The History of Blackbeard Costumes

Pirates have captured our attention for several years. Many of us have an impression of gallant fellows robbing and hiding treasure. In fact many of the movies made about pirates tend to put a romantic spin on their tales. In truth, pirates are vicious killers, especially the pirates of today who kidnap and kill just to get goods from ships. It is not always about hidden treasure and love affairs. Still, many of us prefer to live in films and books when we think about pirates. One of the most real pirates we constantly see in films is Blackbeard.

Blackbeard was born Edward Teach in 1680, dying November 22, 1718. Not much is really known about his early life other than he was thought to be born in Britol, England making his home in Ocracoke, North Carolina. He was only active as a pirate for 2 years, yet his name has been in the top listing of pirates. Blackbeard was the captain of Queen Anne’s Revenge, with his base of operations in the Atlantic traveling from the West Indies to the eastern American Colonies.

We do know Blackbeard joined Benjamin Hornigold in 1716 that also operated in the Caribbean Islands. Roughly a year after that, he was captaining his own ship and considered the “most feared” pirate of history. Teach’s nickname came from his thick black beard and menacing appearance. It was also said he would lit fuses under his hat in order to frighten his enemies.

Several times Blackbeard blockaded the port of Charleston, South Carolina to rob ships coming into the port. At one point he was even offered a royal pardon, but it never stopped him from going back to sea. Lieutenant Maynard was Blackbeard’s enemy finally finding him off Ocracoke Island in November 1718. On this fate filled day, Maynard ran up a channel blocking all other traffic surprising Blackbeard and his crew. Still with less than 30 men on board Blackbeard managed to cut a third of Maynard’s forces down before the fight was taken on board Teach’s ship. One man in Maynard’s group was able to cut Teach on the neck, giving him a bad wound that did kill him. When his body was examined by Maynard it was found Blackbeard was shot five times, have 20 severe cuts on his body, and a letter to Tobias Knight, another pirate. Maynard then decapitated the corpse throwing it into the inlet and stringing his head up.

The legacy of Blackbeard did not die with his death as it was meant to. Instead many romanticized his story. Today there are more than three movies and several documentaries based on this fearsome character. The first was made in 1952, a 2006 film was also made. The latest will be Pirates of the Caribbean IV with Blackbeard, a supposed daughter, and Captain Jack Sparrow back to find the Fountain of Youth. In 2011 when this movie debuts it is sure to entice a new Blackbeard costume along with renewed interest in Captain Jack Sparrow costumes.

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