Captain William Kidd

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Captain William Kidd

Birthplace: Greenock, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Death: May 23, 1701 (42-51)
Execution Dock, Wapping, London, England (United Kingdom) ( Execution by Hanging)
Immediate Family:

Son of Captain John Kyd and Bessie Kidd
Husband of Sarah Rousby
Brother of Jonat Martine

Occupation: Sea Captain, Pirate
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Captain William Kidd

William "Captain" Kidd (Born between 1645 to 1654; Died on May 23, 1701) was a Scottish sailor remembered for his trial and execution 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.


Kidd was born in Greenock,[3] Scotland prior to October 15, 1654. While claims have been made of alternate birthplaces, including Dundee and even Belfast, Kidd said on his way to the gallows that he was from Greenock. A local society supported the family financially after the death of the father.[4] The myth that his "father was thought to have been a Church of Scotland minister" has been discounted, insofar as there is no mention of the name in comprehensive Church of Scotland records for the period. Others still hold the contrary view.[5][6] Does not identify his parents.

On 16 May 1691, Kidd married Sarah Bradley Cox Oort,[17] an English woman in her early twenties. She had already been twice widowed and was one of the wealthiest women in New York, based on an inheritance from her first husband.

Kidd had two daughters with Sarah, Elizabeth and Sarah Kidd, and remained in New York City until 1695, indulging in occasional small privateering acts.

It appears his daughters died young.


Page 195.--A license of marriage granted unto Captain William Kidd of New York, Gent., of the one part, and Sarah Oort, the widow of John Oort, late of New York, merchant, deceased, the 16th day of May, 1691.

Page 329.--Registered for Captain William Kidd and Sarah his wife. Fort William Henry, this 15 day of April, 1692. Whereas the within named Sarah Oort, now Sarah Kidd, and administratrix of the estate of John Oort, deceased, hath since the grant of the within Letters of Administration, been intermarried to Captain William Kidd, by which means she hath neglected to exhibit her Inventory pursuant to the written directions. I being well satisfied in the fidelity of the said William Kidd, have decreed that the said William Kidd shall give bonds in five hundred pounds, along with the said Sarah, for their true administrations, and allow them six months from this day for the exhibition of the Inventory, and one year from this day for their account. As witness my hand the day and yeare above written.

Page 375.--The account of Captain William Kidd and Sarah his wife, administrators of the estate of JOHN OORT, merchant, deceased. They charge themselves with all the goods and chattells, which appear to be €155 14s. The petition for allowance for the funeral charges, €30 1s. 6d. The whole estate appears to be €274, 3s. 6d. ___________________________________William_Kidd_ ______________________________________the_marke_of_ _________________________________Sarah_S._K._Kidd._ Quietus granted by Governor Benjamin Fletcher, November 18, 1692.

”Kidd settled in the Manhattan area of New York where, in May 1691, he married the wealthy widow Sarah Oort, raised two daughters, and perhaps earned a living as a respectable merchant with a bit of small-scale privateering on the side. Around 1695, he decided to try and find backing in London for more lucrative privateering expeditions further afield. “

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Captain William Kidd's Timeline

Greenock, Scotland (United Kingdom)
May 23, 1701
Age 47
Execution Dock, Wapping, London, England (United Kingdom)