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A portrait of Captain Kidd

William Kidd aka Captain Kidd

Here are some intriguing tidbits about the elusive William Kidd:

  1. Trial of the Century: Kidd's trial was one of the most sensational events of its time. Imagine a courtroom filled with gasping spectators when evidence was produced against him. It was the O.J. Simpson trial of the 1700s.

  2. Buried Treasure: Unlike many pirate myths, Kidd actually buried treasure! His stash was uncovered on Gardiners Island, just off Long Island. Makes you wonder where else he might have left a shiny doubloon or two.

  3. Honorable Intentions?: Kidd originally received a royal commission to hunt pirates. Oh, the irony! Some argue that he turned to piracy due to frustrations with his crew and circumstances, while others say he was unjustly accused.

  4. Famous Ship: Kidd's ship, the "Adventure Galley," was uniquely equipped with oars, allowing it to chase down other vessels even in windless conditions. Talk about a hot pursuit on the high seas!

  5. Mysterious Death: After being found guilty of piracy and the murder of a crew member, Kidd was hanged in 1701. His body was then gibbeted over the River Thames for three years as a grisly warning to other would-be pirates.

  6. A Silver Lining?: Kidd's legacy isn't all dark and stormy. Some historians believe his trial and execution led to significant reforms in the way the British naval and justice systems operated.

  7. Lost and Found: In 2015, a 50kg silver ingot, believed to be part of Captain Kidd's treasure, was found off the coast of Madagascar. Centuries later, and he's still making headlines!

  8. Ghost Ship: There have been rumors of Captain Kidd's ghost ship being seen around the waters of Long Island. A phantom vessel silently sailing in the mist? Now that's a haunting tale!

From legal drama to buried treasure, Captain William Kidd's life was every bit as colorful and controversial as the legends suggest. The next time you're by the sea, take a moment to imagine his ship on the horizon, and who knows, maybe you'll be inspired to go on a treasure hunt of your own!


William Kidd:  When the True Story is better than the Legend

The story of Captain William Kidd is one wrapped in maritime mystery, shrouded with tales of buried treasures, ghostly apparitions, and one highly debated trial. So, set your compass due north and prepare to embark on a voyage into the murky waters of Kidd's tumultuous life.

To say William Kidd led an interesting life is a profound understatement. Born in Greenock, Scotland, Kidd's aspirations were far loftier than the average sailor's. The vast ocean was his playground, the ship, his trusty steed. With the salt air tousling his hair and the rhythmic cadence of crashing waves, Kidd thrived in this unpredictable world of nautical chaos.

But here's the catch: Kidd wasn't your run-of-the-mill pirate with a predilection for rum and a parrot perched on his shoulder. No, our Captain Kidd was more complex. Some might even argue misunderstood. Initially, his intentions were honorable; he was handed a royal commission to hunt pirates and protect English ships. Yet, as the horizon blurred between legality and piracy, Kidd found himself dancing a delicate jig between hero and villain.

Navigating the waters of the Indian Ocean, Kidd's ship, the Adventure Galley, boasted a feature that made it the envy of many—a set of oars that ensured pursuit, even in the doldrums. And in those same waters, clashes with ships, be they friend or foe, became the stuff of legends. One such encounter with the Quedagh Merchant, an Armenian ship, solidified his reputation. It was laden with treasure, a veritable floating trove of gold, silk, and spices.

Yet, for all his seafaring prowess, Kidd's eventual downfall wasn't at sea. It was on land, in a courtroom, where whispers and accusations flew thicker than a tempest. The trial was no small spectacle. With every unveiled piece of evidence, the public gasped, debated, and drew sides. Was Kidd truly guilty, or was he a scapegoat for the sins of many?

His fate, as many know, was a grim one. The hangman's noose awaited, and Kidd's final moments were played out against the backdrop of London's Execution Dock. But, as with many tales, death wasn't the end. Stories persist of Kidd's ghostly ship haunting the shores of Long Island, and who knows, perhaps the glint of a buried treasure might still catch the moonlight on some remote beach.

In the tapestry of piracy, Captain William Kidd's thread is both bright and dark. A man of contradictions, caught in a web of politics, ambition, and the relentless call of the sea. Whether pirate or privateer, hero or villain, Kidd's legacy sails on, immortalized in legends whispered on stormy nights and tales told with a glint in the storyteller's eye.


Had yer fill of this chapter? There be plenty more adventures awaitin' on the shores of our pirates website!

Full Name: William Kidd

Known aliases or nicknames: Captain Kidd, Captain William Kidd - though that is more a title than an alias. In most records, he's consistently referred to by his full name or simply "Kidd."

Birth date: Around 1645. The exact date remains a matter of debate among historians.

Death date: May 23, 1701.

Place of birth: Greenock, Scotland.

Type of pirate: The waters get a bit murky here. Kidd began his maritime career as a privateer, with a commission from the English crown to hunt and capture pirates. However, over time, circumstances and some dubious decisions on Kidd's part led many to label him a pirate. His own trial and execution further entrenched his reputation as such, though some historians believe he might have been unjustly branded.

Areas of operation: He primarily roved the waters of the Indian Ocean, though his voyages took him to many parts of the world, including the Americas.

Physical Description: Detailed descriptions of Kidd are scanty. Like many figures from this period, specifics about his appearance, such as height and eye color, aren't well-documented. He would have had the weathered look typical of seafarers of his time, but any distinctive scars, tattoos, or notable features haven't been widely recorded.

Flag/Emblem: Unknown.