Blackbeard : biography

c. 1680 - November 22, 1718

What is certain though is that Adventure turned her guns on the two ships and fired. The broadside was devastating; in an instant, Maynard had lost as much as a third of his forces. About 20 on Jane were either wounded or killed and 9 on Ranger. Hyde was dead and his second and third officers either dead or seriously injured. His sloop was so badly damaged that it played no further role in the attack. Again, contemporary accounts of what happened next are confused, but small-arms fire from Jane may have cut Adventures jib sheet, causing her to lose control and run onto the sandbar. In the aftermath of Teach's overwhelming attack, Jane and Ranger may also have been grounded; the battle thenceforth would have become a race to see who could float their ship first.

The lieutenant had kept many of his men below deck and in anticipation of being boarded told them to prepare for close fighting. Teach watched as the gap between the vessels closed, and ordered his men to be ready. The two vessels contacted one another as the Adventures grappling hooks hit their target and several grenades, made from powder and shot-filled bottles and ignited by fuses, broke across the sloop's deck. As the smoke cleared, Teach led his men aboard, buoyant at the sight of Maynard's apparently empty ship, his men firing at the small group formed by the lieutenant and his men at the stern.

The rest of Maynard's men then burst from the hold, shouting and firing. The plan to surprise Teach and his crew worked; the pirates were apparently taken aback at the assault. Teach rallied his men and the two groups fought across the deck, which was already slick with blood from those killed or injured by Teach's broadside. Maynard and Teach fired their flintlocks at each other, then threw them away. Teach drew his cutlass and managed to break Maynard's sword. Against superior training and a slight advantage in numbers, the pirates were pushed back toward the bow, allowing the Janes crew to surround Maynard and Teach, who was by then completely isolated. As Maynard drew back to fire once again, Teach moved in to attack him, but was slashed across the neck by one of Maynard's men. Badly wounded, he was then attacked and killed by several more of Maynard's crew. The remaining pirates quickly surrendered. Those left on the Adventure were captured by the Rangers crew, including one who planned to set fire to the powder room and blow up the ship. Varying accounts exist of the battle's list of casualties; Maynard reported that 8 of his men and 12 pirates were killed. Brand reported that 10 pirates and 11 of Maynard's men were killed. Spotswood claimed ten pirates and ten of the King's men dead.

Maynard later examined Teach's body, noting that it had been shot no fewer than five times and cut about twenty. He also found several items of correspondence, including a letter to the pirate from Tobias Knight. Teach's corpse was thrown into the inlet while his head was suspended from the bowsprit of Maynard's sloop (so the reward could be collected).

Legacy

Lieutenant Maynard remained at Ocracoke for several more days, making repairs and burying the dead. Teach's loot—sugar, cocoa, indigo and cotton—found "in pirate sloops and ashore in a tent where the sloops lay", was sold at auction along with sugar and cotton found in Tobias Knight's barn, for £2,238. Governor Spotswood used a portion of this to pay for the entire operation. The prize money for capturing Teach was to have been about £400, but it was split between the crews of HMS Lyme and HMS Pearl. As Captain Brand and his troops had not been the ones fighting for their lives, Maynard thought this extremely unfair. He lost much of any support he may have had though when it was discovered that he and his crew had helped themselves to about £90 of Teach's booty. The two companies did not receive their prize money for another four years, and despite his bravery Maynard was not promoted; instead, he faded into obscurity.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine