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A Biography of John Rackham

Author: Krzysztof Wilczynski

John Rackham is also known as "Calico Jack" by many due to his preference for calico coats and britches. Though not among the most notorious pirates of the seas, he is most renown for his association with Anne Bonny and Mary Read, the world’s best known female pirates.

Rackham acquired command of his ship the Treasure through the incompetence of its former leader, captain Vane, in neglecting to attack a auspicious French man-of-war, to the dismay of its crew. Rackham’s protest towards the decision won him the support of the crew, who put Vane to the vote, and ultimately deposing him of command. In this way, the former quartermaster of Vane’s vessel, became its captain, and Vane was cast off on a smaller sloop with the members of the crew who had voted against Rackham.

Eventually, Rackham turned over control of his ship to the two female pirates Mary Read, and Anne Bonny, the latter of which he had whisked away willingly from her husband, and who had fought at his side in battle after battle.

His ship was captured in November 1720, and brought to Jamaica. Nearly the entire crew, including Rackham himself were sentenced to hang.


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