Here is the third installment of #CaptainKiddHistory. These historical tidbits about Captain William Kidd are told by Billy, the main character of my upcoming middle grade adventure PIRATE ISLAND. Billy discovered and wrote down these tidbits while doing research to find Kidd’s lost treasure but before he actually looked for it on Pirate Island. Let’s give a big welcome to Billy!
1690 to 1695 – The Archenemy and the Wife
by Billy Bonny
If you want to know who was a real, cutthroat pirate, just look up Robert Culliford. He happened to be one of the English members of the crew who mutinied against the French captain and then became a crew member of the Blessed William (see my last entry Mutineer and Captain). Later while sailing in the West Indies, Culliford mutinied against Kidd and stole the ship and all the loot Kidd and the crew had earned in the war. Throughout his life, Culliford never even bothered to pretend to be a privateer but was a pirate through and through. More on that scallywag later, though!
Meanwhile, Kidd had earned a name as a successful privateer and headed to New York City. There he met Sarah Bradley Cox Oort, a woman of many names because even though she was only in her early twenties, she already had two widows. She was rich, too, thanks to her first dead husband. Her second husband suffered a mysterious death and shortly after, she married Kidd. Some historians pointed out the suspicious timing and think Kidd was involved in the death, but there’s no evidence to support that. One theme of Kidd’s life (and death) seems to be taking the fall for things he may or may not have done.
A thrice cursed island, a legendary pirate treasure, and one not-so-brave boy. What could possibly go wrong?
For centuries, the whereabouts of Captain William Kidd’s lost pirate treasure has remained a mystery. When Billy’s best friend, Andy, proposes they look for it on nearby Pirate Island, Billy thinks it’s just another one of their crazy adventures. It’s usually Billy who ends up in trouble as a result, but he goes along for the ride…like always. The more he delves into the life and death of Kidd, the more he thinks the treasure is real and that it might be buried on the small island in Long Island Sound. Billy—nope, call him William—becomes obsessed with the captain of the same first name. He even believes he’s possessed by Kidd’s restless soul. Now he and the spirit of a long-dead pirate are leading the crazy adventure on Pirate Island. And what they find is far bigger than the treasure they imagined.