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01 September 2011

Finding Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge

Posted in Pirate life

Although we believed for some time that the remains of the shipwreck discovered at Beaufort Inlet, N.C. by my buddy Phil Masters in 1996 was the notorious Blackbeard's, it wasn't until yesterday that archaeologists confirmed the historic discovery.

The 300-ton, 40-gun pirate flagship, Queen Anne's Revenge, was originally a French slave ship named the La Concorde when she was captured by Benjamin Hornigold near the island of Martinique. Hornigold awarded the beauty to one of his most courageous crew members, Edward Teach. And the rest is history!

The long-term debate over the true identity of Blackbeard's ship was because there was no precise identification. No name tag! Whereas explorer Barry Clifford's discovery of pirate Samuel "Black Sam" Bellamy's Whydah in 1984 was easily confirmed by the discovery of the ship's bell, QAR had a bell dated 1705, but no name. (FYI, most pirate ships were stolen and renamed, so the ship's bell didn't always reflect the name of the pirate vessel.)

BlackbeardYears ago, Phil introduced me to David Moore, archaeologist and curator at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. No one, and I mean no one, knows more about Blackbeard than David. (Obviously, we're kindred spirits.)

Get more info about the N.C. Maritime Museum's Blackbeard exhibit

And David has always believed the find to be Blackbeard's flagship. Why? The location. The number of cannons found. The size of the anchors. The age of the artifacts. And the fact that there is no historical evidence of any other large vessel like QAR in the neighborhood!

Read the National Geographic article: Blackbeard's ship confirmed off North Carolina

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Did you know?

  • At the height of its popularity, Port Royal, Jamaica had one drinking house for every ten residents. In July 1661 alone, 41 new licenses were granted to taverns.

  • Pirates wore an earring to ensure they died with at least one piece of treasure to buy their way into 'Fiddler's Green' (sailor's paradise in heaven).

  • The reason you've heard of most well known pirates is that they were captured and killed, or brought to trial where their exploits were recorded. But pirate captain Henry Every was made famous because he evaded capture after his piratical exploits.

  • Many pirates had eye patches, peg legs, or hooks. Ships in the 17th and 18th century were extremely dangerous places to work, so pirates would commonly lose limbs or even eyes during battle. 


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