Mary Read

Mary Read

Mary Read
Born: Unknown
Died: 1721 in Jamaica of a fever.

Mary’s mother became pregnant with her whilst her father was at sea, something she found hard to hide until Mary’s older brother died. It seemed like the perfect solution, instead of admitting she had a daughter Mary’s mother simply dressed her in boy’s clothes and pretended she was her son. As Mary grew up she found life was easier as a boy so kept on pretending.

Her first ever job was as a foot-boy to a french Lady, but her second was on a warship as a member of the crew. It was there that she met and fell in love with a Flemish solider, and so, letting him in on her secret she agreed to wear her first dress – a wedding dress. Forced to leave the army the couple bought and worked in a small inn in the Netherlands. Everything was going fine till the war ended, the inn started to make less money and without warning Mary’s husband died.

Suddenly penniless, Mary once again dressed as a man and got a job on a ship sailing to the West Indies. Her next job was a Privateer fighting the Spanish in the West Indies. After that, it didn’t take long before she became a pirate, fighting along side people like Anne Bonny and Calico Jack.

Mary was pregnant when she was captured and found guilty of piracy. Instead of hanging her immediately it was agreed to wait until the baby was born. Sadly Mary became ill in jail and died of a fever before the child was born.

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