Anne Bonny was an Irish born pirate who sailed the Caribbean in the eighteen hundreds and became one of the most famous female pirates of all time.
This is her story…
Born in Cork country Ireland Anne was the daughter of servant woman Mary Brennan and Brennan’s employer, lawyer William Cormac.
After Anne’s birth William moved to London to get away from his wife’s family before later moving even further away to the State of Carolina in America. He took Anne’s mother and Anne to begin a new life in the new land. Cormac’s knowledge of the law and ability to buy and sell goods soon financed a townhouse and eventually a plantation just out of town. However Anne’s mother died when she was only 12.
Anne had red hair and was considered a “good catch” but may have had a fiery temper; at age 13, she supposedly stabbed a servant girl with a knife. Despite her father’s protestations she married a poor sailor and small-time privateer named James Bonny. James hoped to win possession of his father-in-law’s estate, but instead, Anne was disowned by her father.
In response Anne set fire to her father’s plantation and she and James Bonny moved to Nassau. At the time the Bahamas was known to be a sanctuary for English pirates and called the Republic of Pirates. However, Anne soon came to disliked the informant work her husband did for Governor Rogers considering him a traitor to his fellow conspirators, and when she later met John “Calico Jack” Rackham he became her new lover. Anne and Rackham escaped the island together, and she became a member of Rackham’s pirate crew.
Anne disguised herself as a man on the ship and only Rackham knew that she was a woman. They spent many years in Jamaica and the surrounding area where Anne took part in combat alongside the men, and Governor Rogers named her in a “Wanted Pirates” circular published in The Boston News-Letter.
In October 1720, Calico Jack and his crew were captured by a sloop commissioned by the Governor of Jamaica. Most of Calico Jack’s pirates put up little resistance, as many of them were too drunk to fight. They were all hung except for Anne Bonny who was pregnant at the time. Bonny’s last words to Calico Jack Rackham were: “Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hanged like a dog.”
It has been said Anne Bonny saw the last of her days in prison however there is no official record. Some claim her lawyer father came to the rescue and she was released… whatever the truth one thing only is for sure. Her legend lives on.