By 1718, the English had had just about enough of Edward Teach's bullshit. Teach, better known as the dread pirate Blackbeard, had for a couple of years been terrorizing the seas from the West Indies up to the East Coast of the British Colonies in North America. So on November 19, 1718, Governor Alexander Spotswood of the Colony of Virginia tossed the keys to two sloops to young Captain Robert Maynard and told him to sort things out.
Maynard and his men caught up with Blackbeard three days later, on November 22, and as luck would have it, most of Blackbeard's men were ashore. But while Blackbeard was short on manpower, he was heavily armed, carrying several cannons onboard. Maynard told most of his men to stay belowdecks while he gave pursuit, but the wily pirate headed for shallow waters, where Maynard's ship ran aground. As Maynard and his men were feverishly tossing things overboard in an effort to spring free, Blackbeard was teeing them up for a couple fo broadsides. By the time Maynard's ship was finally light enough to come from of the sand, Blackbeard thought he had killed most of his pursuer's crew and was coming in fast.
Blackbeard and his men jumped aboard Maynard's ship, at which point the captain gave the signal for his men to come up from below, swarming Blackbeard and company. Soon, Blackbeard and Maynard were fighting one another, each squeezing off a round from their pistol, Blackbeard was shot, but Maynard was unscathed. The fight continued, until one of Maynard's men jumped on Blackbeard's back and stabbed him, slowing him down enough for Maynard to finally kill him.
Maynard then had Blackbeard's head lopped off and affixed to the front of his ship or the ride home, and when he got back to the port of Hampton, Maynard put Blackbeard's head on a pike at the mouth of the river as a warning to other pirates.