Historian: Blackbeard’s death a result of unlawful act

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Blackbeard Flag 517151683_1534639025869

3D rendering of the Pirate Flag of Blackbeard Edward Thatch on satin texture. The flag depicts a skeleton spearing a heart, while holding an hourglass. Edward Thatch was the most famous North American pirate in the 1700s.

OCRACOKE, N.C. (AP) — One historian says his research shows Blackbeard’s death in North Carolina nearly 300 years ago may have been the result of a Virginia lieutenant governor’s unlawful actions.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Kevin Duffus says the pirate could have received a pardon from the king of England, but Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood had Blackbeard hunted down first. Blackbeard research is getting attention ahead of the anniversary of his death on Nov. 22, 1718.

After combing through Royal Navy records and Colonial documents, Duffus believes Spotswood sent Lt. Robert Maynard to North Carolina to capture or kill the pirate to boost his own political standing. He says Spotswood didn’t have the authority to send the Royal Navy to an inland waterway in North Carolina or interfere a neighboring colony’s affairs “without invitation.”

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