Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard,
was supposedly born in Bristol, England. He went to sea at an early age and
served on a British ship in Queen Anne's war against the Spanish. After the
British withdraw from war in 1713, Blackbeard turned into piracy. In the early
18th century, referred to as the 'golden age of piracy', Blackbeard took Fort
Nassau on New Providence as his residence and was appointed as magistrate of the
'Privateers Republic' by his fellow pirates. Allegedly, he and his vicious crew
would apply force to board merchant ships sailing in the well travelled shipping
lanes and seize all weapons, valuables, food and liquor, while his barbaric
reputation prevailed the merchants to surrender without any resistance.
Finally in 1718, the British government appointed Woodes Rogers as Royal Governor of the colony, determined to put an end to the pirates terrors. Pardons were offered to those who would cease any illegal activities. Blackbeard left for the Carolinas, his 'second home', as he and a few others were exempt from the governors offer.
In May 1718, Blackbeard sailed into the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, on board of the 'Queen Anne's Revenge', a vessel he captured from Benjamin Hornigold, a former privateer. The blockade of Charlston Harbor would be his main claim to fame as no other vessels could enter or leave the port for fear of being looted by the rapacious gang. After running two of his ships aground, he finally accepted pardon under the royal Act of Grace and retired from piracy at Ocracoke Inlet in North Carolina.
Governor Spotswood of Virgina became increasingly concerned having this notorious freebooter living nearby and he hired a crew under the command of Lieutenant Robert Maynard to hunt down and eliminate Blackbeard. On the evening of November 21, 1718, Maynard and Blackbeard faced off in an intense fight with swords and pistols. Teach was shot five times and stabbed more than 20 times before he died from blood loss. He was decapitated and his head was hung from the bowsprit of Maynard's ship.