Anne Bonny, The Naïve Romantic

Anne Bonny is perhaps the most misrepresented of all of the pirates, yet her actual story is fascinating.  She was a bratty but well bred sixteen year old who ran away from home in South Carolina, eloping with James Bonny in hopes of living a lust-filled life of adventure in the pirate stronghold of Nassau.  Things did not go well for them when they arrived, however, because Woodes Rogers had taken over as governor and Nassau was no longer a pirate haven.  James sought employment, eventually becoming a pirate informer, and Anne was required to work as a barmaid in order to eke out a living. During that time she was befriended by an older woman, a former pirate named Mary Read.  The relationship between these two women has been a source of speculation and titillation for over 300 years and many of the stories about each of them are muddled.  Click here for more information about these two women pirates.

Anne also met several other pirates who had taken advantage of the pirate amnesty while she was in in Nassau, one of them being captain Jack Rackham, also known as Calico Jack. When Rackham and several others, including Mary Read, decided to return to the pirate life, Anne Bonny left her husband and joined them.  She was a pirate for only two months before being captured and returned to her father at age eighteen.  Read Love, Lust & Passion for the real story of the pirate Anne Bonny