March 8, 1700
James Bonny (husband)
|Also known as||
|Ship(s) captained or crewed||
|Behind the scenes|
Anne Bonny was born Anne Cormac in County Cork, Ireland. Mary Brennan, her mother was the daughter of a servant woman who had an affair with her employer, lawyer William Cormac. His wife soon discovered the affair and William Cormac, Mary Brennan, and a young Anne crossed the Atlantic to flee the scandal. They settled in Charleston, Carolina.
Anne was soon bored with life on her father's plantation, and was drawn to a life of adventure. Before Anne was out of her teens she married James Bonny, a renegade seaman and sometimes pirate. At this time pirates frequented Charleston. James planned to steal William Cormac's land through the marriage but Anne's father disowned her before this could be done. Legend has it that in retaliation, Anne burned the plantation to the ground.
They fled to the Bahamas and settled on the island of New Providence back then. James proved a coward and a traitor, became a paid snitch for the governor. Anne preferred the company of the island's notorious pirates and women and soon distanced herself from James.
After meeting the pirate Calico Jack Rackham (nicknamed for his loud striped pants) she became romantically involved with him. He had just commandeered a ship full of liquor from his former boss, pirate captain Charles Vane. When James Bonny objected to the affair, he abducted Anne, brought her naked before Governor Woodes Rogers and charged her with the felony of deserting him. Calico Jack suggested instead putting Anne up for sale to the highest bidder because Anne was considered to be stolen property (a 'kinder' legal practice for divorce at the time). James got a court order forbidding Jack and Anne to see each other. Despite Jack's rather less-than-romantic proposal, Anne ran away with Calico Jack and joined his ship's crew, apparently disguised as a man.
After Rackham and his men captured a British vessel, Anne saw a young strapping sailor among the newly-captured prize and decided that she would have her way with him. To Anne's surprise, when she got the man alone, he opened his blouse and he exposed to Anne that he too was a woman, Mary Reade. Mary also joined Rackham's crew.
In 1720, a former pirate turned pirate-hunter, Captain Barnet, attacked Calico Jack's ship. Barnet caught Rackham and his crew. Attacking with cannon fire so thick the men hid below decks. Anne is said to have shouted, "If there's a man among ye, ye'll come out and fight like the men ye are to be." When this got no response, they were outraged by the men's cowardice. Anne and Mary shot the male pirates, killing one and wounding several including Jack Rackham. Only Anne Bonny and Mary Reade stood their ground, fighting furiously. But despite Anne and Mary's ferocity, the pirates were captured and taken to Jamaica.
At this time women had few rights, however it was illegal to execute a pregnant woman so Anne and Mary, "plead their bellies," claiming to be pregnant.All were hanged, except for Anne and Mary. Mary soon died in a prison, but Anne was released. Her final fate is unknown.
Behind the scenes
- "Over there I see Gentleman Jocard, the slave who took over his ship and took on his Captain's name. And Ann Bonny, and the infamous Captain Rackham."
- ―Hector Barbossa
- Anne Bonny currently doesn't appear in the POTC universe, but she was mentioned in three POTC reference books: Walt Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean, Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies, and The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook.
- In the first screenplay draft of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Anne Bonny was one of the pirates present at the Fourth Brethren Court. She witnessed the battle of Calypso's maelstrom and celebrated with other pirates after the death of Lord Cutler Beckett.
- Anne Bonny and Mary Read appear on the mural on the walls of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. One of Marc Davis's concept artworks for the ride shows Anne Bonny and Mary Reade admiring the treasure of the dead pirate captain.
- One of the featurettes on the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl DVD edition is about Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
- Anne Bonny is a minor character in the novel On Stranger Tides, which was used as the basis for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
- Walt Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Story of the Robust Adventure in Disneyland and Walt Disney World
- Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies
- The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook