On This Day

Mary Read

Pirate Mary Read

Full Name: Mary Read but also known as Mark Read
Profession: Pirate

Nationality:
England
English

Why Famous: One of the few women known to have been convicted of piracy in the 18th century, and one of the most famous female pirates of the 'Golden Age of Piracy', the other being Anne Bonny.

Having dressed as a male to enlist in the British military, Read later met Jack Rackham (known more commonly as Calico Jack) and joined his crew as a pirate in 1720. Her career was successful but brief, as herself, Anne Bonny and Rackham were arrested in November 1720. Rackham was executed but her and Bonny claimed to be pregnant to delay the sentence.

She later died of fever in April 1721, possibly due to complications from pregnancy.

Died: April 28, 1721
Cause of Death: A violent fever while in prison and likely still pregnant

Events in the Life of Mary Read

  • 1720-11-15 Pirates Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and John Rackham are captured by Capt. Jonathan Barnet and brought to Spanish Town, Jamaica, for trial
  • 1720-11-28 Anne Bonny and Mary Read are tried, found guilty of pirating, and sentenced to death in Spanish Town, Jamaica, although their discovered pregnancies win them stays of execution

Famous Pirates