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Famous Pirates #2: Anne Bonny (Irish, 1700-1782)

Born in Cork, Ireland, she was the daughter of a prominent attorney and his wife’s maid. Having traveled to the New World with her family, Anne fell in love and married a poor sailor named James Bonny. But when she grew increasingly disappointed by her husband’s lack of valor, she began seeking out the company of many different men in Nassau. Among these men, was “Calico Jack” Rackham, captain of a pirate ship. She joined his crew whilst acting and dressing like a man (including drinking and fighting profusely). Thus, she fought under his command, and along with fellow female pirate Mary Read, she coaxed the crew onto even greater bloodshed and violence and became a formidable pirate herself. However, she was captured with Rackham’s crew and sentenced to death. Calico Jack was hanged, but Anne, pregnant, approached the bench and said, “Milord, I plead with my belly.” The judge ordered a stay of execution. No one is sure how the famous female pirate died, though there is speculation that she returned home to her husband or her father.

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