Blackbeard’s Death 1718

Admiralty Report

blackbeards death fr 326w

blackbeard head 142wAbout Blackbeard’s Death 1718
Robert Maynard, “an experienced officer and a gentleman of great bravery and resolution,” first lieutenant of HMS Pearl lead the naval forces that destroyed Blackbeard. He had at his command thirty-five men from the Pearl, and a midshipman and twenty-five men from the Lyme. The hired sloops were the Ranger and the Jane. Maynard took command of the Jane and a Mr. Hyde the Ranger. Neither of the sloops had guns, so Maynard had to rely on small arms, swords, and pistols. After he killed Teach, he hung his severed head under the Bowsprit and sailed into harbor.

Blackbeard Q&A Test your knowledge of Blackbeard

1. What was Blackbeard’s real name? Edward Teach (Thatch, Tache, Tatch)
2. Where was he born? Jamaica
3. How many times was Blackbeard married? 14
4. What is the “Jolly Roger”? The skull and crossbones pirate flag
5. What did Blackbeard want from Charleston in 1718? Medicine (mercury)
6. What was Charleston’s valuable export? Rice
7. Name two types of weapons pirates used. Cannon, blunderbuss, pistol, cutlass, knife, grappling hook, boarding ax
8. When and where was the wreckage of a ship thought to be Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge found? Beaufort Inlet, NC in 1997
9. What artifacts have been recovered from the ship? Bell, blunderbuss, lead sounding weight
10. While a resident of Bath, North Carolina, Blackbeard received a pardon from the governor of North Carolina. What was the governor’s name? Charles Eden
11. The governor of Virginia decided that Blackbeard needed to be stopped. What was the Virginia governor’s name? Alexander Spottswood
12. Who was the Royal Navy sailor who killed Blackbeard and cut off his head? A Highlander (possibly named Demelt)
13. Where did Blackbeard’s final battle take place? Ocracoke Inlet, NC


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Blackbeard’s Death

Blackbeard’s sloop Adventure was anchored on the inner side of Ocracoke Island. Maynard’s sloops guided by local pilots, arrived in the area at dusk on Thursday, November 21 where they decided to wait for the tide and attack the next morning.

At first light the sloops weighed anchor and crept toward the island. Maynard ordered some men to take a small boat and row ahead of the sloop as there was so little wind. As they approached the pirate ship they received a volley of shot. The boat hastily retreated back to the protection of the sloops.

The pirate ship at this time only had nineteen men aboard, “thirteen white and six negros.” Moreover, Blackbeard and several of his men had spent the night drinking. However the pirate captain knew the shoals and channels, and his ship was armed with nine mounted guns. With the alarm raised, he cut his anchor cable and headed for a narrow channel among the submerged sandbanks. Maynard hoisted the King’s colors and set off in pursuit.

There was so little wind that the sloops had to use their oars to make any progress. Just then Maynard’s sloops ran aground and a shouting match took place between the two captains.

Blackbeard hailed Maynard in his rude manner: “Damn you for Villains, who are you? And from whence came you?” The Lieutenant answered, “You may see by our Colours we are no Pyrates.” Black-Beard bid him send his Boat on Board, that he might see who he was but Mr. Maynard reply’d thus, “I cannot spare my Boat, but I will come aboard of you as soon as I can, with my Sloop.” Upon this Blackbeard took a Glass of Liquor, & drank to him with these Words, “Damnation seize my soul if I give you Quarters, or take any from you.” In Answer to which, Mr. Maynard told him, that he expected no Quarters from him, nor should he give him any.

With the help of the rising tide, and with the help of much heaving and pulling from his men, Maynard’s two sloops floated free and began to row towards the Adventure. As they approached, Blackbeard fired a broadside from his guns, which he had loaded with swan shot, nails, and pieces of old iron. The effect was devastating. In Maynard’s words, “Mr. Hyde was unfortunately killed, and five of his Men wounded in the little Sloop, which having nobody to command her, fell astern and did not come up to assist me till the Action was almost over.” (Actually, six men were killed and ten wounded in the broadside.)

Maynard pressed on in the Jane and succeeded in shooting away the Adventure’s jib and fore-halyards and forcing the vessel ashore. He ordered all except two of his men to hide in the hold with their weapons at the ready while he made his final approach. As the Jane came alongside his ship, Blackbeard naturally assumed his guns had killed most of her crew and decided to board Maynard’s ship with ten of his pirates. They clambered aboard, and as they did so, the sailors emerged from hiding.

Maynard and Teach themselves begun the fight with their swords, Maynard making a thrust, the point of his sword went against Teach’s cartridge box, and bended it to the hilt. Teach broke the guard of it, and wounded Maynard’s fingers but did not disable him, whereupon he jumped back and threw away his sword and fired his pistol which wounded Teach. Demelt struck in between them with his sword and cut Teach’s face pretty much; in the interim both companies engaged in Maynard’s sloop, one of Maynard’s men being a Highlander, engaged Teach with his broad sword, who gave Teach a cut on the neck, Teach saying well done lad; the Highlander replied, If it not be well done, I’ll do it better. With that he gave him a second stroke, which cut off his head, laying it flat on his shoulder.

According to Maynard, Blackbeard fell “with five shot in him and 20 dismal cuts in several parts of his body.” He kept the head and slung it below the bowsprit of his sloop.

Some weeks later in the column of his logbook headed “Remarkable Occurencies &c,” Maynard noted: Little wind and fair weather this day I anchored here from N Carolina in the Adventure Sloop Edward Teach formerly Master (a Pyrat) whose head I hung under the Bowsprit of the Said Sloop in order to present it to ye Colony of Virginia & ye goods & Effects of the Said Pyrat I Deliver’d to my Commanders disposal.