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Alexander Spotswood

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Alexander Spotswood

Alexander Spotswood (c. 1676 – 6 June 1740) was the Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia from 1710 to 1722.


Spotswood became the governor of Virginia in 1710, and was aware of the piracy taking place around his colony. He soon grew increasingly concerned with the threat to economic transactions by pirates both near the colony and overseas.[1]

Spotswood had supposedly received several complaints from North Carolina merchants and traders, as well as reports of pirates planning to build fortifications at Ocracoke. Realizing that North Carolina's governor, Charles Eden, had neither the resources nor the will to hunt the pirates, Spotswood put it upon himself to end their activities.[1]

Spotswood viewed Edward Thatch, known as Blackbeard, as the main threat. Thus, the governor gave orders to keep track of the movements and activities of the pirate's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge.[1] Spotswood organized a party to "extipate this nest of vipers". In November 1718, the governor paid Lieutenant Robert Maynard to hunt down Blackbeard. Maynard successfully ambushed and killed the pirate on 22 November.[2]

Two days later, Spotswood issued a proclamation offering a reward for the capture, conviction or killing of pirates.[1]


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