While pirate history is full of stories of more than one famous pirate ship, and many a name, pirate or not, Blackbeard is perhaps the most famous pirate of all. Blackbeard reigned in the Caribbean for a short period in the early 18th century, during the Golden Age of Piracy. Blackbeard’s pirate ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge is one of the most famous pirate ships of all time.
The Real Blackbeard
The real Blackbeard was by name, pirate Edward Teach. Teach was born around 1680 in England. Teach first went to sea as a privateer, finally adding the French frigate La Concorde de Nantes to his fleet. He renamed La Concorde de Nantes the Queen Anne’s Revenge and it became his well known and feared pirate ship. Teach was known both for his escapades as a pirate, and also his personal escapades, including a rumored fourteen common law wives. He refused pardon when it was offered, preferring to stay on the seas, even if it eventually cost him his life. His crew, piracy and his pirate ship were his life.
Blackbeard had a reputation for cruelty. While his reign was short, from 1716-1718, he brought fear into the minds of many in the Caribbean, and along the coastal United States. wikipedia offers an excellent overview of Blackbeard’s life and acts. Not only does Blackbeard have a reputation for cruelty to his crew and the ships and cities he raided, but he had a long running feud with the HMS Scarborough. Blackbeard finally died in a rough and rowdy battle with the two sloops commanded by Lieutenant Robert Maynard near Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. Blackbeard’s determination, drive, and life as a real pirate of the Caribbean make him one of the most famous pirates of the age of piracy.
Blackbeard’s Name, Pirate Legend
Blackbeard’s name was a part of the legend the man created around himself. A fearsome image served a pirate well, and Blackbeard was no exception to that. Blackbeard both fought and appeared heavily armed at all times. The name pirate Blackbeard likely refers to the man’s beard; however, legend says that he wove lit fuses, matches and hemp into his beard, creating a cloud of smoke around his head. The huge and heavily armed pirate ship he sailed added to the legend. While Edward Teach, Blackbeard, was a real pirate, his legend lives on even more loudly than the man himself did.