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This Day in Boston History
May 23rd, 1701
1695 Captain William Kidd, a former captain turned businessman, was
commissioned by Richard Coote, the Earl of Bellamont, to serve as a
privateer operating against pirates.
Sensationalized press reports of his exploits in the ship Adventure
and complaints of foreign shippers who had lost cargo turned political
sentiment against Kidd. His financial backers who held office in England
distanced themselves from him and issued a warrant for his arrest.
Learning that he was a wanted man, Kidd proceeded to Boston to plead
his case to Richard Coote had been named Royal Governor of Massachusetts.
Rather than accepting to Kidd's explanation, Coote had him arrested
and shipped from Boston to stand trial in London. On this day Captain
Kidd was hung.