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China's Greatest Pirate Queen by CLM Staff Writer
No picture is known to exist of Cheng I Sao (literally meaning Wife of Cheng), but she is nonetheless renowned in China and Southeast Asia as one of the greatest pirates in history, and certainly the greatest Woman pirate ever.
 
What is known is that prior to taking up the practice of piracy she first embarked on a career in that even earlier established criminal trade (reputedly the oldest trade in the books) of prostitution, but love intervened and while still at a young age she married a powerful pirate named Cheng and joined him at sea.  Together they tyrannized the South Sea between 1801 to 1807 when Cheng passed away.  Rather than demurely retiring from the seafaring way, Cheng I Sao took over and then expanded the family business.  
 
She quickly appointed one Chang Pao (believed by some to have been her son-in-law) as Captain of the fleet, and left much of the fighting of battles to him while she oversaw the building of a pirate empire.  At one point she is reputed to have been in command of a fleet of over 1,500 ships and 80,000 sailors, known as the Red Flag Fleet. Ultimately she virtually ruled the South China Sea, and was seemingly immune to capture by either the Chinese Navy or the even more capable Portuguese or British.
 
She established harsh and brutal rules of conduct for everyone under her, with punishments ranging from having your ears cut off for desertion to having your entire head removed for disobeying her orders or for committing the ultimate of crimes, cheating on your wife.
 
Eventually, after years of being out witted and outfought by this Pirate Queen, the Chinese Empire did the only sensible thing in order to bring an end to her domination of the surrounding seas C they offered her complete immunity to prosecution and bribed her. She even managed to negotiate immunity for almost her entire pirate navy, most of whom joined the Chinese military in respected positions.
 
In or about 1810 the Wife of Cheng married Chang Pao, retired from life at sea to take up a new career as owner of a gambling house, had a son, and lived until 1844 at which time she passed away peacefully as a 69 year old Grandmother.  
 

 
Wood Sculpture by Jennifer Marlowe depicting an idealized image of Cheng I Sao. Photo courtesy of www.thebrighamgalleries.com/Artists/JMarlow/


From: Original         Author: CLM Staff Writer         Time: 3/5/2010 3:33:30 PM

 
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#2015-11-16 02:09:00 by Iamtheeggman @Iamtheeggman
Reply NICE!!!!!
#2016-11-19 08:33:00 by Anonymous244399 @Anonymous244399
Chinese Pirate Queen and the Royal British Navy would have made fantastic allies.... would have made a perfect Chinese woman & White man love story: the legendary Chinese pirate queen falls in love with a British naval captain and together they build an empire in China, soon becoming the Empress and Emperor of China...and all their future children will be mixed race--half Chinese (mother side) and half white (father side).
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