In October 1720 a sloop commissioned by the Governor of Jamaica attacked their vessel in harbour and successfully defeated Anne Bonny and her troop. Legend has it that the crew were all too drunk to put up much of a battle. Anne Bonny, true to her character, put up a good fight and held the enemy off for a short while with the assistance of another lady of the high seas with a short fuse – Mary Read – before eventually being overpowered and captured.
The men were all hanged and legend has it that Anne’s last words to her husband 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.” Anne and Mary Read both “pleaded their bellies” i.e. said they were pregnant so that it became illegal under British law to kill them. Here’s Mary Read revealing herself to some shocked fella who now realises he got beat by a bird:
Mary Read died either from a fever or during child birth, but Anne Bonny’s demise is a little more mysterious. There are no records of her death, execution, escape or pardon. The most likely theory is that her powerful and rich father with his strong mercantile connections managed to secure a release for his daughter. She had been captured in the past and mysteriously never received punishment, so it’s quite possible that he afforded her some protection.
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biographies states that Anne was whisked back to South Carolina where she had Rackham’s second child, remarried a local fella and died in her 80’s as a respectable old lady. We’ll never know for sure.
So there you go, two wild women of the water literally sticking it to the man.