Fire rages, a volley gun booms, a grenade explodes and then from the smoke emerges a man with matches smouldering beneath his tricorn and brightly coloured ribbons braided into his beard. Another merchant ship has been pirated by the most fearsome man ever to take to the seas… Blackbeard.
Blackbeard was born Edward Teach or Edward Thatch, probably in Bristol c1680. He only gets a few brief mentions in Five Guns Blazing, but his story is too remarkable to miss out of my Leading Ladies and Gents series.
Blackbeard was a sailor and later privateer during Queen Anne’s War before settling on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas. New Providence was a pirate haven, a shanty town full of sail tents which sprang up around Bonefish Pond, also home for a while to the treacherous Anne Bonny and the so-called ‘Pansy Pirate,’ Pierre Bouspeut. It was here that…
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