Captain William Kidd
A wealthy man & one of the more well known pirates, was a privateer hired by Lord Bellomont, Royal Governor of Massachusetts, to seek out & capture Blackbeard
. Failing, Kidd became a pirate himself, though he denied such till his dying day. Returning to Boston in 1699, Kidd was arrested & shipped to London for trial. He was sentenced to be hanged at Execution Dock in London, May 23, 1701.
Captain Kidd was born circa 1645. He found employment as an English Privateer who found such success in New York & the West Indies. He was called back to serve England. The King's officers asked Kidd to captain a new powerful ship, the Adventure Galley
which weighed 284 tons, was equipped with 34 cannons & a crew of 80. It's mission was to capture all French ships & the pirates of Madagascar. Kidd accepted the proposition.
Kidd thought his ship could use a better crew, so he recruited a gang of cutthroats in New York & sailed for Madagascar. Once there, a good portion of his new crew left Kidd's ship in order to join the pirates. The remaining portion of pirates on Kidd's crew, threatened him with mutiny, unless Kidd would attack any & all ships. Kidd refused. Mutiny was close at hand & a fight between him & the ship gunner erupted. Kidd killed the man, & the crew did not pursue the revolt further, however, after that incident, Kidd was a changed man. Plundering ships of all kinds along India's Malabar coast. Kidd had become a pirate. The holds of the Adventure Galley
were already full when Kidd decided to plunder the Quedagh Merchant
. The Quedagh Merchant
was a huge treasure ship of 400 tons, quite a bit larger than the Adventure Galley
. As the pirates approached the merchant, the captain of the ship gave the sign of surrender, however, the captain of the merchant was secretly preparing for battle. Sails were trimmed, sand was poured for better footing, ammunition was readied & buckets were filled for fire fighting. As the pirates neared, the merchant ship fired but due to a sudden ocean swell, the shot missed its mark. The pirates immediately threw their grappling hooks, bringing the two ships together. The pirates rapidly boarded the ship & soon Captain Kidd was in the possession of one of the greatest pirate treasures ever. With this final accomplishment under his belt, he ordered his crew to set sail for New York. Kidd thought he could fool the New Yorkers into believing that all his plunder had been taken only from French & pirate ships. Unfortunately for him, he was very mistaken for most of the booty belonged to the powerful British East India Company. Kidd was clapped into chains & shipped to England, where after two years in prison, he was sentenced to death. Kidd experienced a terrible death for the hangman's rope broke twice. Finally when Kidd was successfully hung & quite dead, having the tide wash over his body thrice, as was customary, his body was dipped in tar whereby it was wrapped in chains & placed in an iron cage on the river bank. For almost twenty years, his body remained gibbeted along the Thames River to serve as a warning to all would-be pirates for years to come.
Ballad of Captain Kidd
My name was Captain Kidd, when I sail'd, when I sail'd,
& so wickedly I did, God's laws I did forbid,
When I sail'd, when I sail'd.
I roam'd from sound to sound, & many a ship I found,
& then I sunk or burn'd, When I sail'd.
I murder'd William Moore, & laid him in his gore,
Not many leagues from shore, When I sail'd.
Farewell to young & old, All jolly seamen bold,
You're welcome to my gold, For I must die, I must die.
Farewell to Lunnon town, The pretty girls all round,
No pardon can be found, & I must die, I must die,
Farewell, for I must die. Then to eternity, in hideous misery,
I must lie, I must lie.
Captain Kidd experienced a short-lived pirating career, but in it he managed to have a great many people killed, some of which he himself murdered in cold blood.
Captain Kidd burying some of his treasure.