Bye Bye Blackbeard

History’s most notorious pirate, Edward ‘Blackbeard’ Teach, was killed and decapitated by lieutenant Robert Maynard, who besieged Blackbeard’s boats in Ocracoke on 22nd November, 1718. 

Now recalled as a fearsome and gratuitous murderer, Blackbeard’s demonic character is not documented in contemporary sources. In fact, very little is truly known about Teach (even, indeed, whether that was his real name), apart from the fact he a) had a beard, b) was from Bristol, and c) was very good at pirating. But his formidable reputation of setting his beard on fire and rampaging his way round the high seas was sealed by the swashbuckling tales published after his death.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal how Daniel Defoe may be linked with the Blackbeard cult; rate the pirate’s expertise at cultivating psychological warfare; and unearth the story of Stede Bonnet, ‘the worst pirate of all time’...  

Further Reading:

• ‘Here's How Blackbeard the Pirate Really Died 300 Years Ago’ (Time, 2018):

• ‘Blackbeard | Edward Teach's Life, Death & Legend’ (HistoryExtra, 2022):

• ‘Horrible Histories: The Blackbeard Song’ (CBBC, 2020):

#1700s #Pirates #Person

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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

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