One of the things I love most about writing is the marvelous places you visit – some in person, some in your head, and some on the Internet.
As you may have surmised, I’ve been piecing together Blackbeard’s story. Some parts are very hard to fit together – his ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR) being among the hardest.
She went hard aground off of Beaufort, North Carolina, in November of 1718, and all traces of her were lost. We know she was a British ship first, and was taken by the French and used as a slaver named Concorde. Blackbeard took her and renamed her Queen Anne’s Revenge. Her skeletal remains have been found, and many artifacts have been taken from her. But, no one knows what she looked like.
Archaeologists at the Smithsonian, however, believe she resembled the ship in the image, Le Mercure, of 1730. She’s only twenty or so years newer than QAR, which is very close in terms of ship design from that era. Technological leaps were still relatively slow in coming.
We have to remember that, at this time, purpose-built warships seldom fell into the hands of pirates. They instead modified merchant ships to their purpose. Le Mercure appears to be pierced for 20 guns – Blackbeard would have up-gunned her to 40, which appears plausible if he used the quarter- and fore-decks.
Although she’s not Queen Anne’s Revenge, she’s in the ballpark.