TEACH [THATCH OR THACH], EDWARD (d. 1718), English pirate, popularly known as Blackbeard, is believed to have been born at Bristol. He is said to have gone out to the West Indies during the war of the Spanish Succession, to have engaged in privateering, and after the declaration of peace (1713)10 have turned pirate, but he is not actually heard of in this capacity till the end of 1716. The following year he captured a large French merchantman, rechristened her " Queen Anne's Revenge," and converted her into a warship of forty guns. His robberies and outrages in the Spanish main, the West Indies, and on the coasts of Carolina and Virginia, quickly earned him an infamous notoriety. He made his winter quarters in a convenient inlet in North Carolina, the governor of which colony was not above sharing in the proceeds of his crimes, but the governor of Virginia at last despatched two sloops, manned from the British warships on the station, to cut him out. On the 22nd of November 1718 Lieutenant Maynard, commanding the attacking forces, boarded Teach's sloop, after a sharp fight, and himself shot the pirate dead. Teach seems to have been an ignorant ruffian. His personal appearance was remarkable. His nickname was due to his habit of tying up the ends of his long and bushy black beard with ribbon and curling them back over his ears. Johnson in his General History of the Pyrates gives his name as Teach, but according to the official records it was really Thatch or Thach.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)