Who is William Kidd?
Captain William Kidd was a Scottish privateer turned pirate who, despite only ever capturing one significant prize ship, has become legendary thanks to the persistent rumour he buried a fantastic treasure that nobody has yet found. Kidd was arrested, sent to England, and hanged in Wapping Old Stairs in 1701.
From a great privateer he became an infamous pirate. Many historians today do not even consider Captain William Kidd a pirate. The people talk more about his fate, and less about his deeds. For his one and only act of piracy he paid with his very own life. However, beginning of his career looked very promising.
Kidd was born around 1645 in Greenock, Scotland. He loved the sea and sailing. Since the childhood, his dream had been to become a seaman, or even more, a great privateer and a pirate hunter. Later on, he left his homeland for New York where his career got underway. The success came almost instantly and Kidd's reputation as a privateer was growing rapidly. His prestige increased after many successful raids and a rank of a captain entitled him afterwards. He married Sarah Bradley Cox, a rich 20-years-old two-times widow. They had two kids. With successful career, wealth and family, his dreams were becoming reality.
England heard of his success, and in 1695, the king called him to serve there. Kidd agreed, hoping to win more challenging contracts. Once in England, he met many prominent citizens, including the new governor of New York and Massachusetts, Sir George Bellomont. He had a proposal for Kidd, which later turned fatal. He was put in the command of the "Adventure", a specially designed galley-warship with 30 cannons and 100 skillful crewmembers. His backers counted a lot of influential people in England. Some rumor goes that the king himself included that group. His main task was to hunt the pirates of the Red Sea. Kidd acquired two commissions: one gave him the authority to capture the French ships, and the other made him the government's pirate hunter.
In other words, Captain Kidd was a most unlikely pirate given that he had received a royal commission for a privateering expedition in the Indian Ocean. Although Kidd did attack some small vessels which were not legitimate targets given the terms of his commission, his fate ultimately hung on his capture of the Quedah Merchant. A show trial in London deemed that Kidd was guilty of piracy since this ship, although perhaps sailing under a French flag, was no longer an enemy of England’s following the termination of the Nine Year’s War (Sep 1688 - Sep 1697) a few months previously. Ill luck, poor timing, and his abandonment by the publicity-shy English authorities who had backed his original mission, all ensured that Kidd was found guilty of piracy and murder. Not only was he hanged, but Kidd’s body was left to rot in public for years as a conspicuous warning to others.
Our Captain Kidd watch is a tribute to Captain William Kidd, which carries the heroic deeds and courageous spirit of Captain Kidd at sea. He loves sailing and his dream is to become a seaman. When he was exploring the mysterious and dark Indian Ocean, he escaped the danger with the row oar in the Adventure Galley, and finally came back alive. Kidd's adventure story is the inspiration for the double row paddle design inside our mechanical watch, which represents a two-way energy source, the mystery of the unknown treasure.
You’ll also like: