Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lady Pirates!

The two most famous females pirates are Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

Anne was born in 1698 in Ireland as the illegitimate daughter of William Cormac. He took her and her mother to North Carolina where he became a prosperous rice planter. No one quite knows what her childhood was like but speculation abounds that she was quite the wild child. She left home in her 20s and married James Bonny. Anne's father was not too happy about the marriage and wanted it annulled!

But she soon came under the spell of the infamous pirate Captain Jack Rackham and left James for him. As she joined his crew she became quite skilled in the use of a flintlock, boarding axe, and a sword. She also acquired the reputation of being fearless and headstrong in battle.

Mary Read was usually known as Mark Read; she kept her gender concealed for most of her life! Her mother raised her as a boy in order to receive payments from her mother-in-law. When she was found out and the payments ceased she sent Mary to be a page "boy" to a wealthy Frenchwoman.

She soon signed on as a boy on an English man-o-war and later traveled to Flanders where she met and fell in love with her bunkmate and then revealed her true identity. Soon after their marriage her husband died and she became Mark once again and joined the pirate ranks of Captain Vane. Soon her paths crossed with Captain Jack Rackham and she joined his crew and was eventually discovered by Anne Bonny!

Mary fell in love with another of her crewmates and ended up saving his life. Her lover was known for his temper and he started a fight with another shipmate. They were to go ashore and duel to the death. But since Mary was a stronger fighter she came up with a plan that would save his life and save his reputation. She (as Mark) started a fight with this man and timed the duel two hours before the duel with her lover...she killed him before he had the chance to kill her lover!

After Rackham's ship and crew were captured Anne and Mary exclaimed they were pregnant and avoided hanging til after their children were born. Jack Rackham wanted to see his lover Anne one last time, but instead received this line from her: "I'm sorry to see you so, but if you'd fought like a man, you need not have been hanged like a dog."

Mary died in prison on April 28, 1721 possibly from child birth. And Anne Bonny? Before she was to give birth she disappeared! Though, there are no records many believe she her father rescued her by his wealth and influence and that she returned home and bore Rackham's second child and later married again and had eight more children!

I think I could've made it as a female pirate!


  1. Very interesting information.
    I really liked looking at the graphics as they caught my attention greatly.

  2. That was really intersting! Are there any books about them? That would be fun to read. I just checked out a book called "Pirates!" by Celia Rees, have you ever read that?

  3. I have read Pirates! last month (august post on my blog). I thought it was a good read.
    I agree, I think it would be fun to read a story about one of the real pirate women.

  4. Fascinating!! I get motion sickness, so I guess count me out.

  5. Fantastic post - this was very interesting. I would love to read a book about the lady pirates!

  6. so cool! loved learning about these women!

    i know you have this already, but i wanted to pass it back to ya...

    BTW: you've just been awarded...

  7. Wow, that's so interesting! Some real kick-ass women!

  8. Female pirates = awesome!

    I've read books about Anne Bonny and Mary Read. Their stories are all the more interesting because they were real people.


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