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Captain Kidd again....
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Salty Dog
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:17 pm    Post subject: Captain Kidd again.... Reply with quote

William Kidd was born in 1645 in Dundee, Scotland. He was a sailor from an early age and was soon part of a pirate crew. In 1689 the crew he was serving with mutinied and took control of their ship. Kidd was elected Captain and renamed the ship Blessed William. His best haul at that time was from an attack on Mariegalante Island, where he recovered 2,000 pieces of gold.

He later decided to go straight and sailed to New York where he bought some land. On May 16 1691, he married Sarah Bradley Cox, a wealthy widower. He was asked by the governor to take up privateering and protect New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. He accepted and had good success.

In 1695 He was asked by Gov. Belmont of New York to return to England where King William III wished him to undertake a mission of privateering. This mission was apparently a construct of Belmont and a few wealthy noblemen in England, as way to make a small fortune while getting rid of some French shipping competition. Kidd couldn't refuse the King, so he was left with little choice. The contract proposed that 4/5th's of the costs would be paid by wealthy noblemen and businessmen involved, in exchange for 10% of all profits gained. This left 1/5 of all costs to Kidd.
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Salty Dog
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On February 27 1696, Kidd had been given a ship, which he named The Adventure Galley. She was armed with 34 guns and 80 men. He was also a given Writ of Marque to attack pirates in the Caribbean, and to take any French vessels he found. He was now a privateer for England.

Almost immediately things began to go wrong for Kidd. The Adventure Galley was not the best ship in the harbor. She was leaky and worm eaten. Before he could even leave harbor, several of his best men were pressed into service with the Royal Navy. He was also nearly arrested for not saluting Royal Navy officers on the way out of port. Anxious to get out of England, Kidd set sail back to New York to set his own affairs in order, say good bye to his family and replace his missing crew. The crew he picked up in New York were more criminals than seamen, as most had just been released from prison. A fact that may have influenced the rest of his voyage. He did manage to take a small French vessel on the passage to America so there was hope.
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Salty Dog
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In September of 1696, he set sail for the Cape of Good Hope. On the journey an outbreak of Cholera took almost 1/3rd of his crew. Upon arriving at the Cape he searched but found no pirates. He then decided to try Bab-el-Mandeb, a known pirate route. He found no ships to take there either. Costs were piling up and he had nothing to show for his mission. The fact that he was personally responsible for 1/5th of all costs was threatening to financially ruin him and his family.

His crew becoming restless about not having anything in the hold, began to suggest they turn to piracy. Kidd refused. He put in to port to take on supplies and a portion of his crew deserted. Once back at sea, the crew becomes more anxious and whispers of mutiny begin to spread. On Oct. 30 1697, the pressure reached a critical point when a Dutch ship was spotted and one of the crew, William Moore demanded that Kidd take her. This would have been an open and shut case of piracy. Kidd refused and called Moore a lousy dog. To which Moore responded "If I am a lousy dog, you have made me so; you have brought me to ruin and many more." At this Kidd picked up a lead bucket and struck Moore in the head. Moore died the next day.
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Salty Dog
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What happened next has been debated ever since. On Jan 30 1698, three months after the death of William Moore, Kidd spots a sail on the horizon. It's a large Armenian ship named the Quedagh Merchant. The Quedagh was a 400 ton merchant ship. By way of comparison she was nearly twice the size of Kidd's ship.What colors she was flying we will never know, but Kidd attacked and subdued her. In her hold was a massive amount of Gold, Silver, Spices, Satin and other valuables. One of the richest prizes ever taken. As it turns out the Captain of the Quedagh was an Englishman named Wright. Wright had purchased papers from the French East India Company, promising him protection from the French Crown. This would seem to make her an English vessel, conducting sanctioned business from France for the East India Company, which was a very influential shipping company. At any rate, Kidd took both the treasure and the ship. Whether he felt justified because he saw her as a French vessel and thought he could make the case in court, or just didn't care we will never know.

Kidd renamed the ship The Adventure Prize and sailed her to Madagascar. Upon arriving, he finds Capt.Culliford in port, who has a colored history with Kidd. Some tales claim Culliford stole Kidd's first ship, The Blessed William, from him while he was in port in Antigua. This could be the reason Kidd suddenly decided to go to America. It is unknown if Kidd had an altercation with Culliford while in Madagascar, but what is known is that all, save 13 men of Kidd's crew deserted and joined Culliford's crew.
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Salty Dog
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Image by Howard Pyle
Having the Adventure Prize and no crew to pilot the worm eaten Adventure Galley, Kidd set her on fire and watched her burn. While in port, Kidd also learned that he had been branded a pirate by the English crown and was now wanted. Kidd decides to sail back to New York to enlist his benefactor, Gov. Belmont to make his defense. On the way, he hides his treasure, which has not been found to this day. He leaves the Adventure Prize in the care of some merchants and takes a small sloop the rest of the way, to avoid detection and capture by the English.

Upon arrival in New York, Gov. Belmont, seeking to curry favor with the English, has Kidd met at the docks, clasped in irons and hauled off to jail. He is imprisoned, then a year later sent back to England to stand trial. He is charged with 5 counts of piracy and one count of murder for the death of William Moore. The trial does not go his way and on May 23 1701 he was hung. Even in this, Kidd was unlucky as the first attempt to hang him caused the rope to break on the gallows and he had to be hauled back up for a second try, which was successful. He was then gibbeted on the River Thames for 3 years as a warning to other pirates.
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