Mary Read - Pictures, Biography and More!

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Birthname: Mark Read
England / Devon / Plymouth
Death:Apr 01, 1721 (aged: 1721)
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Mary Read's Biography

Mary Read is known today as one of the two famous women pirates who fought courageous battles in the Caribbean in the early 18th century. She and pirate Anne Bonny were known as "fierce hell cats" since they were as brave, violent and skilled with weapons as their male crew members.Historical facts about Mary Read’s life may vary from one source to another. It can be found that she was born either in London or Plymouth, England, about 1690. Her mother was married to a sea captain and had a son with him who died soon after Mary was illegitimately born. After her husband didn’t return from one of his journeys she waited several years for him, until she ran out of money. Then in order to get some support from her mother in law, who didn’t like girls, she started dressing Mary as a boy. That is how it all started since Mary was disguised as a man for many years, nearly half of her life.After the money support had ended, Mary Read was forced to work as a footboy for a wealthy French woman. It didn’t take long for Mary to run away from this boring job and find a new one aboard Man of War. But life here wasn’t what she expected and after several years of hard and backbreaking work she escaped and joined the British army. In the beginning she was a foot soldier but after showing great courage in one of the battles she advanced to the Horse Regiment. There she met and fell in love with one of the soldiers and soon the newly married couple left the army and opened an inn called The Three Horseshoes. This was the first time Mary Read lived her life as a woman and the couple lived happily but it was not too long before her husband died. Trying to start her life all over again she disguised herself as a man once more and went back to the army but this brought her no pleasure, possibly because it was too hard to be there without her late husband.The soul-searching journey led her aboard a Dutch merchant ship headed to the West Indies. While the ship was on the journey it was attacked by the Captain Jack Rackham's Vanity and Mary Read soon became part of the pirate crew. However, Mary Read was not the first woman pirate aboard. Anne Bonny already was a lady in the man’s world and after they revealed their secrets to one another, they became very good friends. Soon the captain himself found out about Mary’s true gender but he loved the idea of two women in the crew so he let her stay. It is said that she fell in love once again with a young sailor whose ship was captured by Rackham. Her future husband was challenged to a duel by a strapping seaman and, fearing for his life, Mary took this battle on herself and killed the man with no difficulties.In 1720 Rackham’s ship was attacked by a British Navy sloop just as the crew was celebrating one of their victories. Men were all drunk so they hid below deck leaving Mary Read and Anne Bonny to fight but it was too hard to defend the ship on their own. Soon the entire crew was captured and taken to Jamaica where all of them were sentenced to death by hanging. Anne and Mary were both pregnant at the time so they were put in the Spanish town prison.According to some, Mary Read died of a fever in 1721 before her child was born while others think she simulated her death and was taken out of the prison wrapped in burial garment.One beautiful story says that Mary and Anne Bonny escaped to Louisiana where they brought up their children together and were the best friends until the end of their lives…

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