Famous Pirates #11: Calico Jack (English, 1682-1720)
The pirating activities of John Rackham, or Calico Jack as he was known in reference to the striped trousers and coat he wore, began when as quartermaster, he seized control of his captain's ship. Charles Vane, unfortunate pirate captain of the ship Treasure, had failed to attack a French man-of-war, which so infuriated Calico Jack, he set up a protest, and supported by his fellow crew members, placed Vane and his allies on a small sloop and sent them on their way. Sometime later, Calico Jack met Anne Bonny on the island of New Providence. He persuaded her to leave her husband and she joined him on his ship dressed as a man. A second female pirate, Mary Read, was already part of Calico Jack's crew, and like Anne, dressed as a man. Anne and Mary were both on board when a pirate-hunter under the orders of Royal Governor Woodes Rogers', attacked their ship in 1720. During the fight, Calico Jack cowered in the hold along with the crew, leaving Anne and Mary to fend off the attackers on deck. They lost the battle and Calico Jack was sentenced and hanged.