Jeanne de Clisson

  • Piracy
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

In a "life story" worthy of a Major Hollywood Movie, one of the earliest "female" Pirates, Jeanne de Clisson- would be an excellent candidate. A Noble woman from The Kingdom of Brittany, Jeanne married Oliver de Clisson in 1340. At the time, France was undergoing many small wars contesting the enthronement of Philip VI. It is unclear as to what role (if any), Jeanne's husband had. He was arrested, tried and convicted of treason. Beheaded for his "crime", the act broke Jeanne's heart.....and enraged her! Vowing revenge, she sold off all her and her late husbands lands.Taking the monies, she brought 3 Galleons and recruited only the most "depraved" Pirates she could find. Further, she had her "Fleet" was painted all black with blood red sails added. This dreaded Pirate Flotilla was dubbed "The Black Fleet".


Jeanne and her Fleet plied their new trade in The English Channel and along the coast of Southern France. Attacking any French flagged vessel, from 1353 to 1356 - she too earned a nickname..."The Lion of Brittany". Coming under her guns left few prospects for any Seamen. Her orders were clear. Crews could be recruited or killed. Further, after all treasure and goods were taken, ships would be sunk. And, woe be to any member of The Aristocracy foolish enough to be on board. Upon discovery, Jeanne ordered them decapitated (as was her husband!). For some reason, Jeanne found love again and re-married in 1359. She abandoned her "Pirate Life" and settled down in France (under an assumed name, of course). But for 13 years, no French Ship was safe from The Black Flag of "The Lion of Brittany".