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William Kidd: A Pirate's Rep for Me

2012-06-11 | 🔗

William Kidd had settled down by 1695, but privateering was still in his blood. He struck up a plan to attack pirates plaguing English ships and enlisted investors to back his efforts. Eventually he was declared a pirate. But did he deserve the label?

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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checked it out. They realise that it wasn't just a bunch of cannons down there. It was the wreckage of a ship and not just any ship because of the location of the find any arrangement, cannons. The Indiana researchers believed that they found the remains of the car, a merchant which is sometimes also called the quit a merchant ship.
belonging to seventeenth century pirate of notorious repute, Captain William can, though, they find with obviously significant, not just because of its connection to a pirate, but because of the legend of this particular pirate suppose they lost treasure that circulated throughout the year that alleging that started up around the time of kids die in seventeen o wine and persisted in the following centuries. The legend, of course, was then the motivation behind numerous treasure HANS throughout the years from market eastern Seaboard, to the Caribbean, to Madagascar, to Asia, in fact very Clifford. He discovered the remains of the widow. One side quote everyone who ever walked a beach from the Dominican Republic. Two main has looked for the pirate treasure of Captain Kidd. It's even inspired works of literature from Daniel defers, pirate writings to Robert Louis Stevenson's, treasure, island and pose story. The gold bug
over the last century or so historians have debated not only the existence of the extent of this loss treasure, but whether kid was ever really a pirate. Ah Christ yeah, I mean some believe that he acted only as a private tier who is a person legitimately hired by government to attack enemy ship, so basically a kind of a pirate catcher a wartime legitimate pirate sword of yeah. So we're going to take a look at known about kids life and how exactly his adventures on the high seas went down to try to see how likely either. These scenarios are it sort of tough, though looking for any pirate tendencies and kids early life Not a lot is really known about his youth. His belief
have been the sign of the Presbyterian Minister born in sixteen forty five and Green Scotland fell a biographical article about kid by Richard Mean suggest that it might have been because his father's death and his mother, subsequent remarriage other sources, suggest that maybe it was just because he grew up in a port town and had pretty easy access to the sailors life, but either way it seems that care left home and took to the sea and a pretty early age and according to the Encyclopaedia of World Biography, though the first verifiable record of him doesnt pop up until about sixteen eighty nine, when kid was already forty four years old for them, last year's in their at that time he was a member of a french english pirate crew in the Caribbean. The mute need ditch their captain and went to the island of never an english colony. while they were there, they we named the ship, the blasted, William and kid was made captain either by a vote or by the governor of the colony.
Started working as legitimate privateers for the governor of nervous France in ink and were at war at the time, so the blasted Williams job was to attack french ships and their payment was basically we're spoils. They got from those ships that they attacked thin. Now kid decided that he would join in to help the royal Navy and see about all with french worship. Then, of course, there and there is a lot of treasure- are no worship in. It means there is a lot of danger. Fighting wine, so kids crew wasn't too happy about the situation and fill led by Guy named Robert Color offered the Blessed Williams crew mutinied. After the battle and they stole the ship and sail after the pirates, life and the governor of nervous gave kid a friendship to use in kid took off and perhaps at first he was intending to hunt down his mutinous crew and punish them. But ultimately he decided to set a course for a very different
destination. That was New York and could reach New York, which was also british colony at the time in sixteen ninety one, and while there his life took a very different turn. He an english woman named Sarah Bradley Cox or who was married to a very wealthy man named John Ort John or died that year, apparently somewhat mysteriously TED and Sarah applied for a marriage license just a couple of days later and we're married just a few days after that, according to the encyclopedia, biography. Some historians think kid might have even killed John or maybe even with Sarah, how the timeline is certainly a little Does she can't trust those? Sarah? Oh? No, regardless, though any suspicion, I haven't, you haven't done anything. Don't look at me. Do Billina, okay, so, but regardless any suspicions that anyone may have had at the time about kid or fair, I didn't really.
will affect them and they did set up a very nice comfortable life. Together, there had actually been married twice before our kids, though she brought a lot of wealth to the table and when they were married, kid basically had control over all of that, including a number of business interests alone, the waterfront, and he became the first Or to Ferris two daughters are very different life for him right. Suddenly, it's this former sailor who has become rich a New York, the slogan living in a stately home with his wife and kids. So it sounds like a pretty sweet set up that kid still wanted more earth something little different at least see still called to him. He still had the urge to do some privately in according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, even while living in New York. Kid would get called upon from time to time because of his background as the seamen to get rid of any. privateers on the New York in Massachusetts, coast buttons
see ninety five. He and his friend, Robert Livingston hatched, bigger and potentially more profitable plan pirates in ocean, and other areas were always interfering around this time with english shipping traffic and kid could still potentially around pirate infested waters and attack pirate ships apprehending pirates in the loot that they taken from other ships, but would be profitable and adventurous. First, though, kid needed them investors and, of course, some sort of official backing. Otherwise he just be another pirate, though travelling to London that year he got both at the things he was looking for in a very big to a group of key people supported kids plan, the Earl of Bell, who was the newly nominated Governor Massachusetts, Sir John Summers, who is the Duke of Shrewsbury and the baron of Romney, the Earl of Orford, all prominent members of the Whig political Party that there was somebody else who is it
somebody? You really landed a certain cachet to this whole project, none other than the king himself, William, a third world country, a professional lorry experience bona clean means. One big spill is no big deal so when looking for the best to care for Harwood floors, use bona hardwood floor, cleaner, the residue free, fast crying formula is specially designed to clean hardwood floor as by gently and effectively removing dirt dust and grime to reveal the forest, natural shine and beauty hey solutions and Green Guard gold certification ensure a safe product for your family, your pats on our planet for the most thorough, clean you bona hardwood floor- cleaner with Bonus premium micro, fibre, mop and micro fibre, cleaning pad designed exclusively to work together as a system bona. wood for cleaner is available at most retailers where floor cleaning products are sold on Amazon and at bona dot. Com,
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wood for cleaner is available at most retailers, where floor cleaning products are sold on Amazon and at bona dot com, though available for your other hard surface floors like stone, tile, laminate, vinyl, an elevator ye for cleaning tips and exclusive offers visit, bona dot com, slash bona clean Transmission was essentially a privateering expedition, he'd be attacking enemy friendships again, but it was sort of privateering with especial twist he'd, also be hunting down. Pirate ships were causing trouble for England, as he had originally planned any booty. The kid happen to confiscate from pirate ships would divided up among his investors. According to an article by Eric Mills and naval history, even the king would be taking a ten percent cut of whatever pirate loot. They got the sun the little morally questionable, though it does, and I mean we should pointed out, because you might think ok hunting pie
doesn't sound so bad right. That sounds like a legitimate thing to do in any case, about the sketchy thing to point out about this plan here is that kid in his investors were technically proposing stealing stolen stuff and then claiming said, stolen stuff, is their own instead of just turning it over to the government or something Thanks to that influential group, though, behind him kid was able to that fail. In a thirty four gunship called the adventure golly with an official commission complete with a new great seal of England Patten, and all of those things was granted his mission legitimacy, though even with the official paperwork thou powerful backers, including the king himself, kid and his adventure golly, had some trouble right from the start, so he set fail in April of sixteen eighty six with a bow seventy to eighty man crew and he had plans to pick up about anymore man when he was in New York. But he thought into trouble before he even got out of the term,
First off he passed a royal navy ship without dipping his colors, which was a really important custom at the time to show deference to a Navy vessel, so doing so is a real sign of disrespect and who knows why he failed to do if it wishes to act out of laughter right or perhaps, teachers thought that he didn't need to because he had such important backers the name I saw in either case responded by sending a cannonball in their direction and two knows article kids crew then responded to that. By quote. Turning around slapping their backs sides at the Navy vessel. This is kind of the earlier version of road rage. This encounter, though
to the Navy, taking away twenty of kids Baths man, and when kid complained about it, the Navy gave him back twenty men, but not the good ones that they had taken. They brought him a bunch of no good troublemaker. Tight and kit didn't really fair, much better in the crew department when he made it to New York either of New York also had its share for good for nothing. Pirate type hanging around about the time- and these were the type recruits that kid was able to get not top quality guys and accordingly, mills article again Governor Benjamin Fletcher called these men described in this quote: men of desperate fortunes By the time the adventure galley made it out to the Indian Ocean by early sixteen ninety seven, they lost about thirty, more crew mental illness and they had to replace those. eyes with former pirate crew members that they picked up the various port of call in the area. These were basically the only failures that were hanging around or people who have worked on
pirate ship. So the adventure galley had a bit of a motley crew going on that for a long time, kids biggest problem wasn't really bad. It was just that he couldn't find any ships to attack, and this in turn, made his crew really restless and unhappy.
because they hadn't taken any Luton. They were running out of supply, so should really started to get desperate, desperate enough to become a pirate. Perhaps organ a thief, though, according to the Encyclopaedia of World Biography its unclear, whether kid really intended from the beginning to stick to the plan of only attacking England's enemies, but other sources, including milt article, suggest that he proved as much on certain occasions so, for example, on August Fourteenth sixteen eighty seven he started to attack what appeared to be a mobile convoy. It was kind of a sketchy attack appears because he attacked flying a crimson flag, which is basically a sign of piracy and meant surrender no quarter, but accomplish English captain hoisted the colours of the EAST, India, company and so kid backdrop
but his crew wasn't really happy with that move. Now they were ready for something happened. Realism action that October thirtieth kid got into an argument with the crew member named William more who was unhappy that the captain would only attack non english ships. He was still supposedly trying to keep within the original parameters of his mission at this time. So during their fight, kid ended up picking up a bucket and smashing at overmore his head and more died the next day from the wounds that he got from that encounter and its after this point that sources really start to diverge a lot over the point of whether kid really took to outright piracy. Just a few examples of different things that people put out their according to the Encyclopedia World, Biography kid considered, and
ship that came across fair game after this, because you really wanted to regain their respective his crew. I mean murdering a crew member, even if accidentally isn't the best way to win more support, so she really had something to merely needed, tend to be put to work quickly, right and according to Means biography. Kid set out still trying to find enemy friendship than he captured. What he thought was an enemy friendship, the rue peril. That November, the ship's Dutch, dunno told him that they were under the command of the EAST India company. But kid commandeered anyway. So you no kind of of a murky ground there, without one right their sources, dont really indicate that he ever changed his intent to stick to his commission. His original plan of only attacking french ships and pirate ships, regardless one thing that they all agree on is that in January, sixteen ninety eight kid in the adventure galley came across what appeared to be an indian bill,
armenian own ship called the car merchant archival, as we mention that there might hear different name for the ship at times, but archival research has since confirm that this is the correct name for the ship. Kid flew a french it's kind of a disguise for his own ship in the car merchant, even though it actually had an english captain turns out did the same thing according to mills article just to protect the ship, they thought. Okay, we need you. Is put the face forward that we are french right. The captain of the car merchant also sent a french Gunnar, poverty adventure galley with a french pass or paper of safe conduct? And this supposedly convinced kid that this village capture. This has affirmed, shut up totally fair game for him to attack, but it was only after capturing the ship that kid realized. It was in fact carrying EAST India, company cargo and the captain with English. So what are they? Gonna do now looks like
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can we truly are fans? Listen to will you accept this rose on the icon, radio, app apple pie CAS or wherever you get your part cast well at this point, the adventure galley crew was so desperate for some sort of loot that they ended up keeping selling some of it off and dividing for profit. So they went ahead with the plan even after they go back at this. They found it made me the stake and after that they ended up going to Madagascar, which was kind of a hot that for pirates of the time are, they ran into kids old crew member from his pre new, days, robber colored seems like the perfect opportunity to both catch, a pirate which is part of their mission and get some and at the same time, right though only I put it seems like, and it would have been if the majority of kids crude and decide that it was also the perfect time to desert kid and join up with colored instead and according to milk article, they want to work for somebody who represented you're piracy with acute they knew where he stood. Rather,
some strange half, cocked hybrid version of piracy, privateering special mission and that wasn't bad enough, you know losing year your guys to your old enemy kid ship. The adventure galley was also falling. By this point, yeah he and the small remaining crew just here. It was a lost cause and they decided to think the ship and make the car merchant their main ship. Then they headed for the West Indies when they reach their, though kid discovered that the british government had declared him a pirate. was a wanted man according to mills. Part of what was behind this was that the car merchants for investors were blaming the EAST India Company for what had happened and England needed to protect the company's reputation in EAST India Company. That's an important part of England economy. They have to save face
point, the other thing was that the Tories had taken over parliament from the whig, so kids once very influential friends weren't as influential anymore, and they didn't want to go out on a limb for him. The king, of course, and even stuff up to any involving got his neck for a pirate and raised pirate. So kid thought that he could prove it hence especially since he still had that French pass that he had collected from the english captain of the car merchant to prove that he thought that the ship that he was attacking was french, at least at first. So he the car merchant near Hispaniola and headed off to New York in a more discreet boat, because, of course, in India built vote, they would have been drawing attention to them. it's all over the place in that region of the world, and he headed back to try to clear his name
the time he got there, though, the rumour mill had already been working against him according to an article by Willard, Helen Varner, the rumours that were spread around this time about kids activities and his associations with other pirates in his supposed treasure, actually made it into official news letters works of journalism at the time, an informed, a lot of what people knew about kid: years after and maybe even up until this day. Some of those ideas are still mixed into the William kid stories that we now in that reputation definitely caught up with him. Kid was arrested. He was imprisoned in a colonial jail in Boston for several months and then he was sent off to England, where he was locked up in Newgate prison, which was a really horrible dirty disease.
Place to be, and, in the meantime, that crucial French Pass that was supposed to prove his innocence was conveniently misplaced according to most article, it didn't resurface until the twentieth century and on May eight. Seventeen o one Kid was brought to trial for William Morris murder and for piracy. Yeah enemy in the odds, were really stacked against him. He had to defend himself, basically without any evidence, because that french passwords Tina. Basically, someone had to take the fall fur. The situation with the EAST India Company and the trial was over by the next day. He was scheduled to be executed on May twenty third, seventeen o one with some other accused pirates
here. The terms in kid was supposedly very drunk when they were all transport it out to be hanged, which was a real disappointment to the prison pastor. Who had hoped that kid would repent and confess, before dying, when the hangman tried to hang kid, the first time the rope broke. Kid was the only prisoner for which this happen. They were all kind of hanged at the same time in his was the only one the rope that was holding him was the only one that broke and while the hangman was working at the new rope for kid, according to the Encyclopaedia of World Biography, he prayed with the pastor and finally repented. So the second time he was hanged, kid did die. His body was then tarred wrapped in chains and put in a cage that was strung up along the banks of the Thames furred years. After that, as a warning to others, don't be a pirate, it does not pay. No fill the search for the car merchant and for
kids. Treasure of course began well before his execution. Now and according to mills article unable history, his old supply Lord Belmont unsuccessfully sent a ship to the West Indies to try to track down while kid was still in prison and some kind of a mean thing to do. It is generally believed that kid's remaining crew members burned and thank the chef after taking whatever valuables were on board, but that inability to find the ship is one of the things that fuel the treasure HANS over the years. In a way we read that we could it be yeah. Since two thousand and seven the Indiana University team has confirmed that the shipwreck found was indeed the car merchant, the way it was found about seventy feet off of the shore Colleen Island and only about ten. feet below the surface, so ethics and when you were then exactly severe, it's kind of strange that nobody found it before then.
Last year, the underwater shipwrecked sight was dedicated as a quote living museum of the sea on May twenty third, which, as I think, that three hundred and tenth anniversary of kids hanging But there is one more thing at the story and it's a conspiracy though, according to an article by early hollow and geographical at least one man is a door power on ski believed that kid didn't die in seventeen o. What he thought kid was able to bribe the keeper of the Newgate prison with promises of hidden treasure, and that's why the rope really snapped yeah. He just ass those questions. Why did the rope sap? Why did all of a sudden kid change his mind when he wasn't willing to confess and repent and then later He came up a second time. He was ready to repent and confessed. So just was there a switch through potentially. Is that what you think I hear he's suggesting that they so
skies and that the second guy was not kid and though he was more willing to talk to the pastor right. That's why his sentiments had sort of change, because he wasn't in fact the same man at all kids widow. There's another aspect to this kid's widow remarried, a man named Christopher, arouse be in seventeen o three and move to New Jersey. For some reason, even though she had this big stately New York Mansion and it didn't seem like there would be any reason why she lifting Josie Pye wants key believe that roused me was really kid and he wrote a book to this. The fact that I believe was released earlier in that, two thousand and four guys military. So you need to get out of town, maybe maybe so
and do you know it's maybe a longshot theory, but an interesting one to entertain just in case dinner, I always like it when we have the very slim chance leaf that these subject of our podcast did not die. In fact, it's kind of Elvis fish and went on to have a life long life in Jersey. Maybe a baby, though it was definitely interesting to learn a little bit more about one of the most famous pirates, we got quite a collection of pirate upsides. Now we do what we did shipwrecks last year. We covered a lot of shipwrecks and we talked about, I think, a couple pirates in that and of course, we ve talked about black beard and who else lady, pirate, some lady pirates, other trade, chinese style, Engrais, so Molly We do have quite a collection going, but there are still so many more if any of you want to request anymore pirates. You always know where to find us, because we love to do this,
we do so. We are at history podcast at discovery. Dot com were also in twitter and list in history and were on Facebook all good places to share your thoughts. Let us know about pirate issues on your mind whatever and if you want to find out a little bit more about the topic we discussed today, we have an article on our website called how pirates work and I believe that even cover is modern. Piracy Abed as well. You can find that by searching our homepage, which is itself you W W dont have the floor, I'll call for more or less and thousands of other topics does it how stuff works out com
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