10 Blackbeard Facts

Blackbeard Facts - Pirates only sign

Blackbeard was one of the most feared pirates throughout history. As he was incredibly adept at capturing ships and plundering loot, is also the most famous pirate of all time. Not only that he inspires a man’s hair dye to be named after him, but you can also find Blackbeard statues in North Carolina and the Virgin Islands. 

On top of that, there is an annual pirate festival in his honor in the city of Hampton. In this article, I will present some of the most interesting Blackbeard facts maybe you haven’t heard before!

I know these are primarily Blackbeard the pirate facts. However, we also have articles referencing beard facts that you may find interesting. If you are a history buff, you may find our historical beard facts enlightening. You may get a laugh from some funny beard facts. Maybe we can get you into deep thought about psychological facts about beards or get scientific beard facts.

If you are strictly here for Blackbeard pirate facts, read on; we’ve got you covered. If you are interested in “growing” your knowledge of beard facts in general, I would recommend checking out those short but informative beard fact articles.

10 Blackbeard Facts

Below, I have included some of the most interesting facts about the famous pirate known as Blackbeard. After reading this, I am sure you will be able to spark the conversation the next time you talk to someone about beards or pirates.

Was Blackbeard a Nickname?

Yes! Like many pirates throughout history, Blackbeard is a person with quite mysterious origins. While some swear that he was born in Bristol at the end of the 17th century, others state that he was born and grew up in Jamaica.

When it comes to his real name, it is still a little bit of a mystery. Documents state that he used to call himself Edward, but we still don’t know for sure what was his last name. Although documents refer to him as Edward Thatch, certain newspapers, such as Boston Letter, used to call him Edward Teach. Keep in mind that the spelling wasn’t consistent throughout history, and also, his last name could be just an assumption.

However, the origin of his nickname is much easier to figure out. Most people who had seen Blackbeard firsthand have described him as a tall man with a long black beard.

Was His Flagship an Ex-Slave Vessel?

Yes, it was! By the end of 1717, Blackbeard was a captain of a small fleet when two of his sloops came across a big, 200-ton French slave ship with 16 cannons, known as La Concorde. The French ship was on a slave-trading expedition across the Atlantic with hundreds of African slaves onboard, 150km from Martinique.

Blackbeard facts - Queen Anne’s Revenge

Although La Concorde had many cannons, it was an easy target for Blackbeard. His two sloops had 150 crewmen in total, while La Concorde had less than 60 sailors onboard. Besides, half of the sailors were sick from dysentery and scurvy.

Blackbeard easily seized La Concorde and gave it a new name – Queen Anne’s Revenge. It became his primary ship until it was wrecked on a sandbar near North Carolina in 1718.

Did Blackbeard Put Flamming Matches Under His Hat?

Although we can’t know for sure, some stories and documents confirm this belief. In the fall of 1717, Blackbeard seized at least 15 ships near Philadelphia, and that’s when frightening stories about him as an outlaw started to occur. The stories were later told and retold by the people who survived the encounter with him.

Many stories confirm that Blackbeard liked to adorn himself with flaming matches and candles. According to “A General History” from 1724’s, in the time of action, Blackbeard used to stick lighted matches on both sides under his hat. With his eyes naturally looking fierce and wild, lighted matches below his hat made him look even more frightful and scary.

Did Blackbeard’s Ships Use Flags with a Heart-Stabbing Skeleton?

No, that’s a myth. Although most Blackbeard facts and TV documentaries will tell you that his flag was black, with a skeleton stabbing the heart, historian E.T. Fox states differently. In his book about the history of pirate flags, he states that there is absolutely no evidence that Blackbeard ever used flags with that design.

Some reports are saying that his ships used black flags or even “bloody” flags, but none of the reports go into the details. According to Fox, the flag design of the skeleton stabbing the heart doesn’t appear in any document until 1912. It is the first time the design was featured in the Mariner’s Mirror journal, incorrectly relating it to some completely different pirate.

Not only that, but most likely, the design was invented in the early 20th century. A few decades later, in the 1970s, it started to be associated with Blackbeard.

Did Blackbeard Ever Settle Down?

He tried to – but as the saying goes, old habits die hard. After his ship Queen Anne’s Revenge sank, Blackbeard felt that it was time to put an end to his adventurous life. He and his crew asked North Carolina’s governor for an official pardon, and the request was granted.

He settled in the coastal town of Bath, and according to some stories, even married a local woman. Some historians also say that Blackbeard and his wife fielded many dinner invitations from neighbors.

However, normal life just wasn’t an ideal way of living for Blackbeard. One day, he set sail out of the town and returned with a loot-filled French ship. Blackbeard swore that the ship was abandoned when he found it, but that story was too hard to believe.

Did Blackbeard Throw a Party with Another Famous Pirate?

Yes, he threw a wild beach party with Charles Vane. In the early fall of 1718, captain Charles Vane and his 90-men crew sailed into the town to ask Blackbeard to join them on the attack on Nassau. Blackbeard and Vane threw a big party on a nearby island where Blackbeard’s men had a private campsite. According to reports, the drinking lasted for days. After that, they parted ways and never crossed paths again.

Who Was Responsible for Blackbeard’s Demise?

It was Alexander Spotswood, Virginia’s lieutenant governor, who was responsible for Blackbeard’s demise. The problem was that the cordial relationship between Blackbeard and North Carolina’s governor Charles Eden looked very suspicious to the public. Some critics even wondered if Blackbeard was providing Eden with stolen goods. On top of that, even other colonies weren’t happy about the fact that such a notorious outlaw was now roaming freely on American land.

A few weeks after Blackbeard’s and Vane’s wild beach party, Alexander Spotswood set up a plan to get rid of Thatch once and for all. He sent two ships under the command of Robert Maynard to North Carolina, although the legality of that expedition was very questionable.

The two ships reached North Carolina, and Maynard noticed Blackbeard’s sloop named Adventure, which was anchored nearby. The next morning, Maynard’s men tried to silently approach the sloop but were seen by the pirates, which led to a battle.

However, there were only 19 pirates on the sloop, including Blackbeard. Although the pirates put up a really good fight, he was heavily drinking the night before and wasn’t ready for the battle. Maynard prevailed, and Blackbeard was killed.

Was His Head Put on Display?

Yes, it was a morbid warning to other pirates. After the battle, Maynard counted five bullet holes and twenty cuts caused by swords on Blackbeard’s body. On his orders, Blackbeard’s head was removed, and his body was thrown into the ocean.

He tied the head to his bowsprit and took it back to Virginia as a gruesome prize. Spotswood then ordered for the Blackbeard’s head to be mounted on a tall pole at the intersection of two rivers, where it stayed as a warning sign for years.

Was Blackbeard Mentioned in the Novel “Treasure Island”?

No, but his second in command, Israel Hands, was mentioned. Hands didn’t participate in the battle with Maynard because he was in Bath, recovering from a leg injury. Some historians even state that Hands was shot in the leg by drunk Thatch.

Maynard’s men captured Hands, but he testified against his own crewmates, so the court allowed him to go free. Robert Stevenson decided to give Hands a role in his book Treasure Island and represented him as a cunning friend of Long John Silver.

Has Blackbeard Buried Any Treasure?

Apparently, no. Tales of buried treasures are legends since there is only one confirmed case. Pirate William Kidd hid a treasure worth a million dollars in today’s money back in 1699. However, the treasure was soon dug up again to be used against him in a trial.

Has Blackbeard Buried Any Treasure?

There is absolutely no evidence that Blackbeard ever buried any treasure. Some historians also say that pirates knew that their adventurous life might end any day during a battle. That’s why most pirates actually spent their gold on drinking, partying, and enjoying life while they were still alive, instead of burying it.

Blackbeard Facts – Wrap-Up

As you can see, captain Blackbeard had a thrilling and adventurous life, and being so brutal and fierce, it is not a miracle that he is the most famous pirate today. I hope you enjoyed reading this article!

If you are interested in reading about beard facts related to history, check out Historical Beard Facts. If your life is too serious, you may need to hear some funny facts about beards. Maybe you want to truly understand a bearded man and learn these psychological beard facts. Will a doctor prescribe you to wear a beard? Find out in our gross and weird beard facts.

Learn more beard facts to complement your black beard facts and impress a fuzzy-faced friend or husband today.

I made a round-up of all the beard facts I could find in one post. Check out this post and let me know if there was any that I missed.

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