Home News The Chinese Female Who Commanded 80,000 Outlaws

The Chinese Female Who Commanded 80,000 Outlaws


Ching Shih, a woman who lived during Qing Dynasty is the most successful pirate woman in the history.

Ching Shih AKA “Cheng’s widow” was a former prostitute lived in the city of Canton and had married to Cheng I who was a fearsome pirate operated in the South China sea, at the age of 26. She was a successful pirate. After the death of her husband she became the leader of over 1,800 pirate ships and about 80,000 pirates. Because of that she was known as the most successful pirate of the history.

She was a successful business women at that time as she used the connections of many politically connected clients she known when she was a prostitute.  Because of that Ching Shih financial status go high and also her career in piracy.

there are some rumors say that Cheng I, husband of the Ching Shih was murdered at the Vietnam and some rumors say that he was dead because of a sea Tsunami. He was at the age of 42 when he died.

Within few weeks of Cheng I’s death, Ching Shih had taken Cheung Po who was a  adoptive son of Cheng I also who is originally inherit to Red Flag Fleet, the pirate clan as her lover. In other hand he was the step-son of Ching Shih. Eventually she solidify the relationship through marriage as she can obtain the leadership of the Red Flag Fleet again.

Ancient Origins

She unified her fleet using her own code of laws. Her law was strict and any one who disobeying her rules, was a cause of death. Some rules are very unusual regarding pirates, if a pirate raped a female captive he would be sentenced to death. If female captive and her crew member had sex, both would be sentenced to death. If a pirate took a female captive as his wife, he must be faithful to her.

What so ever Red Flag Fleet under her command was undefeated. many attempts to destroy her by Qing Dynasty, East India Company, also Portuguese Navy failed under her fleet. Finally after few years, 1810 Cheng Shih retired by accepting an offer of amnesty from the Chinese Government.

Chinch Shih died in 1844 at the age of 69.



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