William Kidd

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Kidd, William,

1645?–1701, British privateer and pirate, known as Captain Kidd. He went to sea in his youth and later settled in New York, where he married and owned property. In 1691 he was rewarded for his services against French privateers. While in London in 1695 he was commissioned by the earl of Bellomont, recently appointed governor of New York, as a privateer to defend English ships from pirates in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. In 1696, Kidd set sail for New York and from there to Madagascar. Disease, mutiny, and failure to take prizes apparently caused him to turn pirate. Returning (1699) to the West Indies with his richest prize, the Armenian Quedagh Merchant, he learned of piracy charges against him. He sailed to New York to clear himself by claiming that the vessels he had attacked were lawful prizes. He was arrested and taken to London, where in 1701 he was tried on five charges of piracy and one of murder. The trial was complicated by the fact that four Whig peers who had backed him were politically embarrassed by his career. He was convicted and hanged. The barbaric cruelty and buried treasure of Captain Kidd are unsubstantiated bits of the legends about him. The Kidd legend has often been referred to in literature, for instance in Edgar Allen Poe's Gold Bug and Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.


See D. C. Seitz, ed., The Tryal of Captain William Kidd (1935); biographies by W. H. Bonner (1947), D. M. Hinrichs (1955), and R. Zacks (2005).

References in periodicals archive ?
Historian Richard Zacks, who wrote a book about the seafaring privateer called "The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd," said the Scotsman had captured the 500-ton Moorish ship in the Indian Ocean but left it in the Caribbean in 1699 as he traveled to New York to try and clear his name of criminal charges.
And it caused the biggest storm since Captain Kidd last sailed the high seas.
The Team Players Theatre Group will be bringing along Black Jake and Captain Kidd and their stolen treasure chest, which they will be trying to keep out of the sight of young beach visitors.
This history encompasses Captain Kidd, Dutch colonists, Revolutionary War patriots, divided Civil War loyalties, the DuPont Co.
Over the years we have gone far beyond just being a Sunday church,' added Captain Kidd.
Three hundred years ago it would have been a treacherous task, with the 50 islands home to the likes of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd and a host of bloodthirsty buccaneers.
ON THIS DAY 1701: Captain Kidd went on trial at the Old Bailey for piracy.
O H Clark, Solihull Evening Mail, November 10, 1970 ON THIS DAY 1701: Captain Kidd went on trial at the Old Bailey for piracy.
Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded Indiana University $300,000 to turn the Captain Kidd shipwreck site and three other underwater preserves in the Dominican Republic into no-take, no-anchor "Living Museums," where cultural discoveries protect precious corals and other threatened biology in the surrounding reef systems under the supervision and support of the Dominican Republic's Oficina Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural Subacuatico (ONPCS).
The encyclopedia of Canadian organized crime; from Captain Kidd to Mom Boucher.
Author Zacks is diligent in giving us the inside story of how in the late 17th century the worlds of commerce, shipping, speculation, piracy, and politics combined to produce the phenomenon of Captain Kidd.