(born , Bristol?, Eng.—died Nov. 22, 1718, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina) English pirate. He was probably a privateer in the West Indies until 1716. With his 40-gun warship, he preyed on shipping off the Virginia and Carolina coasts, sharing his prizes with the governor of the North Carolina colony in return for protection. He was eventually killed by a British naval force, and his head, with its great black beard, was affixed to the end of his bowsprit. According to legend, he left a great buried treasure; it has never been found and probably never existed.
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