Wife of Piracy – the Women Who Married Pirates

For every woman who feared pirates or marriage, there were those who actually had the bravery (or lack of foresight, depending on who you ask) to marry pirates. Some of these spouses were even involved in the piracy themselves, though many were just ordinary women who happened to marry buccaneers.

Wife of Piracy

Mary Ormund
A good example of the latter is Mary Ormund who was married to the infamous Edward Teach, otherwise known as Blackbeard, in North Carolina at the age of sixteen. While little is known about her life, it is believed that in the end he gifted her to the crew of his ship when she displeased him, though this has been disputed. Blackbeard is undoubtedly the most infamous of married pirates, being thought to have had as many as fourteen wives in his lifetime. That said, not all of the women who married pirates had it quite so rough as poor Mary Ormund.

Marianne Dieu-le-Veut
Marianne Dieu-le-Veut was a Caribbean pirate who based herself in Mississippi after Tortuga was closed down. A successful pirate in her own right, she was called called Dieu-le-Veut (God Wills It) because she seemed to get whatever she wanted. Ahe married not one but two pirates! After her first husband was killed by Pirate Laurens de Graaf in 1683, she challenged Laurens to a duel. He refused flatly, however, and after sometime she became his common law wife, fighting alongside him and sharing the duties of command.

Christina Anna Skyette
In fact, many women were involved in family run piracy operations; many more than you would perhaps think. A Swedish woman called Christina Anna Skyette is a good example. She became involved in the clandestine piracy of her brother and husband in the 1650’s and 1660s; in fact she was personally present in 1663 when they attacked and sunk a Dutch Merchant ship. Though her brother was executed for this crime, she and her husband fled from Sweden, returning to a pardon in 1668.

Many women who became involved in piracy did so to avoid marriage, it is true, but just as many became involved because of their husbands and, in fact, proved themselves to be clever, ruthless and utterly indispensable.