Anne Bonny, the pirate story.

Here at Catamaya our crew are all male, apart from one strong gal who sails with these jolly crew… Our Pirate Gal Anne Bonny.

She is probably the most photoed, groped, admired and talked about crew member, she stands lifesize on top of our hard roof looking like she is about to take all the cold delicious drinks and slide down the ropes making her escape.  She was an addition in 2015 to the Catamaya, however the story of Anne Bonny the true pirate started way before that…..

Anne Bonny (c. 1700 – c. 1782) was an Irish woman (her birth name was Anne McCormac) who became a famous pirate of the Caribbean. Her Father moved the from Ireland to the Carolinas, taking his former servant girl (Anne’s Mother) And young Anne with him. At first the family had a rough start in their new home, but Cormac's knowledge of law and ability to buy and sell goods soon financed a townhouse and eventually a plantation just out of town. Anne's mother died when Anne was 12. Her father attempted to establish himself as an attorney, but did not do well. Eventually, he joined the more profitable merchant business and accumulated a substantial fortune.

She married a poor sailor and small-time pirate named James Bonny. James hoped to win possession of his father-in-law's estate, but Anne was disowned by her father. Some time between 1714 and 1718, she and James Bonny moved to Nassau on the providence island  known as a sanctuary for English pirates called the Republic of Pirates. Many inhabitants received a King’s Pardon or otherwise evaded the law. It is also recorded that, after the arrival of Governor Woodes Rogers in the summer of 1718, James Bonny became an informant for the governor. While in the Bahamas, Bonny began mingling with pirates in the local taverns. She met John "Calico Jack" Rackham, captain of the pirate sloop Revenge, and Rackham became her lover. They had a son in Cuba. Many different theories state that he was left with his family or simply abandoned. Bonny rejoined Rackham and continued the pirate life, having divorced her husband and marrying Rackham while at sea. Bonny, Rackham, and Mary Read stole the ship William, then at anchor in Nassau harbour, and put out to sea. Rackham and the two women recruited a new crew. Their crew spent years in Jamaica and the surrounding area.In October 1720, Rackham and his crew were attacked by a "King's ship", a sloop captained by Jonathan Barnet under a commission from Nicholas Lawes, Governor of Jamaica. Most of Rackham's pirates put up little resistance as many of them were too drunk to fight. However, Read and Bonny fought fiercely and managed to hold off Barnet's troops for a short time. Rackham and his crew were taken to Jamaica, where they were convicted and sentenced by Governor Lawes to be hanged. According to Johnson, Bonny's last words to the imprisoned Rackham were: "Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hang'd like a dog."

After being sentenced, Read and Bonny both "pleaded their bellies": asking for mercy because they were pregnant.  In accordance with English common law, both women received a temporary stay of execution until they gave birth. Read died in prison, most likely from a fever from childbirth.

There is no historical record of Bonny's release or of her execution. This has fed speculation that her father ransomed her, that she might have returned to her husband, or even that she resumed a life of piracy under a new identity. Some evidence suggests that Anne's father bought her freedom from Jamaican Governor Lawes and married her off to a Virginian, Joseph Buerliegh with whom she had eight children and lived into her 80s….. Here at the catamaya we believe Anne Bonny lives on sailing the Caribbean in the form of our mascot Pirate… Come sail the paradise and meet Anne Bonny!

Sources:

Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pirates.

Wikipedia