Drawn to Piracy: Anne Bonny

Roger Bussey

Anne Bonny

Anne Bonny was born March 8, 1700, in County Cork, Ireland, the illegitimate daughter of a prominent lawyer and his wife’s maid. The ensuing scandal forced him to flee Ireland with his lover and daughter in disgrace, but the little family found refuge in the Carolinas. There Cormac amassed a fortune and bought a large plantation.

When Anne was sixteen, a ne’er-do-well sailor named James Bonny married Anne in an attempt to steal the plantation, but Anne’s father instead disowned her. Bonny then took Anne to the pirate lair of New Providence in the Bahamas, where he turned stoolpigeon to Governor Woodes Rogers, accusing any sailor he didn’t like of piracy for a handsome reward.

Anne grew to dislike her spineless husband and spent most of her time with the pirate elite. Her best friends consisted of the pirates’ paramours and of Pierre, the most celebrated homosexual on the island…

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