Mary Read, Woman Pirate

Mary Read was raised as a boy named Mark and served in the British army in Flanders during Queen Anne’s war.  At the end of the war she married a fellow soldier and they operated a tavern together.  When her husband died, Mary once again assumed a male role and left to seek her fortune in the new world.  When her ship was intercepted by Charles Vane’s pirate ship she was recruited by the then quartermaster, Jack Rackham, and began her pirate career.  She stayed with Rackham and was with him when he was captured.  Tried and convicted of piracy, she was granted leniency due to being pregnant and official records state that she died in childbirth.  However, it is more likely that the guards were paid off and that she escaped to Isla de Pinos, Rackham’s pirate base south of Cuba, where she raised her son.