hardened crew of Queen Anne's Revenge was soon able to take the well-trained ships of the British Royal Navy. It was early in his career on the Queen Anne's Revenge that Teach adopted the name Blackbeard. This name also brought a new infamy and an evil reputation with it.
Teach cultivated this fearsome reputation as a mental warfare tactic to inspire terror in his prey, encouraging early surrender with minimal resistance. His dress was entirely black, much like funeral dress to inspire fear of death. To add to his image, Teach took advantage of scare tactics. He was a tall man with a muscular physique, features he played up, inspiring men to stay away from personal confrontation. He had a dark black beard, which before battle was braided and tied with colorful ribbon, and held pieces of match cord that were slowly burning. The smoke rising up would give him a grim halo, aiding in a satanic appearance. He was equipped with a belt that held cutlasses, pistols, and daggers. Across his chest he carried bandolier with six ready to fire pistols. All in all, his image was that of a man, or perhaps a demon, to be reckoned with.
|Blackbeard roamed around the Atlantic
and Caribbean, picking off vessels
for treasure and supplies. However, he also enjoyed a quiet life on shore.
And so, Teach began to bribe officials. At first it was for the pardon of
his men, but later estates were granted to him, guards were called off, even
his own reward was reduced for a little gold.. However, he never stayed away from the Ocean for too long. He always ended up back on his ship, hunting vessels for a living.
Blackbeard had a run in with Stede Bonnet once. The two formed a
friendship and sailed together. However, Bonnet's poor seaman skills landed him in the brig for quite a while on board the Queen Anne's Revenge.
Bonnet's stay as a prisoner on Blackbeard's ship was not an unpleasant
one, however, he was given every comfort possible at sea for the duration of his stay.
Blackbeard met his end when Maynard met the Queen Anne's Revenge anchored in open water. The English ship had no cannons, and as such
returned Blackbeard's fire with muskets. After the first wave of muskets,
Manyard's crew hid below deck, trying to lure the pirates on board. Teach's crew boarded, and then Manyard's crew ambushed and defeated the pirates, killing many of them. Blackbeard himself perished in the attack, having
received 25 wounds. Legend has it that after his head was removed from his corpse and the body tossed overboard, it then swam around the boat three times before sinking to the bottom. And so, in a battle to the death did end the tale of Edward Teach, pirate of the Atlantic.