Top 10 Notorious Female Pirates in History

Top 10 Notorious Female Pirates In History
Top 10 Notorious Female Pirates in History 2

Top 10 Notorious Female Pirates in History

When we think of pirates, the image of rugged men sailing the high seas often comes to mind. However, history has shown us that women were not to be underestimated when it came to piracy. These formidable female pirates defied societal norms, challenged authority, and commanded their own pirate ships. In this article, we will delve into the captivating stories of the top 10 notorious female pirates in history.

Anne Bonny (1697-unknown)

Anne Bonny was an Irish pirate who operated in the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy. Known for her fiery temper and fierce combat skills, Bonny sailed alongside the infamous Calico Jack Rackham. Despite her gender, she became a respected and feared pirate, taking part in numerous raids.

Mary Read (1685-1721)

Mary Read was an English pirate who also sailed under Calico Jack Rackham’s command. Disguised as a man, she fought alongside Anne Bonny and quickly earned a reputation as a skilled and ruthless pirate. Read’s story is a testament to her determination and resilience in a male-dominated world.

Ching Shih (1775-1844)

Ching Shih, often referred to as the “Terror of South China Sea,” was a Chinese pirate queen who commanded one of the largest pirate fleets in history. She terrorized coastal towns and clashed with naval forces. Her leadership skills and strict code of conduct made her a formidable figure in the world of piracy.

Jeanne de Clisson (1300-1359)

Jeanne de Clisson was a French pirate who sought revenge against the French king and his allies after her husband was executed. Known for her black ship adorned with red sails, she hunted down French vessels and executed their crews, showing no mercy. Her quest for vengeance made her a legendary figure in maritime history.

Fanny Campbell (19th century)

Fanny Campbell, an American pirate, disguised herself as a man and embarked on a life of piracy in the Caribbean. She was known for her daring raids and ability to blend in with her male counterparts. Campbell’s story highlights the hidden lives and adventures of women pirates.

Grace O’Malley (1530-1603)

Grace O’Malley, also known as Gráinne Mhaol, was an Irish pirate queen who controlled the western coast of Ireland. She commanded a fleet of ships and was known for her fierce resistance against English rule. O’Malley’s legacy as a fearless leader and protector of her people lives on to this day.

Charlotte de Berry (17th century)

Charlotte de Berry is believed to be one of the few female pirates who successfully concealed her gender throughout her pirate career. While little is known about her background, her exploits as a pirate, including capturing enemy ships, have made her a legendary figure in pirate lore.

Rachel Wall (1760-1789)

Rachel Wall is widely regarded as the first and only woman to be hanged in the United States for piracy. She was part of a pirate crew that terrorized the coast of New England during the late 18th century. Wall’s capture and subsequent execution marked the end of an era for pirates in the region.

Anne Dieu-le-Veut (17th century)

Anne Dieu-le-Veut, a French pirate, was known for her exceptional sailing skills and her fearless nature. She sailed alongside other infamous pirates, attacking Spanish and English vessels in the Caribbean. Dieu-le-Veut’s audacious exploits made her a legendary figure in pirate history.

Sayyida al Hurra (1485-unknown)

Sayyida al Hurra was a Moroccan pirate queen who ruled over Tétouan, a city on the Moroccan coast. She formed alliances with other pirates and resisted Spanish and Portuguese colonization attempts. Sayyida al Hurra’s leadership and strategic prowess established her as a prominent figure in the history of piracy.


The stories of these 10 notorious female pirates demonstrate their courage, resourcefulness, and defiance of societal expectations. These women, who challenged the notion that piracy was exclusively a male domain, left their mark in history and inspired generations to come. Their tales serve as a reminder that throughout history, women have proven time and again that they are just as capable as men in the pursuit of adventure and a life outside of societal norms.