Blackbeard

“Strike me tops’l! You mean old Ed Teach has gone to Davy Jone’s locker?” gasped the pirate.

General History of the Pyrates - Blackbeard_the_Pirate (1725)Most of the information we have available to us about the infamous and mysterious pirate known as Blackbeard is somewhat unreliable. Due to his estimated age when he met his death of between 35 and 40 years old, it is believed he was born circa 1680. What is certain is the date died – 22 November 1718. He was commonly known as Edward Teach or Thatch, but other spellings of his name include Thach, Thack, Tack, and Theach, but all these names might have been pseudonyms he used in order to protect the family name. The name Teach was mentioned in the Boston News-Letter of the time, but it may have been a spelling error. Other sources use the name Thatch, especially those who knew him personally. He was described by Henry Bostock, captain of the merchant sloop Margaret, which was taken off Crab Island near Anguilla, as being tall and thin and possessed of an immense black beard.…

Henry Avery

I served under him, I did, although in those days he went under the name of Henry Avery,” explained the old seaman.

Captain Avery from a woodcut from A General History of the Pyrates (1725)

Henry Avery was one of the most successful pirates of all time in terms of the plunder he accumulated, despite only being one for two years. Not much is known about his early life, but it is commonly accepted that he was born in 1659 in the West Country of England, probably in Newton Ferrers, a village about six miles south-east of Plymouth, Devon. The more common spelling of Avery’s surname is Every. He also was known under several alias including Long Ben and Benjamin Bridgeman.

He joined the English Navy, although the exact year is unknown. He is recorded as working as a midshipman aboard a sixty four gun ship named the HMS Rupert, under Captain Francis Wheeler and possibly participated in the Nine Years War, but was probably a seaman long before then.…