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Event Series Event Series: To Hang a Pirate

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To Hang a Pirate

July 13 @ 7:30 pm 8:30 pm

To Hang a Pirate

Thursday and Saturday Nights at 7:30 PM & 9 PM Capitol General Court thru November 23, 2024 (See full Schedule here.)

You may have known that in 1718, a Royal Navy expedition, dispatched from Virginia, killed Blackbeard the pirate off the coast of North Carolina. But did you know that 15 members of his crew were captured and brought to the Public Gaol in Williamsburg? They were tried for piracy at the Capitol by Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood in early 1719. Join in this recreation of the actual trial of Israel Hands, a member of Blackbeard’s crew. Hear the evidence and make a judgment! Due to the subject matter, this program is not recommended for young children.

More background on this trial:

“Nov 22, 1718, notorious pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, met his bloody end on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. He was about 38 years old.

From the capital in Williamsburg, Virginia lieutenant governor Alexander Spotswood had hired two sloops under the command of Lt. Robert Maynard to kill or capture the “nest of pyrates” attacking coastal shipping. Dozens were killed or wounded in the ensuing battle at Ocrocoke Inlet. It reportedly took five bullets and some 20 cutlass wounds to kill Blackbeard, whose head was cut off and hung as a trophy from the bowsprit of Maynard’s vessel. Fifteen pirates were captured and held in the Public Gaol in Williamsburg.

Blackbeard’s second-in-command, Israel Hands, dodged the hangman’s noose by turning King’s evidence, but thirteen unlucky compatriots were hanged for their misdeeds.

How would you sentence a pirate? Hear the evidence against Israel Hands — a member of Blackbeard the pirate’s crew — in To Hang a Pirate, a live courtroom drama held in the Capitol”  quote: Colonial Williamsburg

**We saw this one in July 2022 – it is a great one hour re-enactment of the trial of one of Blackbeard’s pirates! We really enjoyed it – it is very interactive and we will go back and see it again! – Staff at

See more Evening Programs at Colonial Williamsburg here:

E Duke of Gloucester Street
Williamsburg, Virginia United States
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