Mary Read along with her accomplices
Anne Bonny and Calico Jack Rackham
Anne Bonny和Calico Jack Rackham
were the most famous of pirates
during the Golden age of piracy.
Read’s mother was married to a sailor.
When he went missing at sea
she started an “extramarital” affair
and fell pregnant with Mary.
Mary was born in 1685.
As she was growing up
her mother would disguise Mary as her son
who had previously died,
in order to still get financial support
from her mother in law.
The disguise worked
and Mary’s grandmother paid
for Mary’s upkeep well into her adolescence.
When Mary became of working age
she started work as a foot boy
before joining the crew of a ship.
She joined the British military
and served in a campaign against the French.
She fell in love with a Flemish soldier
and revealed her true identity.
They married and opened an inn in the Netherlands called
The Three Horseshoes.
After her husband’s demise
she reassumed her male identity
and boarded a ship for the West Indies.
While enroute, in the Caribbean
the ship was attacked by pirates.
We can’t be sure whether it was by force or voluntary,
but Mary decided her best course of action
was to become a pirate.
She joined the crew of the famous pirate
Calico Jack Rackham.
Calico Jack Rackham
On Calico Jack’s ship
Mary became known as a willing and ruthless pirate.
Still hiding the fact that she was a woman
at some point she fell in love with the ship’s carpenter.
One day, the carpenter got into a fight
with a fellow pirate
and they agreed to duel.
rather than see her love in mortal danger
Mary also forced the pirate to a duel
and fought him first.
Mary won the fight.
Later on ship
she was the target of a romantic approach by Anne Bonny.
Anne was Calico Jack’s lover
and was also a fearsome pirate disguised as a man.
It seems they did a joint reveal
although the historical details of this are sketchy at best.
Anne introduced Mary to Calico Jack
and the three became lovers.
Their piracy and their notoriety grew.
On the receiving end of their piracy,
a survivor, Dorothy Thomas,
有一位幸存者 Dorothy Thomas
left a description of Read and Bonny:
“They wore men’s jackets, and long trousers,
and handkerchiefs tied about their heads:
and each of them had a machete
and pistol in their hands
and they cursed and swore at the men to murder us. ”
“I could tell they were women from the largeness of their chests”.
The governor of the Bahamas proclaimed all three as
“Pirates and Enemies to the Crown of Great Britain”.
On the 15th November, 1720
a pirate hunter by the name of Captain Jonathan Barnet
一个名为Captain Jonathan Barnet的海盗猎人
surprised Rackham’s crew
while they were enjoying a rum party.
He ordered a volley of fire which disabled Rackham’s ship.
The crew fled to the hold,
leaving the women and one other
to defend the ship from the boarding party.
To try and rouse the pirates into action
Mary fired a pistol into the hold and shouted:
“If there’s a man among ye, yell come up
and fight like the man ye are to be!”
But it was in vain.
The ship was eventually captured
and Anne Bonny, Calico Jack and Mary Read
Anne Bonny，Calico Jack和Mary Read
were all captured and imprisoned.
The three were taken to Jamaica
and convicted and sentenced to capital punishment.
Anne reportedly shouted in court to her former lover:
“If you had fought like a man,
you need not have died like a dog!”
Several days after sentencing
Anne Bonny and Mary Read, claimed they were pregnant
Anne Bonny和Mary Read声称她们怀孕了
in what was known at the time as “pleading the belly”.
If convicted women who were pregnant
were given a reprieve to deliver the child
before the ultimate sentence was carried out.
Many women granted such reprieves,
were then granted pardons
or had their sentences commuted
after the birth of their child.
Both women were kept in prison during their “pregnancy”.
Jack’s sentence was carried out on the 17th of November, 1720.
He was 37 years old.
Mary succumbed to a fever while in prison.
Her 28th of April, 1721 burial
is in the records of St. Catherine’s church in Jamaica.
There are no records of Anne Bonny’s release,
or any other history following her imprisonment.
Many have speculated as to what became of her
after her time in prison.
Mary Read along with her accomplices