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Nicholas Biddle (1750 – 1778) was one of the first captains of the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War, and a member of the Colonial Rite of the Templar Order.

Biography

Early life

Nicholas was born in Philadelphia in the year 1750 to William Biddle and Mary Scull. At the age of thirteen, he journeyed on a voyage to the West Indies, during which he was stranded on a desert island for two months.[1] In 1770, Biddle joined the British Royal Navy, where he served as a junior officer.[2] During his time working for the British Crown, Biddle met Robert Faulkner.[3]

Later, while in Martha's Vineyard, Biddle was talking with Benjamin Church, who intended to recruit him into the Templar Order. As the meeting progressed, Biddle first encountered the young Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton, and quickly exchanged an insult with Faulkner before the developing argument was cut short by Amanda Bailey.[3]

In 1775, Biddle resigned his commission to join the Continental Navy at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. Following this, Biddle was given command of a schooner vessel, the Franklin, and patrolled the naval convoy routes.[2]

Reign of the East Coast

Biddle devised a plan with his Templar co-conspirators in the British Navy, ultimately aiming to strengthen and expand the Continental Navy under his command for the Templar cause. Biddle sent Templar ships to attack merchant vessels in Martha's Vineyard and to occupy Fort Phoenix, despite its lack of strategic value.[3]

From there, Biddle pleaded and tricked the Continental Congress into believing that the British Navy was a threat to the Colonial coast. As a result, the Congress commissioned more ships for the Continental Navy, and by 1776, the Congress made Biddle the captain of a frigate, the Randolph.[3]

Biddle continued patrolling the Colonial coast and naval trade routes while orchestrating British attacks with his Templar co-conspirators. The Randolph attacked Nantucket, claiming it was a British Loyalist post when it had actually sided with the Continental Army, in an attempt to further convince the Congress that more ships were needed. Biddle also planned to boost his reputation and service record in order to be promoted to the rank of Admiral over the entire Continental Navy fleet.[3]

Soon after, the Randolph was assigned to escort La Belladonna, a French ship providing aid to the Continental war drive. However, the Randolph abandoned La Belladonna to be attacked and seized by Templar ships.[3]

Biddle aboard the Randolph

The Aquila, captained by Ratonhnhaké:ton, came to La Belladonna's defense before the ships attacked. The two vessels then destroyed the formation of Templar ships, while Biddle observed the battle safely from a distance.[3]

In 1778, in order to remove Ratonhnhaké:ton as a threat to his plans, Biddle patrolled the Caribbean coast, successfully luring the Aquila into a trap. In this encounter, the Randolph attacked the Aquila with the aid of two Men o' War. However, the Aquila destroyed the Men o' War and successfully disabled the Randolph's mast with a single broadside of chained cannonballs.[3]

Following this, Ratonhnhaké:ton and the Aquila's crew boarded and attacked the Randolph, during which Ratonhnhaké:ton confronted Biddle on the quarterdeck, causing both crews to cease fighting and watch as the two captains dueled, with Biddle furiously vowing to make Ratonhnhaké:ton suffer for the damage dealt to the Randolph.[3]

Death

"Wait. Let the Randolph die with me. Don't take her as a prize. Please. Please. I want no quarter, just to sink with my ship."
―Biddle's final words to Ratonhnhaké:ton.[src]-[m]

Biddle dueling Ratonhnhaké:ton

Ratonhnhaké:ton overpowered Biddle, until Biddle fired a shot at a gunpowder keg, causing both of them to fall below deck. The two soon continued their duel, with Ratonhnhaké:ton emerging victorious and wounding Biddle. While dying, Biddle justified his actions by claiming that he benefited and empowered the Continental Navy. He rebuked the Assassins, calling Ratonhnhaké:ton a fool for not understanding or accepting his goals.[3]

With his final words, Biddle asked Ratonhnhaké:ton not to take the Randolph as a prize, instead allowing him to die and sink with his ship. Ratonhnhaké:ton granted this request and left, igniting several barrels of gunpowder behind him, destroying the Randolph.[3]

Personality and characteristics

Biddle was a capable, experienced, brave and proud individual, which showed itself in his nautical achievements. He also viewed himself as a "man of vision", and was ambitious, charismatic and arrogant to the point that he saw himself as becoming Admiral of the entire Continental Navy.[3]

Because of this, Biddle was a well admired and respected captain; not only did he lead successful campaigns, he kept morale and his crew's efficiency high by fairly sharing the spoils of victory, not through corporal punishment. Rather than allow his ship to be captured, he convinced Ratonhnhaké:ton to let him sink with his ship.[3]

Equipment and skills

Biddle had a great handling of the sword and the pistol, which he used to great effect in his duel against Ratonhnhaké:ton, he was able to neutralize his opponent's attacks preventing any counterattack attempts.

Trivia

  • Out of all the Templar portraits in the Davenport Homestead manor, Biddle's was not crossed out after his death.
  • Despite the fact that Biddle's portrait appeared on the wall in the cellar when Ratonhnhaké:ton was first shown it, he failed to recognize him at Martha's Vineyard.
  • While Biddle's assassination did not take place within the main storyline of Assassin's Creed III, the naval sequence in which he featured was required for the full synchronization of Ratonhnhaké:ton's memories.
  • Biddle's first vessel was a schooner, the Franklin, which had been named after Benjamin Franklin.
  • When Ratonhnhaké:ton is fighting Biddle, Biddle remarks at how Haytham Kenway would reward him greatly for ridding him of the Assassin. However, historically, Biddle died off the coast of Barbados on March 17, 1778 instead of in the Bahamas as presented in-game, while Connor and Haytham's alliance did not end until three months later on June 17, 1778.

Gallery

Appearances

References

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