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Word Count: 781
The High Courts of England define piracy as acts of robbery and violence upon the sea which if committed on land would be a felony Pirates hold no commission or delegated authority from any sovereign or state empowering them to attack others In this paper I will examine the acts of William Kidd according to record and review them with respects to the definition in attempts to identify them as piratical activity First off let us examine a statement attributed William Kidd In his book Under the Black Flag David Cordingly attributes some quotes to Captain Kidd the first of which is an account were he declares to his men Come boys I will make money enough out of the fleet in reference to the ship Sceptre of a pilgrimage fleet to Mecca Though Kidd was carrying a letter of marque from William III it is made clear that he intends to make profitability a goal of his adventures as well as a motivational factor for his crew In fact Governor Fletcher of New York described Kidd and his crew as men of desperate fortunes and necessitous of getting vast treasure This statement though ambiguous as to a specific nature of their activity does have implications suggesting a goal of more than just servitude to the crown In fact Kidd even offered the Governor of Saint Thomas 45000 pieces in exchange for harboring and protecting him If Kidd was solely intending to act with respects to authority such a request would have been very unusual Secondly consider some of the acts of Kidd the first of which was the assault of the crew of the Sceptre While Kidd was interviewing the ships captain a man named Parker members of the Adventure Galleys assaulted Parkers men and beat them with cutlasses In a legitimate operation such unauthorized attacks this is subject to debate would have been punishable However in response to these acts
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