You might not believe this, but having a scary beard is not a requirement for being a Pirate Captain. In this Top ten list, I’m going to cover ten amazing female pirates, most of them even captains.
10. Anne Boney
Anney as she was often called, was a pirate born sometime around 1698. Her father was Irish and had made quite a name for himself in the merchant trade. Anne Boney was seen as mentally unstable, and that might be the reason she stabbed her maid in 1715 and ran off marrying a pirate named James Bonny.
Shortly after that, she was disowned by her father. It is said that the reason for her mental unstableness was in fact that she was raised by a son because her father wanted one.
Anney moved to the New province in the Bahamas where she met another pirate named Jack Rackham, Captain of the Revenge. She became his mistress and later divorced James and married Jack instead. A skilled fighter Anne trained a new crew and took over mostly tea transporting ships.
A threat to the Tea industry was seen as no joke by the British and Captain Jonathan Barnet was sent to deal with them. Captain Barnet quickly managed to capture the Revenge, and Captain Rackham was executed. Anne was freed due to her father paying a ransom.
9. Ching Shih
In another part of the sea, Ching Shih was born. Although we don’t have much information about her birth, it is known that she was a prostitute working in Canton. At the age of 26, she was captured by pirates and married Zheng Yi, Commander of the Red Flag Fleet. Zheng Yi died in 1807 and his wife of six years Ching Shih took over leadership.
With a stunning power of 40, 000 men she terrorized the China Sea and even scared the British. She is famous for nailing an enemy to the deck and then beating him death. The Chinese navy lost 63 ships to the Pirate fleet, and that resulted in the amnesty that the government offered the Ching Shih and her men. They accepted.
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8. Jeanne de Clisson
Unlike the two others, Jeanne was born a couple of hundred years earlier. Estimated 1300. Jeanne was born in a British family and lived in Brittany until she married Oliver III de Clisson. Oliver was a wealthy nobleman. He promised to defend Britain from English claimants. After he lost control over Vannes tried to flee Britain.
Unfortunately, he was captured and brought to Paris to be executed under the orders of King Philip VI. Jeanne, now a widow was overwhelmed with anger and sought revenge. After selling all her land and offering some “services” too rich noblemen, she bought three warships and created a pirate fleet called “Black Fleet” because they were all painted black with red sails.
Anywho the fleet brought down many ships belonging to King Philip VI. Jeanne cold-bloodedly murdered the crews that she managed to capture, leaving only a few sailors to spread the word. She soon became known as The Lioness of Brittany. When King Philip died in 1350, Jeanne continued taking down French ships. It was not before 1356 that she finally retired to England.
7. Grace O’Malley ( Insert French name )
Another Irish female pirate. Grace was born around 1530. She married a powerful man called Donal of the Battle. One day his fortress was captured, and both he and his men were brutally slaughtered. Grace raised a small army and quickly enough recaptured the fortress. Grace the married a second time to a man named Iron Richard.
After seizing Rockfleet Castle. Grace went into the pirate business collecting taxes from fisherman around the area, also targeting ships demanding payment for passage. The ones who dared refuse was without a doubt murdered and displayed as examples. It is also said that Grace O’Malley kidnapped the children of Anglo-Irish nobility.
6. Christina Anna Skytte
Christina yet another wealthy girl with excellent possibilities, turned to piracy. Born in Scandinavia, more precisely Sweden in 1643. Christina may have gotten the idea from her brother Baron Gustav, already very privileged, turned to piracy plundered ships in the Baltic Sea. Now with her fiancé on board, Christina and Gustav Drake participated in the pirate affairs.
When one of the partners got murdered for trying to withdraw, Christina wanted to show everyone she was no passive partner. After just one attack in 1663 killing a Dutch merchant crew and stealing their inventory, led to Gustaf’s capture and execution and Mrs. Drake disappeared for good.
5. Anne Dieu Le Veut
I know what you’re thinking. “How come all Anne’s turn to piracy?” well the reason is simple, it was a popular name. This Anne was a criminal deported from France to Tortuga. Finally a degenerate instead of a rich girl, like it should be. Anne married Buccaneer Pierre Length. Another Buccaneer then killed him in a bar fight.
When Anne challenged the killer of her husband, Laurens de Graaf, he refused t duel a woman, but admiring her spirit, he used the heat of the moment to propose. Perhaps afraid of ending up alone she accepted. They sailed the seas side by side as pirates. They even tried to raid Jamaica in 1693.
During a British raid, the authorities managed to capture Anne and her two daughters. They were once again with Laurens in 1698. Their fate from there is unknown.
In Haiti, little JacquotteDelahaye was born. Jacquotte struggled throughout her childhood. Losing her mother at birth and taking her of her brain-damaged brother is no picnic. On top of that, her father has killed as well. Without money to provide for her brother, Jacquotte was forced to become a pirate.
Nicknamed Red because of her magnificent red hair. It is said that she sailed alongside with Anne Dieu Le Veut. She eventually faked her death in 1660 to avoid the government. When she was fed up with living as a man, she went back to piracy and was from then called” Back from the Dead Red.”
3. Pirate Queen TeutaOf Illyria
No men would dare take on the might of Rome, but perhaps a female. It is estimated that she lived in 200 years BC. After her husband had died. King of Ardiaei. Teuta inherited the kingdom.To address the aggressiveness of her fellow neighboring states, Teutasuppored piracy in her kingdom.
With the queens, financial aid, illusions successfully captured cities like Phoenix and Dyrrachium. Expanding her reach, her men started to capture merchant ships of Rome. When two ambassadors were sent to Teuta to negotiate one was brutally killed and the other one kept in captivity under horrible circumstances.
Rome was forced to declare war on Illyria. A stunning army of 20, 000 troops and 200 ships forced Teuta“Throw in the towel” She was allowed to reign, but Teuta was never allowed to board another ship, ever.
2. Lady Elizabeth Killigrew
Elizabeth, born before 1525 married Sir John Killigrew and was from that day Lady Killigrew. In 1540 the married couple gained control over a shipping area built by King Henry VIII and in all secrecy, they ordered pirates to attack certain vessels.
In 1581 after Elizabeth had taken over the business she let greed get the best of her. Attacking a Spanish ship, the Mafrie of San Sebastian led to Elizabeth Killigrew downfall. Luckily in 1582, she was granted a pardon by Queen Elizabeth herself.
1.Sayidda al Hurra
In 1485 little Sayidda was born to a prominent Muslim family. She lived in the Kingdom of Granada until they were forced to flee because of an attack by the Christian Spain. Sayyida resettled in Morocco. She had a quick marriage with a businessman, but after his death, Sayyida became the governor of Tetouan and therefore managed to meet with the King of Morocco.
After they had hit it off, they decided to get married, and even though Ahmed Al Wattasi and Sayyida al-Hussein were richer than they could ever have imagined, Sayyida still felt the lust for revenge. A meeting with Barbarossa of Algiers convinced Sayyida to the pirate life. She seized Christian ships every time getting a bit closer to her hometown.
Sayidda became a queen of the Mediterranean sea in the eyes of the Christian. She negotiated with Spanish and Portuguese authorities when they wanted someone free of pirate captivity and was unfortunately overthrown by her son in law in her later years. Where she ended is unknown.