DEAD: ON THIS DATE
William Kidd (aged 47)
Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean
William Kidd, also known as Captain William Kidd or simply Captain Kidd (c. 1654 – 23 May 1701), was a Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean.
DEATH: 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) and sentenced to death. He was hanged in a public execution on 23 May 1701, at Execution Dock, Wapping, in London. He was hanged two times. On the first attempt, the hangman’s rope broke and Kidd survived. Although some in the crowd called for Kidd’s release, claiming the breaking of the rope was a sign from God, Kidd was hanged again minutes later, this time successfully. His body was gibbeted over the River Thames at Tilbury Point – as a warning to future would-be pirates – for three years.