1 Apr 2014

Anne Bonny


(8 March 1702 – 22 April 1782) was an Irish woman who became a famous pirate, operating in the Caribbean. Anne Bonny was born on March 8, 1702 birth name Anne 
Cormac, in Kinsale County Cork, Ireland, the daughter of a servant woman, Mary Brennan, and her employer, lawyer William Cormac. Official records and contemporary 
letters dealing with her life are scarce and most modern knowledge stems from Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pirates (a contemporary collection of pirate 
biographies, the first edition accurate, the second much embellished). Bonny's family travelled to the new world very early on in her life; at first the family had a rough start in 
their new home. Her mother died shortly after they arrived in North America. Her father attempted to establish himself as an attorney, but did not do well. Eventually, Bonny's 
father joined the more profitable merchant business and accumulated a substantial fortune. It is recorded she had red hair and was considered a "good catch", but may have 
had a fiery temper; at aged 13 she supposedly stabbed a servant girl with a table knife. She married a poor sailor and small-time pirate named James Bonny. James Bonny 
hoped to win possession of his father-in-law's estate, but Anne was disowned by her father.
Anne Bonny was a strong, independent woman , who was way ahead of her time. 18th century, was still a time when man made all-important decisions, a time when 
women did not have many rights. In this men's world, it was hard for Anne Bonny to become an equal crew member and a respected pirate.

The exact date of Anne's birth is not known, but most historians think that she was born in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland in 1697. She was the illegitimate daughter of lawyer 
William Cormac and his servant woman, Marry Brennan. William's wife made his adultery public, so after losing his reputation, William with his new wife and newborn child 
decided to leave Ireland and start again in the New World . They settled in Charlston, South Carolina where William started his legal carrier again. They bought a plantation.
After loosing her mother in her late teens, Anne had to take care of her father's household. There are a lot of stories about her teen years; some of them even claims that 
she murdered a servant girl with a knife, and there is one about a young man that she put in the hospital for several weeks, after his failed attempt to sexually assault her.
When she was sixteen years old, she fell in love with small-time pirate, James Bonny, who just wanted her estate. Her father was against their relationship, but she was 
stubborn and married him. William was very disappointed, because he wanted to make a respectful lady of Anne, so he turned her out of his home.
James took his wife to the New Providence, pirate's hideout. He had hard time supporting her, and in the end, he became a pirate informer for the governor, Woodes Rogers. 
Anne was disappointed, because she had made many pirate friends. With the help of her good friend, Pierre, a celebrated homosexual who ran a popular ladies 
establishment, Anne left her husband. She run away with Calico Jack Rackam , romantic pirate Captain who even offered to buy her from Anne's husband.
Calico Jack Rackam was a typical small-time pirate who usually attacked coastal shipping. He was not very successful as a pirate, but he knew how to spend money with 
style. The love relationship between Anne and Calico was not public, but on the ship, everybody knew that Anne was "the captain's woman".
When Rackam found out that she was pregnant, he left her on Cuba to deliver the baby. There are several theories about what happened to Anne's first baby. Some people 
think that she just abandoned her, some think that Calico had a friend with a family on Cuba who agreed to raise their child. Some even think that her child died at birth.
After few months, she returned to Rackam's ship, but now infamous Mary Read was also on board. It did not take long for the two girls to become good friends. According to 
some sailors, Ana and Marry were even in a lesbian relationship.
In October 1720, Captain Barnet, ex-pirate, now commander of British Navy attacked Rackam's anchored ship "Revenge". Almost the entire Rackam's crew was drunk. They 
were celebrating all night, because they managed to capture a Spanish commercial ship. The fight was short because, only Merry and Anne resisted. However, at the end 
they were also overpowered.
The crew of "Revenge" was taken to Port Royal to stand trial. The trial was a big sensation, because the background of the female prisoners was reviled. Anne and Mary 
were women who escaped from traditional restrictions and in their own way, fought for equality between men and women.

Everybody was found guilty for the crime of piracy. The sentence was death by hanging. However, Anne and Bonny were spared, because they claimed to be pregnant.
Mary died in a Jamaican prison from fever, but the fate of Anne Bonny is unknown.
According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), Anne Bonny’s father managed to pay the ransom for his daughter and bring her back to the Charles Town. 
Soon after, she gave a birth to Rackham’s child. In 1721 she remarried to Joseph Burleigh. They had eight children. She died in April 25, 1782 in South Carolina.
Post a Comment