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Edward “Blackbeard” Thache

Edward “Blackbeard” Thache’s parents were Capt. Edward and Elizabeth Thache of Spanish Town, Jamaica. They probably sailed there from Bristol, England between 1685 and 1695.

Capt. Edward Thache Sr. was a mariner probably born in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, England on June 14, 1659, son of Rev. Thomas Thache, Anglican minister of St. Cyr’s Church and his wife Rachel. He probably moved to Bristol, about forty miles away on the Gloucestershire coast, married to Elizabeth and had two children: Edward Jr. and Elizabeth. They moved to Jamaica sometime before May 1695 and settled in St. Catherine’s Parish near St. Jago de la Vega or as the English called it after they captured Jamaica from Spain, “Spanish Town.” Elizabeth soon died and was buried at the parish church in January 1699. Edward remarried to twice-widowed Lucretia Poquet Maverly Axtell in June 1699 and they raised three more children.

Edward “Blackbeard” Thache Jr. joined the Royal Navy and fought in Queen Anne’s War. He served aboard Adm. William Whetstone's flagship, the HMS Windsor, stationed at Port Royal. The ship had returned from a two-month patrol in enemy French territory. Two weeks later, on November 16, 1706, his father died. As Edward Jr. settled his father’s ailing affairs, he deeded his inheritance, including his father’s plantation and their slaves, to his family so that they could survive. This deed was dated December 10, 1706 and was the document that told of Edward’s service on HMS Windsor.

By 1716, Thache, then said to be living in Kingston, had an eight-gun sloop and was sailing in consort with Benjamin Hornigold, master of sloop Delight, eight guns, to fish Spanish wrecks on the coast of Florida. By the end of the year, he and Hornigold engaged in piracy. The first record known telling of Thache as a pirate is the deposition of Capt. Henry Timberlake, master of the Lamb, sailing from Boston to Jamaica late in 1716.

In late 1717, Thache was sailing in the sloop Revenge, former pirate vessel of Stede Bonnet, in consort with his old sloop commanded by one Richards. On November 28, 1717, they came upon La Concorde, a French slave vessel east of the island of Martinique in the east Caribbean. They captured La Concorde and renamed her the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

After gathering a flotilla of four vessels, Thache in the QAR blockaded the port of Charleston for nearly a week. He then sailed to Topsail Inlet (now, Beaufort Inlet) and ran the QAR aground on a sandbar. David Herriot’s sloop, Adventure, tried to help free the ship but also ran aground. The 320 pirates of Thache’s company then split up and scattered amongst the various colonies, many of them staying in Bath, North Carolina. Thache and Bonnet had a falling out and Thache marooned twenty-five of Bonnet’s new crew on a small island before he went in to Bath to take the governor’s pardon.

Not long afterward, Thache returned to piracy and was hunted down on Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood of Virginia’s orders, killed, beheaded, and his head mounted as a trophy on Lt. Robert Maynard’s sloop. This was the 22nd of November, 1718.




“Edward Thach” part of the Deposition of Henry Timberlake, 20 Dec 1716 (discovered by Arne Bialuschewski)

Thache’s family continued on… his probable daughter Elizabeth married a well-respected physician in Spanish Town named Dr. Henry Barham, son of the famed botanist Henry Barham. She died soon thereafter, leaving no issue and Barham remarried and moved to Staines, Middlesex, England. Thache’s half-brother, Cox moved to Kingston where he likely became an artillery officer for the fort there, had two children by Jane, the slave of planter William Tindale, and returned to the home plantation in Spanish Town before he died in 1737. Cox’s mother and Edward’s step-mother, called his “mother” by Charles Leslie, Lucretia Poquet Maverly Axtell Thache, a woman probably of French Huguenot ancestry, married three times, and became the namesake of several children, including at least three slaves. She died in 1743. Finally, the youngest half-brother, Thomas Thache, became a mariner like his father Edward and half-brother Edward Jr., possibly settling briefly in Perquiman’s County, North Carolina with other kin before finally moving to St. George, Middlesex County, England where he passed away in 1748.

Pirate Biographies– Edward “Blackbeard” Thache

Edward Thache to Lucretia Thache, December 10, 1706 (found by Baylus C. Brooks)

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