Anne Bonny - Female Pirate
Anne Bonny (born on March 8, 1702, died possibly on April 1782) was an Irish woman and one of the most famous female pirates
during the 18th century
era that is today most commonly known as The Golden Age of Pirates. There are very little verifiable historical facts about
her, and much of her
earlier life is still shrouded in mystery. Most famous information source of her life and comes from the 1724 book called "A
General History of the
Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates", which was very influential for popularization of many pirates in
England and the world.
Anne was born on March 8, 1702 (some reports mentions dates between 1697 and 1705) in Kinsale, Ireland, as a daughter of the
attorney William Cormac
and his maidservant, Mary. After his extramarital scandal became known, he and Mary decided to
continue their life in the New
World. After moving the family to the plantation in Charleston, South Carolina, William started his career as a merchant. To
his dismay, Anne's violent
and defiant nature made him to disavow her when she against his wishes married smalltime pirate named James Bonny. After
James realizing that his
marriage will not bring him monetary gain from Anne's father, newlywed couple moved to the New Providence Island in Bahamas.
There in the popular
pirate hideaway, Anny became friends with many pirates and she felt betrayed when she found out that her husband started
working as an informant to the
Governor Woodes Rogers in the summer of 1718.
After mingling with the pirates on the Bahamas, Anne became friends with the pirate captain John "Calico Jack" Rackham, who
sailed on his sloop called
"Revenge". After becoming his mistress she sailed with him, and gave birth to her first child in Cuba. Exact information
about her baby is not known
today - conflicting reports tell that baby either died on birth or that it was abandoned. After returning to the New
Providence, her husband James
Bonny captured her and demanded from Governor Rogers that she deserved to be flogged for adultery. Anne indeed received
sentence for flogging, but
Captain Rackham managed to free her and escape to the seas on their ship. During the several next years, Anne Bonny and
another female pirate Mary Read
became known across the Caribbean as fierce pirates. They took part in combat alongside men, and were much respected among
their crew (and feared by
the officials and military personnel of the Caribbean).
Good fortunes of Captain Rackham and Anne Bonny came to end in the October of 1720, when English military ship under the
command of Jonathan Barnet
managed to surprise pirates. He managed to capture entire crew of Rackhamship by finding them all too much drunk for combat.
Everyone from the Bentham
crew was promptly sentenced to death by hanging, and only Anne Bonny and Mary Read managed to get the temporary stay of
execution until they gave birth
to their children. Mary Read soon died in prison from fever, and exact fate of Anne Bonny was never proven in the historical
records. There is a strong
possibility that she also died in prison, but "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography" stated that her father ransomed her
and she continued her life
in South Caroline where she gave birth to 10 children until her death on April 22-24, 1782.
Today, Anne Bonny, her friend Mary Read and Irish chieftaness Grace O'Malley are remembered as one of the most famous female
pirates of all time.