Bid to Clear Capt. Kidd’s Name – I don’t get it.

BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Tayside and Central | Support for bid to clear pirate.

Sure, I understand the controversy around whether or not Kidd was actually a pirate. In truth, the evidence I’ve seen indicates that he almost certainly was not, and was ironically made the scapegoat of all sorts of little (and not so little) scandals. But why clear him now? Don’t these people have something better to do other than clear the name of a convicted pirate more than 300 years after it will do him any good?

Comments (6)

  1. Red Beard

    What? And get rid of all of my “FREE KIDD NOW” protest signs??? Not bloody likely.

    CAPTAIN KIDD IS INNOCENT!!!

  2. Tad

    I’ve read Pirate Hunter and I know that Captain Kidd was found guilty on murder and piracy. Clear his name as a Pirate but he still would have been hanged because
    “The gunner he did kill and his precious blood did spill as he sailed”.

  3. captain Z

    well maybe he was not a pirate but he was a corsair, he was hired by england to attack french ships, so he may not have been a real pirate but he has my respect

  4. DarkWaterDoxie

    Actually, Kidd was a privateer of sorts. He was hired to hunt down OTHER pirates, but his luck was so poor that he caved in to his crew’s desires to bag riches and began attacking other vessels. Since he was hired by men close to the king, he was sure that he would be pardoned. (He was also very deluded about his lot in life, which accounts for a lot of his actions.)

    True, he still technically committed piracy and definitely was guilty of murder, so he hung.

    Check out “Raiders and Rebels: A History of the Golden Age of Piracy” by Frank Sherry. There’s quite a lot on Captain Kidd’s mishaps.

  5. Bilge (Post author)

    Based on the research of Richard Zacks (author of Pirate Hunter), it doesn’t even seem that Kidd was gulity of anything save being the lowest man on the totempole when a shady deal went sour – his own role in the affair being the most legitimate as a pirate and french-hunting privateer. Kidd did indeed constantly fight off his crew’s piratic inclinations (thus resulting his his killing of Moore to suppress a mutiny – generally considered perfectly legal in those days). As to the only prize they took – the Quedah Merchant, it was indeed a legitimate prize, although the papers proving this were conveniently lost by the courts until the early 1900’s.

    Arrogant, unlucky, and confused about his lot in life, I’ll grant Kidd was these. Pirate and murderer? Based on what I read I think he was innocent of both. But like I said, neither here nor there – he’s well and long dead, as is his immediate family. So what’s the point of trying to legally clear his name now?

  6. Tad

    If Zacks is rights there were four or five other sailors that sailed with Kidd that recieved pardons at the excution dock. All of them being English. Sounds from the story the scots are just looking for another apology for how much of an ass the English were for hundreds of years.

    If people’s money are going to be wasted on stupid stuff I’m happy if its wasted on pirate issues!

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