Here is the next 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!
1698 to April 1699 – A Privateer Prize and the Return of the Archenemy
by Billy Bonny
Whole books could be written about Captain Kidd’s life (I know—I’ve read a bunch of them!). This was a particularly busy time for him, so I’m going to be brief and hit the highlights. In January 1698, Kidd finally catches a break when his crew spots a ship called the Quedagh Merchant off the tip of India. It was an Indian ship that was flying French colors and with French papers. England was at war with France at the time, so French ships were allowed to be taken by English privateers.
Turns out the captain was an Englishman, and Kidd tried to give the ship back to him. His restless crew wasn’t interested in that, so Kidd kept the ship and its good for him and his crew. Kidd’s ship the Adventure Galley had seen better days, so he set sail on the Quedagh Merchant and renamed it the Adventure Prize (another cool name for a ship!).
In April, Kidd arrived at Madagascar and ran into his old archenemy (the real pirate!) Robert Culliford. What actually happened between these two at this point is a bit of mystery with several different accounts being told of the events. The end result was that much of Kidd’s crew left him to join Culliford, and Kidd decided to go home. Meanwhile, rumors of Kidd having turned pirate had reach England, and he was in for a heap of trouble when he got back.
Kidd stopped in the Caribbean and learned he was a wanted pirate. He ditched the Adventure Prize, sold off some of his goods, and returned to New York. But not before making a stop on Gardiner’s Island and burying some real treasure!
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.