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Captain Kidd's Ship Found Off Dominican Republic - HISTORY

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Bianca
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« on: December 13, 2007, 02:02:23 pm »







Accusations of piracy





Acts of savagery on Kidd’s part were reported by escaped prisoners, who told of being hoisted up by the arms and drubbed with a naked cutlass. In truth, many of these acts were committed by his disobedient and mutinous crew. On one occasion, crewmembers ransacked the trading ship, Mary and tortured several crewmembers 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" (Hamilton, 1961). Kidd sailed away during the night to preserve his crew, rather than subject them to Royal Navy impressment.

On January 30, 1698, he raised French colors and took his greatest prize, an Armenian ship, the 400 ton Quedah 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 Quedah 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 realizing 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" (Hamilton, 1961) they had committed.

Kidd kept the French passes of the Quedah Merchant, as well as the vessel itself. While the passes were at best a dubious defense 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 Quedah Merchant and her cargo. Renaming the seized merchantman the Adventure Prize, he set sail for Madagascar.

On April 1, 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. Probably realizing that his men would not attack Culliford's powerful vessel if ordered, Kidd anchored near the Mocha Frigate and made peaceful overtures to Culliford, promising him that he meant his fellow pirate no harm. 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. By burning the ship, he was able to salvage every last scrap of metal, for example hinges. With the loyal remnant of his crew, he returned home aboard the Adventure Prize.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2007, 02:12:28 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.


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