Mary Read was born in Devon County, England, in the late 17th century. She had a harsh childhood. Her father had died before she was born and her half-brother Mark passed away soon afterward. Mary's paternal grandmother supported Mary and her mother, only because she thought that her grandson Mark was still alive. To keep the death of Mary's brother as secret, from his grandmother, Mary was raised as a boy, pretending to be her older brother.
Mary Read was originally a privateer before becoming pirate
When Mary Read was about thirteen years old, her grandmother died. Mary still dressed as a boy and with boyish habits, had to find a job. She became a footboy to a wealthy French woman, who lived in London. Unsatisfied with her current position, she escaped and boarded a man-o-war. Few years have passed, and she became bored again. This time she joined Army , where she met her future husband. After confessing love and true gender to him, they left the army, married and opened an Inn called Three Horseshoes near Castle Breda.
Mary Read was always surrounded by death. After just a few months of marriage, her husband got sick and died. Desperate, she just wanted to escape from everything and joined the army again. This time, she has boarded a Dutch ship that sailed to the Caribbean. Almost at the reach of its destination, Mary's ship was attacked and captured by the pirate, Calico Rackham Jack, who took all English captured sailors as part of his crew. Unwillingly she became a pirate. However, soon after, she started to like a pirate way of life . When she had a chance to leave Rackham's ship, Mary decided to stay.
On Rackham's ship, she met Anne Bonny. Being only women on the ship and sharing a lot in common, they quickly became good friends. Some people believe that Mary Read was in a romantic relationship with Anne Bonny, Rackham or even one of the crewmembers. However, we cannot testify to any of that.
Mary's pirate career ended, in October 1720. She was captured, by Captain Barnet in a desperate battle. In Port Royal, they stood trial. Rackam and his crew were found guilty of piracy, but Mary and Anne were spared because they claimed to be with child .
Mary Read died with her unborn child in prison from fever . She was buried at St. Catherine's parish in Jamaica.