Edward Thatch, Blackbeard

Edward Thatch, more well known as Blackbeard, arrived in the Caribbean as a seaman either on a privateer or Royal Navy ship during Queen Anne’s war and, like Benjamin Hornigold, went to Nassau to become a pirate when the war was over.  He became a captain when he was given command of Stede Bonnet’s ship, the Revenge, and began to build a fleet to support the Jacobite movement by intercepting shipping going to and from the American colonies, recruiting crew and taking control of ships.

After Woodes Rogers took control of Nassau and most of the pirates accepted amnesty, Blackbeard broke up his fleet, became married and retired in Bath, North Carolina where he had a business relationship with Charles Eden, the governor of the colony.  Once established, however, he resumed piracy and used the proceeds to enrich the town of Bath, somewhat like Hornigold had done for Nassau, while making sure that the authorities were well paid to look the other way.

Thatch was killed in battle on November 22, 1718 off Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.  Angered by the support the pirate was receiving from Governor Eden, Governor Spotswood of Virginia sent Lt. Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy to take care of Blackbeard once and for all.