Known to his victims as 'Blackbeard' to
his fellow pirates as 'Thatch' and to the Royal Navy as Edward
Teach, this pirate competes with only a handful of others for the
title of the most ruthless and blood thirsty pirate in the
Formerly the Quarter Master for the pirate Captain Benjamin Hornigold, Thatch has only been an independent captain for about two years. During that time has earned a reputation for personal courage, daring, ruthlessness, charismatic leadership and a keen intellect as well as bouts of erratic and violent behavior.
His early history is murky. Originally from Bristol he is in his late thirties or early forties. He served as a privateer on several ships during the War of the Spanish Succession before disappearing into the Jamaican hinterlands for a year or so. He reappeared as part of Hornigolds crew and was present when Hornigold captured the slave ship La Concorde near the island of Martinique. Hornigold gave the ship to Thatch who renamed her 'Queen Annes Revenge' and promptly modified her to allow more guns.
Blackbeard, as he soon came to be known to the shipping community and the public at large, spent his time ashore in Port Royal, and later in New Providence, as the Chief Magistrate of the Privateer Republic, helping to settle disputes between the various Captains and crew members. He could be found holding court under a large wild fig tree, a barrel of wine or rum beside him. He would command passerbys to drink with him and if they refused he would sometimes shoot them.
Thatch's ruthlessness and erratic behavior is widely discussed amongst the pirates, though never in the presence of Blackbeard or any of his men, and is a matter of much rumor and speculation. One story tells that one day at sea he said to a few of his men, “come, let us make a hell of our own, and try how long we can bear it.” He took them below, closed up the hatches and set on fire several pots filled with brimstone and other acrid matter. One by one, close to suffocation, the men were forced to seek the upper deck. Blackbeard held out the longest and was quite pleased to announce that "he was better fitted to live in hell than the others."