Waylaid by Captain Kidd on the Thames Path

This is my third and final post on our stroll along a tiny section of the Thames Path in east London. You will recall we began by the Gold Grasshopper, and in part two got as far as Wapping High Street. wapping-high-streetWell today we begin with Captain William Kidd, a ‘pirating’ legend. Born in Scotland in 1645, Kidd spent most of his life in the Americas. In the mid 1690s he was commissioned by a number of English lords to attack other English pirates. The venture did not quite go to plan for Kidd and by 1698 he was a wanted pirate. Eventually imprisoned in America in 1699 his trial took place in the House of Parliament in 1701. Deserted by his English patrons Kidd was convicted of murder and piracy. It took two attempts to execute him at Execution Dock in Wapping as the rope broke on the first attempt. His body was then gibbeted on the banks of the Thames at Tilbury for a number of years as a warning to other ‘would be pirates’. Continue reading