This Pirates Primary Resource – The Perfect Pirates – The Story of Anne Bonny and Mary Read is a musical that children can perform to their parents.

For generations throughout history pirates have captured our imagination.

The two most famous female pirates are Anne Bonny and Mary Read, they stand out as two of the most intriguing and formidable pirates ever to sail the seas.

Pirates Primary Resource Anne Bonny

Anne Bonny’s journey into piracy began with her turbulent upbringing. Born in Ireland in 1697, Anne was the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy estate owner and his maid. After her mother’s affair was exposed, the family fled to the American colonies, settling in South Carolina.

As a fiery and headstrong young woman, Anne rebelled against society from an early age. She was known for her quick temper and fearless demeanour, qualities that would serve her well in her future career as a pirate.

To learn more of her click

Pirates Primary Resource Mary Read

Mary Read was born in England around 1685, Mary’s early life was marred by tragedy. Her older brother died, and her mother, desperate for financial support, disguised Mary as a boy and presented her as her deceased son to gain financial aid from her late husband’s family.

This ruse continued for years, as Mary lived her life as a male, working as a soldier and later a sailor. Her true identity remained hidden until she found herself on a ship bound for the West Indies, where she joined a group of pirates led by the notorious pirate “Calico” Jack Rackham.

Learn more on Mary Read by clicking here

Pirates Primary Resource Calico Jack

John Rackham was nicknamed ‘Calico Jack’ because of the sailcloth calico breeches and coat he regularly wore. He started as a pirate on Captain Charles Vane’s pirate ship the Treasure. Then Jack led a mutiny and took over his treasure.

His four-year career as a famous pirate was ended on November 28th, 1720, Calico Jack himself was hanged at Gallows Point in Port Royal.

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Pirates Primary Resource Anne Bonny & Mary Read were Pirates Together

It was on Calico Jack’s ship that Mary Read and Anne Bonny crossed paths. The two became fast friends and confidantes, bonding over their shared experiences of defying societies norms.

Their partnership would prove to be formidable.

Anne Bonny’s reputation for her ferocity in battle and her willingness to stand up to even the most seasoned male pirates earned her respect and fear among her peers.

Mary Read, on the other hand, concealed her true gender with ease, allowing her to fight alongside her male counterparts undetected.

Together, they became a spirited force on the high seas, plundering ships, amassing treasure, and leaving a trail of legends in their wake.

Pirates Primary Resource – The End

They were eventually captured in 1720. But the story didn’t end there as despite their arrests, Anne Bonny and Mary Read displayed their unyielding resolve even in the face of impending execution.

This is where our story takes an unexpected turn, you see as both women revealed that they were pregnant. 

In those days you couldn’t hang a pregnant woman!

They secured a temporary stay of execution.

Unfortunately, Mary Read died of a fever in prison, but nobody knows what happened to Anne.

Pirates Primary Resource -The Musical – The Perfect Pirates

Pirates Primary Resource - the show The Perfect Pirates front pageThe story of these two in our musical The Perfect Pirates – The Story of Anne Bonny and Mary Read, tells how they challenged the traditional role of women during the 18th century. 

It shows that even in those days women could move into unconventional paths. Their daring exploits on the high seas continue to captivate storytellers, historians, and dreamers, telling us that the spirit of adventure and the pursuit of freedom know no gender boundaries.

It could be said that Anne Bonny and Mary Read, are symbols of courage and determination, inspiring countless others to chart their own courses in a world of endless possibilities.

Enjoy this show that you can download at and let you class decide what they think of their exploits.

Let’s make history fun!