blank2.gif (830 bytes)

CAPTAIN WILLIAM KIDD (1645 1701)

Of the Sea-Rovers who flew the Jolly Roger at their masthead, made victims walk the plank and buried treasure on lonely tropical islands, Captain Kidd has to be the most colourful and famous of them all.  Many legends have grown up about Kidd, although as far a being a pirate is concerned he was probably one of the least typical.
Captain William Kidd

Captain William Kidd

William Kidd was born in 1650, the son of a Scottish Minister.  William followed the sea from his youth, turning his dreams into reality when he became noted as a bold captain of a Privateer in the West Indies during the England France war of King Williams' reign.  Toward the end of the 17th century he had become a successful shipmaster sailing from New York.  By this time, Pirates were a real menace and British commerce increasingly suffered from raids on their vessels by these outlaws of the high seas.  The problem became of such a magnitude in fact that the Governor of New York requested the Kings assistance.  In response, Kidd received two commissions from the King addressed to "our trusty and well beloved Captain Kidd" - one to suppress piracy and the other as a Privateer against the French.

Thus, he set sail in his ship "Adventure" with its 150 men and 30 guns.  His aim was Madagascar, Malabar and the Red Sea Region where the Pirates were expected to be found lurking and it went downhill from here.  First, no Pirates could be located, then a plague of cholera killed some of the crew.  Supplies ran low and the ship became leaky.  The remaining discontented crew advised their Captain to capitulate into piracy himself to improve their lot.  This he did, and quite successfully too, taking on a string of targets which quickly acquiesced into his charge, thus taking plenty of booty along the way.

In 1699 he deserted his leaking "Adventure" and having boarded one of his conquests, set sail for America.  Having learned of his being proclaimed a pirate he sent the Governor part of his treasure, but to no avail.  He landed in Boston where he was arrested without delay  and sent to London where he was to stand trial for the alleged murder of a mutinous sailor.  His continual protestations of innocence coupled with the inconclusive evidence presented failed to prevent the passing of a guilty verdict on him.  After hanging at Execution Dock, his body was to be found, hanging in chains for a long period afterwards.

A more detailed history of William Kidd is found here.

blank2.gif (830 bytes)
   
Home Page       The Story       TimeLine       Band members       Gallery
Discussion      Recordings      Songs      Site Map      The Pirates Website
This website is maintained by Adrian Barrett.  Adrian Barrett, 1998-2006.
Use www.johnnykidd.co.uk as pages may be removed as the site develops.