- "Caution's nothing without charisma. If a man plays the fool, then it's only fools he'll persuade. But appear to be the devil... and all men will submit."
- ―Edward Thatch to Edward Kenway, 1718.[src]
22 November 1718 (aged 38)
Edward Thatch (c. 1680 – 1718), also known by the alias Blackbeard, was an infamous English pirate captain who sailed the West Indies and the eastern seaboard of the American colonies during the early 18th century, aboard the ship Queen Anne's Revenge.
In 2013, his genetic memories were used as an Animi Avatar by the entertainment branch of the Templar company Abstergo Industries, to influence the general public via the Animus game console, under the title of Blackbeard.
Edward Thatch was likely born in Bristol, England, in 1680. Little is known of his early years until the War of Spanish Succession in 1701, when he enlisted in the Royal Navy. At some point during the course of the war, Edward left the Royal Navy to become a privateer, where he would meet Edward Kenway and Charles Vane.
However, with the advent of peace in 1713, Thatch was, like so many other privateers, denounced by his government and left to fend for himself. Eventually he turned to piracy to make his living, joining forces with his colleague Benjamin Hornigold.
In 1715, Thatch, Hornigold and James Kidd met with Edward Kenway in Nassau. There, the four discussed their plans to free the city of its British garrison and turn it into their very own Pirate Republic. Thatch, with the assistance of Kenway, arranged for the capture and subsequent use of a Spanish galleon, El Arca del Maestro, as a fortified defense of one of the island's harbors.
A few years later, Thatch once again met with Hornigold and Kenway to discuss the stagnation in growth that had hit Nassau. They determined that the town needed medicines to survive, but that attacking British warships to obtain said medicine was likely to draw too much attention, especially given the Crown's renewed focus on eliminating the pirate threat in the Caribbean.
Despite these circumstances, Thatch's displeasure with their immediate success, or lack thereof, spurred him into assaulting a British Man O' War to take its medicine supply. He subsequently had to be saved by Kenway, who helped him to capture the ship.
In 1718, Thatch and Kenway traveled to the British colony at Charles-Towne in order to procure a large amount of medicine, which had been sourced to the town by a box found in the captured Man O' War. By the time Kenway arrived, the Queen Anne's Revenge had been blockading the town for seven days and had taken several hostages, encouraging Charles-Towne to surrender its medicine. To Thatch's disappointment, there had been no response, and the party he sent to bargain with the governor had not returned.
With Kenway's arrival, they successfully procured the needed medicine. However, when Kenway suggested they return to Nassau, Thatch declined, saying he would be traveling north for business. Kenway inferred that Thatch had no plans to return to Nassau, which Thatch confirmed, saying that he intended to go into retirement.
- "In a world without gold, we might have been heroes!"
- ―Edward Thatch's final words, 1718.[src]
After the blockade of Nassau by British forces, Kenway and Vane tracked Thatch down to Ocracoke to convince him to return, to no avail. While Vane swore him off, Kenway was more understanding, saying he did not begrudge Thatch his choice. In thanks, Thatch informed him that the Sage Bartholomew Roberts was rumored to be sailing on a slaver ship called the Princess.
Later that evening, two Royal Navy vessels under Lt. Robert Maynard - who had also tracked down Thatch - launched an ambush, destroying the small settlement as well as the ships anchored in the harbor, including the Queen Anne's Revenge, which forced Thatch and Kenway to make their escape aboard the Jackdaw, the only ship to survive the attack. The two soon realized, however, that they would need to capture the attacking Man O' War in order to leave safely, and subsequently boarded it.
Despite their best efforts, the pirates were soon overwhelmed; surrounded and outnumbered, Kenway saw that Thatch was in danger and threw him a pistol, but Thatch was slain after a prolonged and bloody engagement, though Kenway and Vane were able to escape.
- The database entry for Dead Chest Island in Assassin's Creed III uses the name "Edward Teach".
- Following his retirement, Edward Kenway took an Irish bloodhound as a pet, which he named Thatch.
- There was confusion as to Thatch's real name amongst the Royal Navy, with at least one Captain referring to him as Edward Teach.