Alvilda Synardus, medieval pirate queen:

18th Century painting of Alvilda in contemporary dress


She was allegedly was the daughter of Synardus, the king of Gotland, born in 1321. Though if anyone paid attention to the root of her name they would find she was around a lot longer than that.

It is said her parents kept her locked in her

 room, and set two poisonous snakes to keep away all but the most ardent of suitors.

The most persisant and brave fellow turned out to be Prince Alf of Denmark, and though he passed the test Alvilda’s parents were none too happy about the match. Deciding she no intention of staying with some stuffy Prince, Alvilda took advantage of her parents’ irresolution and her husband’s trust and just hightailed it out of there.

“She were a vision o’ loveliness…’er brown ‘air blowin’ in th’ wind, ‘er pretty eyes snappin’ fire left an’ right. ‘er shirt were open sae much I could see th’ swell o’ ‘er breasts, an’ I swear I woulda ‘ad ‘er right then an’ there, ‘cept’n she ‘ad tha’ big ol’ whip in one ‘and, an’ a dagger in th’ other. I were lucky tae get away wit’ me life, but it were worth it fer one look at ‘er, me matey.” – Dogface Royson, Sailor

She joined a crew of cross-dressing women, but had barely got started in a career in terrorizing the Baltic coast when they came across a crew of pirates that had lost their Captain.

They were so impressed by her capable skills that they voted unanimously to elect her as their new leader. With these fresh reinforcements beneath her ruthless guidance, this formidable woman became such a nuisance to the merchant trade that her husband, now King Alf of Denmark, was compelled to bring the troublesome pirates to justice. Alvilda and her crew fought back terribly, but in the gulf of Finland they were bested at last.

King Alf and his men boarded the pirates’ ship, where hand-to-hand fighting ensued. After sustaining heavy casualties, Alvilda’s crew succumbed and she herself was taken captive. With her beauty concealed by a face covering helmet, she was taken prisoner, and it was only when this helmet was removed that King Alf realized who the scourge of the seas had been. According to royal law, pirates were to burn at the stake. She was imprisoned, but escaped, burning her husband on the same stake before dawn.

On a whim all her own, she sided with the English in the 1345 invasion of Brittany. Seeking to enter the fray herself, she purchased and prepared three ships with money from the sale of her worldly possessions. She was a ruthless mistress of the sea and on land, and no ship nor town near the coast of Normandy was safe from her. With flame and sword, she was a fearsome sight to behold, as she burned whole Norman villages to the ground. She worked her crews hard, and quickly earned the reputation well deserved.

Posted on September 19, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I was intrigued by this female pirate. We are going far back in time. In fact way before the Golden Age of Piracy. I am writing a horror series based on pirates and so I found this information quite interesting.


  2. Yarr – more pirates, shipmate. Long Jeanette Silver


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