Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Chinese Female Pirate For Tuesday...!

Most of the time when we think of pirates, we think of men. That wasn't always the case, though.

One of the most successful female pirates of her day was the pirate known as "Cheng I Sao." Now this was one blood thirsty lady, let me tell you. Still, she was very good at what she did. In fact, she lived to be a ripe old age for the times.

Cheng I Sao

Drawing of Cheng I Sao (R) in battle. (Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

One of history’s most influential raiders began her career in a Chinese brothel. Cheng I Sao, or the “wife of Cheng,” was a Cantonese former prostitute who married a powerful corsair named Cheng I in 1801. The husband and wife team soon raised one of China’s most formidable pirate armies. Their outfit boasted hundreds of ships and some 50,000 men, and it preyed on the fishing vessels, supply junks and the coastal villages of Southern China with impunity.

Upon her husband’s death in 1807, Mrs. Cheng elbowed her way into power and partnered with a trusted lieutenant and lover named Chang Pao. Over the next few years, she plundered her way across Southeast Asia and assembled a fleet that rivaled many countries’ navies. She also penned a rigorous code of conduct for her pirates. Rape of female prisoners was punishable by beheading, and deserters had their ears lopped off. Mrs. Cheng’s bloody reign made her public enemy number one of the Chinese government, and in 1810, the British and Portuguese navies were enlisted to bring her to justice. Rather than duking it out at sea, she shrewdly agreed to surrender her fleet and lay down her cutlass in exchange for the right to keep her ill-gotten riches. Mrs. Cheng retired as one of history’s most successful pirates, and went on to run a gambling house until her death in 1844 at the age of 69.

Say what you want, but I wouldn't want this lady on my list of enemies. And I thought my ex was bad!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Pretty pleasant actually!


linda m said...

She may have been one "bad lady" but at least she had a rigorous code of conduct. I'll give her credit for that; and she was a successful business woman. Now would I ever want to encounter her - no way. She'd "lop" my head off. Rainy morning here. Since Dunkin's is giving away free coffee today, I'll stop there on my way over and pick us up a box of donuts.

Chickenmom said...

Surprised that they agreed to the surrender terms. Save the chocolate honey-dipped one for me, Linda!

JO said...

The Power of a woman, well don't know if I would have wanted to mix company with her but she knew how to handle men and run a business.
Nice morning here too but the say we are headed into triple digits again. didn't they get the memo that its Fall.

Sixbears said...

I've heard her story before, but it doesn't get old. Amazing person -maybe not someone I'd like to be anywhere near, but amazing none the less.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I bet she was prettier than Black Beard. . . (grin)

HermitJim said...

Hey Linda...
I reckon it would have a good idea to just stay out of her way! Notr a woman I'd want to mess with, that's for sure.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Phyllis...
They probably figured that was the cheapest way out of the whole mess. Pretty smart in the lontg run.
Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Jo...
A good ideaq to just let her be. Besides, she had enough money to do what she wanted, I'm sure!
Thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Sixbears...
Does sound as though she was an amazing woman, one with a lot of power.
Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Dizzy...
I would certainly hope so. You just never know.
Thanks for coming by today!