Thursday, 7 November 2013


So winter is coming, I'm growing a beard. Some parts shall definitely be black. This post however is not about my facial follicle adornment, it's about the most famous pirate of them all: Blackbeard.

The 'Capture of Blackbeard' - Jean Leon Gerome Ferris.
A mysterious man probably from around Bristol, and probably called Edward Teach (or Thatch). He seems to have learnt his trade in the War of the Spanish Succession - the conflict which my own BUCCANEER series takes place, and will no doubt eventually feature this notorious rogue.

Blackbeard had reasonable success as a pirate, and was one of the very few pirate captains to actually sail a proper pirate ship - the QUEEN ANNE'S REVENGE - of forty guns no less!

He is famed for hot-boxing his cabin with burning pots of sulphur and challenging others to see how long they could last; and for entering battle with slow-burning matches fastened to his hat. Nothing evokes such a fierce and lasting image of a pirate than Blackbeard.

Image from
Last week the Archaeology News Network posted some pictures and information of a haul from the supposed site of Blackbeard's sunken QUEEN ANNE'S REVENGE. They have been raising artefacts from the wreck for the past seventeen years, and some people still speculate that there are treasures to be found here, but I feel it unlikely in the conventional sense.

Popular legend states Blackbeard ran the vessel aground deliberately before transferring anything of value to his ADVENTURE GALLEY. He doesn't seem like the careless sort of chap to leave chests of gold lying around.

Still, having one of Blackbeard's cannon seems like pretty cool treasure to me - better than a kick in the teeth from a salty sulphurous villain that's for sure...

If anyone wants to know more about Blackbeard, I can highly recommend the BBC docu-drama 'Blackbeard' staring James Purefoy of HBO/BBC Rome fame.

BBC 'Blackbeard'.