Pirates Who Love Polyamory | History of Love

    Who doesn't like swashbuckling adventures tied in with dubious romances that in end in violence, threesomes, murder, and mayhem? I know I sure do! So if you've seen Black Sails (btw if you haven't  you can watch the first episode for free on Starz and on Amazon) you know these two rapscallions:
Clara Paget as Anne Bonny & Toby Schmitz as Jack Rackham
          In the series, they're pivotal players of the pirate invested island Nassau surrounded by notorious pirates such as Blackbeard, Long John Silver, and Captain Charles Vane. They're a power couple in the making. Mary Read only appears in the last episode of the series and her role is mostly given to Max.  Curious about the real Rackham and Anne then let's dive into the Golden Age of Piracy and find out how these three sea lovers met.
          December 26, 1682- John Rackham is born in England.

          1685- Mary Read is born illegitimately to a widow of a sea captain in England. From a very early age, Mary was disguised as a boy so that her mother and she could still inherit money from Read's paternal grandmother.

          Between 1697-1705- Anne Cormac was born to servant Mary Brennan and her employer William Cormac, somewhere near Cork, Ireland.

          Between 1697-1717- William leaves Ireland (including his wife) with Mary and baby Anne to live in London. The small family eventually sailed across the pond to live in the Province of Carolina and making a home in Charles Town where William became a merchant eventually owned a plantation.

         Between 1698- 1704- Mary Read, dressed as a boy becomes a foot-boy and later found work on a ship. This led her to join the British military, maybe during the Nine Years War or the War of Spanish Succession. During this time she fell in love with a Flemish soldier. Upon their wedding, she was able to purchase an inn named "De drie hoefijzers" ("The Three Horseshoes") near Breda Castle in The Netherlands. Unfortunately for Mary, her husband died. In her grief, she returned to the military in Holland but quickly left for the West Indies. 

          Between 1709-1717- Mary Brennan dies of typhoid fever.

          1710-1718- At age 13, Anne was considered a catch due to her red hair but had a fearsome temper and there were reports she stabbed a servant girl with a table knife. Why she did this? Who knows 18th-century table manners were different, alright?
           Around this time she married small-time pirate James Bonny and thus changed her surname to the infamous Bonny. William was not pleased with the marriage and disowned Anne, much to her new husband's dismay who was hoping to inherit William's estate.  

         1714-1718- The Bonny's move to Nassau, which was known then as the Republic of Pirates where King's Pardons were common as well as evasions of law. 

Governor Woodes Rogers
         Summer of 1718- Governor Woodes Rogers (Appointed by King George I of England) arrived and soon James became his informant. This displeased Anne as James would report on the pirates of the island and thus send those pirates to prison and most often to execution. Mary, who when sailing to the West Indies had her ship overtaken by pirates who forced her into becoming one, gladly took the pardon at this time.
         John Rackham had come to be known as Jack or as Calico Jack, thanks to his colorful patchwork of clothing. In this time he became a quartermaster for Captain Charles Vane's ship Ranger. And wouldn't you know it they also just so happened to be operating between Nassau and the Colonies! 

Early 18th century engraving of Charles Vane.jpg
Captain Charles Vane
         November 24, 1718- Now unlike the show, where Jack, Anne, and Charles are near inseparable, Jack actually disbanded from Charles after a disagreement over a battle outside of New York City. Charles didn't want to fight a French man-of-war, Jack did. Because of this Jack called Charles a coward and called for a vote that ousted Charles as captain and made Jack captain of the Ranger.

        December 1718- As captain, Jack plundered small vessels close to shores in the West Indies and soon captured a small Jamaican vessel named the Kingston. The Kingston had a rich cargo, however, when they were plundering her she was still in sight of Port Royal, where Governor Woodes Rogers soon heard of the misdeeds. Jack and his crew fled to Isla de los Pinos near Cuba.

Captain Rackham's Flag
        February 1719-  Governor Rogers men find the Kingston and all its booty and thus take hold of it. Jack and his crew were only able to escape by fleeing and hiding in the woods.
        Fear not! Jack and his crew were able to steal an English ship from the Spanish off the coast of Cuba. They did so in the pitch of night, y'know when most pirate battles go down. The Spanish warship believed that Jack and crew were still aboard the Kingston which they had trapped in harbor. This was not so. When the break of dawn came the Spanish destroyed the Kingston in a hail of cannon fire while Jack and grew sailed away to Nassau on the English ship they had sequestered the night before. He thus named his new ship, Revenge.
        In Nassau, they appeared before Governor Rogers requesting a royal pardon and blaming Charles Vane, who had so wrongfully forced them to be pirates. A perfect move in the eyes of the governor, who hated Charles with a fiery passion. Governor Rogers granted Jack and crew their pardons.
       In their merriment, Jack and crew spent their time on the island visiting brothels and pubs where Jack met Mary who was still disguising herself as a man. Thus Jack comes across Anne. Now, remember at this time that Anne is fed up with her loveless husband who is helping to throw her pirate friends in prison to rot. So imagine then, when she goes to the pub to get away from James Bonny, that she meets this wildly, charming, and colorful man that was Calico Jack. Thus the kindling for a beautiful affair begins!
      As affairs are so often, they were discovered by James Bonny who brought Anne in front of Governor Rogers demanding she be whipped on charges of adultery. To save her from the punishment, Jack offered James money to divorce Anne or you know basically buy her off him. God, the 18th century was fun! Anne refused to be bought like an animal (Go Anne!).

      August 22, 1720- So instead, Jack and her, along with a crew including Mary, escaped Nassau by commandeering John Ham's ship, William. Together they sailed the Caribbean doing what Jack did best and plundering smaller ships for their booty and inviting the surviving members under his flag. As a member onboard when they went pillaging Anne dressed as a man, however, the crew knew that Anne was "the captain's woman." During this time Anne became pregnant and was left in Cuba to give birth to the child. It's not what happened to Jack and Anne's child, some believe she might've abandoned them, left them with a family in Cuba, or that the child died during the birth.
Mary Read
      Now here's where the threesome comes in!
      When Anne returned to Jack, she revealed to Mary that she was a woman because according to scholars Anne had the hots for Mary? Mary also revealed she was a woman. Many at this time believe that the two began an affair or that Jack, Anne, and Mary were in a polyamorous relationship. I am one of the later. To me it only makes sense. Jack loves Anne, Anne loves Jack and Mary, Mary loves Anne. They all live and work together. Tra-la-la-la threesome comense! Also given the state of how Mary dies, I really do believe that they were all having a relationship together. Which do you believe? 

      October 1720-  As you can imagine Governor Rogers was not pleased about the slight done not only on him but also his confidant James Bonny.  He sent out arrest warrants for Jack and his crew. Pirate hunter Jonathan Barnet and former pirate Jean Bonadvis sailed to Bry Harbour Bay in Jamaica to where Jack and his crew were. Jack and crew at the time were getting rip-roaring drunk with another set of pirates when Jonathan and Jean's crew attacked the ship. 
      Many of Jack's crew were too drunk to fight and submitted quickly. The only two that stood their ground was none other than Anne and Mary. Which what a freaking scene that must've been though! Unfortunately, the two were fighting off a whole grew and were overcome against the sheer outnumbering. 

Rackham, Jack.jpg
Captain "Calico Jack" John Rackham
       November 1720- Jack and crew were taken to Spanish Town, Jamaica to be tried and convicted of piracy, and thus sentenced to hanging. According to rumors, Anne's last words to her imprisoned lover were, "Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hang'd like a dog." On the 18th, Captain Jack Rackham was executed in Port Royal and was left on display. The area he was killed is now known as Rackham's Cay.
Bonney, Anne (1697-1720).jpg
Anne Bonny
        Anne and Mary, after their sentencing, both pleaded for mercy as they claimed pregnancy. Thanks to English common law, in which Jamaica fell under, both were granted a temporary stay of execution until after the babies were born. Unfortunately, Mary died in prison, from a violent fever either because of a miscarriage or childbirth. She was buried on April 28th, 1721.

       What happened to Anne? We don't know. Only that she was not executed. Scholars believe that Anne's father William might've ransomed her, or her husband James Bonny and she returned to him, or she fled to Cuba to be with her and Jack's child, or that she resumed her life of piracy under a new identity.
       Whatever the case may be, the Golden Age of Piracy would not have been complete without these notorious sea-dwelling lovers.

        Until next time!
        Sources and further reading:
  1.         A General History of the Pyrates (Dover Maritime) by Captain Charles Johnson.
  2.         Anne Bonny's Life
  3.         Captain "Calico Jack" John Rackham
  4.         Mary Read


No comments:

Be good to one another!

Personalisasi Website © 2017. Powered by Blogger.