Most pirates were men, but female pirates or Pirettes have been around since at least 232 BC. Here are some of the ladies from the “golden age” of piracy.
Gráinne Ní Mháille was Queen of Umaill, chieftain of the Ó Máille clan and a pirate in 16th century Ireland. She is an important figure in Irish folklore, and a historical figure in 16th century Irish history, and is sometimes known as “The Sea Queen Of Connaught”. Biographies of her have been written primarily in the 20th and 21st centuries by the historian Anne Chambers. She lived from 1530-1603.
Elizabetha Patrickson was active in 1634, but details are not known.
Christina Anna Skytte was active in the 1650’s and 1660’s. Swedish pirate. She actively participated in the secret piracy conducted by her brother and spouse in the Baltic sea.
Anne Dieu-le-Veut aka Marie-Anne and Marianne was active from the 1660’s through 1704. Caribbean pirate and later based in Mississippi after Tortuga was closed down. Dieu-Le-Veut was a nickname meaning “God wills it” and given to her as it seemed anything she wanted God gave her. Married to a pirate, Anne challenged pirate Laurens de Graaf to a duel after he killed her husband in 1683. He refused and she became his common law wife, fighting by his side and sharing command.
Maria Lindsey Early 1700s The wife of Captain Eric Cobham and possibly fictional. Pirate operating on the Canadian east coast.
Maria Cobham Early 1700s Often listed separately in lists of pirates but is likely to be Maria Lindsey.
Ingela Gathenhielm 1692-1729 1710-1721 Swedish Baltic pirate. Wife and partner of legendary pirate Lars Gathenhielm. Took sole control following his death in 1718.
Anne Bonny born Anne Cormac, aliases Ann Bonn and Ann Fulford, possibly also Sarah Bonny 1698-1782 1719-1720 Irish Caribbean pirate. Married to pirate James Bonny, had an affair with pirate John “Calico Jack” Rackham, and later joined his crew. Discovered another crew member Mark Read was secretly a woman (Mary Read) and the two became very close.
Mary Read, alias Mark Read c.1690-1721 1718-1720 English Caribbean pirate. As a man Mary went to sea and later joined the British army, fighting in the War Of The Spanish Succession. Mary married and settled down as a woman but returned to male dress following the death of her husband, later boarding a ship bound for the West Indies. Captured by “Calico” Jack Rackham, Mary joined his crew. In 1721, she died in prison.
Mary Harvey (or Harley), alias Mary Farlee 1725-1726 In 1725, Mary Harvey and her husband Thomas were transported to the Province of Carolina as felons. In 1726, Mary and three men were convicted of piracy. The men were hanged but Mary was released. Thomas, the leader of the pirates, was never caught.
Mary Crickett (or Crichett) 1728 In 1728, Mary Crickett and Edmund Williams were transported to the colony of Virginia together as felons. In 1729, along with four other men, both were convicted of piracy and hanged.
Flora Burn 1751 Operated on the East Coast of North America.
Rachel Wall 1760-1789 1770s Married George Wall, a former privateer who served in the Revolutionary War, when she was 16. 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.
As you can see, the ladies did not fair much better than the men, in the pirate business. They were just better looking.