Monday, June 22, 2009

In pirate language, "splice the mainbrace" means to have a drink.

Anne Bonny was an Irish-American pirate who plied her trade in the Caribbean. The few records of Bonny which exist seem to reflect that she was intelligent, attractive, and quick-tempered. When she was 13, she supposedly stabbed a servant girl in the stomach with a table knife, although it is unclear whether this is fact or purely legend. She married a sailor and small-time pirate named James Bonny. According to legend, James Bonny hoped to win possession of his wife's family estate, but she was disowned by her father.
There is no evidence supporting the story that Anne Bonny started a fire on the plantation in retaliation, but it is known that sometime between 1714 and 1718 she and James Bonny moved to Nassau, on New Providence Island in the Bahamas, which was then a pirate hub and base for many pirate operations. It is also true 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, Anne Bonny began mingling with pirates at the local drinking establishments, and met the pirate John "Calico" Jack Rackham, with whom she had an affair. While Rackham and many other pirates were enjoying the King's pardon in the New Providence, James dragged Anne before Gov. Rogers to demand she be flogged for adultery and returned to him. There was even an offer for Rackham to buy her in a divorce-by-purchase, but Anne refused to be "bought and sold like cattle." She was sentenced to the flogging, but later Anne and Rackham escaped to live together as pirates.
In October 1720, Rackham and his crew were attacked by a sloop captained by Jonathan Barnet, who was working for the governor of Jamaica. Most of Rackham's pirates did not put up much resistance as many of them were too drunk to fight. However, Read and Bonny, who were sober, fought fiercely and managed to hold off Barnet's troops for a short time. After their capture, Rackham and his crew were sentenced by the Governor of Jamaica to be hanged. According to Johnson, Bonny's last words to the imprisoned Rackham were that "she was sorry to see him there, but if he had fought like a Man, he need not have been hang'd like a Dog." After their arrest and trial, Read and Bonny both pleaded their bellies, announcing during the sentencing phase that they were both 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, though it has been alleged that she died during 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. However, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography states that "Evidence provided by the descendants of Anne Bonny suggests that her father managed to secure her release from jail and bring her back to Charles Town, South Carolina, where she gave birth to Rackham's second child. On December 21, 1721 she married a local man, Joseph Burleigh, and they had eight children. She died in South Carolina, a respectable woman, at the age of eighty-two and was buried on April 25, 1782. This however is a complete supposition.

because ninjas dont get wenches