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(1771 – 1825)

LASKARINA Bouboulina is another of the heroes of the Greek War of Independence of 1821. She was born into a revolutionary family and was married twice. Both her husbands died in pirate raids and Bouboulina was left with a substantial fortune. While she was successful in business, she was committed to the overthrow of Greece's Turkish rulers.

Bouboulina was a partner in several vessels and built a number of her own. She prepared for the coming revolution by illegally storing arms and ammunition in her own house in Spetses. During the early stages of the war she spent most of her fortune helping to arm and feed Greek forces attacking the Turkish strongholds of Nafplion and Tripolis.

She also built the largest Greek fighting ship during the struggle for Independence – the corvette Agamemnon, armed with 18 heavy cannons. Bouboulina herself commanded her own fleet of ships to begin the naval blockade of Nafplion and she also took part in the sieges of Monemvassia and Tripolis, and the battle of Haradros in which her eldest son died.

After her death in an inter-family dispute in 1825, she became the first woman to be awarded the rank of Admiral by the Russian Navy. In Greece, she became a national heroine, with a number of streets named after her in Athens and Piraeus and her face on a drachma coin.