Captain Kidd

William Kidd (Scottish-born privateer and pirate active 1697- 1699)

The notorious Captain Kidd was neither particularly ruthless nor successful. A New York merchant who had previously served as a privateer against the French in the West Indies. He was commissioned in 1696 to hunt pirates but after a series of misfortunes began to raid vessels in the India Ocean.

He was arrested on his return to America in 1699 and sent to England to stand trial for piracy. Kidd bungled his own defence and vital documents were concealed by his former backers. He was hanged at Execution Dock and his body suspended in an iron cage of Tilbury Point for years as a warning to other seamen against piracy.

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