Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Lady Pirates of Calico Jack's ship.


Mary Reid, Anne Bonney
and Calico Jack Rackam
 An English pirate called Calico Jack Rackam (1682-1720) was active towards the end of the Golden age of pirates between the years 1717 - 1720. He had mediocre achievements but enjoyed a colourful press because he dressed in fancy cheap bright clothes and had two female pirates in his crew. 

These two ladies were, Irish born, Anne Bonney and, English born, Mary Reid. He had formed a relationship with Anne Bonney but was ignorant of Mary Reid's gender because she dressed as a young man when first coming aboard ship.

It was rumoured that Anne Bonney was taken by Mary Reid - thinking her a young man. Calico Jack Rackam became jealous of his loved one's attention towards the young deck hand. When he decided on a reckoning; Mary Reid made her identity and gender known. This came as a surprise to Calico Jack and Anne Bonney but he kept her in the crew alongside Anne Bonney. Both women wore men's clothing during attacks on government vessels and then dressed in ladies clothes on other occasions. It is not known for sure when Mary Reid was born, but some put it at about 1690. Anne Bonney was younger and born in 1702.

Their vessel was captured in 1720 and the entire crew were put on trial in Spanish Town, Jamaica. Calico Jack was hanged with other members of his crew, but both Mary Reid and Anne Bonney claimed to be with child and were spared the hangman's noose. Mary Reid was said to be pregnant by the ship's artist and Anne Bonney by Calico Jack.

Mary Reid died in prison during child birth in 1721, but Anne Bonney survived and vanished from the history books. She was rumoured to have got away and lived out her life in South Carolina and died in 1782 at the age of 80.





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