They wanted to publicly flog his love. That was the true story of a pirate from the Caribbean

Jack Rackham, later known as Calico Jack, was born in Bristol, England on December 26, 1682. He grew up in the heyday of the Caribbean, the golden age of piracy, an era associated with the intense colonial development of Spain, France and England. , which competed with each other for colonial rule. Expeditions of richly loaded merchant ships, as well as general unrest, were a breeding ground for piracy.

He deposed the captain

Rackham began his pirate career in about 1718 as a “prankster” aboard the Ranger sloop of Captain Charles Vane, who already had a rich pirate background.

When a Spanish fleet carrying precious metals sank off the coast of Florida in 1715, the Spanish government sent a rescue expedition to the site to catch the cargo. The camps of these men were repeatedly attacked by the pirate Henry Jenings, in whose crew Vane served at the time. Their base was Jamaica at first, but when the ground beneath their feet began to burn, they moved to New Providence.

Even here, luck did not wish them long. The new governor instituted tough anti-piracy measures in 1718, and all pirate captains were threatened with death if they did not give up their dubious “craft.” Jenings agreed to this condition, but the stubborn Vane refused to submit, seizing the Ranger sloops and “doing it for himself.”

Soon after, Rackham appeared aboard his ship, and history repeated itself, with only slightly altered figures. On November 23, 1718, the Ranger encountered a French armed ship patrolling the sea in search of pirates. When her captain noticed the flag on Vane’s ship, he decided to catch the famous pirate. And this time it was Vane who was about to retreat – in his opinion, the French ship was too strong to cross with her. However, it was Rackham who opposed the captain’s decision.

“A certain Jack Rackham, who as a perpetual officer oversaw the captain’s actions, took the opposite view, claiming that even if the French ship had more cannons and ammunition, they could penetrate her deck, and then it would be revealed who was with whom,” he writes. Captain Charles Johnson in his book “A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Famous Pirates,” published in England in 1742, contributed greatly to the popularization of the golden age of pirates.

Although Vane asserted his own and managed to disappear with the ship, he paid for it a day later. Rackham called on the ship to vote for his overthrow, and most of the crew sided with him. He then had the former captain disembark from the ship with 16 loyalists and took command of it himself.

Bonnie and Clyde at sea

Apart from his first name, Rackham resembled film captain Sparrow in two other ways: firstly, his passion for extravagant clothing, which earned him the nickname “Calico Jack”, derived from the brightly colored Indian fabric calico he wore, and secondly, despite his great speech. hero. He attacked mainly small fishing boats and did not get rich from it. When England declared war on Spain in December 1718 and needed the services of corsairs, he offered to pardon and returned with a ship to New Providence.

For a while, it seemed that if he was still robbing and assaulting the seas, it would only be “honestly” in the service of his state, but he should not meet a red-haired girl named Anne Bonny. The hot-blooded native Irishwoman loved a rough naval life and decided to leave her current husband, James Bonny, because of Rackham.

This threatened her with great misfortune, as Bonny sued her for local adultery Rogers for adultery and the girl was sentenced to public flogging. Jack offered to buy Anne out of the marriage, but in the end the two lovers resolved the situation by simply running away on Jack’s ship. Soon after, they formed a permanent couple.

Rackham sold Vane’s original ship, stole a new sloop named William in August 1719, and, along with his mistress, began raiding the seas again, violating the terms of the pardon and becoming a pirate again. Sources differ on whether he remained childless or whether Bonny gave birth to his son in 1719.

Another woman on board

Among the vessels that fell in the following months was a Dutch merchant ship sailing to the Caribbean, on board Bonny was immediately captured by a sailor with unusually fine features.

It soon became clear that the young man was another girl in a man’s dress, the Englishwoman Mary Read. She had been dressed as a boy since childhood, because her father had died at sea and, according to the laws of the time, only a son could inherit from his father. However, her brother died at the age of one, and if her mother did not want to give up the inheritance, she had no choice but to marry her daughter.

As a man, Mary Read later served in the military and was hired on a ship.

Bonny and Read, as the only women in a purely masculine environment, quickly joined each other and became friends. Rackham and the two women set out to sea between Bermuda and Hispaniola and in 1720 sailed as far as the north coast of Jamaica.

Men got drunk, women fought

At the time, however, the Bahamian governor ran out of patience with the shipwrecks, so he declared Rackham a pirate in September and issued an arrest warrant for him in October. The reward offered caught the attention of pirate hunter Jonathan Barnet, who teamed up with former pirate Jean Bonadvis and began searching for Jack’s sloop.

An unsuspecting pirate, meanwhile, anchored in Bry Harbor to replenish supplies and make the necessary repairs to the ship. He had company on the ship – shortly before he had encountered another pirate ship, and the two crews decided to get drunk together in the hold of Rackham’s sloop. It was October 20, 1720.

When all the sailors were under steam, a ship with Barnet’s expedition suddenly crashed into the side of the sloop. Only the two women, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, expressed their willingness to fight, the other sailors, including Jack, were drunk, and their resistance only manifested itself by locking themselves below deck. Of course, the pirate hunters playfully overcame this obstacle.

Bonny’s cowardice with her friend and his men was greatly disgusted, as she showed during the trial. It took place in Jamaica and sentenced Jack and most of his crew to death on the gallows. “If they fought like men, they wouldn’t have died like dogs,” Bonny commented.

Crime and Punishment

The execution took place on 18 November 1720 in Port Royal, and Rackham’s corpse was then displayed in an iron basket in the harbor, now called Rackham’s Cay, to alert other pirates.

And how did both women end up? They escaped the death penalty because they both claimed to be pregnant, and the execution of pregnant women was not permitted by British law. Her performance was postponed for a year and both women ended up in prison. But then the news about them differs considerably. What is certain is that Mary Read died about half a year later, apparently from an infection, and it is still unclear whether she was actually pregnant. She was 35 at the time.

Anne Bony’s fate is even more mysterious, as there are no records of her release, escape or execution. According to modern historians, however, her father apparently eventually bought her out of prison. Anne was then to change her name to Annabele, marry Commissioner Joseph Burleigh and give birth to eight children. She allegedly died at the end of April 1782, at the age of 88.

.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.