came to prominence while the Quartermaster for Charles Vane.
When Vane's company split, Vane and some crew were voted off
as cowards and allowed to set sail in a sloop, Rackham became
the captain of his own ship, the brigantine Kingston they
were sailing in. Date: 24th Nov 1718.
two captains parted, Rackham sailing to the Island of Princes.
Here he captured a turtle sloop, and hearing war had broken
out, resolved to take a pardon and go privateering. He released
the sloop and sent the captain to Woods Rogers to ask for
a pardon. However, the Kingston's captain was also there,
and a pardon was not offered. Instead, two ships were fitted
out to bring Rackham in. Meanwhile, Rackham and crew were
resting peaceably while waiting for news of their pardon.
The hunters found them un prepared to defend themselves. The
while the Kingston was captured and taken back to New
resolved to seek a pardon, and with a few supporters set out
for New Providence, capturing some Spanish vessels more seaworthy,
transferring their cargo, and arrived at New Providence where
the Governor gave them their pardon. They sold their plunder
and lived merrily. It was here Rackham met Anne Bonny, who
enticed her away from her husband. He offered to buy her,
but there was no deal. The Governor came to hear of their
dalliances and ordered it to stop. Anne couldn't allow this,
and they plotted to run away together.
chose a Bermuda sloop, renowned for its speed, and with eight
associates keen to go pirating, they stole the ship and took
to sea. They looked for a man who had caused them trouble,
and knew where to look. They plundered his ship, but he hid
ashore. Three of his crew, Richard Cornor, John Davis and
John Howell joined his crew.
Christmas he holed up on a small island drinking until his
provisions ran out, before taking to sea again. His plundering
returned little. Off Bermuda he captured two ships, and careened
his ship. However, his location was revealed to Capt Woodes
Rogers, the Governor of Providence, who sent out a well fit
out sloop to capture Rackham. In a battle, the two prize ships
are captured by the pirate hunter, but Rackham manages to
escape, going to Cuba where he has a family. Here he stays
until his money runs low, and as he prepares to leave, a Spanish
coast guard ship towing a captured English sloop discovers
him. Through good fortune, Rackham takes the captured sloop
and abandons his own ship.
records for Rackham are not clear, for somewhere in here he
drops off Anne Bonny to bears his child, then she returns
to sea with him. I assume this return to sea of Bonny and
Rackham is part of the incident above. They capture a Dutch
ship and Mary Read, who joins their crew. They capture numerous
other small vessels.
August 1720 he is in the bays of Jamaica capturing small vessels,
as his own crew was small. On the 20th October he found a
sloop in Dry Harbour bay with the crew ashore. Discovering
them to be pirates, the two bands joined together. Rackham
was reported to the Governor by a canoe he had captured, and
a sloop under Capt Barnet was fitted out to hunt him down.
came across a native canoe full of men at Negril Point who
took to the shore, but on further investigation, proved to
be Englishmen. They came aboard to share punch just before
the pirate hunter encountered them. In a brief fight, said
to be dominated more by the lady pirates than anyone else,
Rackham was captured, his ship towed to Port Royal, Jamaica.
He was convicted and hung 18th November 1720. Before he died,
he was allowed to visit Anne Bonny, who rebuked him saying
" that she was sorry to see him there, but if he fought
like a man, he need not have been hanged like a dog"