A: “Ay, there was. And if ye don’t avast yer gob, it’s the plank for you, ye scurvy bilge-drinkin’ scalawag.” Or so, Blackbeard might have responded. During the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714), the Bristol-born Edward Teach sailed under a privateer’s charter from Britain, attacking ships from hostile nations for profit.
But in 1716 he decided to freelance. Known as Blackbeard for his raven-colored chin whiskers, the pirate converted a captured French freighter into a 40-gun warship. As Queen Anne’s Revenge, the vessel spread terror across the Caribbean and along the southern coast of colonial North America. Blackbeard raided ports and forced bribes from other sea captains, granting them safe passage in return. He also cut deals with unscrupulous officials, including the colonial governor of North Carolina, believe it or not. The lieutenant governor of Virginia, however, called for a British naval force to put the pirate out of business. After a tough sea battle, the Brits killed Blackbeard. Evidently quite proud of their accomplishment, they even cut off his bearded head, and fastened it to the bowsprit of his ship.Powered by Sidelines