On the 20th of October 1720, Caribbean pirate Calico Jack was captured by the Royal Navy.
Calico Jack — real name John Rackham — was an English pirate captain in the Bahamas who designed a version of the Jolly Roger flag which we still associate with pirates today: a skull with two crossed swords. He is famous for having had two female crew members on his ship: Mary Read and Anne Bonny.
Whilst in port Rackham began an affair with Anne Bonny, wife of sailor James Bonny who was employed by Governor Rogers. After finding out about the relationship, James Bonny brought Anne to Governor Rogers, who ordered her whipped on charges of adultery. Rackham offered to buy Anne in a “divorce by purchase,” but she refused to be sold like an animal. The pair (with a new crew) escaped to sea together, voiding Rackham’s pardon, by stealing a sloop belonging to John Ham. They sailed the Caribbean for two months, overtaking other pirate ships. Often Rackham would invite the crew of ships he attacked to join his own.
Not originally realizing her gender, Rackham welcomed Mary Read aboard his ship to join his crew. Anne Bonny started to have feelings for Read, and after some flirtation, Mary revealed her sex to Anne. Rackham, becoming jealous of the amount of attention Bonny was giving Read, threatened to kill Read until Anne divulged the secret and he agreed to keep her aboard.
Calico Jack’s ship was attacked at anchor at Point Negril, Jamaica on the night of the 20th of October. Most of the crew was drunk and unable to defend the ship. Read, Bonny and an unknown man fought fiercely but they were overwhelmed and the crew was captured. Anne Bonny’s last words to Rackham in jail were that she was “sorry to see him there, but if he had fought like a man, he need not have been hang’d like a dog.”
Meanwhile, almost three hundred years later, avast! On the 20th of October 2012, these prize photographs were shivering timbers all over the world:
Aye, they say that dead men tell no tales, but I’m spilling th’ beans. These are the pirates who took them:
[clears throat] *Ahem*
I’d be loving to see yer corner o’ the world, wherever ye might be anchored.
Tisn’t difficult. Jus’ take a photo on Saturday and tell me about it! Arrrr!
I’m expecting to see yer Saturday scene this weekend or yer a lily-livered swabbie!
(How’d I do?)