(1673 – March 17 1722
) was appointed Governor of North Carolina
on July 13, 1713. He is best known for his actions to end piracy
in the area. Gentlemen pirate Stede Bonnet
and the notorious Blackbeard
(Edward Teach) surrendered to Governor Eden and received the King's Pardon
upon promising to change their ways. Both, however, would eventually return to piracy.
In 1719 prominent North Carolinian Edward Moseley accused Governor Eden of profiting from Blackbeard's crimes. Mosely was arrested and fined for his accusations. Eden presented an account of his dealings with Blackbeard to the provincial council, which accepted his pleas of innocence. Nevertheless, Eden's reputation has long been clouded by his connections to Blackbeard.
Governor Eden died in of yellow fever in Bertie County in 1722 at the age of 48. Edenton, North Carolina is named for him.
Governor Eden was featured as a character in the Hallmark Entertainment
mini series Blackbeard
, portrayed by Richard Chamberlain
. However, the film takes severe dramatic license, portraying Eden as the governor of a fictitious island in the West Indies
. The film also claims that Eden conspired with Blackbeard
, and engaged colonial secretrary Tobias Knight to arrange the murder of Eden's step-daughter in order to claim her inheritance.