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Yay for Feminism in the 1700s!

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Essay title: Yay for Feminism in the 1700s!

Anne Bonny and Mary Read are the two most famous women pirates. Though there were many other female pirates, they aren't quite as well known. Each of their stories should be first told seperatly, in order to efficiently

understand their story.

Anne Bonny was born illegitimately to a lawyer named William Cormac and the maid under his employ, Mary Brennen somewhere near Cork, Ireland and sometime between 1697 and 1700. When their affair became public he, his mistress, and his new daughter moved to America, some place near Charleston, South Carolina, where they started a new life together. William introduced Mary as his wife and was quite succesful. Soon he purchased a plantation where Anne, who was pretty much grown up now, took care of him and the house. Her mother had passed away shortly after moving. Anne began to have a reputaion of being very aggressive

and it is said that she killed one of the house maids with a case knife in a rage, but that was never proven. Though it was pretty well known that she beat a man almost to death after he tried to force himself on her. Apparently he was in bed healing for a while afterwards.

The first man she married was a penniless sea captian named James Bonny, she was around 16 years old then. Her marriage was unknown to her father and when he found out he kicked her out of his house. As a result, she and her new husband moved to New Providence, also known as "a pirate's paradise." Here she made friends with many pirates. After James Bonny gave up piracy he started working for Governor Woodes Rogers, to whom he gave many of his pirate friend's names for a reward. This made Anne lose all respect for him, she had already grown tired of him. She started seeing a man named Chidley Bayard, who was very wealthy. She enjoyed traveling around with him, going to balls, and spending his money. Her relationship with him ended when, at one of the balls they attended, she punched out two teeth of the sister-in-law of Governor Lawes of Jamaica for telling her that she was not worth knowing and to stay away from her. Soon after this friendship ended she met Captian Jack Rackham, or Calico Jack, and went with him to sea. While on his ship she stayed disguised as a man. None of the crew suspected her of being a woman. She was always ready to fight and was more feirce than most of the men on the ship. Anne soon became pregnant, so Calico Jack left her in the care of some friends in Cuba. Anne lost her baby and was very ill for sometime afterwards (mentally), because she blamed the loss on her lifestyle. After sometime (and a series of events) she and Jack returned to sea.

Now it's time to back track and tell Mary's story because, this is where the two stories start to parallel.

Mary Read was, illegitimately, born in London, England sometime in the late 1600's to a sea captian's wife. Her mother also had a son (who was legitimate), but he died before he was one year old. The sea captian was never around and eventually stopped coming home at all (he was thought to be dead). For money, Mary's mother went to live with her mother-in-law. To avoid rejection from the mother-in-law she dressed Mary as a boy, so that she could be passed as the son who had died. When Mary was about 13 her "grandmother" died and she went on to work as a footboy for a wealthy French woman. (Just so you all know this is just one version of this part of her story.) She soon became tired of this and ran away. Still disguised as a man, she found new employment aboard a Man-o-War ship. She grew tired of this too and decided to join the British military. She started out as a foot soldier, but was promoted to the Horse Regiment. While in the Horse Regiment she became friends with a fellow soldier and eventually fell in love with him. She confessed her gender and he readily accepted her, especially since he already liked her as a male friend. They left the military soon after and were married. This was the first time in Mary's life that she lived

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