Monday, January 30, 2006

When I grow up, I'm gonna be like Mary


Mary Read...my herione. Posted by Picasa

Okay, it seems a little...eager to post more than once a day, but I was experimenting with the picture editor...and I accidentally posted this picture to the blog, so I thought I would tell a little bit about what makes Mary Read so bad ass.

When she was a kid her mother dressed her as a boy in order to pass her off as her older more legitimate brother, so that her dead husband's family would support them. So she lived her childhood as a boy and continued to dress as a man for most of her life. When she grew up she joined the army and fought in an infantry unit in Flanders, and eventually ended up in the Caribbean where the ship she was working on was attacked by Calico Jack Rackham, and she "went on the account." Which is how you say she joined his crew and became a pirate, ifin' yer cool.

Mary continued to dress as a man while she was on Rackham's ship, although she did have a lover from among his crew, so some people knew that she was a woman. Her lover got into a fight with another pirate who was somewhat fiercer than he, and they decided to settle the dispute with a duel the next time they beached the ship (they had to do this periodically to scrape the barnicles off the bottom so that they would be faster than the ships they were chasing). Mary, worried that her lover was no match for his opponant picked a fight with the very same pirate, and scheduled her duel for an hour before. She killed him, and as he lay dying on the sand she opened her shirt to show him that he'd been killed by a woman.

Anyway, when Rackham's ship was attacked by the English Navy, only three of the pirates stayed on the deck to fight them off, the other's stayed below deck drinking and continuing their party. Mary and Ann Bonny (also a very bad ass woman pirate, but not as cool as Mary) were two of them, along with an unidentified male member of the crew (possibly Mary's lover.) Mary was so pissed at her messmates for not helping fight off the british that she opened the door to the hold and fired her pistol down into the bottom of the ship, wounding one of her cowardly shipmates. When the pirates were arrested everyone was sentenced to hang, except for Ann and Mary, who "plead their bellies," meaning that they were pregnant (pirates don't use birth control). Here's an aside about Ann Bonny. When Calico Jack was being led to the gallows he asked to see Ann one more time (they were lovers) and as he was being led past her cell she said "I'm sorry to see you here Jack, but if you'd fought like a man, you needn't have died like a dog."

Here's a quote from Mary, regarding the punishment for piracy:
"As to hanging, it is no great hardship. For were it not for that, every cowardly fellow would turn pirate and so unfit the sea, that men of courage must starve"

So here's to Mary! Yo ho!

R!

3 comments:

adrien-alice said...

you know, it's about time someone started talking about the upside of hanging...

Ragnar said...

Good ole' Mary, always lookin' on the bright side.

BambooWarrior said...

Truly a good hero to have - she tells it like it is indeed.

Yo Ho,
~Lara