A skilled swordsman with a brutish personality, Blaney took an instant dislike towards Edward Kenway when the young man joined the crew in Bristol in 1712. Insulted by Kenway not fearing him, Blaney began to bully him over the following months, each action against Kenway fueling his growing hatred. With the majority of the crew, Blaney became a pirate when the Emperor's captain, Alexander Dolzell, foresaw the end of the War of Spanish Succession and consequently the use of privateers.
In 1713, after the capture of the Amazon Galley in the Caribbean Sea, Blaney and Kenway were tasked with guarding the captain of the ship, Benjamin Pritchard. Taking advantage of the fact that they were alone with Pritchard in the navigation room of the Emperor, Blaney was on the verge of attacking Kenway when the Emperor was attacked by Edward Thatch, who came to rescue the Amazon Galley.
In the ensuing fight, many of the pirates were killed by the combined crew of the Galley and Thatch's ship, the Sea Dog's Bite, though Blaney managed to survive and subsequently offered to kill the survivors and join the privateers. Enraged by his treachery, the first mate of the Emperor, Trafford, attacked Blaney, only to be killed by the brute himself. Blaney then prepared to kill Kenway, but was halted when Thatch proposed a fist-fight between the two. During the brawl, Blaney was at first put in a difficult position by Kenway before taking the advantage. As Blaney had Edward at his mercy, Thatch shot him dead for his treachery and invited Kenway to join his crew.