The Story of Jeanne de Clisson the Badass Female Pirate


Jeanne de Clisson was a female pirate who ruled the waves around England and France between 1346 and 1356, though you’ve likely never heard of her, she kicked enough ass to piss off a king and earn a bitchin’ nickname, the Lioness of Brittany. She also commanded a fleet of the most fabulous ships the world will likely ever know.

Oddly, Clisson’s life was that of a lady of luxury right up until the French made the terrible mistake of cutting her husbands head off. Angry at King Philip VI for being such a colossal shithead and presumably for also cutting off her husband’s head, Clisson sold off every inch of her families land and bought the three biggest warships she could find. Upon laying eyes on three wooden behemoths that would make Poseidon shit himself, Clisson decided that her recently acquired war machines weren’t quite scary enough and had them all painted jet black. After painting them all black, Clisson then dyed the sails of each ship a deep shade of crimson by shooting at the sky, probably.

If a lady pirate with a sultry French accent commanding a fleet of fabulously well co-ordinated warships wasn’t cool enough, Clisson was notably merciless when it came to stabbing people with a less awesome French accent than hers (every one in France). Clisson’s usual course of action when taking over a ship was to stab everyone on board with the exception of one or two survivors who were then told to inform the king about what she had just done.

Despite being a wanted pirate in perhaps the easiest fleet of ships to recognize on a sunny day, Clisson was never caught and happily cut her way through dozens of French supply ships right up until King Philip died (ha!). After his death Clisson turned hunting down French nobility into an art form and towards the end of her pirate career she was infamous for always personally beheading any French aristocrat they captured with an axe. Because she was really determined to get onto an album cover when she died.

After a career of stabbing French people so successful it would make a Call of Duty players blush, Clisson married an English lieutenant then retired to France, AKA the same country she’d just terrorised for a decade straight. Because when you’re the fucking Lioness of Brittany you can do whatever you damn well please.

  • Bratista

    What an awesome woman

  • davidfriedman

    “Clisson married an English lieutenant then retired to France, ”

    From Wikipedia:

    “In 1356, Jeanne married for a third time to Sir Walter Bentley, one of King Edward III’s, military deputies during the campaign. Bentley had previously won the battle of Mauron
    on August 4, 1352 and was rewarded for his services with “the lands and
    castles ” Beauvoir- sur -mer, of Ampant, of Barre, Blaye, Châteauneuf,
    Ville Maine, the island Chauvet and from the islands of Noirmoutier and

    Not what most of would describe as a Lieutenant.

    Also, the picture is showing her with a flintlock pistol from several centuries after her death.

    • ladypyrate

      That’s because the picture is of Anne Bonny, one of the two female Pirates that travelled with Calico Jack Rackham…

  • Wilder

    Not quite accurate. She did not buy the ships with the money. She organized an army. Eventually she had to flee France, to England. In England she was given the ships, and began a 13 year assault on anyone and anything related to the French Crown, and some others.