Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Anne Bonny - Female pirate!

Believe it or not, I'm getting some comments on the heroine, Faith, in my latest release, The Red Siren, being a pirate and how unbelievable that was for the time. NOT. So, anyway, I thought it would be interesting to relay a bit of factual information about a real female pirate who lived and plundered around the same time as my book takes place.

Her name was Anne Cormac and if you've read The Red Siren, you'll have already met her. She makes a brief appearance as a friend of Faith's sister, Hope, when Dajon and Faith rescue her from the Pink House tavern. Anyway, Anne actually lived at that time in Charles Towne and here's her story.

Anne Cormac was born around 1697 in Cork, Ireland. Her father, William Cormac, was a lawyer, and her mother was a household servant. Whoops! When his wife found out, William, his mistress and Anne were tosssed from the home and he took them across the seas to Charles Towne, South Carolina to start afresh. William became quite succesful and started a plantation and as Anne grew, he taught her all she needed to know in order to run said plantation when he died. But Anne was a rebellious, independent minded girl who often clashed with her father. There is a rumor still circulating in Charleston to this day that Anne Cormac nearly beat a man to death when he made advances toward her in a tavern.

Against her father's wishes, Anne married a young sailor named James Bonny and the couple moved to New Providence where Anne met the notorious pirate, Calico Jack Rackham. She dumped her husband and took off with Jack. Together, along with another lady named Mary Reed, they scoured the Caribbean, plundering and pillaging and murdering. Anne dressed like a man and it was said she fought alongside the other pirates with as much bravery and skill as any of them.

But all good things (or bad things, depending on your outlook) must come to an end and soon Calico Jack and his pirates were captured, tried, and hung. All except Anne. There is no record of her hanging and some say her wealthy father bartered for her release. I guess we'll never know what became of the infamous lady pirate, Anne Bonny.


  1. Anne Bonny is the most famous female pirate here in the Carolinas, but there were others.

    I'm surprised that people would make such comments without doing their research.

  2. I have heard of these two lady pirates. Fascinating.

  3. There were also two other women who dressed as men and ran away on a pirate ship. I read about it somewhere - can't remember their names though!
    I find the story of a "woman pirate" quite fascinating.

  4. It's not that I don't believe that there weren't any women pirates, but it's hard for me to get used to the fact that it was a respectable lady, who deemed herself innocent and justified, plundering ships. I know there were women pirates, but who were they? What was there reputation, what kind of lifestyle did they lead?

    I really have a hard time putting Faith’s double lifestyle into this category. That's my only complaint; the story is very good otherwise. I love the steady dialogue, Dajon's journey to forgiveness...but I'm still getting used to Faith, and it makes it harder for me to finish the book. I haven’t gotten to the place where you’re ‘endeared’ to a character (I’m not quite finished with the story yet).

    I’m saying this with all due respect. I love your books. The journeys of faith you write about are journey we all take. Keep writing and growing, you’ll never please everyone.

  5. I loved the Story of Faith, And it's neat how you put Anne in your story...I can't wait to get a post out about The Red Siren, (coming soon) Can't wait to read the rest of the Series!!!!
    Rae Byuel

  6. Thanks, Ladies, for your comments! And Lisa, I completely understand your concerns and I take no offense. But please remember, Faith was not a titled lady, nor did she possess a position in society. She was an Admiral's daughter, who, by the way, did not consider herself innocent, nor respectable. Anne Bonny, who I referred to in this post was the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner--a far higher position than Faith's. And I can cite at least 2 other female pirates who came from positions of power and status. So, yes these things did happen.

  7. Now I am even more excited! I can't wait to see how you weave Ann Cormac into the next two books.

    On the subject of Faith, I can easily see how without god a person can convince themselves that they have no other choice as Faith did. I look forward to seeing more of Faith's life with god and what he does with it.

  8. For those who are interested, I'm giving away another copy of "The Red Siren" on my blog at http://jenniferswriting.blogspot.com. I'll announce the winner tonight.