Blackbeard’s Death: Off With His Head
On November 22, 1718, the infamous pirate Blackbeard was killed. Reported to have been a privateer during Queen Anne’s War, Blackbeard is said to have turned to piracy afterward. He is one of the most famous figures associated with the “Golden Age of Piracy,” which flourished briefly along the North Carolina coast in the early 1700s.
In 1717, Blackbeard and his fellow pirates captured the French slaveship La Concorde in the eastern Caribbean. With his new ship, which he renamed Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard cruised the Caribbean taking ships along the way. Arriving off the cost of Charleston, S.C. in May 1718, Blackbeard blockaded the port for nearly a week in what was perhaps the most brazen act of his piratical career.
Blackbeard lived in the town of Bath briefly during the summer of 1718, and soon after, attempted to enter what is now Beaufort Inlet with his fleet. The vessels grounded on the ocean floor and were abandoned.
Six months later, at Ocracoke Inlet, Blackbeard encountered ships sent by the governor of Virginia, led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard. In a desperate battle, Blackbeard and several of his crew were killed. Maynard returned to Virginia with the surviving pirates and the grim trophy of Blackbeard’s severed head.
Other related resources:
- Blog updates from the Queen Anne’s Revenge recovery project
- Highway marker on Blackbeard in Beaufort County
- Historic Bath State Historic Site
- The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, where visitors can see artifacts recovered from Blackbeard’s ship
- North Carolina Office of Archaeology and the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch
- Photos of pirates, shipwrecks and related subjects from the State Archives
- Pirates, shipwrecks and underwater archaeology on NCpedia
- Pirates of Colonial North Carolina from North Carolina Historical Publications
- The Queen Anne’s Revenge recovery project on Facebook and Twitter
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