Biographies of Famous Pirates
Captain Calico Jack
Flag Attributed to Rackham
Calico Jack began an affair with Anne and quickly stole the young adventure minded wife away from her wastrel husband. In late 1719, after finding out about the relationship, James Bonny brought Anne to Governor Rogers, who ordered her whipped on charges of adultery. Rackham decided to return to piracy, and this time Bonny would join him escaping her punishment. Rackham and Bonny along with a small crew stole a British sloop. They sailed the Caribbean for two months, overtaking several small ships. Often Rackham would invite the crew of ships he attacked to join his own. Anne became pregnant and went to Cuba to have her and Jack's child. Meanwhile, Anne met Mary Read, a cross-dressing Englishwoman who had spent years living as a man. Not originally realizing her gender, Rackham welcomed Mary Read aboard his ship to join his crew. Anne Bonny started to have feelings for Read, and after some flirtation, Mary revealed her sex to Anne. Rackham, becoming jealous of the amount of attention Bonny was giving Read, threatened to kill Read until Anne divulged the secret and he agreed to keep her aboard. The two women fought fearlessly side by side in battle, and eventually he turned over control of the ship to Bonny and Read.
In late October, 1720, off the coast of Jamaica, a British Navy sloop, commanded by a Captain Barnet, came across Rackham's anchored ship. With most of the crew drunk the only resistance the pirates put up was offered by Anne and Mary. Rackham and his crew were tried along with Anne Bonny and Mary Read in November, 1720. All were convicted and sentenced to hang. Read and Bonny were spared their lives temporarily as they were both pregnant. Rackham was hanged on November 28th. Rackham's body was tarred and gibbeted then hung on display near the main entrance to Port Royal, Jamaica as a warning to other would-be pirates. Calico Jack Rackham would probably have gone down in history as an inconsequential figure of his day if it were not for his association with the two women pirates.