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Arnold, Mary Anne (b. 1825), sailor and cross-dresser, was born in Sheerness, Kent, and may have been the daughter of Lieutenant Arnold of the Royal Navy who served aboard the Ganges and Prince Regent men-of-war. According to a report in The Times following her detection in October 1839, an officer of the ...

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Bonny, Anne (1698–1782), pirate, was born near Cork in Ireland. Evidence from her descendants suggests that she was the illegitimate daughter of William Cormac, lawyer, and his maidservant. Cormac, who raised his daughter as a boy, found his legal practice so affected by his affair that he decided to go abroad. Taking ...

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Burney, Sarah Harriet (1772–1844), writer, was born on 29 August 1772, probably in King's Lynn, Norfolk, the youngest of two children of Charles Burney (1726–1814), musician, and his second wife, Elizabeth, née Allen (1728–1796), widow of Stephen Allen, a merchant of King's Lynn...

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Gunn [née Fubister], Isabel [alias John Fubister] (1780–1861), sailor and cross-dresser, was born in Orkney, on 1 August 1780, the daughter of John Fubister and Girzal Allan, and was baptized Isabel Fubister on 7 August in St Andrew's parish, Orkney. Few details are known about her life until she signed on with ...

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O'Malley, Gráinne [Grace] (fl. 1577–1597), chieftain's wife and pirate, was the daughter of Owen Dubhdara O'Malley, chief, lord of Umhall Uachtarach or Upper Owle in the barony of Murrisk, co. Mayo, and his wife, Margaret, daughter of Conchobhar Óg Mac Conchobhair O'Malley of ...

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Read, Mary (c. 1695–1721), pirate, was born in England, according to the account of her early life in Captain Charles Johnson's History of the … Pyrates. Her mother had married a sailor named Read and had a son, but the sailor disappeared, leaving her on her own. She had an affair and became pregnant again. To conceal her condition she left her husband's relatives and went to stay with friends in the country, where she gave birth to ...

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Rees, Sarah Jane [pseud. Cranogwen] (1839–1916), sailor, schoolmistress, and poet, was born on 9 January 1839 at Dolgoy Fach, a cottage some 2½ miles from the coastal village of Llangrannog on Cardigan Bay, from which she took her bardic name, Cranogwen. She was the youngest of three children of ...

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Sarah Jane Rees [Cranogwen] (1839–1916) by John Thomas by courtesy of the National Library of Wales

Article

Taylor [née Ionn], Janet (1804–1870), teacher of navigation and supplier of nautical instruments, was born on 13 May 1804 at Wolsingham, co. Durham, the sixth of eight children of the Revd Peter Ionn (1762–1821), master of Wolsingham Free Grammar School, and his wife, ...

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Anne Jane Thornton (b. 1817) by unknown engraver, pubd 1835 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Thornton, Anne Jane (b. 1817), sailor and cross-dresser, was born in Gloucestershire, the daughter of a prosperous merchant. After her mother's death in 1823 her father moved to Donegal, Ireland, where he opened another highly successful shop. At age fifteen she met an American, ...