John Rackam (1682 –1720), was known as Calico Jack, because he used to wear a calico (cotton = cotonina) clothing. He was an English pirate captain who sailed around the
during the early 18th century, the golden age of piracy (from 1717–1720). He is very well known because he designed the Jolly Roger , the famous flag of the pirate ships: a skull with crossed swords. Bahamas
The curiosity about him is that in his crew there were two women, a fact which was considered of a bad omen (= cattivo auspicio) in his period. They were Mary Read and his lover Anne Bonny.
Anne Bonney was a rich woman who had been rejected by her father after marrying a poor young sailor. The couple moved to
, but there Anne met and fell in love with Captain Rackam and went to sea in men’s clothes to follow him. She had a child and then accompanied him again in his expeditions. She showed great courage and intrepidity. When the ship was captured by pirate hunter (= cacciatore di pirate) Jonathan Barnet in 1720, Anne and Rackam were the last to leave the ship. Anne remained near Calico till he was hanged in November of the same year in Providence . As she was pregnant, she was not executed and the pirate could visit her the day before his execution. Spanish Town, Jamaica