She was imposing, terrifyingly beautiful. She struck dread and fear into the hearts of all who served her and those who watched from afar.
But this was now. She wasn’t always a brutal beast.
Her life began in the service of Queen Anne during the War of Spanish Succession. At the time Queen Anne, known as Anne, by the Grace of God, supported the union of England and Scotland. This was a time of extreme male chauvinism. The Queen fought hard to impose her will, to wield her power.
They were like-minded, Queen Anne and she who served the Queen. They fought hard to be accepted in this male dominated world. Anne attended more cabinet meetings than her predecessors. She presided over an age of artistic, economic and political advancement while our imposing beauty, Concord, took secretive trips across the Atlantic. Putting her safety in harms way.
Across the River Thames at Woolwich Dockyard Edward was a privateer in Queen Anne’s Royal Navy. Having been at sea since a young boy, he was now fighting a war, the first world war of modern times. A war fought on many fronts, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland and at sea.
During one of Concords many trips across the Atlantic she was captured by the French. For five long years she sailed the high seas, forced into slavery, given a new name, a French name, La Concorde.
At wars end and after the death of Queen Anne, Edward turned to piracy. Later he would become a Jacobite, favouring the restoration of the House of Stuart. For now, with all possible Catholic claimants to the throne ignored, this seemed unlikely.
Edward sailed to the Caribbean. He changed his name, he grew a beard and attacked and plundered ships up and down the American colonies. He fought his battles wearing a big feathered tricorn hat and carried many swords, knives and pistols.
While Blackbeard, as Edward was now called, enjoyed the spoils of his plundering, he never took a life, preferring to put the fear of death into those he robbed. He developed a terrifying appearance. He braided his enormous black beard; twisted and tied it into ribbons throwing them over his shoulder as he went into action.
He captured ships laden with flour, wine, silk and gold bullion. In late spring of 1717 as Blackbeard and his crew sailed towards Martinique they came across a large French ship…a slave ship.
Blackbeard fired two volleys at the ship. The French had suffered great losses during the Atlantic crossing. They were powerless to resist.
With the two-hundred-ton vessel under Blackbeard’s command, they sailed to the island of Bequia in the Grenadines. Here he put ashore the captured crew and the enslaved Africans.
Now La Concorde was his. He added forty cannons. She was terrifyingly beautiful. She was a brutal beast. She matched his fearsome reputation.
In memory of Queen Anne and the failed Jacobite uprising, Blackbeard renamed his flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge.