Talk:Mary Read

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Biography assessment rating comment[edit]

WikiProject Biography Assessment

The article may be improved by following the WikiProject Biography 11 easy steps to producing at least a B article. -- Yamara 05:24, 4 June 2007 (UTC)


I find many of the things stated in the article strange. For example how Mary Read found out that Anne Bonny was a woman or the claim that Mary Read married a sailor (as opposed to a soldier). I think the article needs to be revised.

In addition, the image accompanying the entry is unattributed, and seems to me to have been printed in the 19th century, (100+ years after Mary Read was allegedly active).--Galliaz 22:29, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Mary was basicsaly a bitch right?

== -- == --

Heh ... how about this for strange: "Bonny disappeared from the historical record, possibly having been bought out of prison by her wealthy and prominent father."

So ... ummm ... how do we know that she ever existed? She disappeared from the historical record. Furthermore, now that she "reappeared" in the Historical record at Wikipedia, should this be changed? Should we bake her a cake? It is, after all, her 're-birthday'. Without any historical record to back up her existence, it seems she should be deleted entirely. I mean, "disappeared from the historical record"? Seriously? That's lower than being an Urban Legend. At least ULs have a historical record.

I find much of this article to be suspect in both its origin and its facts.

16:26, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

There is an official record of Ann Bonny's trial, with witnesses testifying to her appearance and her piratical actions. The fact that no further record is found of her after her conviction doesn't mean that she herself is undocumented; only her ultimate fate is undocumented. Pirate Dan (talk) 16:46, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
yes there are court documents that were published in the local newspaper but it was a monthly that was printed on both sides of a single sheet and the section on the Mary Read and Anne Bonnay was no more than a couple of paragraphs that explained that Mary Read was wearing a mans coat when she was captured. The sum total of their pirating happened over 3 weeks first on two wednesday afternoons when the shops were closed and then on a saturday afternoon, their biggest haul was someones fish - which is probably why they avoided the gallows - as crimes go its more on the hooligan having a good time end, than privateering a ship and taking enemy stocks. X-mass (talk) 23:31, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

By peppering the article with suspect hyperbole, some folks who wanted to add "flavor" have made me doubt the actual existence of Mary Read.

16:38, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Agreed with all of the above comments. Huge sections of this article are almost certainly fabricated. They also have a pro-lesbian/feminist modern tone (embellished by one?), without any substantiation whatsoever. Same with the Anne Bonny related article.

Citations and Sources[edit]

The Captain Johnson/DeFoe History of the Pyrates is certainly a compendium and compilation of information. However, although it mimics a work of history or non-fiction very effectively, it isn't really a standard history that we can use as a primary source without describing it in some detail in the entry. Although parts of it follow newspaper accounts closely, other parts describe people and events that never existed and were invented by the author. (DeFoe invented several characters, events, and details for thematic or narrative effect.) Our problem as present-day readers is that it wasn't 18th century literary practice to explain to the reader that a text was a mixture of reportage and invention. Manuel Schonhorn's extensive scholarly introduction to the 1999 Dover Press edition is essential reading. (This was originally published in 1972; Schonhorn updated the introduction and bibliography for the Dover edition of 1999.)

We should revise the entry to reflect that the information we have on MR is primarily derived from this problematic single account (and the descriptions of the trial).

One last thing: I also think there's a big problem with the way the recent History Channel documentary is being used as a source to substantiate information in the entry. I believe the entry should actually list who actually provided the information that's cited from the documentary: did the "talking head" from the documentary provide a source for their information, or were they speculating on camera? Have they written an article or book that we can cite in the entry? Most importantly, could a researcher check the speaker's sources in order to independently verify what they have said (about MR's child, for example)? --Galliaz 15:24, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

7/17/2006-There is either an error on this page regarding the death of Ann Bonney in 1721, or an error on the Ann Bonny page stating that there are no records of her hanging. I'm not sure, as I am someone who is just looking this up and not a historian, but I thought it should be investigated and corrected either way.

Under the Black Flag by David Cordingly is a good book to consult for quick information regarding many of history's most famous pirates, including Mary Read.--Jessica.dyer (talk) 02:05, 1 August 2016 (UTC)'

"Pyrates" does not say any of that.[edit]

Captain Charles Johnson's work, A General History of the Pyrates, needs to be reread. He never says that Mary Read and Anne Bonny were romantically involved. He says that Bonny was attracted to Read and therefore told her that she was a woman. Read knew immediately why Bonny was telling her this and so knew that her secret could not be kept. Therefore, she then told Bonny that she herself was a woman. So, there never was a romantic relationship. However, Calico Jack was upset by the close relationship between his lover, Bonny, and Read, whom he still assumed to be a man. So, Bonny told Jack that Read was indeed a woman in order to quell his jealousy.

Also, Read did not show her breasts to Calico Jack. The text clearly states that she did this to a passenger that their crew had recently captured and force to stay on. Read fell so in love with this man that when he began to show signs of friendship with her, she was not careful about protecting her secret. One day she accidently exposed white "very white" breasts to the man. Yet still she did not admit her sex. It was not until he pressed her on the issue continually that she told him that she was in fact a woman. They quickly fell in love. In fact, there is a long and quite compelling story about their love, including the poing that this man was the father of the child the saved her from being hanged. This story should be included in this article. --Bt1159 19:15, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Pesky kids[edit]

I'm guessing some kids were researching a project, and maybe decided to fiddle with the article by inserting words like "sexy" and "hoes". My favourite line is "Read then found work as a football...". Anybody care to re-write? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 4 December 2007 (UTC)


Under early life, first sentence: Mary Read was born in Wisconsin to the widow of a sea captain.

however, to the right of the article: Place of birth: London

) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:07, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

"Mark Read"[edit]

The usage of Mark Read (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) is under discussion, see talk:Mark Read (singer) -- (talk) 06:51, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

THANKYOU for this. 10 years ago as part of masters I wrote a paper arguing that just as feminism had claimed these women as feminists, and then they were subsquently reclaimed as lesbians, that in due course the transgender would claim them as their own.

Btw the "history" here is entirely rubbish - if you actually read the primary source - the one page newpaper that published court the despatches, it mentions that Mary was wearing a man coat when they were captured. Again If you look at the primary source you find out that these 'pirates' went pirating on days where there was early closing i.e. two wednesday in a row and a saturday afternoon, and the biggest haul they stole was someones fishing. The sad thing is that there were lots of women who worked as privateers, but the documentation of their lives is like most working people of this period - thin and hard to find. The term pirates is a bit like terrorists: we're freedom fighters, your a guerilla, they're terrorists! Pirates were privateers for another nation. Being utterly independent was a very risky choice! X-mass (talk) 23:18, 26 April 2014 (UTC)


I cleaned up the references sections. This was in-text in that section, but I'm not sure what it relates to, so I'm putting it here in case anyone else does:

Johnson, Captain Charles, ed. Hayward Arthur L., A history of the robberies and murders of the most notorious pirates from their first rise and settlement in the island of Providence to the present year, London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd. First published in 1724, with the second edition published 1728, both versions attributed to Daniel Defoe. The two editions are very different, with the second edition much less accurate than the first when compared to court records. In the second edition however, no such accuracy is even attempted. In particular, the lurid details of the capture of the merchant ship the Neptune by Charles Vane in September 1718, conflicts entirely with the court records of both Charles Vane and Robert Deal, his quartermaster.

It could be a version of this book, but I don't have a copy of both editions:

  • Johnson, Johnson; Cordingly, David (2010). A general history of the robberies & murders of the most notorious pirates. Guilford, Conn.: Lyons Press. ISBN 978-1599219059. 

Lithium (talk) 13:30, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

Nine Years War[edit]

The article claims that Mary Read may have seen military service in the Nine Years War (1688-1697). Isn't this unlikely due to her age. If born c. 1690, she was at most 7-years-old when the War ended. Hom many 7-years-old see military action? Dimadick (talk) 08:09, 19 May 2017 (UTC)