Israel Hands, Black Sails character.

In the tv series, Black Sails, Israel Hands was a pirate played by actor David Willmot.

The Pirate Israel Hands.

The first historical mention of Israel Hands was in 1718 when Blackbeard gave him command of David Herriot's ship Adventure after Herriot was captured by Teach in March 1718. During the winter of 1717–1718, Blackbeard harassed shipping sailing to & from the port of Vera Cruz, Mexico & traversing the Bay of Honduras.

On April 4th or 5th of 1718, at Turneffe Atoll, Blackbeard captured the ten gun logwood cutting sloop Adventure & forced its captain Herriot to join him. Also on board was Edward Robinson, the ship’s gunner, who would later be involved in the Battle of Cape Fear River. Blackbeard then made Israel Hands captain of the Adventure & began sailing for North Carolina.

Later in June 1718, Teach ran his flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, aground at Beaufort Inlet, NC. He requested assistance from Hands & the Adventure in an effort to kedge the Queen Anne's Revenge of the bar. But the Adventure also grounded & was abandoned. Teach, Hands & Stede Bonnet then took approximately half the pirates, marooning the rest & set sail for Ocracoke, NC.

Captain Charles Johnson wrote that Hands was shot in the knee by Teach after Teach fired at another of his crew, missing him but striking Hands. Hands supposedly asked Teach for his reasons, whereupon Teach remarked that, 'if he did not now & then kill one of them, they would forget who he was.' Another theory is that Teach shot him so that he would not die in the battle against Lt. Robert Maynard.

On November 22, 1718, Teach was killed by troops dispatched from Virginia & led by Maynard. At the time Hands was in Bath, North Carolina, recuperating from his permanently disabling pistol wound. However, he was unable to escape the roundup of pirates in Bath that followed Blackbeard's death. Following his capture, he & fifteen others were taken to Williamsburg, Virginia to stand trial. In exchange for a pardon, Hands testified against corrupt North Carolina officials with whom Teach had consorted.

What happened to Hands after this is not known for certain, however, in Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pyrates, Hands is said to have died a beggar in London.