William Kidd Fact Sheet: Who was Captain William Kidd? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Captain William Kidd.
William Kidd Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1645 - 1701 *** Full Name: Captain William Kidd *** Occupation: Scottish Sailor, Privateer and Pirate *** Date of Birth: Captain William Kidd was born on January 22nd 1645 *** Place of Birth: Captain William Kidd was born in Dundee, Scotland *** Family background: His father was Captain John Kyd who would die at sea *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in Dundee, Scotland *** Education: Captain William Kidd would have received some education ***
William Kidd Fact 1: Captain William Kidd was born on January 22nd 1645 and during the 17th century period in history when Europeans began to colonize the Americaís in earnest, the Ming Dynasty began to collapse, in the Near East, the Persian, Ottoman and Mughal empires were on the rise and many innovations were being made in science, medicine, technology and industry.
William Kidd Fact 2: Although there is no categorical proof, it is assumed Kidd went to sea as an adolescence and learned his trade.
William Kidd Fact 3: By 1689 as a legitimate privateer he was sailing for Great Britain in opposition to the French in the West Indies as well as off of the coast of North America.
William Kidd Fact 4: During 1690 he was established as a ship owner and sea captain based in New York City where he also owned property.
William Kidd Fact 5: On occasions he was called upon to dispatch privateers from off of the coasts of Massachusetts and New York.
William Kidd Fact 6: He was granted a Royal commission in 1695 to capture pirates who were attacking ships owned by the East India Company across the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.
William Kidd Fact 7: In February of 1696 he set sail from Deptford aboard his ship the Adventure Galley, calling at Plymouth, and arriving at New York City in early July to recruit more men.
William Kidd Fact 8: Among these men was Hendrick van der Heul, as quartermaster and second in command to the captain who was a known pirate.
William Kidd Fact 9: With a full complement of men they set sail for the Cape of Good Hope to look for pirates. While taking on supplies on Comoros, Kidd would lose one third of his crew to an outbreak of cholera. His new ship developed leads and having expected to encounter pirates off the coast of Madagascar, they again located none.
William Kidd Fact 10: The captain then set a course for the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, a stretch of water at the southerly most point of the Red Sea, another popular hunting area for pirates but again was dumbfounded at not sighting any.
William Kidd Fact 11: In need of funds to cover his cost and loses it is thought he ordered the attack on a Mughal convoy being escorted by an East Indiaman but the attack was resisted. If this account is true, it would be Kiddís first attempt at piracy.
William Kidd Fact 12: His crew were becoming restless and some deserted, while the remainder constantly and openly threatened to mutiny.
William Kidd Fact 13: At one point Kidd insulted a member of his crew and the crewman verbally retaliated. For his insubordination, Kidd struck him with an iron bound bucket, causing a fracture to the sailors head resulting in his death. Although captains of the time had a certain leeway when it came to punishing crewmembers, murder was not condoned.
William Kidd Fact 14: There are stories that suggest his crew were wayward and attacked ships while his attention was diverted and when he became aware of the circumstances, bade them return the stolen goods. In one instance a ship under Armenian colors was boarded and when Kidd realized the captain was also an Englishman, he ordered the crew to return the goods but the crew refused, sighting that as privateers they were within the law.
William Kidd Fact 15: When the events were repeated in England it served to confirm his treachery as a pirate, but as Kidd had kept the papers and passes proving the ship to be of French origin, he hoped it would prove his case for the legitimate capture of the vessel.
William Kidd Fact 16: They made course for Madagascar and arrived in April 1698 where Kidd encountered his first pirate of the whole voyage, a pirate who he had come into conflict with some years previous.
William Kidd Fact 17: Robert Culliford was the pirate and there are several versions of events, none that actually have been proven to have taken place. What is known is that Kidd would have only thirteen loyal crewmen remaining after the others bailed and joined Cullifordís crew.
William Kidd Fact 18: Deciding to make their way homeward, Kidd order the Adventure Galley burned as she was worm ridden and leaky and set sail for home aboard the Adventure Prize. En route to New York City he learned of his situation as being wanted for piracy and that he was being hunted by various English men-of-war.
William Kidd Fact 19: Taking precautions to reach his destination before being apprehended, he switched vessels. One back in Boston, he was arrested and imprisoned and would be held for over a year before being sent to England where he was questioned before Parliament.
William Kidd Fact 20: The political parties could not make use of his as he refused to cooperate and he was sent for trial at the High Court of Admiralty in London on charges of piracy and the murder of his crewman.
.William Kidd Fact 21: Captain William Kidd was found guilty on charges of piracy and murder. On May 23rd 1701 at Execution Dock in Wapping, London he was hanged and his body gibbeted over the River Thames.
Influence & Legacy: Legend has it that on his return to America he hid treasure in the hopes of using it to get himself out of trouble and after his death this has led to many instances of treasure hunters trying to locate the hidden treasure.
Short Facts about William Kidd for Kids
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