Do You Know About the Most Famous Female Pirate in China?

Julia | 14 - 10 - 2020
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Ching Shih was one of the most famous female pirate leaders who was born in Guangdong province, China in 1775. Due to poverty, she had no other option than to become a prostitute and worked in a floating brothel. She was also nicknamed as Shih Heang Koo. By 1801, She got married to an infamous pirate captain named Zheng Yi, who was the leader of the notorious Red Flag Fleet. After their marriage, they adopted Cheng Po and made him their legal heir. She also gave birth to 2 sons named Cheng Ying Sheh and Cheng Heung Shih. but that happiness of the family did not last long, as her husband died in 1807 which made her take over the leadership position.

The ambitious wife in charge of the fleet commanded over 300 sailing ships manned by 20,000 to 40,000 pirates. She also made major Chinese pirate organizations under her control through the Red Flag Fleet. The Ching Shih pirate crew has been unified through her code of laws. The code of laws was very strict and any pirate who is found to be breaking her strict code of laws will have their heads chopped and their body will be dumped in the ocean. She also made sure that women prisoners were set free without being harmed.

She also earned the trust of her subordinates by sharing her powers with them. With those commanders and pirates, she collected money, raided camps, ships, Chinese river towns, and other coastal villages. She also demands them to contribute with her so that she could grow quickly. For some years the Red Flag Fleet has remained undefeated by the Qing dynasty, British and Portuguese hunters. She also captured the officer of the East India Company. The Chinese government decided to stop her by gathering the military interventions but Ching Shih had other plans. She easily defeated the Chinese government and captured the imperial ships. The admiral of the Chinese navy committed suicide rather than being arrested by Ching Shih.

What Was the Birth Name of Ching Shih?
  • A. Shih Yang
  • B. Shih Heang Koo
  • C. Cheng I Sao
  • D. None of the above

After being continuously defeated by the Chinese women pirates the Chinese government joined hands with British and Portuguese navies to capture her. In spite of the attack, they both ended up with a deal. Ching Shih also agreed to the deal that the Red Flag Fleet will be disbanded and she also insisted that her crew should be pardoned and left unpunished.

Late Life and Death of the Most Famous Female Pirate

After her retirement, the pirate queen became the official wife of Cheng Po and she gave birth to a son and a daughter. After her second husband’s death, she moved to Macau and ran a gambling house. She also got involved in the salt trade. In later years she also worked as a military advisor to Lin Zexu. Finally, by 1844 the pirate queen rested in peace surrounded by her family members.

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