Born, raised and married off, bearing three children soon after, Grace O’Malley’s life could have been an incredibly average one. However, it was at the moment that her first husband died that her life shifted considerably. With his prestige and wealth, she not only overtook castles (one infamous castle, called Cock’s Castle, was later renamed to Hen’s Castle after her successful coup) but withstood sieges from the British.
In the early 1560s, she turned her eyes to the sea and enlisted privateers from all over the islands to sail around, pillaging and stealing English goods. England, however, had had about enough of her at the time, and took her family hostage in an attempt to stop her. So what did Grace do? She sailed to England, walked right into the Royal Palace, and spoke directly with Elizabeth I herself.
It is speculated that these two women of immense power, intelligence and capability developed a kinship of sorts. Both understood the sacrifices and realities that powerful women living in that time had to make. After the meeting, a mutual agreement was reached and the women went on their way. While this agreement did not last forever, it was said that Grace fought fiercely until her last days.