William Kidd

(Captain Kidd)

1645 - 1701

Infamous pirate and privateer. Most likely born in Greenock (Inverclyde), although some sources claim it was Dundee, Kidd traded a small merchant fleet from New York. He fought as a privateer to protect Anglo-American trade routes in the West Indies from the French and in 1691 was rewarded by New York City. He was then employed by the British Navy to stamp out piracy in the Indian Ocean, based in Madagascar, but instead became one of them. He captured the Armenian ship Quedah Merchant, with a cargo rumoured to be worth £70,000. He eventually surrendered in Boston in 1699, was transported to London where he was tried and hanged on Execution Dock on the River Thames. Much of his treasure has never been recovered.

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