Blackbeard is one of the best-known pirates in history. Like many other pirates, he is known for stealing treasures.
Blackbeard was born around 1680 in the city of Bristol, England. Little is known about his early life prior to his involvement in piracy. It has been suggested that Blackbeard served as a privateer for England during Queen Anne’s War (1702 – 1713).
This source also mentioned that it was 3 years after the war that Blackbeard joined the crew of Benjamin Horningold, a notorious pirate in his own right. One modern researcher, however, has reported that the earliest piece of primary source document he found that mentioned the pirate by name dates to the summer of 1717.
Horningold saw potential in Blackbeard, and gave him the command of a sloop he had captured. In the autumn of 1717, Horningold and his pirates were in the eastern Caribbean. It was here, off the island of Martinique, that a French slave ship called La Concorde was captured by them.
This ship was owned by a prominent French merchant by the name of René Montaudouin, and operated from Nantes, a city located at the mouth of the Loire River.
In 1717, La Concorde did not make the journey back to Nantes. Instead, it became the flagship of Blackbeard, and was renamed as Queen Anne’s Revenge . After its capture by the pirates, the slave ship was taken to the island of Bequia in the Grenadines, where the French crew and its cargo of slaves were put ashore.
Some of the crew voluntarily joined the pirates, whilst others were forced into the trade. In ‘exchange’ for La Concorde , the pirates left the remaining French crew with one of their sloops. The French (perhaps as a demonstration of their sense of humor) named their new vessel Mauvaise Rencontre (meaning ‘Bad Encounter’). Interestingly, the Frenchmen succeeded in transporting the remaining slaves from Bequia to Martinique in two trips.
As for Blackbeard and his crew, they began capturing other ships in the Caribbean with Queen Anne’s Revenge . In addition to a new name, the ship was given additional cannons, which increased its fire power. One source claimed that 46 guns were mounted onto the ship.
In 1718, Queen Anne’s Revenge ran aground off the coast of North Carolina. Some have suggested that this was merely an accident, whilst others believe that this was done deliberately by Blackbeard as he wanted a break from piracy.