Born between 1697 and 1705 in Kinsale, Ireland, Anne was the illegitimate daughter of an attorney, William Cormac. After the affair became public, Anne’s father remarried her natural mother and moved the family to Charleston, South Carolina where he made a fortune and bought a large plantation.
James Bonny married a young, red-haired Anne, hoping to win possession of her father’s wealthy estate. However, William disinherited Anne for marrying such a foolish man. They moved to Nassau, Bahamas, where Anne fell in love with the pirate John “Calico Jack” Rackham. She left her husband and later helped Rackham steal the Revenge in Nassau harbor. Together, they put together a successful crew, including another famous female pirate, Mary Read.
Captain Jonathan Barnet captured the Revenge in October 1720. The crew was too drunk to fight, celebrating their previous day’s victory of capturing a Spanish vessel; though Bonny, Read, and an unknown man fought fiercely and managed to hold off Barnet's troops for a short time. After their capture, Rackham and his crew were sentenced by the Governor of Jamaica to be hanged. According to Johnson, Bonny's last words to the imprisoned Rackham were that she was "sorry to see him there, but if he had fought like a Man, he need not have been hang'd like a Dog."
Bonny disappeared from jail, leading to speculation that her father was able to secure her release According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Anne Bonny went back to Charlestown, South Carolina, married Joseph Burleigh on December 21, 1721 and had 10 children. “She died in South Carolina, a respectable woman, at the age of eighty and was buried on April 25, 1782."