"The Defense of Captain Kidd goes badly..."

DEFENSE

This seemed to be the best defence the thing could bear; but his taking a share of the plunder, the seamen's mutinying on board several times, and taking upon them to control the captain, showed there was no obedience paid to the commission; and that they acted in all things according to the custom of pirates and freebooters, which weighing with the jury, they brought him in guilty with the rest.

As to Capt. Kidd's defence, he insisted much on his own innocence, and the villainy of his men.

He said, he went out in a laudable employment and had no occasion, being then in good circumstances, to go a pirating; that the men often mutinied against him, and did as they pleased; that he was threatened to be shot in the cabin, and that ninety-five left him at one time, and set fire to his boat, so that he was disabled from bringing his ship home, or the prizes he took, to have them regularly condemned, which he said were taken by virtue of a commission under the broad seal, they having French passes.

The captain called one Col. Hewson to his reputation, who gave him an extraordinary character, and declared to the court, that he had served under his command, and been in two engagements with him against the French, in which he fought as well as any man he ever saw.

There were only Kidd's ship and his own against Monsieur du Cass, who commanded a squadron of six sail, and they got the better of him.

But this being several years before the facts mentioned in the indictment were committed, proved of no manner of service to the prisoner on his trial.


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