Exploring the Legend of Blackbeard

Although he is known for exercising a short reign of terror throughout the Caribbean Seas, Blackbeard gained quite a reputation for being one of the most notorious pirates to sail the seas. Born in 1675, Blackbeard served as the alias for a man who has become a thing of legend. In this article, we will learn a little more about the man.


It is not definite whether Blackbeard’s real name was Edward Teach, Edward Thatch, or Edward Drummond, but at least we can decipher that his first name was Edward. The English pirate would grow to scare the heck out of those traveling by sea in the Caribbean. From 1716 to 1718, he was a key player in a time period that was dubbed the “Golden Age of Piracy.” One of his most claims to fame would be the taking of a vessel by the name of Queen Anne’s Revenge, which is thought to have run aground close to Beaufort Inlet in North Carolina.


The way Blackbeard chose to fight his battles is probably how he earned such a reputation. He used many different swords, pistols, and knives (all at the same time). During battle, legend depicts the pirate as carrying around hemp and lighted matches within his black flowing beard. Diary entries recalling battles against the pirate, he was said to have the look of the devil when he fought. His face was described as “fearsome,” and that he often had a “smoke cloud” following him wherever he went that resided above his head. It is his image that gives way to the imaginative tales pertaining to pirate life.


With the man, there was a legend and history helped greatly to catapult him into infamy. Blackbeard soon became something of an exaggerated character as images popped up showing him with pigtails that were lit on both ends. Some artworks show him with lit cannon fuses in his locks, or pistols stuck in every imaginable corner of his person. Throughout the years, he has become an impressive character in many different movies, documentaries, and books. He is quite known to people of all ages.


He is even celebrated throughout the United States and beyond where the Blackbeard Festival is held in Hampton, Virginia on a yearly basis. The pirate also has several different acocutns regarding his life. Some have the pirate with as many as 14 wives (most of which came from common-law arrangements), but concrete details are fleeting. His last companion, Mary Ormond was from Bath, North Carolina; a marriage that lasted a short period of time.


In the end, history reveals that Blackbeard never really had the money and jewels that have become a part of his esteemed legend. It is said that when his ship and cargo were sold, the money netted only equaled £2,500. Despite popular thought, the tales involving the burial of treasure are also far-fetched and without any evidence. In the end, Blackbeard was murdered by associates of the Royal Naval, who killed him five months after Queen Anne’s Revenge was said to sink to the bottom of the ocean.