Friday, September 23, 2011

Charlotte de Berry - Fiction or Fact? We may never know

Born 1636 in England. In her mid to late teens, Charlotte de Berry fell in love with a sailor and, against her parents' will, married him. Disguised as a man, she followed him on board his ship and fought alongside him. Her true identity was discovered by an officer who kept this knowledge to himself, wanting de Berry. He assigned her husband to the most dangerous jobs, which he survived thanks to his wife's help. The officer finally accused Charlotte's husband of mutiny, of which he was found guilty based on an officer's word against that of a common sailor. He was punished by being flogged through the fleet, which, as the officer had hoped, killed him. The officer then made advances towards Charlotte, which she refused. The next time they were in port she killed the officer and sneaked away, dressing again as a woman and working on the docks.

While de Berry worked on the docks, a captain of a merchant ship saw her and kidnapped her. He forced de Berry to marry him and took her away on his trip to Africa. To escape her new husband, who was a brutal rapist and tyrant, de Berry gained the respect of the crew and persuaded them to mutiny. In revenge, she decapitated her husband and became captain of the ship.

After years of pirating, de Berry fell in love with a Spaniard. However, they were shipwrecked after days of hunger, they drew straws to see who would be eaten first, unfortunately, it was de Berry's husband. The survivors of her crew were rescued by a Dutch ship, and when that ship was attacked by pirates, they bravely defended their rescuers. While the others celebrated victory, Charlotte jumped overboard in order to join her dead husband. No one knows if she survived or not


  1. Except for that last part with decapitating him, it started out like David and Bathsheba story. David sending Uriah out to heavy battle fields to have him killed so that he could have Bathsheba.

  2. Yes, you're right, I hadn't thought of that. This is one of those tales that seems a bit far fetched to believe.. It certainly has lots of gore, death, and villains! She was a real pirate, and parts of this may be true.. but I'm doubting some of it. :-)

  3. totally enjoying these tales of terror! thanks for sharing your research...

  4. Wow. I hope this one isn't true. So sad and brutal! Aside from the gore, it would probably make a great movie. I like your Charlotte a whole lot better, MaryLu. :)

  5. Wow!
    That's dpressing. It started out so cute but then her husband died. Kind of happy she killed the officer. And totally cool with her decapitating the rapist.
    Ew. I would never eat a human, I'd be like: "Eat me!"
    -Rebekah xD

  6. MaryLu, where have you found all this information? A book, or various places?
    -Rebekah again xD

  7. Her life would really make a good book if it was all real or not! I miss your pirate stories now, MaryLu! ;D

  8. I found all this info online. Just google Famous women pirates.. most of it I just copied and pasted and then I looked for cool pictures. I knew about some of these women, but I learned a lot myself.
    Thanks Heather! I miss my pirate stories too. :-) Maybe someday....

  9. Wow! If it all is true, that's a lot of death (and husbands) to go through in one life!

  10. LOL! That is my beautiful sister-in-law's picture you have posted with your story. She plays Charlotte at the Minnesota Renaissance festival! I don't think she would have gotten away with dressing as a man. :D

    1. How cool!! Tell her she makes a great pirate! But you are right about the man thing. :-)