Women in warfare (1500-1699)

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Active warfare throughout history has mainly been a matter for men, but women have also played a role, often a leading one. While women rulers conducting warfare was common, women who participated in active warfare was rare. The following list of prominent women in war and their exploits from about 1500 AD up to about 1700 AD suggests the wider involvement of numerous unnamed women, some of them thrust into positions of leadership by virtue of birth or family connection, others from humble origin by virtue of martial skill, force of personality and circumstance.

Only women active in direct warfare, such as warriors, spies, and women who actively led armies are included in this list.

Please see Timeline of women in war in the United States, Pre-1945 for entries pertaining specifically to the history of the United States.

Timeline of women in warfare from 1500-1699 worldwide[edit]

16th century[edit]

17th century[edit]

See also[edit]


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  15. ^ Monthly Chronicle of North-country Lore and Legend. Published for the Proprietors of the New Castle Weekly Chronicle by Walter Scott, Newcastle-On-Tyne, and 24 Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row, London. 1888. p. 245. 
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  34. ^ Margaretha (?-na 1611?)
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  45. ^ Noy, Adriana La (actief 1652/1653-)
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  50. ^ Brooklyn Museum article Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art – The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Awashonks Last updated March 21, 2007.
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  53. ^ Online Dictionary of Dutch Women
  54. ^ John A. Lynn: The French Wars 1667-1714: The Sun King at War (2002)

Further reading[edit]

  • De Pauw, Linda Grant. Battle Cries and Lullabies: Women in War from Prehistory to the Present (University of Oklahoma Press, 1998), popular history by a leading scholar
  • Dugaw, Dianne. Warrior Women and Popular Balladry: 1650-1850 (Cambridge University Press, 1989)
  • Fraser, Antonia. The Warrior Queens (Vintage Books, 1990)
  • Hacker, Barton C. "Women and Military Institutions in Early Modern Europe: A Reconnaissance," Signs (1981), v6 pp. 643–71.
  • Illston, James Michael. 'An Entirely Masculine Activity’? Women and War in the High and Late Middle Ages Reconsidered (MA thesis, University of Canterbury, 2009) full text online, with detailed review of the literature
  • Little, Ann. Abraham in Arms: War and Gender in Colonial New England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007)
  • McLaughlin, Megan. "The Woman Warrior: Gender, Warfare and Society in Medieval Europe." Women’s Studies (1990) 17: 193-209.
  • Martino-Trutor, Gina Michelle. "Her Extraordinary Sufferings and Services”: Women and War in New England and New France, 1630-1763" PhD Dissertation, U of Minnesota, 2012. online
  • Rediker, Marcus. "Liberty Beneath the Jolly Roger: The Lives of Anne Bonny and Mary Read, Pirates" in In Iron Men, Wooden Women: Gender and Seafaring in the Atlantic World, 1700-1920 ed by Margaret Creighton and Lisa Norling, pp 1-33 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996)
  • Stolterer, Helen. "Figures of Female Militancy in Medieval France," Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 16 (1991): 522-549
  • Taufer, Alison. "The Only Good Amazon is a Converted Amazon: The Woman Warrior and Christianity in the Amadís Cycle" in Playing With Gender: A Renaissance Pursuit ed. by Jean R. Brink et al. pp 35–51. (University of Illinois Press, 1991)

External links[edit]