Good morning everyone!
For ‘Pubsign Saturday’ I am continuing my walk along the Thames north bank at Wapping. Amongst the old warehouses now converted to flats sits my next pub, the ‘Captain Kidd’.
William "Captain" Kidd (c. 1645 – May 23, 1701) was a Scottish sailor remembered for his trial and execution for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians consider his piratical reputation unjust, as there is evidence that Kidd acted only as a privateer. Kidd's fame springs largely from the sensational circumstances of his questioning before the English Parliament and the ensuing trial. His actual depredations on the high seas, whether piratical or not, were both less destructive and less lucrative than those of many other contemporary pirates and privateers.
Kidd was eventually captured and brought back to England to stand trial for murder and piracy. On May 23rd 1701, Kidd was hanged at Execution Dock. When the hangman sprang the trap, the rope broke under the weight of Kidd’s body. If this happened three times, tradition demanded that the condemned man be let off. But in Kidd’s case the second attempt was successful. His body was gibbeted — left to hang in an iron cage over the River Thames, London — as a warning to future would-be pirates for twenty years.
The legend of Captain Kidd was made into a popular 1945 movie, Captain Kidd starring Charles Laughton as Kidd, Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton and John Carradine. The film portrays Kidd as clever and manipulative, ultimately undone by the son of a man whom he had killed. Laughton played this role again in the comic Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952).
Captain Kidd is said to haunt the ‘Town of Ramsgate’ pub close by. (See previous weeks upload.)
Thanks for looking.
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