Friday, 27 February 2015

Blackbeard Pirate Ship: strange objects found in the wreckage of her,

Archaeologists working on the research ship sunk belonging to a famous character in the history of piracy have recently presented their latest discovery: a collection of medical and surgical instruments used in the eighteenth century, some downright scary.

The ship Queen Anne's Revenge failed on a sandbank, in 1718, on the coast of the US state of North Carolina.

Her last owner, Edward Teach or (thatch), known by the nickname Blackbeard (Blackbeard) was a famous pirate "work" in the Atlantic, especially in the waters of the Antilles and the east coast of North America.

Blackbeard managed to escape alive from the shipwreck, but died a few months later, in a battle.

In 1996, archaeologists discovered the wreck of the ship and, since then, have all given out gradually "secrets" of the ship.

Recently, archaeologist Linda Carnes-McNaughton presented at a meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology, work on medical instruments found on board. It is known that, before coming into the possession of Blackbeard, the ship sailed under the flag of France; when he captured pirate forced the three physicians-surgeons French to remain on board and work for him and his crew.

Many of the tools found are of French manufacture, and their discovery reveals interesting information about medical practices of the time.

The work of a ship doctor was very hard, for he was responsible for the health of the crew and had to deal with the often very difficult conditions, a number of medical problems extremely varied, ranging from toothache to poisoning and venereal diseases to fractures and very serious injuries. These different medicines Medications themselves and undertake a diverse range of medical procedures: dental extractions, burns, amputations, treatment of burns, fractures, stitching wounds, treatment of venereal diseases and other acute or chronic infections. The diversity of instruments found in the wreckage Queen Anne's Revenge reflects this situation.

Among the objects that create the most sinister impression include urethral syringe (first picture), used to treat syphilis; using them, were introduced into the urethra of men medicinal solutions. Drugs used then for this purpose often contained mercury (analysis showed that syringe found on Queen Anne's Revenge containing mercury), which, although can alleviate unpleasant symptoms of syphilis in the long run it was very dangerous, since mercury compounds are very toxic to the human body and reached the patient mercury poisoning.

Among the instruments discovered also include: a mortar and pestle, brass; two kits pharmaceutical weights used for the determination of components during the preparation of medicines; a clistir (device for administering enemas), a surgical needle silver scissors probably used all surgical purposes.

Edward Teach (also Edward Thatch, c.1680—22 November 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies. Although little is known about his early life, he was probably born in Bristol, England. He may have been a sailor on privateer ships during Queen Anne's War before settling on the Bahamian island of New Providence, a base for Captain Benjamin Hornigold, whose crew Teach joined sometime around 1716. Hornigold placed him in command of a sloop he had captured, and the two engaged in numerous acts of piracy. Their numbers were boosted by the addition to their fleet of two more ships, one of which was commanded by Stede Bonnet, but toward the end of 1717 Hornigold retired from piracy, taking two vessels with him.

Teach captured a French merchant vessel, renamed her Queen Anne's Revenge, and equipped her with 40 guns. He became a renowned pirate, his cognomen derived from his thick black beard and fearsome appearance; he was reported to have tied lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies. He formed an alliance of pirates and blockaded the port of Charleston, South Carolina. After successfully ransoming its inhabitants, he ran Queen Anne's Revenge aground on a sandbar near Beaufort, North Carolina. He parted company with Bonnet and settled in Bath Town, where he accepted a royal pardon. But he was soon back at sea, where he attracted the attention of Alexander Spotswood, the Governor of Virginia. Spotswood arranged for a party of soldiers and sailors to try to capture the pirate, which they did on 22 November 1718. During a ferocious battle, Teach and several of his crew were killed by a small force of sailors led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.


A map of the area around Ocracoke Inlet, 1775
Before sailing northward on his remaining sloop to Ocracoke Inlet, Teach marooned about 25 men on a small sandy island about a league from the mainland. He may have done this to stifle any protest they made, if they guessed their captain's plans. Bonnet rescued them two days later.[51] Teach continued on to Bath, where in June 1718—only days after Bonnet had departed with his pardon—he and his much-reduced crew received their pardon from Governor Eden.

He settled in Bath, on the eastern side of Bath Creek at Plum Point, near Eden's home. During July and August he travelled between his base in the town and his sloop off Ocracoke. Johnson's account states that he married the daughter of a local plantation owner, although there is no supporting evidence for this. Eden gave Teach permission to sail to St Thomas to seek a commission as a privateer (a useful way of removing bored and troublesome pirates from the small settlement), and Teach was given official title to his remaining sloop, which he renamed Adventure. By the end of August he had returned to piracy, and in the same month the Governor of Pennsylvania issued a warrant for his arrest, but by then Teach was probably operating in Delaware Bay, some distance away. He took two French ships leaving the Caribbean, moved one crew across to the other, and sailed the remaining ship back to Ocracoke. In September he told Eden that he had found the French ship at sea, deserted. A Vice Admiralty Court was quickly convened, presided over by Tobias Knight and the Collector of Customs. The ship was judged as a derelict found at sea, and of its cargo 20 hogsheads of sugar were awarded to Knight and sixty to Eden; Teach and his crew were given what remained in the vessel's hold.

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