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Mary Read
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Pirate
    ( -April 1721)
    Born in United Kingdom
    With Anne Bonny, sailed under pirate Captain 'Calico Jack' Rackham
    Captured by the British (October, 1720)
    Sentenced to hang
    Granted a stay of execution after revealing that she was pregnant
    Guesses at her birth year range from 1670 to 1698.
    She dressed as a man to join the British army, until she fell in love with another soldier and married him.
    After her husband's death, she resumed male dress and military service.
    She accepted the King's pardon for an earlier stint as a pirate (1718), signed up with a privateer, and within a year joined the crew in a mutiny.
    Nobody in Calico Jack's crew knew she was a woman until Bonny started to take a liking to Read and Rackham threatened to kill Bonny's suitor, forcing Read to reveal her gender to the two of them.
    She allegedly won a duel against another pirate by flashing him, then taking advantage of his distraction to run him through with her sword.
    Her mother began disguising her as a boy after the death of her older brother Mark to deceive Mark's paternal grandmother who had promised to financially support the boy.
    She was considered an expert with a sword.
    When the British attacked Calico Jack's ship, she, Bonny and one male pirate stayed on deck fighting the boarding party, while Rackham and most of the crew fled to the hold.
    The kid that saved her from the hangman ultimately killed her, as she died in prison from a fever associated with childbirth.

Credit: C. Fishel


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