101 William Kidd Facts: Was He A Pirate Or A Captain? | Kidadl


101 William Kidd Facts: Was He A Pirate Or A Captain?

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

William Kidd is a notable name among present-day pirate enthusiasts.

There is an air of mystery that surrounds William Kidd and any treasure that he may have left hidden. However, there is more to him than just the pirate adventures.

There are some people in the world who spend their entire lives trying to understand pirates and searching for their hidden treasure. William Kidd was one such pirate whose treasure is still looked for all around the world. He was a 17th-century pirate who was born in Scotland. There is not much information about his parents or his birthplace, although, it is assumed that he was born in the year 1654. Kidd took to sailing at an early age and his first notable plunder was that of Marie-Galante. In this plunder, Kidd and his crew members managed to loot a meager £2000 sterling. In an interesting turn of events, Kidd went to New York and that is where his story as a pirate and later as a convict of England started. Keep reading to know more about William Kidd and his adventurous life!

If you enjoy reading this article, why not also check out Marco Polo facts and William Golding facts here at Kidadl!

Fun Facts About William Kidd

Born in the 17th century, William Kidd is known all around the world up until the present day for his pirate adventures. He is better recognized as Captain Kidd, as this sailor was quite skilled and was even favored by the king at one point.

Reportedly born in a place called Dundee in the year 1654, there is not much-recorded data of William Kidd's early life. Since Dundee is a port town, Kidd took a knack for it and soon thought of it as a useful choice of career. The path that his life took, later on, is historic and people still remember him for his elaborate adventures at sea. Kidd sailed as a pirate captain and was known for raiding ships. His first sailing adventure was in the year 1689 when he became a part of a French-English ship. Kidd and his fellow crew members went against the captain and killed him and then sailed to the English colony of Nevis. It was here that Kidd was helped to assemble a fleet in order to defend Nevis from Frenchmen. The ship whose captain he and his partners had ousted was renamed Blessed William. Kidd gathered a small fleet and set out in order to defend Nevis. While on the Blessed William, his crew members decided to be disloyal to the captain and abandoned him. They even took the meager amount of £2000 sterling that the captain had managed to loot from the French island of Marie-Galante. When Kidd reported these events to the governor of Nevis, he was given another ship and was ordered to find the disloyal crew. Kidd did set out to find the crew but he changed his mind mid-way, as he turned towards New York instead. Back then, New York was a British colony and was at war with the British. It was in New York that Kidd's life took a different turn.

In New York, William Kidd met Sarah Bradley Cox Oort, who was married to a rich man. Within a few days of the first encounter between Sarah and William, John Oort died of unknown circumstances. Sarah and William then got married, and Kidd was entitled to all the money that Sarah got from her late husband. Captain William Kidd was now suddenly very rich and began to make influential friends. During this time of his life, this notorious pirate is said to have a pretty normal familial life, although he started to feel uneasy and restless quickly.

At this point in his life, Captain William Kidd received a suggestion from Robert Livingston that he should become a privateer for the British crown. The British navy, back in the 17th century, was facing a lot of trouble in carrying out trade. French ships and pirates were constantly on the lookout for English ships to loot and destroy. Hence, the British required a pirate hunter who would be able to keep the plundering ships at bay and allow the Royal Navy to carry out trade smoothly. Captain William Kidd was appointed as a privateer by King William, but there were certain obligations that were imposed. Kidd was told that he could not attack English ships and was only to launch attacks on marauding pirates and French ships.

William Kidd was hanged in the year 1701.

Facts About William Kidd's Plunders

King William, along with the privateering agreement, gave Captain William Kidd a ship known as the Adventure Galley. With the many guns and crew members on the ship, this Scottish pirate set sail for Madagascar with the intention of capturing any notorious pirates or French ships that had been denying access to the English ships.

Captain Kidd's adventures on the Adventure Galley went on smoothly for a long time until some of the crew members began to grow bitter about the limited pirate treasure that they were getting. The crew wanted Captain William Kidd to abandon his agreement of not attacking any English ships.

Captain William Kidd roamed the Indian Ocean and captured pirates that had been causing trouble to the English Navy, and it was here that he engaged in a heated brawl with Robert Moore, one of the crew members. The argument ended in Robert Moore's death and also heated up the situation between the captain and his crew. Eventually, the crew convinced Captain Kidd that they were in fact treasure hunters and they should be attacking any wealthy ships that came their way. As Captain Kidd finally gave in to the lures of the crew, they started to be excessively careless with the Adventure Galley. By then, Captain Kidd had also plundered an Armenian ship known as the Quedagh Merchant. Since Kidd's ship was close to sinking, the captain thought it wise to transfer the pirate gold and the ship's crew to the stolen ship. This set the prelude to Kidd's death. It so happened that the English sea officers who had escaped Kidd's predation had begun protesting to their king about Kidd's rampant piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Facts About William Kidd's Execution

Once the king came to know that Captain Kidd had gone against his word he ordered for him to be captured. He was captured in Boston, Massachusetts, and was brought to England in order to be tried. His trial only lasted for a day, and he was hanged on the Execution Dock in Wapping.

His corpse was then suspended near River Thames to send a message for any pirates that were even considering entering the treacherous business! It is said that during his dying moments, Kidd expressed his grief of having left his wife and stepdaughters and ever having turned into a pirate. His remains are assumed to be in the bottom of Thames River near Tilbury Point.

Facts About William Kidd's Treasure

Captain Kidd continues to be one of the most talked-of pirates to the present day simply because of the mystery that surrounds his abandoned pirate ship and treasure.

Captain Kidd did bury a small stockpile of treasure on Gardiners Island off the eastern coast of Long Island, New York, in a place known as Cherry Tree Field. Governor Bellomont reportedly had it recovered and sent to England to be used as proof against Kidd in his trial.

There are speculations that Captain Kidd left some buried treasure at some shore or the other. His abandoned ship at the Indian Ocean has also been searched for continuously to find any hints of where Kidd may have hidden his treasure. The fact that such enthusiasts have found some pirate gold in such expeditions has given them more reasons to continue the search for the real-life treasure island!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 101 William Kidd facts then why not take a look at William the Conqueror facts or William Mckinley facts?

Written By
Shirin Biswas

<p>With a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, Shirin has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing. She has a wealth of experience as an English teacher, editor, and writer, having previously worked at Quizzy and Big Books Publishing. Her expertise lies in editing study guides for children and creating engaging content.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?