Blackbeard Breathes His Last!


November 22, 1718: Lt. Robert Maynard's troops on board the Jane and the Ranger, approach Blackbeard's sloop Adventure [II] and the pirates open fire. Maynard's crew, not equipped with artillery, answers with musket fire and then hides below decks in a ruse to lure the pirates aboard the English vessel. Maynard later wrote of Thache that "at our first Salutation, he drank Damnation to me and my Men, whom he stil'd Cowardly Puppies, saying, He would neither give or take Quarter." Believing they've won the battle, the pirates board the Jane and are overpowered by crewmen bursting from the hold where they are hiding. During the fighting a contemporary account describes the sea around the vessel as being "tinctur'd with Blood." As Maynard and Blackbeard came face to face the pirate received a pistol shot while swinging his heavy cutlass and snapping Maynard's sword. Just as Thache was about to press his advantage his throat was slashed by a stout Scot among Maynard's crew. "Here was an end to that courageous brute, who might have passed in the world for a hero had he been employed in a good cause." Blackbeard's head is suspended from the Jane's bowsprit and the remaining pirates taken prisoner. Maynard later examined Thache's body, noting that it had been shot no fewer than five times and cut about twenty. He also found several items of correspondence, including a letter to Thache from Tobias Knight, the Royal Secretary for North Carolina seeking a meeting between Blackbeard and Governor Charles Eden. The existence of the letter written by Knight to Thache and the fact that cargo taken from the "Sugar Ship" was stored by Thache in Knight's warehouse lead to accusations that Knight and Eden were colluding with the pirates. Nothing came of the accusations against either Knight or Governor Eden. READ MORE

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