Pirate Years


Woodcut of Anne Bonny

After being disowned by her father, Anne and her husband skipped town and sailed off to Providence, a Caribbean island off the coast of modern-day Nicaragua that served as a haven for pirates in Read and Bonny's time. Here, in 1719, Anne met the acquaintance of Captain Jack Rackham- nicknamed "Calico Jack" for his outlandish taste in clothing- an English pirate captain operating in the northern Caribbean. Calico Jack, a corrupt but charming man (and the alleged inspiration for the Pirates of the Caribbean character Captain Jack Sparrow), wooed Anne and urged her to leave her husband and elope with him. Anne was easily convinced. Trading her poor sailor husband for the ostentatious pirate captain, Anne dressed once more in men’s clothes and joined Calico Jack’s crew of pirates, ready to sail the seas with her new lover.

At first, Captain Jack was the only one who knew Anne’s true identity- the rest of the crew believed she was just another male scallywag out for treasure. Eventually, though, Anne met another member of the crew whom she trusted enough to reveal her true identity. The crew member? You guessed it: Mary Read.

Anne Bonny
Pirate Years