Learn about Captain William Kidd, the 17th century privateer who was hanged for piracy.
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Captain William Kidd Facts for Kids
- Name: Captain William Kidd
- Born: c. January 22, 1645 in Dundee, Scotland
- Died: May 23, 1701, in Wapping, England
- Worked as a privateer for the English, attacking French vessels and pirates. Was convicted of piracy when he attacked an Armenian vessel captained by an Englishman.
William Kidd Facts Printable
Privateer to Pirate
- In the 1680s, Kidd worked as a privateer (a person authorized by the government to attack foreign vessels).
- His job was to defend English ships against the French.
- In 1696, he set out to attack French ships and pirate vessels on a ship called Adventure Galley.
- Few prizes were captured on this journey, and many crew members died of disease.
- In 1698, Kidd attacked an Armenian ship, the Quedagh Merchant, whose captain was an Englishman. Upon learning the captain’s nationality,
- Kidd tried to convince his crew to return the ship to its owner, but his crew refused. In the end, Kidd kept the ship.
- When the news of the Quedagh Merchant’s capture reached England, Kidd became known as a pirate.
- He hid some of his treasure on Gardiners Island off the coast of New York, hoping to use the knowledge of its location as a negotiation tool to save his life.
The Death of Captain Kidd
- On July 6, 1699, Kidd was arrested in Boston, Massachusetts. He was imprisoned and sent to England.
- On May 23, 1701, Kidd was hanged in London at Execution Dock. His body was suspended over the River Thames for 3 years as a warning to pirates.
- The General History of Pyrates – 1724
- William Kidd – Wikipedia
- William Kidd – biography.com
- Gardiners Island – Wikipedia