William Kidd

  • Piracy
  • 3 mins

By Crusader1307

William Kidd was born in Scotland in 1645. Historians have often debated that Kidd was either one of the most famous of Pirates (as with Blackbeard), or one of the most unjustly persecuted ones. His father was said to have been a sea Captain (who was lost at sea). At some point, the young Kidd made his way to the Colony of New York (and was known in various high social circles). He bragged that he had apprenticed to a “Pirate Ship”, which if true – made his Pirate career start much earlier than was thought. In 1689, Kidd was once serving aboard a “”Pirate vessel” in The Caribbean. It was said the crew mutinied, killed the Captain and Officers - and named Kidd as their new Master. The ship taken was renamed The “Blessed William” which sailed for the Coastal Town of Nevis. Their, Kidd and his crew were pressed into service by The Governor to defend the region from French incursions.


In lieu of pay, Kidd and his crew were told they could take whatever “goods” from captured vessels they wished. Kidd promptly sailed to the French held Colony of Mariegalante – burned and razed the Town. He made away with 2,000 pieces of silver. Kidd and his crew were next “recruited” by the Colonies of New York and Massachusetts to defend the New England Coast. He was paid for his services. Kidd's ship was “stolen” by a rival Captain (Robert Culliford) not long after. Settling down to “”land life”, Kidd married a wealthy woman, and settled down in New York City. In 1695, Kidd was requested by The Governor of 3 Colonies to use his “skills” to track down known Pirates operating off the American Coast again. Given a Letter of Marque and funded by many wealthy English Nobolemen, Kidd set about his “mission”. Arriving in England, Kidd took control of his most famous ship The “Adventure Galley”. Legend states that a Royal Navy vessel saluted Kidd's ship (in which Kidd and his crew showed the saluting ship their “backsides”).


In retaliation, The Royal ship “pressed” much of Kidd's crew into “Royal Service”. Sailing for New York (now with half his crew), Kidd set about capturing French shipping. Kidd's replacement crew (picked up in New York), were of the worst sort. Operating in The Caribbean again, Kidd did not fare well (being unable to find any Pirates operating at the time). His crew grew angry and mutiny became a daily treat. Kidd''s most “infamous” incident comes from this time. William Moore (one of Kidd's Gunners), was said to have berated Kidd on not attacking a recently sighted Dutch ship. Kidd shoved Moore (who hit his head against the Deck) – who died later of a skull fracture. The incident was distorted many ways throughout history. Many prisoners told wild stories about Kidd's treatment of them (many which may have been fabricated). Kidd continued to attack French shipping until 1698. Declared a “”Pirate” now English Warships were looking for him. His crew – on the verge of mutiny again, parted company in New York.


Kidd was lured into custody with promises of clemency. Imprisoned for a year, Kidd was sent back to England. Kidd was afforded 2 Lawyers for his defense, but to no avail (the English Government needed an example). Convicted of Piracy, Kidd was hanged in 1701. His body was gibbeted at Tilbury Point (on The Thames River) for 3 years. His legend lives on, as much of his buried “treasures” have never been recovered.