23 May 1701|
Captain William Kidd (c. 1645 – 23 May 1701) was a Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians deem his piratical reputation unjust, as there is evidence that Kidd acted only as a privateer. Kidd's fame springs largely from the sensational circumstances of his questioning before the English Parliament and the ensuing trial. His actual depredations on the high seas, whether piratical or not, were both less destructive and less lucrative than those of many other contemporary pirates and privateers.
Captain William Kidd was either one of the most notorious pirates in the history of the world or one of its most unjustly vilified and prosecuted privateers in an age typified by the rationalisation of empire. Despite the legends and fiction surrounding this character, his actual career was punctuated by only a handful of skirmishes followed by a desperate quest to clear his name.
Kidd was born in Dundee, Scotland, January 1645. He gave the city as his place of birth and said he was aged 41 in testimony under oath at the High Court of the Admiralty in October 1695 or 1694. Researcher Dr David Dobson later identified his baptism documents from Dundee in 1645. His father was Captain John Kyd, who was lost at sea. A local society supported the family financially. Richard Zacks in the biography The Pirate Hunter (2002) says Kidd came from Dundee. Reports that Kidd came from Greenock have been dismissed by Dr. Dobson, who found neither the name Kidd nor Kyd in baptismal records. The myth that his "father was thought to have been a Church of Scotland minister" is also discounted. There is no mention of the name in comprehensive Church of Scotland records for the period. A contrary view is presented here Kidd later settled in the new colony of New York. It was here that he befriended many prominent colonial citizens, including three governors. There is some information that suggests he was a seaman's apprentice on a pirate ship much earlier than his own more famous seagoing exploits.
The first records of his life date from 1689, when he was a member of a French-English pirate crew that sailed in the Caribbean. Kidd and other members of the crew mutinied, ousted the captain of the ship, and sailed to the English colony of Nevis. There they renamed the ship the Blessed William. Kidd became captain, either the result of an election of the ship's crew or because of appointment by Christopher Codrington, governor of the island of Nevis. Captain Kidd and the Blessed William became part of a small fleet assembled by Codrington to defend Nevis from the French, with whom the English were at war. In either case, he must have been an experienced leader and sailor by that time. As the governor did not want to pay the sailors for their defensive services, he told them they could take their pay from the French. Kidd and his men attacked the French island of Mariegalante, destroyed the only town, and looted the area, gathering for themselves something around 2,000 pounds Sterling. During the War of the Grand Alliance, on orders from the province of New York, Massachusetts, Kidd captured an enemy privateer, which duty he was commissioned to perform off the New England coast. Shortly thereafter, Kidd was awarded £150 for successful privateering in the Caribbean. One year later, Captain Robert Culliford, a notorious pirate, stole Kidd's ship while he was ashore at Antigua in the West Indies. In 1695, William III of England replaced the corrupt governor Benjamin Fletcher, known for accepting bribes of one hundred dollars to allow illegal trading of pirate loot, with Richard Coote, Earl of Bellomont. In New York City, Kidd was active in the building of Trinity Church, New York.
On 16 May 1691, Kidd married Sarah Bradley Cox Oort, an English woman in her early twenties, who had already been twice widowed and was one of the wealthiest women in New York, largely because of her inheritance from her first husband.
Preparing his expedition
On 11 December 1695, Belmont, who was now governing New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, asked the "trusty and well beloved Captain Kidd" to attack Thomas Tew, John Ireland, Thomas Wake, William Maze, and all others who associated themselves with pirates, along with any enemy French ships. This request, if turned down, would have been viewed as disloyalty to the crown, the perception of which carried much social stigma, making it difficult for Kidd to have done so. The request preceded the voyage which established Kidd's reputation as a pirate, and marked his image in history and folklore.
Four-fifths of the cost for the venture was paid for by noble lords, who were among the most powerful men in England: the Earl of Orford, the Baron of Romney, the Duke of Shrewsbury and Sir John Somers. Kidd was presented with a letter of marque, signed personally by King William III of England. This letter reserved 10% of the loot for the Crown, and Henry Gilbert's The Book of Pirates suggests that the King may have fronted some of the money for the voyage himself. Kidd and an acquaintance, Colonel Robert Livingston, orchestrated the whole plan and paid for the rest. Kidd had to sell his ship Antigua to raise funds.
The new ship, the Adventure Galley, was well suited to the task of catching pirates; weighing over 284 tons burthen, she was equipped with 34 cannon, oars, and 150 men. The oars were a key advantage as they enabled the Adventure Galley to manoeuvre in a battle when the winds had calmed and other ships were dead in the water. Kidd took pride in personally selecting the crew, choosing only those he deemed to be the best and most loyal officers.
As the Adventure Galley sailed down the Thames, Kidd unaccountably failed to salute a Navy yacht at Greenwich as custom dictated. The Navy yacht then fired a shot to make him show respect, and Kidd’s crew… responded with an astounding display of impudence—by turning and slapping their backsides in [disdain].
Because of Kidd's refusal to salute, the Navy vessel's captain retaliated by pressing much of Kidd's crew into naval service, this despite rampant protests. Thus short-handed, Kidd sailed for New York City, capturing a French vessel en route (which was legal under the terms of his commission). To make up for the lack of officers, Kidd picked up replacement crew in New York, the vast majority of whom were known and hardened criminals, some undoubtedly former pirates.
Among Kidd's officers was his quartermaster, Hendrick van der Heul. The quartermaster was considered 'second in command' to the captain in pirate culture of this era. It is not clear, however, if Van der Heul exercised this degree of responsibility because Kidd was nominally a privateer. Van der Heul is also noteworthy because he may have been African or of African-American descent. A contemporary source describes him as a "small black Man." However, the meaning of this term is not certain as, in late seventeenth-century usage, the term negro would have been normally used, and the phrase "black Man" could mean either dark-skinned (but still "white") or black-haired. If van der Heul was indeed of African ancestry, this fact would make him the highest ranking black pirate so far identified. Van der Heul went on to become a master's mate on a merchant vessel, and was never convicted of piracy.
Hunting for pirates
In September 1696, Kidd weighed anchor and set course for the Cape of Good Hope. A third of his crew soon perished on the Comoros due to an outbreak of cholera, the brand-new ship developed many leaks, and he failed to find the pirates he expected to encounter off Madagascar. Kidd then sailed to the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb at the southern entrance of the Red Sea, one of the most popular haunts of rovers on the Pirate Round. Here he again failed to find any pirates. According to Edward Barlow, a captain employed by the English East India Company, Kidd attacked a Mughal convoy here under escort by Barlow's East Indiaman, and was repelled. If the report is true, this marked Kidd's first foray into piracy.
As it became obvious his ambitious enterprise was failing, he became understandably desperate to cover its costs. But, once again, Kidd failed to attack several ships when given a chance, including a Dutchman and New York privateer. Some of the crew deserted Kidd the next time the Adventure Galley anchored offshore, and those who decided to stay on made constant open-threats of mutiny.
Kidd killed one of his own crewmen on 30 October 1697. While Kidd's gunner, William Moore, was on deck sharpening a chisel, a Dutch ship appeared in sight. Moore urged Kidd to attack the Dutchman, an act not only piratical but also certain to anger the Dutch-born King William. Kidd refused, calling Moore a lousy dog. Moore retorted, "If I am a lousy dog, you have made me so; you have brought me to ruin and many more." Kidd snatched up and heaved an ironbound bucket at Moore. Moore fell to the deck with a fractured skull and died the following day.
While seventeenth century English admiralty law allowed captains great leeway in using violence against their crew, outright murder was not permitted. But Kidd seemed unconcerned, later explaining to his surgeon that he had "good friends in England, that will bring me off for that."
Accusations of piracy
Acts of savagery on Kidd's part were reported by escaped prisoners, who told stories of being hoisted up by the arms and drubbed with a drawn cutlass. On one occasion, crew members ransacked the trading ship Mary and tortured several of its crew members while Kidd and the other captain, Thomas Parker, conversed privately in Kidd's cabin. When Kidd found out what had happened, he was outraged and forced his men to return most of the stolen property.
Kidd was declared a pirate very early in his voyage by a Royal Navy officer to whom he had promised "thirty men or so". Kidd sailed away during the night to preserve his crew, rather than subject them to Royal Navy impressment.
On 30 January 1698, he raised French colours and took his greatest prize, an Armenian ship, the 400 ton Quedagh Merchant, which was loaded with satins, muslins, gold, silver, an incredible variety of East Indian merchandise, as well as extremely valuable silks. The captain of the Quedagh Merchant was an Englishman named Wright, who had purchased passes from the French East India Company promising him the protection of the French Crown. After realising the captain of the taken vessel was an Englishman, Kidd tried to persuade his crew to return the ship to its owners, but they refused, claiming that their prey was perfectly legal as Kidd was commissioned to take French ships, and that an Armenian ship counted as French if it had French passes. In an attempt to maintain his tenuous control over his crew, Kidd relented and kept the prize. When this news reached England, it confirmed Kidd's reputation as a pirate, and various naval commanders were ordered to "pursue and seize the said Kidd and his accomplices" for the "notorious piracies" they had committed.
Kidd kept the French passes of the Quedagh Merchant, as well as the vessel itself. While the passes were at best a dubious defence of his capture, British admiralty and vice-admiralty courts (especially in North America) heretofore had often winked at privateers' excesses into piracy, and Kidd may have been hoping that the passes would provide the legal fig leaf that would allow him to keep the Quedagh Merchant and her cargo. Renaming the seized merchantman the Adventure Prize, he set sail for Madagascar.
On 1 April 1698, Kidd reached Madagascar. Here he found the first pirate of his voyage, Robert Culliford (the same man who had stolen Kidd’s ship years before), and his crew aboard the Mocha Frigate. Two contradictory accounts exist of how Kidd reacted to his encounter with Culliford. According to The General History of the Pirates, published more than 25 years after the event by an author whose very identity remains in dispute, Kidd made peaceful overtures to Culliford: he "drank their Captain's health," swearing that "he was in every respect their Brother," and gave Culliford "a Present of an Anchor and some Guns." This account appears to be based on the testimony of Kidd's crewmen Joseph Palmer and Robert Bradinham at his trial. The other version was presented by Richard Zacks in his 2002 book The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd. According to Zacks, Kidd was unaware that Culliford had only about 20 crew with him, and felt ill manned and ill equipped to take the Mocha Frigate until his two prize ships and crews arrived, so he decided not to molest Culliford until these reinforcements came. After the Adventure Prize and Rouparelle came in, Kidd ordered his crew to attack Culliford's Mocha Frigate. However, his crew, despite their previous eagerness to seize any available prize, refused to attack Culliford and threatened instead to shoot Kidd. Zacks does not refer to any source for his version of events.
Both accounts agree that most of Kidd's men now abandoned him for Culliford. Only 13 remained with the Adventure Galley. Deciding to return home, Kidd left the Adventure Galley behind, ordering her to be burnt because she had become worm-eaten and leaky. Before burning the ship, he was able to salvage every last scrap of metal, such as hinges. With the loyal remnant of his crew, he returned to the Caribbean aboard the Adventure Prize.
Trial and execution
Prior to Kidd returning to New York City, he learned that he was a wanted pirate, and that several English men-of-war were searching for him. Realizing that the Adventure Prize was a marked vessel, he cached it in the Caribbean Sea and continued toward New York aboard a sloop. He deposited some of his treasure on Gardiners Island, hoping to use his knowledge of its location as a bargaining tool.
Bellomont (an investor) was away in Boston, Massachusetts. Aware of the accusations against Kidd, Bellomont was justifiably afraid of being implicated in piracy himself, and knew that presenting Kidd to England in chains was his best chance to save himself. He lured Kidd into Boston with false promises of clemency, then ordered him arrested on 6 July 1699. Kidd was placed in Stone Prison, spending most of the time in solitary confinement. His wife, Sarah, was also imprisoned. The conditions of Kidd's imprisonment were extremely harsh, and appear to have driven him at least temporarily insane.
He was eventually (after over a year) sent to England for questioning by Parliament. The new Tory ministry hoped to use Kidd as a tool to discredit the Whigs who had backed him, but Kidd refused to name names, naively confident his patrons would reward his loyalty by interceding on his behalf. There is speculation that he probably would have been spared had he talked. Finding Kidd politically useless, the Tory leaders sent him to stand trial before the High Court of Admiralty in London for the charges of piracy on high seas and the murder of William Moore. Whilst awaiting trial, Kidd was confined in the infamous Newgate Prison and wrote several letters to King William requesting clemency.
Kidd had two lawyers to assist in his defence. He was shocked to learn at his trial that he was charged with murder. He was found guilty on all charges (murder and five counts of piracy). He was hanged on 23 May 1701, at 'Execution Dock', Wapping, in London. During the execution, the hangman's rope broke and Kidd was hanged on the second attempt. His body was gibbeted over the River Thames at Tilbury Point - as a warning to future would-be pirates - for three years.
His associates Richard Barleycorn, Robert Lamley, William Jenkins, Gabriel Loffe, Able Owens, and Hugh Parrot were convicted, but pardoned just prior to hanging at Execution Dock.
Kidd's Whig backers were embarrassed by his trial. Far from rewarding his loyalty, they participated in the effort to convict him by depriving him of the money and information which might have provided him with some legal defence. In particular, the two sets of French passes he had kept were missing at his trial. These passes (and others dated 1700) resurfaced in the early twentieth century, misfiled with other government papers in a London building. These passes call the extent of Kidd's guilt into question. Along with the papers, many goods were brought from the ships and soon auctioned off as "pirate plunder." They were never mentioned in the trial. Nevertheless, none of these items would have prevented his conviction for murdering Moore..
As to the accusations of murdering Moore, on this he was mostly sunk on the testimony of the two former crew members, Palmer and Bradinham, who testified against him in exchange for pardons. A deposition Palmer gave when he was captured in Rhode Island two years earlier contradicted his testimony and may have supported Kidd's assertions, but Kidd was unable to obtain the deposition.
A broadside song Captain Kidd's Farewell to the Seas, or, the Famous Pirate's Lament was printed shortly after his execution and popularised the common belief that Kidd had confessed to the false charges.
Mythology and legend
The belief that Kidd had left a buried treasure contributed considerably to the growth of his legend. The 1701 broadside song Captain Kid's Farewell to the Seas, or, the Famous Pirate's Lament lists "Two hundred bars of gold, and rix dollars manifold, we seized uncontrolled". This belief made its contributions to literature in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Gold-Bug", Washington Irving's The Devil and Tom Walker, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island and Nelson DeMille's Plum Island. It also gave impetus to the never-ending treasure hunts conducted on Oak Island in Nova Scotia, in Suffolk County, Long Island in New York where Gardiner's Island is located, Charles Island in Milford, Connecticut, the Thimble Islands in Connecticut, Cockenoe Island in Westport, Connecticut and on the island of Grand Manan in the Bay of Fundy.
Captain Kidd did bury a small cache of treasure on Gardiners Island in a spot known as Cherry Tree Field; however, it was removed by Governor Bellomont and sent to England to be used as evidence against him.
Kidd also visited Block Island around 1699, where he was supplied by Mrs. Mercy (Sands) Raymond, daughter of the mariner James Sands. The story has it that, for her hospitality, Mrs. Raymond was bid to hold out her apron, into which Kidd threw gold and jewels until it was full. After her husband Joshua Raymond died, Mercy moved with her family to northern New London, Connecticut (later Montville), where she bought much land. The Raymond family was thus said to have been "enriched by the apron".
On Grand Manan in the Bay of Fundy, as early as 1875, reference was made to searches on the West side of the island for treasure allegedly buried by Kidd during his time as a privateer. For nearly 200 years, this remote area of the island has been called "Money Cove".
In 1983, Cork Graham and Richard Knight went looking for Captain Kidd's buried treasure off the Vietnamese island of Phú Quốc. Knight and Graham were caught, convicted of illegally landing on Vietnamese territory, and assessed each a $10,000 fine. They were imprisoned for 11 months until they paid the fine.
The Dominican Republic's small Catalina Island has been studied since 13 December 2007, by a team of underwater archaeologists from Indiana University, after an Italian tourist announced the discovery of an old wreck at just 10 feet (3.0 m) under the clear blue waters, at a distance of no more than 70 feet (21 m) offshore. There was no evidence of looting at the site, despite its remains being believed to have been buried since the 17th century. It has been proven to be the Quedagh Merchant.
Quedagh Merchant found
For years, people and treasure hunters have tried to locate the Quedagh Merchant. It was reported on 13 December 2007, that "wreckage of a pirate ship abandoned by Captain Kidd in the 17th century has been found by divers in shallow waters off the Dominican Republic." The waters in which the ship was found were less than ten feet deep and were only 70 feet (21 m) off of Catalina Island, just to the south of La Romana on the Dominican coast. The ship is believed to be "the remains of Quedagh Merchant". Charles Beeker, the director of Academic Diving and Underwater Science Programs in Indiana University (Bloomington)'s School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, was one of the experts leading the Indiana University diving team. He said that it was "remarkable that the wreck has remained undiscovered all these years given its location," and given that the ship has been the subject of so many prior failed searches. Beginning in June 2011, Captain Kidd's Cannon, an artifact from the shipwreck, will be displayed in The Children's Museum of Indianapolis as part of the National Geographic: Treasures of the Earth permanent exhibit.
In popular culture
Comics & animation
- In the 1991 TV Series Beetlejuice, a parody of Captain Kidd, "Captain Kidder" is featured as a recurring character in a few episodes involving treasure and maritime piracy.
- In the popular manga One Piece, a powerful notable pirate known as Eustass "Captain" Kid is a key rival with protagonist Monkey D. Luffy.
- In the 1985 anime film The Dagger of Kamui, Captain Kidd's treasure is sought as a source of wealth capable of keeping the Shogunate in power.
- The British comic book Whizzer and Chips had a strip called "Captain Kidd" about a boy pirate.
- The legend of Captain Kidd was made into a popular 1945 film, Captain Kidd starring Charles Laughton as Kidd, Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton and John Carradine. The film portrays Kidd as a savvy and manipulative sociopath, ultimately undone by the son of a man whom he had killed. Laughton reprised his role in the comic Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952).
- Anthony Dexter and Eva Gabor starred in the 1954 film Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl.
- In 1986, Parker Brothers produced the Captain Kidd and His Treasure board game.
- The MMORPG Pirates of the Burning Sea (set in the year 1720) uses a fictional storyline where William Kidd escaped from his hanging in Wapping (by bribing the hangman involved, according to the game, who subsequently sought Kidd's protection) to Tortuga, where he founded a new Brethren of the Coast organisation, and acts as a primary organiser behind the piracy in the Spanish Main in that game. He is still there 19 years later, having fully embraced his role as a pirate.
- The time-travel card game Early American Chrononauts includes a card called "Captain Kidd's Treasure Chest" which players can symbolically acquire from the year 1699.
- In the video game Sid Meier's Pirates!, Captain Kidd is one of the nine other notorious pirates with whom the player competes.
- The ADK fighting game series World Heroes has a character named Captain Kidd (who debuted in World Heroes 2). Much like most other characters in this game are based on actual historical figures, he is based on the actual William Kidd and his fame, thus being a pirate as well.
- The video game Assassin's Creed III's Freedom Edition and the Digital Deluxe Edition has a mission called Lost Mayan Ruins. Completing the mission will reward the protagonist with Captain Kidd's fabled sword, the Sawtooth Cutlass. In addition, the player continues in side missions in the story mode to retrieve four pieces of a map leading to Captain Kidd's treasure. Upon finding the maps, the player is led to an island and locates the Shard of Eden, supposedly the treasure that Kidd had hidden.
- Another game in the Assassin's Creed series, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, includes William Kidd's alleged bastard son, James Kidd.
- Fichte's student Rafael signed all of his writings with "Captain Kid", referring to Captain William Kidd.
- In Mark Twain's short story, "Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven", Captain Kidd is mentioned as an 11th hour convert who had a grand reception in heaven.
- Mentioned in a book "Avalon Town" which Bing Crosby recorded for CBS radio on 29 December 1955.
- In Chris Archer's Series of books, Pyrates, four kids search for Kidd's treasure.
- In J.M. Barrie's works on Peter Pan, the particular bay in the Neverland in which the pirate ship of Captain Hook lies, is called "Kidd's Creek".
- Children's author Robert Lawson wrote Captain Kidd's Cat (Little, Brown 1956), in which Kidd's cat McDermot tells the tale of Kidd's adventures on the high seas, arguing that Kidd was no pirate but was rather a victim of circumstances – and politics – beyond his control.
- Kidd's buried treasure was uncovered in Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Gold Bug".
- Howard Pyle included a fictional short story, "Tom Chist and the Treasure Box", featuring Captain Kidd burying his treasure in 1699 at Cape Henlopen, Delaware in Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates.*In "The Devil and Tom Walker" by Washington Irving it states that according to old stories Kidd buried a good portion of his treasure just outside of Boston before being captured within Boston.
- The legend of William Kidd's treasure was central to the plot of Nelson DeMille's 1997 novel Plum Island.
- In Treasure Island, an anchorage is named after Captain Kidd.
- Emily Dickinson, in her eleventh poem, describes the sunlight on a hill as "buried gold", "plunder", and "booty", personifying the Sun itself as "Kidd."
- Kidd is the speaker of Eugene Lee-Hamilton's sonnet "Captain Kidd to His Gold," one of Lee-Hamilton's Imaginary Sonnets.
- Captain Kidd's legend is also the subject of a traditional English song, "Captain Kidd", which takes the form of Kidd reminiscing about a rather inaccurate version of his life. One recording of it may be found on the Waterson:Carthy album Fishes and Fine Yellow Sand. Another may be found on the Great Big Sea album The Hard and the Easy.
- Comprehensive web pages about the history and evolution of the folk tune "Captain Kidd" illustrated with over 60 midi files at www.davidkidd.net/Captain_Kidd_Music.html and www.davidkidd.net/Captain_Kidd_Lyrics.html
- There are three heavy metal songs based on Kidd's adventures; two by Running Wild called "The Ballad of William Kidd" and "Adventure Galley", released on The Rivalry album (1998); and also by Scissorfight called "The Gibbetted Captain Kidd" on the album Balls Deep.
- The first single of the 2005 album The Hard and the Easy by Great Big Sea is "Captain Kidd" which chronicles the story of Captain William Kidd. The lyrics are derived from a traditional Newfoundland folk song supposedly sung during Kidd's time.
- German pop band Dschinghis Khan recorded a song called "Käpt'n Kid (Wir sind Piraten)" in 1982, but released it on 2004's "Jubilee" album.
- A South African ska band, Captain Kidd's Adventure Galley, based in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, combined elements of ska, South African jazz, and punk, introducing the genre to the student town. Although they disbanded after just two years, they inspired a relatively vibrant scene that spawned a handfull of bands who dominated the local line-up
- Captain Kidd was mentioned in the lyrics to Bucks Fizz's 1981 song; The Land of Make Believe.
- On Bob Dylan's song "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" from his 1965 album "Bringing It All Back Home" Bob says his name is Captain Kidd in the 10th verse of the song.
- In Wildwood, New Jersey, the third weekend in May is known as "Captain Kidd's Weekend". During this weekend, children dig up small candy-filled plastic treasure chests buried on the beach. Here, the name "Kidd" is a pun to the word "kid", a slang term that has come to mean "child".
- In Corunna, Ontario, Canada, the first weekend in August is known as "Captain Kidd Days".
- There is a public house, The Captain Kidd, next to the Thames in the Wapping area of London, close to Execution Dock where Kidd was hanged.
- There is the Captain Kidd Bar that has been located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts for over a century.
- Kidd's Beach, a holiday town just southwest of East London on South Africa's east coast is reputedly named for the pirate who is said to have landed there.
- Seattle Seafair Prirate's celebrate opening day with the landing of Captain Kidd's ship on Alki beach in the Puget Sound.
- Bass player, Dougie Poynter from the band McFly, released a new clothing range on February 2012 called Saint Kidd named after Captain William Kidd as Poynter's tribute to his love of piracy.
- Relient K refers to him saying "I don't know what he did but I'm down with Captain Kidd..." in their remake of "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" made popular by the animated Veggie Tales movie by the same name.
- There is a Captain Kidd Cafe located in Harmon, Guam.
- Captain Kidd's Cannon
- Gardiners Island
- Oak Island
- Treasure Island
- "William Kidd". UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2003. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. https://archive.is/6gQ9. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- "Pirates: William Kidd". Genealogy & Family History Achievements Heraldry and Research. http://www.achievements.co.uk/articles/william_kidd.html. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- "WELCOME TO THE ULTIMATE CAPTAIN WILLIAM KIDD WEB SITE". http://www.pfrh.supanet.com/HISTORYBODY.htm. Retrieved 13 December 2007. [dead link]
- "WILLIAM KIDD". Online Encyclopedia. http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/KHA_KRI/KIDD_WILLIAM.html. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- "Bellomont, Richard Coote, earl of". The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05. http://www.bartleby.com/65/be/Bellomon.html. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- "Trinity Wall Street Historical Timeline". http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/history/?timeline. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- "Question of the Day: Trinity's Very Own Pirate?". The Archivist's Mailbag. Trinity Church. 19 November 2008. http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/news/blogs/the-archivists-mailbag/question-of-the-day-trinitys-very-own-pirate. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- Zacks, p. 82-83, 86.
- Hamilton, (1961) p.?
- Frank R. Stockton. "Buccaneers and Pirates of Our Coasts" "The Real Captain Kidd". The Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project. http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=stockton&book=buccaneers&story=kidd. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- Botting (1978) p.106
- Cordingly (1995), p.?
- "Pirates of the High Seas – Capt. William Kidd". http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/01841/kidd.html. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- ""Quedagh Merchant" (ship)". Encyclopedia Online. http://www.britannica.com/eb/topic-486764/Quedagh-Merchant. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- Hamilton, (1961)
- Charles Johnson (1728). The History of the Pyrates, p. 75.
- Zacks, p. 185-86.
- "The Quest for the Armenian Vessel, Quedagh Merchant" (PDF). AYAS Nautical Research Club. http://www.amarasonline.com/amaras/events/cillicia-flyer-1.pdf. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- Zacks, p. 364.
- "A brief history of piracy". Royal Navy Museum. http://www.royalnavalmuseum.org/info_sheets_piracy.htm. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- Ralph Delahaye Paine (1911). The Book of Buried Treasure: Being a True History of the Gold, Jewels, and Plate of Pirates, Galleons, Etc., which are Sought for to this Day. Heinemann. p. 124. http://books.google.com/?id=XW0iYCM4q7QC&pg=PA124.
- The complete words of the original broadside song "Captain Kid's Farewel to the Seas, or, the Famous Pirate's Lament, to the tune of Coming Down" are at www.davidkidd.net/Captain_Kidd_Lyrics.html.
- the complete words of the original song are at www.davidkidd.net/CaptainKiddLyrics.html, and also the genealogy of the historic tune.
- Kanaga, Matt (27 April 2011). "Cockenoe Island: Farm? Distillery? Power plant? Buried Treasure?". http://blog.ctnews.com/kantor/2011/04/27/cockenoe-island-farm-distillery-power-plant-buried-treasure/. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
- Richard Zacks (2002). The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd. Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-8451-7. http://books.google.com/?id=8bu7WAHrd9kC&pg=PA241&lpg=PA241&vq=gardiners+island&dq=pirate+hunter. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
- Ralph Delahaye Paine (1911). The Book of Buried Treasure: Being a True History of the Gold, Jewels, and Plate of Pirates, Galleons, Etc., which are Sought for to this Day. Heinemann. p. 304. http://books.google.com/?id=tmFDAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA304.
- Caulkins, Frances Manwaring (1895). History of New London, Connecticut. p. 293.
- Branigin, William (12 May 1984). "Tracking Captain Kidd's Treasure Puts Pair in Vietnamese Captivity". The Washington Post.
- LiveScience Staff (13 December 2007). "Captain Kidd Ship Found". LiveScience. http://www.livescience.com/history/071213-capt-kidd-ship.html. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
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- "Captain Kidd Ship Found". Yahoo News. 13 December 2007. Archived from the original on 15 December 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071215091704/http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20071213/sc_livescience/captainkiddshipfound. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- "Captain Kidd's Shipwreck Of 1699 Discovered". Science Daily. 13 December 2007. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071213162036.htm. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- "IU team finds fabled pirate ship". INDYSTAR.COM. 13 December 2007. Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071217202520/http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071213/LOCAL/712130548. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
- Falkenstein, Jaclyn (16 March 2010). "Children’s Museum Reveals First Major Component of National Geographic Treasures of the Earth". http://www.childrensmuseum.org/node/34902. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- Staten Island Historical Society. "Captain Kidd and His Treasure". Online Collections Database. Past-Perfect Online. http://statenisland.pastperfect-online.com/00039cgi/mweb.exe?request=record;id=F5D6B020-B60F-4BC8-A28F-302503592932;type=101. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- Howard Pyle. "Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates". New York: Harper, 1921. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Howard_Pyle's_Book_of_Pirates/Chapter_IV
- Douglas Botting (1978-05-01). The Pirates. ISBN 978-0-8094-2650-8.
- Cordingly, David (1995). Under The Black Flag : The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates. Harcourt Brace & Company.
- Hamilton, Cochran, et al. (1961). Pirates of the Spanish Main, 1st Edition. New York: American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc.
- Campbell (1853). An Historical Sketch of Robin Hood and Captain Kid. New York.
- Dalton (1911). The Real Captain Kidd: A Vindication. New York.
- Gilbert, H. (1986). The Book of Pirates. London: Bracken Books.
- Howell, T. B., ed (1701). "The Trial of Captain William Kidd and Others, for Piracy and Robbery". A Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings for High Treason and Other Crimes and Misdemeanors. XIV. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown (published 1816). pp. 147–234. http://books.google.com/?id=JENPSU6dlqoC. Retrieved 27 August 2008
- Ritchie, Robert C. (1986). Captain Kidd and the War against the Pirates. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Zacks, Richard (2002). The Pirate Hunter : The True Story of Captain Kidd. Hyperion Books. ISBN 0-7868-8451-7.
- Konstan, Angus. (2008) "The Complete History of Piracy". (Osprey Publishing).
- Captain Kidd Pirate's Treasure Buried in the Connecticut River
- The King's Commission to William Kidd for the Capture of Captain Thomas Tew and Others
- Biography at piratesinfo.com
- Dave's Blog Blog, observer with the Indiana University expedition to the Quedagh Merchant (ongoing)
-  National Archives – Article listing Records held concerning Captain Kidd
-  National Archives – Images of letters and other documents concerning Captain William Kidd
- Pirates and the history of Lordship, Connecticut
|Wikisource has the text of a 1892 Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography article about William Kidd.|
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