300th Anniversary of Pirate’s Death Commemorated by State
November 22, 1718—the day Blackbeard the Pirate met his just desserts as Lieutenant Robert Maynard of the British Royal Navy trapped him off Ocracoke and took his head…literally.
To commemorate the event, the NCDOT Ferry Division will be flying Blackbeard’s flag from ferries sailing to and from Ocracoke this summer.
There will also be a traveling exhibit of Queen Anne’s Revenge. The exhibit will be on the Outer Banks at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras June 2 through July 29.
Queen Anne’s Revenge was the most famous of the ships Blackbeard used, although it was not his only one. In 1718 he either ran aground or deliberately scuttled the ship and rowed ashore near Beaufort and proceeded to take advantage of Governor Eden’s offer of a King’s Pardon if he promised to never go a-pirating again.
It was a short-lived promise.
He was soon back at sea, this time with a ready market for his good in the poverty stricken colony of North Carolina. Although nothing was ever proven in a court of law, most scholars of history feel Governor Eden and other members of his administration either pointedly turned a blind eye to his activity or directly profited from it.
Under any circumstances it seems apparent the Secretary of the State, Tobias Knight was working directly with Blackbeard. When Lt. Maynard killed the pirate, a letter from Knight warning of the British fleet was found on him.
However, tried in NC courts, Knight was found not guilty of all charges.
Maynard was dispatched by Virginia Governor Spotswood after repeated entreaties Eden to reign in Blackbeard went un answered.
After defeating Blackbeard, Maynard mounted his severed head on the bowsprit of his ship, the HMS Pearl.