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Mary Read and Anne Bonny dressed like men, no doubt a fearsome sight
Read was the second of a famed and legendary female pirate duo. Mary was
born in Devon in 1685, the illegitimate daughter of a young widow. She was raised as a boy, pretending to be her older brother. From an early age she recognised that disguising herself as a man was the only way she could find work and support herself.
She accepted the King's pardon c. 1718–1719, then took a commission to privateer, but joined the crew in mutiny.
Mary Read shocks a pirate in revealing her gender as a secret weapon, where males tend not to want to harm females.
On 15 November 1720, pirate hunter, Captain Jonathan Barnet, took Rackham's crew by surprise, while they hosted a rum party with another crew of Englishmen at Negril Point off the west coast of the Colony of Jamaica. After a volley of fire disabled the pirate vessel, Rackham's crew and their "guests" fled to the hold, leaving only the women and one other to fight Barnet's boarding party (it is also possible that Rackham and his crew were too drunk to fight).
Allegedly, Read angrily shot into the hold, killing one, and wounding others, when the men would not come up and fight with them. Barnet's crew eventually overcame the women. Rackham surrendered, requesting
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