A Woman Pirate From China; Beautiful, Seductive and Deadly Ching Shih
Chin Sinh was a seductive woman pirate was also ruthless. She held sway in the China Sea and retired to live a simple life.
Pirates are Loved
Pirates are known to be men and some of them have made a name for themselves like Black Beard and Red Beard. The pirate flag with its distinctive skull is famous and pirates may be deadly people but they are part of our fond imagination. After all Robert louis Stevenson immortalized them in his "Kidnapped".
A Woman Pirate
But women pirates are not heard off. Yes, there are women lovers of pirates. Again there is a lovely love story by Daphne Du Maurier " French Man's Creek" and the love of a noble English lady with a pirate. Out of all this medley of male pirates one woman pirate stands out. She was a Chinese and she lived during the 18/19 century. That is not a long way back.
The Rise of Chin Shinh
Chin Shih was not born a pirate but to a relatively poor household in Canton in 1775. Her next step was to enter a brothel and she started work as a prostitute in the many floating brothels so much a mark of Canton in those days. We can see her sketches now and can make out that Chin Shin was a beautiful slim girl, who could have become the heart throb of any man.
Now love took a hand and she fell in love with a pirate named Zhang Yi. That was in 1802 and after that she gave up her role as a prostitute and joined Zhang in his activities. Zang was a formidable pirate and he commanded a vast pirate fleet known as the Red Flag. He scoured the China sea for victims and looted them. The weak Chinese government was ineffectual and the British and French ships gave him a long rope.
Chin Sinh as a Pirate
n 1807 Zang died. Its not clear how he died, but Chin had now to fend for herself. she took a logical step and as she had been with Zang she took command of teh Pirate fleet. mybe her sexual allure attracted a lot of men and some of course were loyal, as they had served with her husband.
Cutlass in hand Chin now sailed the china sea and for 3 years till 1810. She waas the last word in piracy. She was severe on her crew and anybody committing a crime like rape was castrated by her.She really enforced discipline.
The Grand End
n 1810 she accepted an offer of amnesty from the Imperial government and gave up piracy. Maybe she was tired of the hit and run life, but she kept her loot. She opned a bar in Canton and lived on there till she died in 1844. love ? Yes she had lovers , but reports suggest she married her adopted son. Anyway she has left her name in history on par with Black Beard. That is itself a feat