Captain William Kidd Facts for Kids | William Kidd Biography

Learn about Captain William Kidd, the 17th century privateer who was hanged for piracy.

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Captain William Kidd Facts for Kids

captain william kidd biography

  • Name: Captain William Kidd
  • Born: c. January 22, 1645 in Dundee, Scotland
  • Died: May 23, 1701, in Wapping, England
  • Worked as a privateer for the English, attacking French vessels and pirates. Was convicted of piracy when he attacked an Armenian vessel captained by an Englishman.

William Kidd Facts Printable

captain william kidd facts for kids

Privateer to Pirate

william kidd facts

  • In the 1680s, Kidd worked as a privateer (a person authorized by the government to attack foreign vessels).
  • His job was to defend English ships against the French.
  • In 1696, he set out to attack French ships and pirate vessels on a ship called Adventure Galley.
  • Few prizes were captured on this journey, and many crew members died of disease.
  • In 1698, Kidd attacked an Armenian ship, the Quedagh Merchant, whose captain was an Englishman. Upon learning the captain’s nationality,
  • Kidd tried to convince his crew to return the ship to its owner, but his crew refused. In the end, Kidd kept the ship.
  • When the news of the Quedagh Merchant’s capture reached England, Kidd became known as a pirate.
  • He hid some of his treasure on Gardiners Island off the coast of New York, hoping to use the knowledge of its location as a negotiation tool to save his life.

william kidd pirate

The Death of Captain Kidd

  • On July 6, 1699, Kidd was arrested in Boston, Massachusetts. He was imprisoned and sent to England.
  • On May 23, 1701, Kidd was hanged in London at Execution Dock. His body was suspended over the River Thames for 3 years as a warning to pirates.


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