A Swashbuckling Scandal

Ruthless pirate Blackbeard terrorized the waters of the East Coast aboard the ransacked vessel Queen Anne’s Revenge, but in his late 30s his life of piracy came to a close when long-bearded fellow settled down in Bath, N.C. with his 14th wife. N.C. Governor Eden pardoned him under the Royal Act of Grace, with an incentive to benefit from Blackbeard’s booty.

In 1719, the citizens of Bath grew disturbed by his presence and sought Virginia Gov. Thomas Spotswood to put an end to the debauchery. Spotswood had had enough of Blackbeard’s pillaging and consequently offered Lieutenant Robert Maynard a £100 bounty for the pirate’s capture or death.

Once tracked down in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a battle erupted and, by Maynard’s trickery and 25 wounds, Blackbeard could plunder no more. His head was pierced on a pole and mounted at Hampton River, now known as Blackbeard’s Point in Hampton, to ward off other pirates of their grisly fate. Legend has it Blackbeard continues to loom the waters in an endless search for his severed head.

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