How did female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read escape the gallows?

PiratesIn the 18th century there were two famous female pirates on the Spanish Main, Anne Bonny, the daughter of a respected plantation owner who wanted for nothing, and Mary Read who had a thirst for adventure and a fascination with the sea and seafaring men. She soon ran away to sea, and eventually, after many adventures, landed at New Providence. Both fell for Calico Jack.

Mary Read dressed as a man and became Calico Jack’s Lieutenant while Anne Bonny, also disguised as a man, was a fearsome member of his crew. Pretty quickly they both realised they were women in disguise and fought alongside Calico Jack as two fearsome pirates.

Eventually, in 1720, Captain Barnet on The Revenge caught up with them. Calico Jack and his men disappeared below decks to get drunk while Anne and Mary bravely held off Captain Barnet’s boarding party alone, expertly wielding heavy boarding axes.

In the end they were all put in irons and taken to Jamaica where they faced trial for piracy. Calico Jack was hanged for his crimes, along with his crew, but Anne and Mary escaped with their lives, as both women had become pregnant and the law at the time prevented a pregnant women from being hanged.

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