William Kidd


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

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.

Bibliography

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 ?
NARRATIVE SOUND EFFECTS IMAGE Many are the tales Sea chanty or jig [ILLUSTRATION told about the OMITTED] infamous Captain William Kidd. But who was this man really?
Crowe, 37, is favourite to star as the legendary Greenock-born pirate Captain William Kidd, who found fame and fortune in America before being hanged at Wapping in 1701.
Chapters three and four discuss the image of the pirate as constructed in trials and the press, showing how late seventeenth-century sea-rovers William Kidd and Henry Avery were heroized.
WILLIAM KIDD SPENT his last days on earth in Newgate Gaol, where on Sunday May 18th, 1701, he heard his final sermon, preached by the prison chaplain on the cheerful text, `For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.' Kidd still hoped for a reprieve, and the others who had been condemned with him for piracy received it -- all except one, an Irishman named Darby Mullins.
It was commanded by William Kidd, who had seized the treasure-laden Moorish ship Bear Madagascar while it was on its way to Mecca, A few days earlier, having crossed the South Atlantic Kidd had reached Anguilla and learnt that he had been declared a pirate.
In the third essay William Kidd, also a contributor to the earlier volume, explores the activities of the Cercles populaires francais, an offshoot of Doriot's PPF.
William Kidd, the notorious pirate, paid a visit to an old friend in Narrangansett, R.I., and left some treasure.
BORN WILLIAM Kidd, Scottish pirate, 1645 JOE Calzaghe, Welsh bozer, 1972 EUGENIE Windsor, British princess, 1990, above DIED ELIZABETH Taylor, British actress, 2011, above RICHARD Beeching, railway reformer, 1985 PETER Lorre, film actor, 1964
DIVERS claim they have recovered treasure plundered by notorious British pirate Captain William Kidd.
Men can't think of two things at once!" William Kidd, 77, a retired mental health worker, said: "No.
A US underwater archaeology team announced it has likely discovered the shattered remnants of a ship once captained by the notorious buccaneer William Kidd off a tiny Dominican Republic island, reports AP (Dec.
A previous visitor from Scotland, the legendary pirate Captain William Kidd, is said to have buried a few chests of treasure there and an unexpected date with the hangman meant he never got back to dig them up.