Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 56.djvu/8

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Teach
Teddeman
2


already heard of Thatch's proceedings, and had ascertained that their ships could not get at him. Now, in consultation with Spottiswood, it was determined to send two small sloops taken up for the occasion, and manned and armed from the frigates, under the command of Robert Maynard, the first lieutenant of the Pearl, while Brand went overland to consult with Eden, whose complicity was not known to Spottiswood and his friends.

On 22 Nov. the sloops came up the creek, and, having approached so near the pirate as to interchange Homeric compliments, received the fire of the pirate's guns, loaded to the muzzle with swan shot and scrap iron. All the officers in Lyme's boat were killed, and many men in both. Maynard closed, boarded, sword in hand, and shot Thatch dead. Several pirates were killed, others jumped overboard, fifteen were taken alive, Thatch's head was cut off, and easy to be recognised by its abundant black beard suspended from the end of the bowsprit. The sloops with their prize returned to James River, where thirteen out of the fifteen prisoners were hanged. Brand had meantime made a perquisition on shore, and seized a quantity of sugar, cocoa, and other merchandise said to be Thatch's. In doing this he was much obstructed by Knight, who, together with Eden, afterwards entered an action against him for taking what belonged to them. The pirate sloop and property were sold for over 2,000l., which Gordon and Brand insisted should be divided as prize money among the whole ship's companies, while Maynard claimed that it ought to go entirely to him and those who had taken it. This led to a very angry and unseemly quarrel, which ended in the professional ruin of all the three. Neither Gordon nor Brand seems to have had any further employment, and Maynard, whose capture of the pirate was a very dashing piece of work, was not promoted till 1740.

Thatch as Teach or Blackbeard has long been received as the ideal pirate of fiction or romance, and nearly as many legends have been fathered on him as on William Kidd [q. v.], with perhaps a little more reason. It may indeed be taken as certain that he did not bury any large hoard of treasure in some unknown bay, and that he never had it to bury. On the other hand, the story of his blowing out the lights in the course of a drinking bout and firing off his pistols under the table, to the serious damage of the legs of one of his companions, is officially told as a reason for not hanging the latter. Teach seems to have been fierce, reckless, and brutal, without even the virtue of honesty to his fellows.

In all the official papers, naval or colonial, respecting this pirate, he is called Thatch or Thach ; the name Teach which has been commonly adopted, on the authority of Johnson, has no official sanction. It is quite impossible to say that either Thatch or Teach was his proper name.

[The Life in Charles Johnson's Lives of the Pyrates (1724) is thoroughly accurate, as far as it can be tested by the official records, which are very full. These are Order in Council, 24 Aug. 1721, with memorial from Robert Maynard; Admiralty Records, Captains' Letters, B. 11, Ellis Brand to Admiralty, 12 July 1718, 6 Feb. and 12 March 1718-19; G. 5, Gordon to Admiralty, 14 Sept. 1721 ; P. 6, Letters of Vincent Pearse, Captain of the Phœnix : Board of Trade, Bahamas 1.]

J. K. L.

TEDDEMAN, Sir THOMAS (d. 1668?), vice-admiral, was presumably one of a family who had been shipowners at Dover at the close of the sixteenth century Defeat of the Spanish Armada, Navy Records Society, i. 86). His father, also Thomas, was still living at Dover in 1658, and is probably the man described as a jurate of Dover in a commission of 28 Oct. 1653. It is, however, impossible to discriminate between the two, and the jurate of 1653 may have been the future vice-admiral. In either case Teddeman does not seem to have served at sea during the civil war ; but in 1660 he commanded the Tredagh in the Mediterranean, and in May was cruising in the Straits of Gibraltar and as far east as Algiers ; on 31 May he met off Algiers six Spanish ships, which he chased into Gibraltar and under the guns of the forts. In November 1660 he was appointed captain of the Resolution; in May 1661 of the Fairfax. In 1663 he commanded the Kent, in which, in July, he carried the Earl of Carlisle to Archangel on an embassy to Russia. In May 1664 he was moved into the Revenge ; and in 1665, in the Royal Katherine, was rear-admiral of the blue squadron, with the Earl of Sandwich, in the action off Lowestoft. For this service he was knighted on 1 July. Afterwards, still with Sandwich, he was at the attack on Bergen and the subsequent capture of the Dutch East Indiamen [see Montagu, Edward, Earl of Sandwich]. Still in the Royal Katherine, he was vice-admiral of the blue squadron in the four days' fight, 1-4 June 1666, and vice-admiral of the white in the St. James's fight, 25 July. He had no command in 1667, and his name does not occur again. His contemporary, Captain Henry Teddeman, also of Dover, was pre-