Calico Jack facts for kids
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A woodcut of Rackham from Charles Johnson's 1725 edition of A General History of the Pyrates
|Died||18 November 1720
Port Royal, Colony of Jamaica
|Base of operations||West Indies|
|Commands||Several vessels, most famously the Kingston (briefly)|
|Battles/wars||Action of 20 October 1720 and Taking Nassau by Charles Vane.|
John Rackham (December 26, 1682 – November 18, 1720), commonly known as Calico Jack, was an English pirate captain operating in the Bahamas and in Cuba during the early 18th century. His nickname was derived from the calico clothing that he wore, while Jack is a nickname for "John".
Rackham was active towards the end (1718—1720) of the "Golden Age of Piracy" which lasted from 1650 to 1725. He is most remembered for having two female crew members: Mary Read and his lover, Anne Bonny.
Rackham deposed Charles Vane from his position as captain of the sloop Ranger, then cruised the Leeward Islands, Jamaica Channel and Windward Passage. He accepted a pardon in 1719 and moved to New Providence, where he met Anne Bonny, who was married to James Bonny at the time. He returned to piracy in 1720 by stealing a British sloop and Anne joined him. Their new crew included Mary Read, who was disguised as a man at the time. After a short run, Rackham was captured by Royal Navy pirate hunter Jonathan Barnet in 1720, put on trial by Sir Nicholas Lawes, Governor of Jamaica, and was hanged in November of that year in Port Royal, Jamaica. He is also known for the creation of the Jolly Roger.
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