(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.