Radio Sandwell Miscellanea

Pirate Capt Kidd's 'treasure' found in Madagascar

2015-05-07 13:39:38

Capt Kidd TreasureThis silver bar was found in a shipwreck

Archaeologists in Madagascar say they have found what is thought to be the treasure of notorious Scottish pirate William Kidd.

Soldiers have been guarding the 50kg silver bar at Sainte Marie island after divers brought it to shore.

Madagascar's president and UK and US diplomats received the suspected treasure at a ceremony on the island.

Capt Kidd was executed in 1701 for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean.

The BBC's Martin Vogl tweets from the ceremony that underwater explorer Barry Clifford believes the 17th Century silver bar is from the wreckage of the pirate's ship.

Capt Kidd TreasureBarry Clifford led a team which discovered the suspected treasure

Capt Kidd TreasureSoldiers watched over the silver at a ceremony attended by the president and diplomats

UK ambassador to Madagascar Timothy Smart said he hoped that the discovery would raise Madagascar's profile as a tourist destination.


Who was Capt Kidd?

As well as the piracy charges, Capt Kidd was accused of murdering one of his crewmen during a row in 1697.

During his execution, the first rope put around his neck broke, so he was strung up a second time. That rope also snapped but the third one held.

Capt Kidd TreasureThere have been numerous searches for Wiliam Kidd's loot

Capt Kidd TreasureHe appeared before the bar of the House of Commons before his execution

Capt Kidd's body was dipped in tar and hung by chains along the River Thames to serve as a warning to would-be pirates.

Legend had it that Capt Kidd hid much of his loot, which has prompted numerous treasure hunts around the world and inspired Robert Louis Stevenson when writing Treasure Island.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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