On this day in history, the pirate Blackbeard attacked a French merchant slaving ship La Concorde and renamed it the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Blackbeard is the most notorious pirate in history. Throughout the early eighteenth century, he terrorized North American and Caribbean shipping lines. Not much is well known about his personal life and origins.
What we do know is that his name was Edward Thatch or Teach, and he reportedly fought in Queen Anne’s War (1701-1714). Sometime after the war ended, he turned to piracy. On November 28, 1717, Blackbeard and his crew encountered the French slave ship La Concorde as they sailed to the Caribbean. The crew of the French boat was unfortunately outnumbered, outgunned, and many were suffering from dysentery and scurvy.
They were unable to resist Blackbeard’s overwhelming force of around 150 men and 20 cannons. Blackbeard’s men only fired two shots before the Captain Dosset of the La Concorde surrendered. Blackbeard captured the ship, renaming it Queen Anne’s Revenge. The crew sailed the ship to the Grenadines, where they dumped the French crew and the African slaves aboard as cargo.
The pirates then ransacked the ship for gold and forced some French crew members to join them. A year of rampant piracy followed, culminating with Blackbeard using the Queen Anne’s Revenge to blockade Charleston port for almost one week.
The Queen Anne’s Revenge got abandoned after it ran aground trying to enter Old Topsail Inlet in North Carolina. 6 months later, Blackbeard would meet his end at the hands of the Royal Navy. His severed head was carried back to Virginia as a trophy.