Captain Kidd’s pirate treasure
BBC have announced that underwater archaeologists have discovered a heavy silver ingot off the coast of Madagascar. It is presumably a treasure taken by the famous Scottish pirate of the XVII century, William Kidd (The story of Captain Kidd is the inspiration behind Robert Stevenson’s Treasure Island):
Read the story below:
An ingot weighing 50 kilograms was found in shallow water off the coast of Sainte-Marie (Nosy-Buraha) east of Madagascar. The find was handed over to the President of Madagascar at a special ceremony, in which British and American diplomats took part.
The ingot was discovered by a team of researchers led by renowned underwater archaeologist from the United States Barry Clifford. He has no doubt that the ingot he found was stored on a ship built in the 17th century in England. However, a number of experts claim that the evidence confirming the authenticity of the find is insufficient and additional examination is required. One option is to send the wood samples of the sunken ship to Britain to determine if the ship was actually built in England.
British Ambassador to Madagascar Timothy Smart expressed the hope that, in any case, Clifford’s find will increase the state’s popularity among tourists.
Who is Captain Kidd?
William Kidd (according to other sources, his name was Robert) was born in Scotland around 1645.
In 1695, the captain received a privateer (corsair) patent from the British government, which allowed him to rob merchant ships of states hostile to England.
In 1698, Kidd attacked the Armenian ship Kedah Merchant, sailing under the French flag. The captain of the “Merchant” was the Englishman John Wright.
The mediator in this voyage was the English East India Company. On board was a cargo from East India: satin, muslin, silk, gold, silver. Due to the fact that Kidd attacked a ship related to the East India Company, piracy charges were brought against him. In addition, the captain was charged with the killing of a crew member of his ship during a riot in 1697.
In 1701, William Kidd was found guilty and hanged on the second attempt, because the rope broke for the first time.
According to legend, he managed to hide a significant part of the loot.