Blackbeard: Facts About Edward Teach

Here are some facts about Blackbeard, the famous pirate who preyed upon ships in the Caribbean and off the coast of Mexico and the east coast of North America.

  • Blackbeard’s real name was Edward Teach (sometimes recorded as Edward Thatch). He was born in England (probably Bristol) in about 1680.

  • He was able to read and write, so many historians have come to the conclusion that he was from a wealthy family.
  • He joined the crew of Captain Benjamin Hornigold, an English pirate in 1716. Hornigold gave him command of a captured ship, and when Hornigold retired from a life of piracy, Teach started out on his own.
  • In 1717, Edward Teach and is crew attacked and captured the French merchant ship called La Concorde. Teach converted the ship to a pirate vessel, adding 40 guns and renaming her Queen Anne’s Revenge.
  • In late 1717, the first mention is made of Edward Teach as Blackbeard.
  • Blackbeard was tall, broad-shouldered and wore long boots, a wide-brimmed hat, and slings full of pistols slung across his body. He had long dark hair and a long dark beard. When in battle he would attach lit fuses to his hair. these would slowly burn, creating sparks and smoke, making Blackbeard look ferocious.


  • Blackbeard understood how important his appearance and image were. If he could scare his opponents into giving up their cargo, he wouldn’t have to go to the trouble of actually fighting them.
  • In 1718, Blackbeard accepted a pardon from Charles Eden, the Governor of North Carolina. For a while, Blackbeard lived as an honest citizen, but it wasn’t long before he returned to piracy, This time he was backed by the Governor, who took a cut of the profits in return for protection.
  • Blackbeard was on good terms with a number of other famous pirates. He frequently worked with Stede Bonnet, and he knew Robert Deal, Charles Vane and Calico Jack. Blackbeard’s first mate, Israel Hands, appears as a character in Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
  • Blackbeard was killed in battle on 22nd November 1718 by troops under the command of Lieutenant Robert Maynard. Apparently, he had been shot five times and slashed about twenty times before he had finally stopped fighting.
  • Blackbeard’s severed head was attached to the bowsprit of Maynard’s ship.
  • Blackbeard has been portrayed in many films over the years, including: Blackbeard’s Ghost and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
  • Many treasure hunters have spent time searching for Blackbeard’s hidden gold. However, most historians think it is unlikely that he ever buried any of his treasure.
  • Legend states that Blackbeard’s headless body swam around one of Lieutenant Robert Maynard’s ships three times after it was cast into the water.