Ann Bonny and Mary Read

Pirates Ann Bonny and Mary Read shown in men's clothes
Engraved by Benjamin Cole (1695–1766)

Yes, there were women pirates! And Bonny (left) and Read were among the most famous. Dressed in men’s clothes, they fought side-by-side with other pirates—many of whom believed the two women were men. In the Caribbean, Ann Bonny and Mary Read served with Captain “Calico” Jack Rackham. In 1720 Rackham and his entire crew were captured and executed—except for Bonny and Read. They said to the judge: “My Lord, we plead our bellies.” Both Bonny and Read were pregnant, and they were sent to prison instead. Learn more about Pirates of the Golden Age.