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Robert C. Ritchie

Kidd, William (1645–23 May 1701), pirate, was apparently born in Greenock, Scotland, the son of a Protestant minister. Little else is known of his early years except that he went to sea as a young man. He does not appear in the records until 1689, when he was the captain of a ship commissioned as a privateer by Governor Christopher Codrington of Nevis. During King William’s War many ships, some of them buccaneers, were enrolled to fight the French. Kidd’s men did not savor serving in Codrington’s little navy and one night abandoned Kidd when he was ashore, leaving with the ship and Kidd’s fortune. Kidd was fortunate in his friends, for Governor Codrington gave him a ship with which to pursue his men and retrieve his fortune....