Anne Bonny

C.18th century engraving of Anne, author unknown. Original believed to be in the public domain.

Born: 1697
Years of Service

Born c.1697, Anne McCormac was the illegitimate daughter of Irish lawyer William McCormac, and his mistress/servant Mary Brennan. William moved to London with his daughter and mistress, and began raising Anne as a boy, calling her Andy. Soon after, they moved to Carolina in the Americas. Brennan died when Anne was twelve, and her father, who had dropped the Mc from his last name, failed to work as a lawyer, but succeeded as a merchant. Anne reportedly had a hot temper, and stabbed someone when she was thirteen. Anne married James Bonny, a sometime pirate, which caused her father to disown her, so the couple moved to Nassau in the Caribbean. Around 1718, James became an informant for the governor, which didn't sit well with Anne. She fell in with "Calico Jack" Rackham, and joined his crew, eventually divorcing her husband and marrying Rackham. Anne sailed with Rackham, dressing as a man to mask her identity. The pair proved fairly successful, until October, 1720. Attacked by a privateer sloop while the crew, aside from Anne and fellow lady pirate Mary Read, was too drunk to fight, the ship was taken. The crew were tried and convicted of piracy, but Anne was able to avoid execution by being pregnant with her second child from Rackham. There are no records of her release, but none about her fate, either.


Fun Fact: Reportedly, Rackham came to Anne before he was executed, to ask her to try to get him off the gallows. Anne is reputed to have told him "If you had fought like a man, you need not have been hang'd like a dog."