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Black beard


Edward teach  or  Edward Thatch, better known as  Black beard  (in  English  :  Blackbeard), presumably born in  Bristol  toward  1680  and dead the  22 november  1718  on Ocracoke Island, is a  pirate  English  who operated in  West Indies  and on the east coast of  British colonies in America.

Barbe noir

There are few documentary sources on Blackbeard's youth. It is commonly believed that at the time of his death he was between 35 and  40  years  and would therefore be born around  1680.   In contemporary documents, the name most often given to Blackbeard is Edward Thatch or Edward Teach and it is the latter that is most often used today, although several spellings of his surname exist.  : Thatch, Thach, Thache, Thack, Tack, Thatche and Theach. The Drummond surname is also cited, but the absence of any document supporting this thesis makes it unlikely. The custom of pirates was to use fictitious names when engaging in the  piracy, so as not to tarnish the name of their family  : Thus, Teach's real name will probably never be known.  The economic growth of  American colonies of Great Britain  to  17th  century and the rapid expansion of the  Slave Trade  in the atlantic ocean  to  eighteenth  century make  Bristol  an important seaport in international trade and the second largest city in England. It is probably in this city that Blackbeard grew up. Teach can almost certainly read and write since he communicates with the traders and, at his death, he has in his possession a letter addressed to him by the judge and chief secretary of the  Carolina Province, Tobias Knight. This level of education is not common, however, and writer Robert Lee speculates that Teach might come from a wealthy and respectable family.  Teach probably arrived in the  Caribbean  in the last years of  17th  century, on a merchant ship (possibly a  slave ship

Barbe noir
The death of Blackbeard

On the morning of November 22, 1718, the boarding was launched, a fierce fight ensued. Teach and Maynard come face to face. Each one armed with a sword and a pistol. They engage in a pistol duel. Teach is affected. The two men then clash with the saber, that of the Lieutenant breaks under the assaults of his terrible adversary. Teach rushes on him to deliver the fatal blow, when a sailor stabs him in the back of the neck. Overcoming his pain, blood flooding him everywhere, Blackbeard continues to fight bravely despite his multiple wounds when another sailor joins in and stabs him with knives. Screaming and mad with rage, Blackbeard fights with all his might. The other sailors shoot at him, trying to finish him off, and at last Maynard hits him fatally with a pistol shot. The pirate collapses heavily ...

In a last ditch effort, Blackbeard draws his last of the six pistols he carries to his chest and prepares to fire but he does not succeed, he sinks, lifeless.  He was found 25 various wounds including 5 by bullet. Maynard had Teach's head cut off and displayed on top of the mast to serve as a warning to all pirates in the Caribbean or elsewhere. Although his head was subsequently exposed in public, many sailors and settlers refused to believe in his death ... And so many acts of piracy were attributed to him posthumously.



Barbe noir
How it becomes
Black beard

He becomes  pirate  in 1716. The pirate captain Hornigold entrusted him with the command of a  sloop. For two years, Teach accompanied Hornigold until the day he boarded a large French merchant ship.  He then received in November 1717 from his captain the command of a French ship armed with 40 guns. "  The Concord  ", Renamed" Queen Anne's Revenge ".  It was on July 5, 1717 that Blackbeard's reputation began to gain momentum, following a statement by Captain Mathew Musson following the sinking of his ship on Catt Island in the Bahamas. He learns that five pirates meet regularly at the Port of Providence: Hornigold, Jennings, Burgiss, White and Thatch (Blackbeard), armed with a sloop armed with six cannons and about 70 men. In 1718, Teach separates Hornigold and goes to scour the seas on his own account. At the head of 300 men and 4 ships, he then began to ravage the coasts of Carolina, to increase collisions, looting and killings. He looted more than 40 ships in one year. Teach is wanted and a bounty on his head by Governor Alexander Spotswood. The latter appealed to Lieutenant Maynard, commander of the warship on "  Pearl  To capture Blackbeard.

Barbe noir
What they say ...

Blackbeard used to carry, in combat or not, several swords, knives and six pistols. He was also known for his skill in sewing hemp and had a habit, before the assaults, of lighting wicks of gunpowder in his profuse black beard, which earned him his nickname.

However, this habit meets the skepticism of some historians. Indeed, it is possible that this image of "pirate with the beard of flames" is only one of the many exaggerations due to the very particular notoriety of the character. Another version would be that he hid cannon locks under his hat and tied them to the braids of his beard.

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