Famous Pirates #3: William Kidd (Scottish, 1645-1701)
A stylish Scotsman who had been a leading citizen of New York City, actively involved in the building of Trinity Church, Captain Kidd began his career as a privateer, originally commissioned to rid the seas of pirates. Only reluctantly, did he cross bounds into piracy (having been elected pirate captain by his crew), although his piracy itself may be questionable as his exploits may have been sensationalized. His greatest misfortune was attacking an East India Company vessel. When he learned that he was hunted for that deed, he buried some of his treasure on Gardiners Island, anticipating its usefulness as a bargaining tool. But, captured in Boston along with his wife, William Kidd was eventually sent to England for trial. He was sentenced to death, some said unjustly, and suffered a wretched execution - the noose by which he was hung broke twice, and after he was killed on the third hanging his body was doused in tar and hung by chains along the Thames River.