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On September 19th of each year since 2002, the world over celebrates international talk like a pirate day.
When I first learned about it a while ago, I thought it was a cute, interesting way to adapt some speech patterns into my writing, but I really didn’t invest too much in it.
Now that we are one signature away from becoming owners of a schooner, we thought we might get a little bit more into the spirit of things.
International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Seems like most mentions of pirates, privateers and buccaneers are men, so I thought I would shine a spotlight on the few, powerful women who have captained ships and went on to command hundreds of fleets and thousands of sailors.
A sea dog says ‘t this way. Arrr, so ye be wantin’ t’ go to sea an’ ye don’t be wantin’ t’ end up in Davy Jones’ Locker. Then ye best be learnin’ t’ be talkin’ like a buccaneer.
I first learned o’ Grace O`Malley earlier this voyage through the Schooner Bums Facebook squadron. In ‘t one o’ th’ members posted a link t’ an article written about th’ infamous Irish shipmate queen who conquered a man’s world an’ faced down Queen Elizabeth I.
I thought ‘t be pretty cool. Ya scurvy dog who ortin’ t’ be keel hauled! What else ye got? An’ be quick about it, I be shippin’ out soon!
Other Female Pirates
After finding out about her existence, I then began to explore the interwebs. I uncovered quite a few other female pirates and privateers in history, including:
- Anne Bonny - an Irish pirate operating in the Caribbean, and one of the most famous female pirates of all time
- Mary Read - also known as Mark Read, was an English pirate. She and Anne Bonny are two of the most famed female pirates of all time, and among the few women known to have been convicted of piracy during the early 18th century, at the height of the “Golden Age of Piracy”
- Jacquotte Delahaye - a pirate active in the Caribbean sea. Alongside Anne Dieu-le-Veut, she was one of very few 17th-century female pirates
- Anne Dieu-le-Veut - also called Marie-Anne or Marianne was a French pirate. Alongside Jacquotte Delahaye, she was one of very few female buccaneers. While Delahaye was likely fictional, Dieu-le-Veut was real; however, many of her exploits are inventions of later writers
- China Seas
- Ching Shih - a Chinese pirate leader who terrorized the China Seas during the Jiaqing Emperor period of the Qing dynasty in the early 19th-century. She commanded over 300 junks (traditional Chinese sailing ships) manned by 20,000 to 40,000 pirates
- Zheng Yi - a powerful Chinese pirate operating from Guangdong and throughout the South China Sea in the late 1700s
- New England/Mid-Atlantic Coast
- Rachel Wall - Married George Wall, a former privateer who served in the Revolutionary War, when she was sixteen years old. Operated on the New England Coast. Thought to be the first American female pirate. In 1782, George and the rest of his crew were drowned in a storm. She was accused of robbery in 1789 and confessed to being a pirate. She was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.
- Martha Farley - a deported British woman accused of piracy. She and her two children joined her husband in raiding a few small ships in 1725. She was acquitted when she claimed to have no prior knowledge of the plans.
- Mary Crickett - a convicted criminal deported from England in 1728 and forced to work as a slave in Virginia. In May 1729, she was one of six prisoners who stole a small ship and attempted to sail it out to sea. They were all captured and hung as pirates.
- English Coast
- Mary Wolverston - also known as Lady Killigrew (before 1525 – after 1587), was a gentlewoman from Suffolk, married into an ancient Cornish family, who was accused of piracy during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
- Jeanne de Clisson - also known as Jeanne de Belleville and the Lioness of Brittany, was a Breton former noblewoman who became a privateer to avenge her husband after he was executed for treason by the French king. She plied the English Channel and targeted French ships, often slaughtering the crew
- Australian Coast
- Charlotte Badger - an English born Australian woman, widely considered to be the first Australian female pirate. She was also one of the first two white female settlers in New Zealand
- Iberia and North Africa
- Sayyida al Hurra - a queen of Tétouan in 1515–1542 and a pirate queen in the early 16th century. She is considered to be “one of the most important female figures of the Islamic West in the modern age”
- Adriatic Sea
- Queen Teuta of Illyria - Teuta was the queen regent of the Ardiaei tribe in Illyria, who reigned approximately from 231 BC to 228/227 BC.
- Persian Coast
More is written up in the Smithsonian article about Grainne Mhaol, Pirate Queen.
In other news…
Andrew and I will be heading out to Ft. Lauderdale next week for the haulout, marine survey and sea trial of our schooner, s/v Rachel J Slocum.
As you remember, we were quite taken when we first saw her online as well as during our first look trip in March. Typical boat purchases will close 30 days after the escrow opens. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, our escrow has lasted a few months. In the next phase of the due diligence process, we’ll describe what happened during our trip in a 5-part series, Survey and Sea Trial.
Also, we wrapped up a massive weekend of purging and downsizing during a scorching heatwave in southern California, topping over 110 degrees on both days. Our house is completely decimated. Our bed, night stands and dressers are gone. Couch, chaise longue, coffee table and TV are gone. We’re down to about 20% of what we used to have.
How do we feel about it?
It feels great! We’ll share this account in a future post updating our week 20 progress on 30-weeks to Minimalism.
Thanks for reading!
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