Blackbeard was the most notorious and feared pirate in the history of piracy and his reign of terror throughout the colonies and the Caribbean is the stuff of legend. Standing well over six feet tall and built like a damned tree, Blackbeard was a fierce and determined pirate that was more than capable of beating the living shit out of anyone that pissed him off and pretty much anyone else who was stupid enough to get in his way.
Little is known about Blackbeard's past. It is believed that his real name was Edward Teach and that he was born in Bristol, England around 1680, but most of that is merely speculation. What is known about him is that he got his start serving as a British privateer under the command of the pirate Benjamin Hornigold, battling the French in Queen Anne's War (also known as the War of Spanish Succession). During this time he made a reputation for himself as being super awesome. While scouring the Caribbean waters looking for asses to kick, Hornigold's ships came upon a 300-ton French slave ship, Le Concorde. Being the awesome pirates that they were, Hornigold's crew stormed the ship and after a brief battle managed to take control of it. Hornigold was totally pumped about taking command of such a huge ship but thought that it was probably in his best interest to take advantage of the pirate amnesty that European countries were now offering so he wouldn't get hanged from the neck like a chump, and he retired from piracy and left Le Concorde under the command of Blackbeard, who was of course the biggest badass in his crew.
Blackbeard decided that the 300-ton ship was not as totally X-treme as it could be, so he outfitted it with forty cannon and recruited a crew of three hundred badass toothless, hook-handed, peg-legged, face-punching pirates to run it and renamed it Queen Anne's Revenge, which was a way more awesome name than Le Concorde. Eventually Blackbeard managed to add three more shallow-bottomed sloop ships to his fleet and he was ready to sail the seas and cut some throats.
Blackbeard and his crew earned notoriety by plundering any vessels that they came across while sailing the seas of the Caribbean. If he raised his jolly roger and the other ship had the good sense to surrender without a fight, Blackbeard would just sack the ship and let everyone go free. However, if they were dumb enough to fire a broadside at him Blackbeard would raid the ship, loot it, sink it and kill everyone on board. In 1717 he became famous among pirate circles for defeating the British 30 gun Man-o-war H.M.S. Scarborough in a naval duel, sinking the H.M.S. Great Allen and capturing the British vessel Adventure to serve in his pirate fleet.
Blackbeard's badassitude extended far beyond his just his pirate profession. As I mentioned before, he was freaking huge, plus he had a hugeass black beard that he took his pirate name from. Whenever he would go into battle he would place slow-burning hemp ropes under his hat and woven into his beard and would light the ends on fire so that he looked like an insano-bot madman whose head was on fire. He was heavily armed, carrying six fully-loaded pistols on three bandoliers across his chest, several knives at various locations and his huge-ass cutlass which was enough to bust heads on its own. Basically, he ruled.
He was also quite the ladies' man as well. Over the course of his tenure as pirate captain he married over fourteen different women throughout various locations in the Caribbean and fathered forty children. It is believed that his only "official" wedding was to 16 year old Mary Ormond, since that wedding was conducted by the Governor of North Carolina and didn't take place on the deck of the Queen Anne's Revenge like the previous thirteen had. He was fiercely loyal to his wives though and did not take well to being dissed. When one of his wived divorced him and gave a ring symbolizing her love to some punkass sailor bitch, Blackbeard hunted his vessel down, sacked it, cut off the guy's hand (with ring still attached) and mailed it to his ex-wife in a box.
Blackbeard was also freaking crazy. When one of his men doubted his meanness, Blackbeard shot his first mate just to prove how badass he was. One time he took his entire crew below deck and light a huge brimstone fire to see who could take being cooped up with all the smoke the longest. Blackbeard won.
Blackbeard was pretty much allowed to do whatever he wanted, since he would give the Governor of North Carolina Charles Eden a portion of his treasure in exchange for amnesty. When British ships-of-the-line would seek him out, he would use his shallow-bottomed ships to retreat to small coves where large-drafted warships couldn't follow. However, after Blackbeard and his crew blockaded and sacked Charleston, the largest port city in the Southern colonies, people finally started to have enough of his bullshit. The Governor of Virginia put a bounty on his head and contracted British Lieutenant Robert M. Maynard to go and kick some pirate ass.
Maynard caught up with Blackbeard in the small cove of Ocracoke or "Teach's Hole" on November 22, 1718. Blackbeard was on board his sloop Adventure when two British sloops sailed in towards him. Blackbeard got pissed and waited until the enemy ships were almost ontop of him before firing a broadside right into their faces. Both of the British sloops were heavily damaged and Blackbeard decided to take the advantage. He boarded the H.M.S. Ranger but quickly realized that he had been lured into a trap as limeys started jumping out from everywhere and attacking his men. Blackbeard met Lt. Maynard on the deck of the Ranger and they engaged in an extended sword duel. During the battle, some chump Brit slashed Blackbeard in the neck, but that didn't even phase him. He just kept fighting it out and finally died from loss of blood as he was pulling the hammer back on one of his pistols. Later examinations of his body revealed that he had five bullets lodged in his body and that he had been stabbed twenty times before he finally went down. Lt. Maynard decapitated the dead Blackbeard and put his head on the brow of his boat, which is pretty cool I guess.
To this day, few pirates ever came close to the reputation of Blackbeard. He was the best of the best; the most badass guy in the most badass profession this side of ninjas, vikings or space marines.
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