Anne Dieu-le-Veut

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Anne Dieu-Le-Veut
Born (1661-08-28)28 August 1661
Died 11 January 1710(1710-01-11) (aged 48)
Other names Marie-Anne, Marianne
Occupation Pirate
Spouse(s) Laurens de Graaf

Anne Dieu-Le-Veut also called Marie-Anne or Marianne (28 August 1661 – 11 January 1710)[1] was a French pirate. Alongside Jaquotte Delahaye, she was one of very few female buccaneers.[2]


Anne was originally from the province of Brittany in France.[3]

She was possibly deported to French Tortuga as a criminal. She reportedly arrived to Tortuga during the reign of Betrand d'Ogeron de la Bouere, who was governor of the island in 1665-1668 and 1669-1675. In 1684, she married buccaneer Pierre Lelong, who was killed in a fight 15 July 1690. With him, she had one child, Marie Marguerite Yvonne Lelong (1688-1774). In 1691, she married Joseph Cherel, who in turn died in June 1693. With him she had another child: Jean-François Chérel (1692-1732).

In March 1693, she met and married the famous buccaneer Laurens de Graaf. He agreed to marry her after she threatened to shoot him for insulting her.[4] [note 1]

According to the traditional description of the event, Anne challenged de Graff to a duel to avenge the death of her late spouse. While Laurens drew his sword, Anne drew her gun, after which Laurens succumbed by saying he would not fight a female. He then proposed to her in admiration of her courage.[5] Anne and Laurens de Graaf married 28 July 1693. During her marriage she had two children, a daughter, Marie Catherine de Graff (1694-1743), and a son who died as a child (1700-1705)

Anne God-Wants[edit]

Anne Dieu-Le-Veut is referred to as a pirate because she accompanied Laurens de Graaf on his pirate ship during his acts of piracy. Usually, it was considered bad luck to have a woman on board a ship, but Anne was instead regarded as a mascot and a good luck charm.[6]

It is claimed that she actively participated in his piracy and fought by his side during acts of piracy, sharing his work and the command on his ship in the same fashion as Anne Bonny did with Calico Jack, though unlike Bonny she did not hide her sex. The stories about her attracted attention and she has been described as brave, stern and ruthless. Apparently, it was during these years her name Anne Dieu-Le-Veut ("Anne God-Wants") became known.

In 1693, Laurens de Graaf raided English Jamaica. As recognition, he was given the noble title of Chevalier and the position of Major Lieutenant and the commission of Ile-a-Vache. The English retaliated in May 1695 with an attack on Port-de-Paix at Saint Domingue, where they sacked the town and captured Anne and her children.[7] They were kept as hostages for three years, despite the attempts made by France to release them.

In 1698, she was released and reunited with her spouse. With the exception of her death date, her release is the last year in which she is mentioned. The later life of her as well as Laurens de Graff is not well known, though their death dates is known. According to some versions, they eventually settled in Louisiana.

One of her daughters eventually became known for having performed a duel with a man, which was then said to have made her a worthy daughter of her mother.


There were several stories and legends concerning Anne.

There is one legend depicting Anne becoming a widow. As Anne and Laurens attacked a Spanish ship, a cannonball took the life of Laurens. Anne took his place as commander of his ship, as she had done before, hurled their crew of pirates on with fury in the fight against the Spaniards. However, the pirates were outnumbered, and they were all captured and taken first to Veracruz in Mexico, and then to Cartagena in Colombia, both of which were cities earlier sacked by Laurens, to be judged. Anne's fame was so great that when the French Marine Secretary of Pontchartrain heard of this, he wrote to Louis XIV of France and asked him to make the king of Spain intervene. Anne was then freed as a special service between kings, and she was never heard of again.

This story is not confirmed. If Laurens and Anne settled in Louisiana after 1698 as have been suggested, it would not have prevented them from continuing their career of piracy. If historical, it would have happened in 1704, which was the year of Laurens' death. As Tortuga was closed as a pirate base in 1697, Mississippi would have been a better base for such activity, and piracy toward Spain could have been supported by the French crown the Spanish War of Succession in 1700-1714. If so, an intervention by an official from Pontchartrain in French Louisiana would not have been illogical. As one of the rivaling Spanish kings during that period was a French prince, it would have made it easy to receive a Spanish royal pardon by way of the French monarch.


  1. ^ According to Vaissière, the two were married in 1693 and their daughter was recorded as twelve years old in 1704.


  1. ^ GH de la Caraïbe, Généalogie et Histoire de la Caraïbe - no 231, éd. Généalogie et Histoire de la Caraïbe, décembre 2009, p. 6158
  2. ^ Ulrike Klausmann, Marion Meinzerin, Gabriel Kuhn: Women pirates and the politics of the Jolly Roger Black Rose Books, 1997
  3. ^ Ulrike Klausmann, Marion Meinzerin, Gabriel Kuhn: Women pirates and the politics of the Jolly Roger Black Rose Books, 1997
  4. ^ Blood and Silver: A History of Piracy in the Caribbean and Central America by Kris E. Lane (Signal Books, 1999)
  5. ^ Pierre Margry, Relations et mémoires inédits pour servir à l'histoire de la France sous les Pays d'outre-mer tirés des archives du ministère de la marine et des colonies, Challamel, 1867
  6. ^ Jean-Jacques Seymour, Les chemins des proies: une histoire de la flibuste, Ibis Rouge Éd., 2010, 299 p.
  7. ^ Wars of the Americas: A Chronology of Armed Conflict in the New World, 1492 to the Present by David Marley (ABC-CLIO, 1998)

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