"Maynard boarded him, and to it They fell with Sword and Pistol too; They had Courage, and did show it, Killing of the Pirate's Crew, Teach and Maynard on the Quarter, Fought it out most manfully, Maynard's Sword did cut him shorter, Losing his head, he there did die."
excerpt from 'The Downfall of Piracy' (possibly by Benjamin Franklin)
What is known about Blackbeard's skull-
After Blackbeard's body and head parted ways, the body went overboard while Lieutenant Robert Maynard hung the head on the bowsprit of his ship, giving Blackbeard a front-seat view for the trip to Williamsburg. Blackbeard's skull was then stuck on a pike and placed at the entrance to Hampton Roads Harbor, where Blackbeard was
the 'Welcome Committee' for the Chamber of Commerce intended to be a deterrent to pirates.
From there, it gets really bizarre! Multiple Choice Quiz-
Blackbeard's skull then:
(A) was stolen by pirates who had a local silversmith turn it into a silver cup bearing the curse "Deth to Spotswoode" engraved on the rim
(B) was used in several college fraternity initiations on Ocracoke island, NC
(C) was used as a silver punch bowl in Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg
(D) is now used by a secret society in Chapel Hill, NC, as a chalice in Satanic rituals(!)
(E) wound up in Virginia at the University of Virginia Medical College
(F) found its way to the Newport News, VA Mariner's Museum
(G) went to a secret "bones society" at Yale University or England
(H) became a conversation piece in a tavern in Alexandria, Va.
(I) was given to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. by collector Edward Snow
(J) was buried on Ocracoke island, where it is dug up every 10 years on November 22nd.
*(K) all of the above
Could it get any weirder?
...of course it could! Blackbeard himself, who looks really good at 325 years old, claims to not even know where his own skull is. Read the shocking expose here: My wicked, wicked ways
Apparently, Mr. Blackbeard is using a high-quality prosthetic head until he finds his own.
Just kidding, Ben Cherry, you're the best Blackbeard, skull or no skull!
Let's keep our heads-
Think it through. Blackbeard's skull can't be everywhere, and it can't be nowhere. How many beheaded pirates do you know whose skull just 'disappeared' into thin air? There must be a better explanation. Our photographers in the field have actually gotten proof that Blackbeard's skull is indeed still around. Look at this photo:
Taken from downtown Bath, NC in September, 2005, Blackbeard's skull was sighted across the water at Plum Point where Blackbeard had a residence. This occured during Maritime Heritage Days as a part of Bath's tricentennial. Local officials said it was not a billboard, hot air balloon, or PR stunt, but they cannot verify what it was. This IS the skull of the King of Pirates.
Captain Sage visited Blackbeard's Lodge on Ocracoke Island in May 2006. A photo of the nicely-decorated lobby reveals that a chest holds more than fake jewels and coins. Could this be the very skull that Judge Whedbee drank from all those years ago?! The picture does not lie.