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Calico Jack Rackham

Born : Unknown

Died : 1720

John Rackham was nicknamed "Calico Jack" because of the calico britches and coat that he usually wore. He was not one of the most infamous pirates in history, but is better known because of his connection to the two famous female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

Rackham is first mentioned in pirate history as the quartermaster of the ship Treasure in 1717 under the captain Charles Vane. Rackham later deposed Vane as captain of the ship after Vane was ruled incompetent by the other crewmembers for neglecting to attack a French ship which seemed promising.

Calico Jack is best known for his relationship with female pirate Anne Bonny, whom he stole away (willingly) from her wastrel husband. They fought side by side in battle, and eventually he turned over control of the ship to the two women, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

Soon thereafter, the ship was captured and in November of 1720, nearly the entire crew was sentenced to hanging in Jamaica. For More on Anne Bonny and Mary Read, click on their names on the Pirate Bios Index.