Do ye know what month it is? That’s right. The month of April. And like every year we’ll have a “Blackbeard’s Birthday Sale” coming up. So stay tuned. Now, ye may ask, why do ye have a Blackbeard’s birthday sale in April? (Well, actually I hope ye don’t actually ask that question, ‘cause if ye do, that means yer not the swiftest pirate out there.) The answer is, it’s the month in which my namesake was born. To celebrate Blackbeard’s birthday, here is his life story:
Blackbeard was born in 1680. In those early days, he was known as Edward Teach. (Probably Eddie to his parents.) We’re not too sure about his surname. In those days, pirates used fake last names so as not to besmirch the reputation of their families. He spent his early years in Bristol, England. Then his family moved to Jamaica. Personally, the Cap’n thinks that was a smart move. Bristol gets cold and rainy, Jamaica is full of sunshine. The Cap’n likes sunshine (and talking about himself in the third person). It was there that Blackbeard met the man who would become his mentor: renowned pirate captain Benjamin Hornigold.
They joined up on the island of New Providence. That’s right! That famed island of pirates. It was uninhabited, until the pirates decided to make it their home. Its harbor could hold hundreds of ships; yet, they were safe from the Royal Navy, ‘cause the water was too shallow for their heavier ships. In other words, it was a haven if you subscribed to a certain kind of lifestyle. Hornigold, spotting a kindred soul and resourceful pirate, put Blackbeard in charge of one of his vessels.
After Hornigold retired from piracy, Blackbeard kept at it with his ships. He captured a French vessel, renamed her Queen Anne’s Revenge and outfitted her with heavy artillery. She became his most famous vessel. One of the Captains whom Blackbeard bested later described the pirate as a “very tall man with a very black beard.” Hence, Blackbeard’s nickname.
Blackbeard’s fleet became larger and larger, since many of the conquered crews decided to join his fleet. In fact, Blackbeard had become so powerful, he managed to blockade the entire city of Charleston, South Carolina and only left after all of his demands were met.
Needless to say, many people – in particular colonial governors – really, really wanted to lay hands on this fearsome (not to mention troublesome) pirate captain. They hired a rascal named Robert Maynard, who waged a surprise attack against Blackbeard’s ship. At that point, half his crew was on leave. But despite being caught left-footed, so to speak, Blackbeard fought masterfully. He managed to gain the upper hand on Maynard’s two ships with only his ship “Adventure.” When he ordered his pirates to board Maynard’s ship, hand-to-hand combat ensued. But Maynard, foreseeing that he might be boarded, had kept half his crew below deck. Now, those fighting men joined the fray. Blackbeard fought valiantly. He even managed to destroy Maynard’s sword with his cutlass. But, alas, he was hopelessly outnumbered and, in the end, was killed and his head was displayed on Maynard’s ship.
Despite, or maybe because of, this violent end, Blackbeard’s name has endured through the centuries. And it is the reason we’re celebrating his birthday with a special sale for you pirates. 20% off on all of our Blackbeard for Men products. Enjoy! And let’s lift a glass of rum to that old swashbuckler Blackbeard!