Thursday, December 13, 2018

Radio Interviews and Publicity



Culture Shocks with Barry Lynn (@barrywlynn) on KCAA (@KCAA1050AM) - http://www.kcaaradio.com/CultureShocks.html

KCAA: Culture Shocks on Fri, 14 Dec, 2018 3 pm - Baylus C. Brooks, author of Quest for #Blackbeard

Podcast will be archived afterward and available here: http://podcasts.kcaastreaming.com/culture/

#pirate #twitterstorians

--------------------------------

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06s6zfx

BLACKBEARD: 300 YEARS OF FAKE NEWS.
from BBC Radio Bristol
300 years ago on Thursday - 22 November 1718 - Bristol born Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard, the most famous pirate in the history of the world), was killed in a violent battle off the coast of North America. And after 300 years we can finally separate the truth from the myth. You can hear the whole story this Thursday at 9am in a one off BBC Radio Bristol special: BLACKBEARD: 300 YEARS OF FAKE NEWS. With new research by Baylus C. Brooks (found in Quest for Blackbeard: The True Story of Edward Thache and His World), narrated by Bristol born Kevin McNally - Joshamee Gibbs in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, and produced by Tom Ryan and Sheila Hannon this is a very different Blackbeard from the one in the story books...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06s6zfx


Author Spotlight

#Blackbeard #pirate #twitterstorians


Also:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/three-centuries-after-his-beheading-kinder-gentler-blackbeard-emerges-180970782/


Three Centuries After His Beheading, a Kinder, Gentler Blackbeard Emerges - Smithsonian Online

“The real story of Blackbeard has gone untold for centuries,” says Baylus Brooks, a Florida-based maritime historian and genealogist.

 By Andrew Lawler
smithsonian.com
November 13, 2018



-------------------------------------

Edward "Blackbeard" Thache's murder came as a great surprise to King George I, who had issued a pardon to cover him and counted upon his help against the Spanish in the impending new war. Virginia's Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood changed that verdict. The local "Family" business syndicate in North Carolina colluded with Spotswood against the king's wishes, helping to kill the retired pirate.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/baylus-c-brooks/murder-at-ocracoke/paperback/product-23588556.htmlRead about the final end of Edward Thache:
Murder at Ocracoke! Power and Profit in the Killing of Edward "Blackbeard" Thache


In commemoration of "Blackbeard 300 Tri-Centennial"
















Author Spotlight on Lulu (this is where I'd rather people buy the book because I get more royalties): http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/bcbrooks


Blog: BC Brooks Writer's Hiding Place: https://bcbrooks.blogspot.com

Twitter: @delabrooke or https://twitter.com/delabrooke

Facebook pages:


















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Thursday, December 06, 2018

Blackbeard after Capture of La Concorde

A ship resembling Queen Anne's Revenge or QAR
The events following the capture of the famed French slave ship La Concorde, renamed Queen Anne's Revenge in a decidedly Jacobite tone, involving Edward "Blackbeard" Thache are quite well known. This is due to many sources of information, only a few of which were newspaper articles. These recently discovered sources often wholly contradict the traditional 1724 source for pirates - fast becoming a known polemical piece of uncited fact blended with elaborate fiction. FYI: the factual bits are to be found in other, more reliable primary sources. So.... why do we still use this heavy historical anchor weight to reality?

More importantly, there were also other primary sources not utilized by the controversial author of that 1724 historical fiction. These include depositions of eyewitnesses to some of these important events - events which include French captains, officers and officials of French ports, Stede Bonnet, David Herriot and his sloop, Adventure, Capt. Thomas Jacobs of HMS Diamond, and the various vessels that eventually composed the four-ship flotilla used to blockade the Port of Charleston!

Archaeologist David D. Moore, for the first time, presented a few of these valuable sources in his article “Captain Edward Thatch: A Brief Analysis of the Primary Source Documents Concerning the Notorious Blackbeard,” NCHR, vol. 95, no. 2 (April 2018), 156-160. Moore has spent a great deal of time analyzing these records. He also seems to have discovered more on the history of Stede Bonnet, the so-called "gentleman" pirate who, in an alleged letter to Col. Rhett, says that he was essentially coerced into piracy by that mean ol' nasty "notorious" pirate Blackbeard - once again titled by the Johnsonite Moore! Still, long before he ever met other pirates, Bonnet seems to have absconded from Barbados with Godfrey Malbone's old sloop Revenge, as the collector noted "Gone without Clearing" and after which a Royal Navy captain warned of a new pirate on the loose!

Barbados Shipping Record referred to by David D. Moore in “Captain Edward Thatch: A Brief Analysis of the Primary Source Documents Concerning the Notorious Blackbeard,” NCHR, vol. 95, no. 2 (April 2018), 156-160. It shows the moment that a 35-ton sloop Revenge absconded from Carlisle Bay, Barbados in spring 1717, "Gone without Clearing" - perhaps with a wealthy Maj. Stede Bonnet then aboard! Capt. Bartholomew Candler mentioned this is a letter to the Admiralty as well. He said the sloop then had "126 men and 6 guns."

Using all of these sources, it is now possible to reassemble the events following La Concorde's capture and the events that followed as they probably played out. Still, many of the ideologies and intents of Edward Thache can truly only be assumed. Some of the events that occurred may not have happened for the reasons that we believe - especially if influenced by other disreputable sources.

My findings in Jamaica, published in Quest for Blackeard: The True Story of Edward Thache and His World, that show a gentlemanly and wealthy Edward Thache - indeed with very different intentions than expected from a lowly "notorious" pirate - may not necessarily need that much "more work" as Moore asserts. Moore still clings - hopelessly, in my opinion - to "Capt. Charles Johnson's"  A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates, that controversial 1724 source that more and more scholars are finding increasingly disreputable. Using this old controversial anti-American (read: anti-pirate counterfactual) rhetorical source can hamper good work. But, so many devotees are reticent to give up the fiction!

For instance, in the paragraph directly following the erroneous telling of Blackbeard's "falling in with the Scarborogh [Scarborough's own log does not confirm this] Man of War," Johnson (whose real name was Nathaniel Mist) mentions that Bonnet then had a sloop of ten guns when he met Thache, which is possible if he had added four guns since leaving Barbados. Still, the passage goes on to explain:
In his Way he met with a Pyrate Sloop of ten Guns, commanded by one Major Bonnet, lately a Gentleman of good Reputation and Estate in the Island of Barbadoes, whom he joyned; but in a few Days after, Teach, finding that Bonnet knew nothing of a maritime Life, with the Consent of his own Men, put in another Captain, one Richards, to Command Bonnet’s Sloop, and took the Major on aboard his own Ship, telling him, that as he had not been used to the Fatigues and Care of such a Post, it would be better for him to decline it, and live easy and at his Pleasure, in such a Ship as his, where he should not be obliged to perform Duty, but follow his own Inclinations.
It should be noted that Stede Bonnet, himself, attempted to regale (and sway) Col. Rhett with a slightly different version (that Bonnet letter to Col. Rhett) of these events with the following passage:
God the knower of all secrets, will lay to my charge; and must intreat you to consider that I was a prisoner on board Captain Edward Thatch, who, with several of Captain [Benjamin] Hornigold's company which he then [Aug 1716-summer 1717?] belonged to, boarded and took my sloop from me at the island of Providence, confining me with him eleven months.
Admittedly, Bonnet was allegedly pleading for his life to Col. William Rhett, the man who had captured him in the Cape Fear River - once he returned there from pirating vessels in Delaware Bay (on his own, without Thache, I might add). Bonnet, himself, in this passage, admits that he was guilty of these events - and of escaping from justice! So... maybe not all he allegedly wrote in that letter can be trusted? Also this assumes that he had, indeed, written such a letter!

Don't get me wrong... I do believe that this letter has a high chance of validity. I'm just exercising the customary caution.

Johnson goes on to explain how Benjamin Hornigold took the French slaver La Concorde (renamed Queen Anne' Revenge or QAR) and then gave it to Thache. This probably did not happen, of course, which Moore tells. French records (transcribed by Jacques Duqoin for the QAR team at East Carolina University) definitely state that Thache took the vessel himself in a 12-gun sloop (presumed to be Revenge), with the help of another sloop of eight guns (probably Thache's former vessel). So... Benjamin Hornigold did not bestow the magnificent mantel of "pirate grand pubbah" upon his not-so-pupilish "pupil" Thache with this ship... another blasting historical error of the inventive Johnson... er... Mist!

Secretary of State for the Navy - Correspondence to the arrival from Martinique 1717-1727: Feuquieres (François de Pas de Mazencourt, Marquis de), Governor General of the Windward Islands - Correspondence ◦ Mesnier (Charles) the Navy to Martinique ◦ December 10, 1717, EN ANOM COL C8A 22 F ° 438

Moore concentrated upon particular French records, from those gathered by the ECU QAR team member Jacques Duqoin, author of Barbe-Noire [Blackbeard] et le négrier La Concorde. Moore assures that Duqoin had believed these records belonged to Blackbeard, but they simply could not pertain to this particular pirate. Agreed. Moore leads into the traditional tale of Blackbeard at the Bay of Honduras at this point.

Still, other French records (which Moore did not go into, but were also transcribed by Jacques Duqoin) do refer to Blackbeard's deeds prior to his meeting others at the Bay of Honduras. These records describe the taking of other French ships: Roy Guillaume de Rochefort, Saint-Antoine de Marseilles, and his semi-military actions against the French of Petit Goave that Thache et al undertook after taking of La Concorde off Martinique, Christopher Taylor's Great Alleyne at Bequia, and the other French ships.

Thache's taking part in a 17 or 18-vessel attack on the French at Petit Goave in Saint Domingue (modern Haiti) shows much more revolutionary initiative (and singular disdain for the French) than a average pirate of the Golden Age. These attitudes may easily have evolved from Thache's higher and wealthier "gentleman" status and the long-running ubiquitous French abuse against his home of Jamaica!

One French record dated 21 Jan 1718 tells of the pirate's capture of "Concorde of Nantes charged with 500 blacks, Roy Guillaume from Rochefort and the Saint-Antoine de Marseille from Martinique to Santo Domingo. They gathered at the islands of Providence [probably Long Island in the Bahamas] to the number of 18 boats... it was said [in warning of French pirate Jean Martel (who Johnson said was an Englishman)] that they were waiting for 17 pirate ships to go and burn the Petit-Goave... in fact they were gathered in the number 18 boats at Longueland [Long Island is an island in the Bahamas that is much further south and closer to St. Domingue], one of the small islands of Providence [rather, Bahamas]... [the French assembled] 500 good men at Petit Goave, cavalry and infantry, not to mention the 3 armed ships and well-stocked batteries."  From Long Island, pirates planned to launch their anti-French attack by Christmas 1717. Then...  they did:

Jean Morange, captain of La Volante de Saint-Pierre, deposed afterward that:
Two Spanish Corsairs who had arrived in Puerto Rico prior to the expedition to the Crab Island, reported that the pirates, numbering 25 vessels [the pirate fleet had grown!], were at Cape Tibron [Tiburon - western tip of St. Domingue or Haiti], and that they had been burning the French district of Lautibonette* [l’Artibonite—at mouth of Artibonite River north of Petit Goave] at St Domingue... it was the same pirates who had taken the Concorde before [Thache, of course], and had since added forty guns they had taken from an Englishman [Christopher Taylor at Bequia?].

Map of Haiti showing locations of l’Artibonite and Petit Goave

Then, the events that Moore describes in the Bay of Honduras occurred in April-May 1718. As stated, the depositions which Moore reveals spoke more detail to these events of an allegedly "notorious" pirate - if that's how you want to interpret them. But, indeed... was that really what he was? Was he "Notorious" or "wicked" or a "villain" as Johnson-Mist describes in his heavily elaborated pages? I do not think so. Did I mention that Johnson... er.. Nathaniel Mist was a controversial Jacobite newspaper publisher who was arrested often, held in stocks once that we know of, and even nearly died in Newgate Prison? I'd suggest we take this into consideration when we evaluate his motives for writing a popular pirate "counterfactual" hit-piece a few years later!

Note that Johnson's book was first published in 1724. Only 15 years later, in 1739, Barbadian Charles Leslie, in his A New History of Jamaica, described a family quite like that which I described from the Jamaican Anglican Church records. Leslie wrote "that Blackbeard was born in Jamaica of very creditable Parents; his Mother [Lucretia Thache, died in 1743] is alive in Spanish Town to this Day, and his Brother [Cox Thache, died in 1737] is at present the Captain of the Train of Artillery." The family of Thaches that I found (Edward Thache Sr. with 2nd wife Lucretia and eldest son Edward Thache Jr.) in Jamaican Anglican Church records were living in St. Jago de la Vega, aka "Spanish Town" from about 1686-1743... and were there c1735 when Leslie visited the Jamaican capital city to research his book.

Patrick Pringle, c 1953
Later pirate author, Patrick Pringle also recognized Leslie's book in 1953 as carrying a very different impression of Blackbeard than we have attributed to Edward Thache for the last 300 years, due to Johnson's unreliable book. He asserted that "Pirates had been Maligned" in a Louisiana newspaper article about his new book, Jolly Roger: The Story of the Great Age of Piracy. Pringle, too, looked for the records that I found (through Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org), but was unable because he relied on the new local archivist (started 1950) who had to clean up quite a mess before he could do any kind of research for anyone. Of course, these records were well-kept in St. Catherine's Parish Church, just a couple of miles away from his office at the time. He just didn't look there.

Dr. Manushag N. Powell
Nathaniel Mist was not telling a history, but writing an entertaining and experimental type of "piratical counterfiction" as described by Associate Professor of English at Purdue University Dr. Manushag N. Powell - you might also had heard me mention this before. She regarded "Blackbeard, meanwhile, was popular in large part due to his sensational treatment as a theatrical, lascivious devil in A General History of the Pyrates (1724-1728)." Her treatise "The Piratical Counterfactual from Misson to Melodrama" properly explores Johnson or Mist's book as a work of fanciful historical fiction, experimenting with "a number of modes—including history and romance and, through their combination, counterfactual writing. This is more than just an interesting quirk of composition. It is radical experimentation, an extremely early and atypical example of the counterfactual mode... This is what counterfactual writing does: it plays upon readers’ willingness and even desire to invest in an alternative world in which we pretend a thing we know did not happen, did."

Really, my hat's off to Moore and other researchers like him who ply through the records for each and every clue. But, we all must exercise some measure of caution when using A General History as actual "history," as Dr. Powell suggests. We must analyze all records and the biases and intents of each and every one found before making judgements. We must analyze our own inner biases as well - tradition does not a history make! The new era of mass digitization which helped me find Blackbeard's family will reveal many more past biases and secrets heretofore unknown to historians. There are now billions of records out there of which historians have yet to analyze - genealogical and historical. These records will also help expose the art of modern genealogy as absolutely essential and worthy of an exalted place in the professional historian's toolkit!



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-------------------------------------------------------------

Recent publicity by BBC Radio Bristol and the Smithsonian:


https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06s6zfx

BLACKBEARD: 300 YEARS OF FAKE NEWS.
from BBC Radio Bristol
300 years ago on Thursday - 22 November 1718 - Bristol born Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard, the most famous pirate in the history of the world), was killed in a violent battle off the coast of North America. And after 300 years we can finally separate the truth from the myth. You can hear the whole story this Thursday at 9am in a one off BBC Radio Bristol special: BLACKBEARD: 300 YEARS OF FAKE NEWS. With new research by Baylus C. Brooks (found in Quest for Blackbeard: The True Story of Edward Thache and His World), narrated by Bristol born Kevin McNally - Joshamee Gibbs in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, and produced by Tom Ryan and Sheila Hannon this is a very different Blackbeard from the one in the story books...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06s6zfx


Author Spotlight

#Blackbeard #pirate #twitterstorians


Also:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/three-centuries-after-his-beheading-kinder-gentler-blackbeard-emerges-180970782/


Three Centuries After His Beheading, a Kinder, Gentler Blackbeard Emerges - Smithsonian Online

“The real story of Blackbeard has gone untold for centuries,” says Baylus Brooks, a Florida-based maritime historian and genealogist.

 By Andrew Lawler
smithsonian.com
November 13, 2018





Please keep up with updates on my website at baylusbrooks.com and at my Facebook pages: Baylus C. Brooks and Quest for Blackbeard.

Meanwhile, visit my Lulu page for already published material, including Quest for Blackbeard! You can also purchase the book at Amazon.com

 
Quest for Blackbeard is 15% OFF ALL PRINT FORMATS now at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/bcbrooks

Friday, November 23, 2018

Blackbeard 300 News - Baylus C. Brooks

Recent publicity:


https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06s6zfx

BLACKBEARD: 300 YEARS OF FAKE NEWS.
from BBC Radio Bristol
300 years ago on Thursday - 22 November 1718 - Bristol born Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard, the most famous pirate in the history of the world), was killed in a violent battle off the coast of North America. And after 300 years we can finally separate the truth from the myth. You can hear the whole story this Thursday at 9am in a one off BBC Radio Bristol special: BLACKBEARD: 300 YEARS OF FAKE NEWS. With new research by Baylus C. Brooks (found in Quest for Blackbeard: The True Story of Edward Thache and His World), narrated by Bristol born Kevin McNally - Joshamee Gibbs in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, and produced by Tom Ryan and Sheila Hannon this is a very different Blackbeard from the one in the story books...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06s6zfx


Author Spotlight

#Blackbeard #pirate #twitterstorians


Also:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/three-centuries-after-his-beheading-kinder-gentler-blackbeard-emerges-180970782/


Three Centuries After His Beheading, a Kinder, Gentler Blackbeard Emerges - Smithsonian Online

“The real story of Blackbeard has gone untold for centuries,” says Baylus Brooks, a Florida-based maritime historian and genealogist.

 By Andrew Lawler
smithsonian.com
November 13, 2018



-------------------------------------

Edward "Blackbeard" Thache's murder came as a great surprise to King George I, who had issued a pardon to cover him and counted upon his help against the Spanish in the impending new war. Virginia's Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood changed that verdict. The local "Family" business syndicate in North Carolina colluded with Spotswood against the king's wishes, helping to kill the retired pirate.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/baylus-c-brooks/murder-at-ocracoke/paperback/product-23588556.htmlRead about the final end of Edward Thache:
Murder at Ocracoke! Power and Profit in the Killing of Edward "Blackbeard" Thache


In commemoration of "Blackbeard 300 Tri-Centennial"








Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Edward Thache of Barbados Merchantman

HMS Windsor pay record abbrev. for "Barbados Merchantman"
Before Edward "Blackbeard" Thache signed as "able seaman" aboard HMS Windsor on April 12, 1706 during Queen Anne's War, he worked in the Atlantic trade. A note on his pay record indicated that he previously served as a slave trader aboard Joseph Bingham's 250-ton, 16-gun vessel Barbados Merchantman. Merchantman was then captained by Jonathan Deeble, of the Plymouth Deeble family. The vessel's owner Joseph Bingham had been negotiating with the Royal African Company (RAC) and England's Tresaury Department for a number of months to refit B. Merchantman for service in the RAC. B. Merchantman had sailed for the RAC before, going to the Guinea Coast in 1704, but further voyages for the company would require a refit, as the RAC was refining their trade. A number of RAC requirements necessitated B. Merchantman's modification, notably a larger cargo space and a larger furnace to enable providing food for the African slaves. 

T 70/44 John Pery, RAC secretary letters to Joseph Bingham - 1706


In the midst of these negotiations, in the spring of 1706, Bingham recalled Barbados Merchantman from its final tour of duty in the hands of Jonathan Deeble, who had delivered slaves to Barbados from the African Coast, there picking up "381 brrl: 44 terce: 8 barr: Musco" or unrefined Muscavado Sugar (used to make rum) and "881 bags ginger." B. Merchantman departed Barbados in September 1705, leaving no time for another voyage, which often required the most of year to complete. Therefore, we know that this voyage was the last for Deeble, Thache, and the crew. Deeble likely had already received his orders from Bingham to return to England and turn in his vessel.

Barbados Shipping record for Barbados Merchantman in fall 1705

Nigel Tattersfield, author of The Forgotten Trade: Comprising the Log of the Daniel and Henry of 1700 and Accounts of the Slave Trade From the Minor Ports of England 1698-1725, on pages 218-221, examined Treasury records concerning the negotiations between Bingham and the RAC for this vessel. Tattersfield found that Bingham had offered B. Merchantman for another voyage following Deeble's last Barbados run, but the RAC had turned him down. However, Resolution, which had been chartered by the RAC, was chased and caught by the Royal Navy for an unstated transgression and was then diverted to Portsmouth and taken out of action. Her £2,775 worth of cargo was warehoused there. 

Furthermore, another ship chartered by the RAC at this time, Maurice and George, was to sail from London for Cape Coast Castle, to Whydah to pick up 600 slaves, but ran into a storm just off Spithead, England and foundered. Fortunately, her £3,672 worth of cargo was recovered, but the RAC had run out of options and began negotiations with Joseph Bingham of Plymouth for Barbados Merchantman. At any rate, changes would still be required. 

Bingham had recalled his vessel to be refit at Portsmouth, Deeble bringing her in by April 1706, even before the RAC had begun making their demands of the young Plymouth merchant. The crew dispersed. Deeble returned to his home at Plymouth and Thache and others needed a ride back to the West Indies, since a refit, including "a Negro furnace, shackles and a mill for grinding corn" and later, "deal platforms, shackles, bolts, firewood and a separate cabin big enough to stow about a ton of horse beans," would require months.


Meanwhile, HMS Windsor had left the Downs at the eastern end of Southern England and docked at nearby Portsmouth at the Isle of Wight. The "Solent" or a small channel of water separated this island from Portsmouth off the English shores. It would be a matter of routine to find passage from across this channel to reach Windsor, whose orders were to make immediately for Thache's home of Jamaica. 

On April 12, 1706, five men signed aboard Windsor, all of whom are probably former crewmen of Barbados Merchantmen: Edward "Thatch," Arron Huggins, Samuel Gaine, Henry Nellson, and William Horn. All of these men were paid together, with "Thatch" owing four times more rent than the others for his "chest allowance," in other words, he possessed more goods than the others (Angus Konstam suggested at ECU a couple of weeks ago that many "gentlemen" enlisted in this fashion). At least three of these men were discharged in or near Jamaica and Thache, himself, received "preferment" or promotion, remaining to serve his nation in the war with Spain and France. Pair this duty-bound behavior with a deed to his family, late in 1706, where he gave his inheritance to his family to help them live while he coursed the seas in the Royal Navy!

ADM 33/267 HMS Windsor Pay Records showing Edward "Thatch"
It's likely that the "Kinder, Gentler Blackbeard" war-veteran Edward Thache remained a merchant after Queen Anne's War, from 1713-on. He apparently had been seen in Philadelphia as a "mate" on a Jamaican ship about 1715. And, then, by 1716, he had become a pirate, taking (with Benjamin Hornigold) Henry Timberlake's vessel Lamb in August of that year.

Edward Thache's "higher social status" has drawn much recent attention during the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard the Pirate's death in Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina. Several interviews have taken place - one from Bristol, England - and The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke author Andrew Lawler has recently penned an article for Smithsonian magazine detailing this "Kinder, Gentler Blackbeard."

Some authors hold out on this theory, as Lawler tells, but professional historians, archaeologists, and "other scholars find Brooks’ case compelling."



------------------------

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06s6zfx

BLACKBEARD: 300 YEARS OF FAKE NEWS.
from BBC Radio Bristol
300 years ago on Thursday - 22 November 1718 - Bristol born Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard, the most famous pirate in the history of the world), was killed in a violent battle off the coast of North America. And after 300 years we can finally separate the truth from the myth. You can hear the whole story this Thursday at 9am in a one off BBC Radio Bristol special: BLACKBEARD: 300 YEARS OF FAKE NEWS. With new research by Baylus C. Brooks, narrated by Bristol born Kevin McNally - Joshamee Gibbs in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, and produced by Tom Ryan and Sheila Hannon this is a very different Blackbeard from the one in the story books...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06s6zfx

You can hear it at https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/bbc_radio_bristol

Author Spotlight

#Blackbeard #pirate #twitterstorians


Also:

Three Centuries After His Beheading, a Kinder, Gentler Blackbeard Emerges - Smithsonian Online

By Andrew Lawler
smithsonian.com
November 13, 2018



http://www.lulu.com/shop/baylus-c-brooks/murder-at-ocracoke/paperback/product-23588556.htmlRead about the final end of Edward Thache:
Murder at Ocracoke! Power and Profit in the Killing of Edward "Blackbeard" Thache



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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Madagascar Pirates and the Illegal Slave Trade

Secured deeply in the East Indies Original Correspondence, Colonial Office papers is a long discussion relative to the East India Company's prohibition to selling East Indies goods, particularly slaves, to West Indian markets. One of the Navigation Acts of 1663 forbade purchases in America from anywhere else but England. East India Company officials stated on July 21, 1721 that "the Legislature did not think fitt to allow the Company to Send Slaves thither [West Indies], for fear of filling the Plantations with the India goods." This would directly oppose the profits of legal merchants abiding by the Act of 1663. Profit, however, is rarely an inducement in favor of legal thinking and many merchants of Great Britain ignored the usual statutes. They bestowed this attribute upon early American capitalism.

This particular discussion would never have been generated in the walls of Whitehall if not for the "loose lips" of a carpenter named Phillip Nicholas, then serving aboard Gascoigne of Bristol, Capt. Challoner Williams. Nicholas, upon his return from Madagascar to Bristol, England, by way of Virginia, spoke with customs officer George Benyon and "had been with the East India Company & informed ag[ains]t. all the Ship's that went"  to Madagascar to trade with pirates!

Nicholas had informed on some very important and wealthy merchants in England and Ireland who were trading illegally with the pirates who controlled St. Mary's Island at Madagascar.  Four English vessels intentionally sailed from England with sailing instructions for Africa, but the actual purpose, as indicated in the testimonies, was illegal trading with pirates in the East Indies. The merchants ordered the captains to extend their trade in Africa around the Cape of Good Hope, breaking the law. At least one captain questioned these orders, but went along with them anyway. He became the primary witness against these merchants.

On the 22nd of October 1719, a small vessel of about 80 tons called Farrant Snow, was bought in the river of Thames by London merchant John Smallwood. Smallwood purchased this vessel from Mr. Henry Farrant of Doctors Commons for L237: 10 s. Smallwood renamed this vessel Coker.

Smallwood was partnered with a Bristol merchant by the name of Henry Baker, of a wealthy family of Bristol merchants sired by Henry Baker, the elder, deceased. John Baker and his sons, Stephen and Henry, carried on that tradition. Smallwood and Baker together purchased another vessel in the Thames,  Gascoigne of 130 tons which Smallwood and Baker bought and named Henrietta.

These two ships, now called Coker and Henrietta, "were laid at Union Stairs on the Middlx. Shore," and Henry Baker was made Master of Henrietta and Richard Taylor, recently married (1720) mariner of Liverpool, was made master of Coker Snow. Taylor married his wife, Jane Beck of Stepney, just over a year before in August 1720.


Thames River in the 19th century showing "Union Stairs"
These vessels were provisioned with "Arm's powder shott Looing Glasses Scissors, Knives Corne & Beades" for trade in Madagascar slaves. Baker and Smallwood explained to Capt. Richard Taylor "that the voiage [voyage] was designed for Madera & so to Madagascar, but desired he would conceal the voiage to Madagascar, and he asking the reason for that desire, was told that there was an Act of Parliament agt. Trading to Madagascar, but that it wou'd come to nothing & they wou'd Indemnify him."

Capt. Thomas Hebert, another London mariner and budding merchant, joined Capt. Baker aboard Henrietta. Hebert would aid Baker's control of matters over the trade of Henrietta and Coker. In January 1720, the two ships moved down the Thames to the Downs.

There, by February, the two captains informed Taylor that "he sho'd deliver the Cargo to the said Baker & Hebert & to follow their directions" and "the two Ships sho'd keep Company together & by no meanes seperate." The underhanded intent was clear in the order "he sho'd conceal his Orders from his Mates & other Sailors till they came into the Latitude of Ten North." This latitude equates to just north of Sierra Leone, Africa. The crews were kept in the dark until they cruised past the destination which they believed was their only destination.

By the 10th of March, the ships reached Madeira where they added wine and brandy to their cargoes. By the 10th of April, Baker and Hebert informed Taylor to guide Coker around the Cape of Good Hope and, if separated, await them at Port Dauphin in southeast Madagascar. Note that there was no reason to believe that the crews were upset by this news - trading with pirates at Madagascar was very much a profitable, if illegal, endeavor. Most would easily risk the minimal dangers for the opportunity to make a lifetime's worth of profit.

Only by this point did Capt. Taylor of Coker receive his orders from Baker and Hebert as to how he would trade for slaves and rice. The two vessels lost touch on the 24h May. By July 21, Coker landed at Port Dauphin and began to trade for slaves. Capt. Taylor learned that he missed Henrietta by five days, but they returned 12th of September (after trading at Masselage, Massailly, or the Bay of Boeny or Bombetok and picking up survivors from Cassandra).  Baker and Hebert had aboard a cargo of "Cowries, pepper, Muslin, ffrankinsence & other goods" and slaves that they earlier gathered at Port Dauphin. Taylor had traded about 70 slaves when Henrietta arrived. Capt. Baker then left Henrietta at Port Dauphin and the 70 slaves in the care of Capt. Hebert. Baker joined Taylor aboard Coker and sailed for Matalan (possibly Manakara up the east coast). Not being able to land at "Matalan," they altered course for "Bonvola," landing there October 5th, "a good place for Trade & safe riding, & three White Men are the head of the place who promised them Slaves enough in a month so it was concluded to go to St. Mary's for 14 or 15 days & return thither again."

The 9th of October, Coker landed at St. Mary's Island. There, "Baker & Taylor went ashore with some Liquors to treat the principal of the place which being done, he retuned on board along with them to agree for a Trade & they swore together that Night to Trade honestly." They spent the next few days trading cowries and slaves.

They were however, surprised on the 13th, when they "spyed two large Vessels making Sail towards the harbour & thereupon they made clear to Sail, but were not able to get out of the harbour, upon which Baker & Taylor went off in their Boat to meet the said two Ships, and they proved to be a Pyrate named the Dragon, whereof one [Edward] Congdon was Comander & a Mocha Ship of about 500 Tons, which the Dragon had taken."  Congden sent three of his crew to take possession of Coker.


The next day, the pirate Edward Congden came aboard Coker and took some wine, for which the pirate (surprisingly to us modern observers, perhaps)  paid Capt. Baker. After two days of negotiations, Congden, now filthy rich because of the wealthy Mocha ship and who hoped to surrender to the French at La Bourbon Island (today, La Réunion), decided to send Coker to the French at La Bourbon to inquire as to the Act of Grace from their king. They sent five prisoners taken from Prince Eugene and House of Austria, two Ostender vessels taken near the cape in February of that year, with a passage fee of L50 each. As to hostages for the return of Coker, the pirates "resolved to keep Captain Taylor, the Doctor the Carpenter & two Sailors belonging to the Coker."

Coker set sail for La Bourbon (or "Don Mascareen" as they called it) on 17th of October. Nine days later, another vessel named Prince Eugene, this one of Bristol, Capt. Joseph Stretton, arrived and stood about six miles off to negotiate with the pirates. They eventually reached an agreement and "a list of the Cargo was sent to the Pyrates with the Prime Cost of the Cargoe amounting to abt. 1500 lbs. Sterling money & at length the Pyrates agreed to [Purchase] of it at 500 lb. P[er] Cent profit." Further trading for Spanish dollars resulted in a profit of L9000 for Stretton, who then sailed away.

By November 4th, Gascoigne of Bristol, Capt. Challoner Williams, also "arrived at St. Mary's & the Capt came ashore to Congdon & Dined with him, & sold a small part of his Cargo to him & after a Stay of 4 or 5 days Sailed out again for Port Dolphin." William's carpenter, Phillip Nicholas, of course, would later alert the authorities in Bristol to this illicit trade.

By the 26th of November, Coker returned with the Act of Grace, but without any provision for keeping their spoils. Congden turned Coker around on the 5th of December to obtain the required changes to the act, which they obtained and returned again on the 27th, two days after Christmas 1720.

A vote was taken among 83 pirates, 43 of whom accepted the Act of Indemnity from the king of France's governor at La Bourbon, "but by reason that 40 of the Pyrates remained behind, & that many of the 43 pyrates who had determined to go to Don Mascareen were disabled through Sickness, therefore there were not hands enough to carry those two Ships to Mascareen, & so those that accepted the Indempnity determined to destroy those Ships least the Pyrates who remained behind sho'd make use of them, which accordingly they did, on the 9th. of January."

Once they had destroyed their vessels, Congden secured Capt. Baker's use of Coker for "passage & carriage of their Effects... to Don Mascareen." This was much to Baker's advantage. They each promised L50 to Capt. Baker for their passage plus each a slave, which amounted to L2150 plus 43 slaves, more than adequate payment for such a short voyage! The total value accumulated by Baker was "so much money & so many Slaves as amounted to 3702," but he "defrauded the Owners of 1000 lb. giving them Credit Therein only for 25 lb. a head instead of 50 lb. & consequently made the receipt only 2702 lb. instead of 3702 lb."

On 13th of February 1721, Capt. Baker and Capt. Hebert sent Capt. Taylor his orders:
Don Mascharinas ffebry 13th 1721. Capt Taylor you find by your Orders given you by the Concerned that you are to follow my directions in all things, therefore as you have now your Vessel fitted & prepared with all things in Order for the Sea, It is my Order that you make the best of your way to Dingley de Crouch [Daingean Uí Chúis; Dingle Harbour] in Ireland avoiding if possible to speak with or goe on Board any Ships & when you are arrived there you are to send your Letter's by an Express to Alderman [James] Lenox in Cork to be forwarded to London & Bristoll, & there to stay till you have farther Order's from the concerned & then you are to proceed according to their directions, Given from under my hand this 13th of ffebry 1721. Henry Baker
One the 22nd of March, the vessels encountered Rebecca snow, Capt. Timothy Tyzack, "he belonged to Capt [Joseph] Stratton [of Prince Eugene] & came from Young Owle in the Isle of Madagascar & had 79 Slaves on board & was bound for Virginia."  The snows all kept company until April 27th, still en route for Virginia.

Information of Thomas Pyke, November 9, 1721

Gascoigne, Prince Eugene, and Rebecca all made directly for Virginia. Henrietta stopped off first in Brazil and made Barbados by May 22, 1721. Thomas Pyke, a soldier previously aboard Cassandra (an East India Company vessel taken by pirates Edward England and Jasper Seager in August 1720) took passage aboard Henrietta from Madagascar with three other sick men ("Vizt. John Cook & Francis Blackmore Seamen & John Gilligan a Sold[ie]r" all who died en route to Barbados) left by Capt. James Macrae on the island of Johanna. Pyke was able to inform the Board of Trade that Capt. Thomas Hebert asserted to Barbadian authorities and Capt. Thomas Whitney of HMS Rose that he came from Guinea, "but the persons shook their head and said Madagascar." [Platt, "The East India Company and the Madagascar Slave Trade," William and Mary Quarterly, Vol 26:4, 567] The king's officers tried to arrest Hebert, but he bribed them with two slaves and proceeded from there to Virginia to dispose of more illegal Malagasy slaves from Madagascar. Pyke left the company of these Henrietta men and took passage aboard Priscilla & Mary of Topsham, arriving in England 13th of October, when he gave his deposition 9th of November.
The Madagascar vessels arrived in Virginia over a period of six weeks, entering at York River as follows: the Gascoigne Galley with 133 Negroes on May 15, 1721, the Prince Eugene with 103 Negroes on June 21, the Rebecca Snow with 59 Negroes on June 26, and the Henrietta with 130 Negroes on June 27. The numbers carried were surprisingly small, and the captains were in a hurry to sell for fear of embarrassing inquiries. They had come to a bad market and could not afford to extend credit, so their sales forced down prices generally. In one of the vessels, probably the Gascoigne Galley, the Negroes became practically unsalable because of "a distemper in their Eyes" of which a great many became blind and "some of the Eye Balls come out. [Platt, "The East India Company and the Madagascar Slave Trade," William and Mary Quarterly, Vol 26:4, 567-8]
As for Coker, she put in at "Dingley de Crouch [Daingean Uí Chúis]" on 9th of July 1721, as the other vessels negotiated slave sales at York, Virginia. Interestingly, Capt. Baker appears to have remained behind on St. Mary's Island with the 40 other pirates of Congden's Dragon. The next day Capt. Taylor dispatched an Express to Cork with "two Packetts of L[ett]res" given him by Capt. Baker, with one of his own directed to Mr. Smallwood giving him an account of the voyage and some particulars of the goods he had on board. On August 3rd, Taylor received a response from Smallwood, through Lenox and Boyle, agents at Cork, who enclosed their own orders for Taylor. Those letters alluded to the fears of Smallwood, Boyle, and Lenox of Phillip Nicholas' revealing of their plans to the Bristol port authorities and read:
London July 25th. 1721.
Capt Richard Taylor Sr. I have your favour of the 10th Currant.
I note the several Species of Goods you have on board which Must not be brought to this Markett, the Concerned thinks it proper for their & your safety to proceed with all Expedition to Mr. Peter Bruze [French; d. 19 Apr 1751] Merchant at Altona [large Jewish community] on the Elbe near Hambourgh [Germany].
And upon your arrivall there apply yourself to him, but before you proceed from Dingley it may be necessary you discharge such of your people there, that may be suspected of discovering your proceedings abroad, if all or the best part of your people are desirous to be discharged, we have given Orders to our ffriends Messrs, Boyle & Lenox to pay them their wages, which must be left to your prudent management, It's my Strict Orders you do not mention me on any Acco[un]t. drawing Bills or otherwise.
That you take care to secure yourself & those of your ffriends that are with you, the reason of this Caution is that the Carpenter that was formerly in the Ormdud[?] & went out Carpenter with Capt Challoner Williams in that Ship is come home & had been with the East India Company & informed agt. all the Ship's that went that way, from which you may be assured they will endeavour to Intercept you, Therefore it's my advise you Act with all the Caution possible.
Ffearing you should meet with any trouble in Ireland by the Information of your People to any Custome house Officer there we have desired our ffriend to assist you in getting you clear, by giving such Officers money.
What Letters & papers you have received from me at any time that my name is wrote at Length or otherwise lett them be destroyed.
We have wrote Messrs. Boyle & Lenox to supply you with what money you shall want. If your people are not Inclineable to be discharged, It's my Opinion you cannot force them to leave you, but such of them as are desirous to go these discharge taking it under their hands, it was at their request, more especially those you are sensible will be rogues & discover your proceedings.
When you come to your Port then you may discharge all, of which shall further advise, also what shall be done with the Vessell.
After you have pu[ru]sed[?] this & what other Letters you may receive from me & taken out the heads of what I write you destroy them.
Take no notice to your people who are concerned, but that the property of your Ship is in fforeigners, the moment you arrive in Altona apply yourself to your Merchant
I desire you'll lett me know if the Pyrates gave your men any money or goods & how much & near to what vallue each man had.
It's my advise you Treat your people Civilly maybe means to Tye their Tongues.
The Letter of Boyle & Lenox enclosing that of Smallwood read:
Corke 1st. Augt. 1721. Sr. this Moment we rec[eiv]ed the Inclosed from John S------d of London with directions to supply you with what money you may have occasion for, in Order to discharge any men that you think improper to keep aboard, but as we cannot send you a Credit, nor do we know whither or no you will want money, we desire that in Case you discharge any of them you give them Bills on us which shall be paid at sight.
We presume you are to proceed for Hambourgh therefore begg you may with all Expedition get under Sail for our ffriends express a great uneasiness for any delay. they write you the needful no doubt.
---------------------------------
70-year old Alderman James Lenox of Cork, Ireland, had served as Mayor of Londonderry and a member of Parliament for about ten years.  He was a defender against the Jacobite siege of Derry in November 1688. He negotiated regularly with the Admiralty during the early part of the 18th century and died only two years after these events of 1721.

Lenox and business partner Henry Boyle of the firm of "Boyle, Calwell and Barrett, merchants in the provision trade and embryonic bankers [Cullen, Anglo-Irish Trade, 1660-1800, 194]," engaged with Smallwood and Baker in their illicit trade. Henry Boyle (MP in 1715) became Speaker of the Irish House of Commons in 1733 and the dominant interest in Co. Cork for the rest of his life. He was a grandson of the 1st Earl of Orrery, and in 1726 he married Lord Burlington's sister, Henrietta. The vessel commanded by Baker and Hebert may have been named for his near-future wife.
--------------------------------- 

It's apparent that the merchants in London, Bristol, and Cork needed Capt. Richard Taylor to get Coker and her illegal cargo well away from Great Britain. So, quickly on the 6th of August, Capt. Taylor set sail for Hamburgh, Germany to report to Peter Bruze, sell his cargo, and dispose of his vessel - to get rid of the evidence, in other words. Taylor arrived at Altona on the 28th of August, meeting further orders from Smallwood: "you shou'd come up the Channell I wish you safe to Port where I am persuaded you'll meet with no Interruption, get your goods out with all Expedition & discharge your People."

On the 5th of September, another letter came from Smallwood, which included some concern for Capt. Henry Baker, last known to have been with the pirates on La Bourbon and then a few days sailing northward to Mauritius, another island then occupied by the French:
That he expected Pres[en]t post the Acco[un]t. of disbursemts. & Seaman's wages & the Contents of what was on board & the Condition of the Ship, no news of Capt Baker, the Ships you mentioned that were to touch at Don Mascareen are both arrived at Port Lewis [Port Louis on Mauritius?] in fframe & no Acco[un]t. of him & said he was impatient to know if any English Servt. was with him & concluded he was for the concerned - his reall ffriend JS [John Smallwood].
Another letter of the 12th mentioned further "concern & was the more so since [Baker] had no White men with him." No news of Capt. Henry Baker or Capt. Thomas Hebert had been received throughout September. Smallwood may have been worried that Baker would betray him and their other merchant friends. By the middle of October, Hebert had written and informed Smallwood that he was on his way back from Virginia in Henrietta. News had come from France that Capt. Henry Baker was located there, although he had not written to Smallwood. How or why Baker landed in France was the question. Smallwood reiterated that Taylor should sell all cargo, his ship Coker, and discharge his men and then make his way by a sloop to Rotterdam and back to London. Still no word of Baker from France or from anywhere else...

A final letter to Capt. Taylor, last in Altona, Hamburgh, Germany, read:
London Decbr. 12th. 1721. Sr. I have your favour of the 8th. Curr[en]t. by wch. I observe your arrivall in Rotterdam, your Letter favours same to hand, I am now to request you'll at the receipt of this make the best of your way for London in the first Sloop, you are to observe that you be silent in relation to your Voiage & the Moment you come to London come to me, sho[ul]d. not the Vessell got up above Gravesend when you come over, then come up in a Wherry from thence. No News of Capt Baker [this obviously worried Smallwood] & it's feared Capt Hebert is lost he has been out of Virginia near three months & no news of him, all his Effects are with him[.] your Spouse [Jane Beck Taylor] is at Epou with the Deane & his Lady. I presume she'll be in Town before you get over [Smallwood perhaps feared that Taylor may inform against him and used his new bride to secure his silence].
I am Informed there is at Amsterdam at least 20. of Congdons Men, but are now come to Rotterdam & in particular Wm. Knight who it's said is aboard a large Bristoll Galley called the Gardner, if she's not Sailed pray Inquire after him. Lampoon abt. Tom Jones is at Rotterdam & appears in an Old Jackett & Old Trowsers. I bega you'll look out for him, & if you can find or meet with any you know press them hard to know how they came there & what is become of Capt Baker it's Ten to one but you see some of them there is also George Goodman at the same place.
I am Impatient 'till I see you & wish you a good passage over My ffamily Joines with me in sincere respects or Concludes me your assured ffriend & humble Servt. J. Smallwood
It is known that pirate Edward Congden eventually settled in L'orient, Brittany, France where he married and became a gentleman merchant. It is entirely possible that he was with those twenty men who traveled to Amsterdam and to Rotterdam aboard Gardner.  Perhaps Capt. Henry Baker joined him... and may have avoided legal trouble by settling with pirates in France!


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https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06s6zfx

BLACKBEARD: 300 YEARS OF FAKE NEWS.
from BBC Radio Bristol
300 years ago on Thursday - 22 November 1718 - Bristol born Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard, the most famous pirate in the history of the world), was killed in a violent battle off the coast of North America. And after 300 years we can finally separate the truth from the myth. You can hear the whole story this Thursday at 9am in a one off BBC Radio Bristol special: BLACKBEARD: 300 YEARS OF FAKE NEWS. With new research by Baylus C. Brooks (found in Quest for Blackbeard: The True Story of Edward Thache and His World), narrated by Bristol born Kevin McNally - Joshamee Gibbs in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, and produced by Tom Ryan and Sheila Hannon this is a very different Blackbeard from the one in the story books...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06s6zfx

You can hear it at https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/bbc_radio_bristol

Author Spotlight

#Blackbeard #pirate #twitterstorians


Also:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/three-centuries-after-his-beheading-kinder-gentler-blackbeard-emerges-180970782/


Three Centuries After His Beheading, a Kinder, Gentler Blackbeard Emerges - Smithsonian Online

“The real story of Blackbeard has gone untold for centuries,” says Baylus Brooks, a Florida-based maritime historian and genealogist.

 By Andrew Lawler
smithsonian.com
November 13, 2018



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Exciting new detail, including information from French and English depositions, appears in a new book, Sailing East: West-Indian Pirates in Madagascar, now available!

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