I have found roughly fifty gazillion accountings of the lives
of Mary Read & Anne Bonny. Apparently the two women are very popular right
now, however very few of these accountings agree on basic facts. This information below seemed to be the most consistent with
what I have read about Anne Bonny in documents that I could verify accuracy
and 'down to earth' research. Any differences, discrepancies, lies, etc. that
you find below are really your own problems to work out. And since Mary and
Anne never invited me to watch I don't know if they were actually lesbians
or not so please stop E-mailing me and asking.
Anne Bonny was one of the two most famous Female
Pirates. She sailed on the crew of Calico Jack Rackham. Anne was Calico's
lover but she could be counted as nonetheless fearless of any other pirate.
She was born in County Cork, daughter of an attorney and his Maid. The
lawyer split Ireland in disgrace but found fortune in the Carolinas. There,
he amassed a fortune and bought a large plantation.
A ne'er do well pirate/sailor named James Bonny married Anne in an attempt
to steal the plantation but Anne's father instead disowned her. James then
took Anne to the Bahamas where he turned Stool Pigeon to Woodes Rogers,
turning in any sailor he didn't like as a pirate for a handsome reward.
Anne quickly grew to dislike her spineless husband and quickly caught the
eye of one Calico Jack, a pirate of some renown. Gov. Rogers had recently
passed an amnesty for pirates which left Bonny out of work. The admiration
between Anne and Calico was mutual. Calico Jack was a handsome man who knew
how to spend money as well as steal it. Anne was a well endowed lass with a
fiery spirit and a temper that matched that of any man. (It was rumored that
in her youth, she even killed a servant woman with a carving knife because
the servant made her angry).
In any event, Calico offered to buy Anne from bonny but Bonny instead took
the matter up with Governor Rogers, who said that Anne was to be flogged and
returned to her true husband. That night Calico and Anne slipped out in the
harbor, stole a sloop and began a life of piracy together.
Anne fought in men's clothing, was an expert with pistol and cutlass and
considered as dangerous as any male pirate. She was fearless in battle and
often was a member of any boarding party.
In October of 1720 retribution was close at hand. The governor of Jamaica,
hearing of Calico's presence sent an armed sloop to intervene and capture
the Captain and crew. Calico's Jack ship Revenge, was caught almost entirely
by surprise (reports indicate that the crew was likely all but passed out
drunk) and much to Anne’s dismay, the pirates fought poorly and were taken
far too easily.
Anne and Mary Read were also captured but upon capture confessed their "sex"
and pleaded to have their case tried separately, after they gave birth.
(Both women were pregnant at the time) both received separate trials from
the men but were still sentenced to hang. Mary read escaped the hangman by
dying from fever while in jail. Anne however, received several stays of
execution before mysteriously vanishing from official records. It is
believed that her father, who had contacts in the island, forgave his
daughter for her acts and ransomed her back to the Carolinas where she
assumed a new name and a new life.
On a side note, just get a glimpse into the kind of character Anne was:
Calico Jack was granted a special favor to see Anne on the day he was to
hang, Anne's reputed words to him were;
"I'm sorry to see you here,
but if you'd have fought like a man you needn't hang like a dog."
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