As we all know, Blackbeard was a famous pirate who targeted many ships and coastal areas in the early 1700s. He had a pardon in his pocket, and he thought himself above the law.
Not only did he not stop his pirating but he was also selling the plundered goods to the Governor of North Carolina, the very man who had granted him the pardon. Blackbeard managed all this from the small colony’s capital of Bath, where he set up his piracy operations. However, the Governor of Virginia, Alexander Spotswood, plotted to get rid of this pirate once and for all, regardless of his having the Governor of North Carolina’s support and pardon. Eventually, Blackbeard’s luck ran out, and he was brought to heel by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.
On the evening of November 21st, 1718, Blackbeard and his crew were in one of the bays on Ocracoke Island. Maynard had tracked him down with information gained from other ships he had stopped as he hunted for the pirate. Unwilling to risk his ships on the unfamiliar shoals and channels in the inlet, Maynard blocked the inlet so nothing could get in to warn Blackbeard of his presence. On the island, Blackbeard was entertaining guests and hadn’t posted an outlook, believing himself to be safe. On Blackbeard’s ship, the Adventure, there was a reduced crew due to some being offshore at Bath.
Daybreak rose with Maynard’s two sloops following a small pilot boat, safely leading him through the tricky channels. The Adventure spotted them and fired. Blackbeard, now back on his ship, cut the anchor cable so his ship could swing about. His crew rushed to raise the sails and turn the ship’s starboard guns onto Maynard. In the excitement, the Adventure became stuck on a sandbar. Maynard and Blackbeard hotly exchanged words and fire. The Adventure turned her guns onto the two sloops and fired.
He hit both of Maynard’s ships, and one of the sloops was so damaged it no longer participated in the battle. Maynard ordered many of his men below decks and to ready themselves for close quarter fighting, and this gave Blackbeard a false impression that Maynard’s crew were badly injured or dead. Blackbeard watched with anticipation as the ships drew closer until grappling hooks were able to be used to tie the two ships together. Simple grenades were launched across Maynard’s decks and when the smoke cleared Blackbeard saw an empty ship except for Maynard and a small group at the stern.
The moment Blackbeard and his crew boarded, the hidden crew burst forth and surprised him. The battle raged across the decks. Maynard and Blackbeard attacked each other, first with flintlocks and then with sword and cutlass. The battle training and numbers of Maynard’s crew forced the pirates back to the bow and Blackbeard and Maynard were surrounded by Maynard’s crew. Blackbeard was attacked from behind as he went to attack Maynard again. He was quickly killed by Maynard’s men, and what was left of his crew of pirates quickly surrendered, Wikipedia reported.
Maynard’s journal records that when he examined the dead pirate’s body, it had been shot five times and cut about twenty times.
He hung the head of the former pirate off his bowsprit and tossed the body into the sea. Maynard returned home so he could collect the bounty on the head of Blackbeard.