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Blackbeard and Lieutenant Maynard

Robert Maynard (-) was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, First Lieutenant of HMS Pearl, most famous for defeating the infamous English pirate Blackbeard in battle.

Naval commands and battles

Governor Alexander Spotswood of the colony of Virginia gave Maynard the command of two sloops, Ranger and Jane.

They departed the docks of Hampton, Virginia on 19 November 1718. Maynard caught up to Blackbeard at Ocracoke Inlet off the coast of North Carolina on 22 November 1718. Maynard had to get close to Blackbeard because the ships he was sailing had no cannon. Blackbeard struck first, firing a cannon and killing several of Maynard's sailors. However, Maynard struck back by hiding many of the surviving crew belowdecks, making Blackbeard think he had wrought more damage than he actually had.

When Blackbeard boarded Maynard's ship, he was ambushed. During the battle, Maynard and Blackbeard ended up in a duel. Blackbeard fought extremely hard, taking many wounds and Maynard beheaded Blackbeard, tied the head to the bowsprit of his ship, and set sail for Virginia. Upon returning to his home port of Hampton, the head was placed on a stake near the mouth of the Hampton River as a warning to other pirates.

Blackbeard's severed head hanging from Maynard's bow

Remembrance

This event is still celebrated by Lt. Maynard's successors - the crew of the current HMS Ranger - who commemorate Blackbeard's defeat at the annual Sussex University Royal Naval Unit Blackbeard Night mess dinner every year, at a date as close as possible to 22 November.[1]

The City of Hampton, Virginia also celebrates its historic ties to Maynard by recreating the final sea battle on Tall Ships in the Hampton Harbor during the City's annual Blackbeard Festival in June.

Lt. Robert Maynard's final resting place is in the churchyard of the small Kentish Village of Great Mongehamnear the cinque port of Deal.

References

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