enlisted in the army and there met her soon to be husband.
The two were discharged and they took up a residence near
the Castle of Breda, but her husband died shortly after and
she decided once again to disguise herself as man and eventually
boarded a ship to the West Indies. While there, a vessel she
was on was captured by the pirate Calico Jack and she became
one of the pirate crew.
there, she attracted the attention of another crewman who
revealed to Read that she was really a woman named Anne Bonney.
Bonney, thinking Read was a man, was surprised to find out
that her interest was another woman disguised as a man. They
decided to tell Calico Jack about Read's secret and apparently
he did not mind the second woman crewman. Both Bonney and
Read became good friends and when Calico Jack's pirate ship
was boarded in October 1720, only the two women tried to fight
off the invaders and rally their fellow pirates, but the male
crewmen easily surrendered. Their fight was in vain as they
were too far outnumbered and were taken prisoner.
two women had a separate trial from the men twelve days later
on November 28. The men's trial ended with a conviction and
sentence of death to 12 men including Calico Jack. The men
were hung the two following days, and soon after the two women
would begin their trial. The verdict was the same for them
- they would be hanged until dead. The two women then revealed
that they were both pregnant and a following examination proved
they were so they were both were spared the hangman's noose.
While in prison, Read contracted a high fever and soon died
after the trial.
with Anne Bonny, Mary Read is one of the rare instances in
history where a woman's pirate's life is known. The fact that
they both were able to hide their sexuality to the crew is
amazing; and in the end, the women's brave battle against
the boarders while the rest of the crew cowered deserves respect