Select Kidd Miscellany

Here are some Kidd stories and accounts over the years:

English 1377 Tax Rolls in Craven District

Willelmus Kyd and wife

Mariota Kyd, unmarried woman
Willelmus Kyd and wife
Robert Kyder and wife
Thomas Kyd and wife
Simon Kyd and wife

John Kidd, Quaker of Settle

John Kidd was a clothier in Settle, Yorkshire who became a Quaker in the early days of George Fox’s ministry.  The Settle Quaker meeting notes in 1704 had the following report of the first arrival of Quakers in their town.

“In about the year 1652 or 1653 it was so ordered that another servant and minister of the Lord called John Camm came into Settle on a market day and in the market place began to preach the doctrine of repentance.  But they soon fell upon him with violence and did beat and buffet him very much.  After some time he was conducted to the house of John Kidd of Upper Settle where there was a meeting in the evening and things relating to the kingdom of God were plainly laid down by him.”

The times were no less kind to Quakers in the 1670’s and John Kidd was fined for attending a Quaker meeting “fifteen shillings - for which the officers took two coats and covercloth, part of a hide of leather, and one pair of shoes.”   Undeterred, John kept his home on Albert Street open for Quaker meetings.

John’s grandson Benjamin by his second son William was a Quaker minister for thirty eight years, preaching in his early years in America.  He died in Banbury in 1751.  Another grandson Richard became a miller in Godalming, Surrey.  And his son Benjamin was a Quaker minister in Readin

Kyds and Kidds in the Burgess Roll of Dundee

The Burgess Roll of Dundee recorded twenty Kyds and Kidds in Dundee during the 1500's.  Among their number were:

William Kidd
Archibald Kidd
Thomas Kidd
Alexander Kidd  
William Kyd
reader and vicar of Dundee
John Kidd

Captain Kidd's Execution

Captain Kidd was hanged on May 23, 1701 at Execution Dock on Tilbury Point.  Following tradition the crowds passed him rum and Kidd was blind drunk when he swung from the gallows.   It was said that he died hard as the rope broke from his weight and fell to the ground.  He was tied up a second time, re-hung, and died. 

The following lament, entitled Captain Kidd's Farewell to the Seas, was penned on his execution:  

“My name was Captain Kidd, when I sailed, when I sailed,  
And so wickedly I did, God's laws I did forbid.  
When I sailed, when I sailed.  
I roamed from sound to sound, and many a ship I found  
And them I sunk or burned.  When I sailed.  
I murdered William Moore, and laid him in his gore,  
Not many leagues from shore.  When I sailed.  
Farewell to young and old, all jolly seamen bold,  
You're welcome to my gold.  For I must die, I must die.  
Farewell to Lunnon town, the pretty girls all round,  
No pardon can be found, and I must die, I must die.  
Farewell, for I must die. Then to eternity, in hideous misery,  
I must lie, I must lie.

Thomas Kidd, from Ireland to British Columbia

Thomas Kidd was born in county Down in Ireland in 1846.  At the age of 17 he left home and took passage on a sailing vessel for New Zealand, where he arrived after 100 days at sea.  Shortly after his arrival he enlisted in the Third Regiment of the Waikato Volunteers which had been organized to put down a Maori uprising.  

Upon his discharge in 1866 he left for California, where he engaged in farming and later logging in the redwood forests.  He left California in 1874 and took passage for British Columbia, arriving at Victoria.  He soon moved to New Westminster where he began farming on 160 acres of land.  He subsequently acquired further tracts. There are still living on parts of these farms members of the first, second and third generations of his family.  

In 1881 he was elected to councilor of Richmond, a position which he held for many years.  He lived on to the age of 84, dying in 1930.  In 1971 his great grandson Gilbert was alderman of Richmond and three years later mayor of the town.

The Shand Kydds

William Shand Kydd was born in Arbroath in Scotland in 1864.  After serving an apprenticeship there, he moved first to Edinburgh and then to London where he married Alice Sim, also from Arbroath.  In 1891 he launched the Shand Kydd wallpaper company which was to make the family fortune. 

His son Norman expanded the wallpaper business.  He was the man said to have invented flock wallpaper.  The wallpaper factory was in Highgate; while he made his home at Horton Hall in Buckinghamshire, a large moated farmhouse of 18th century origins.  

Norman's son Peter who inherited the family business sold it in 1962 and moved to Australia where he became a sheep farmer.  After selling the sheep farm and returning to England, he began an affair with the wife of Earl Spencer and they married in 1969.  He thus became the stepfather of Earl Spencer’s daughter Diana, Princess of Wales.  However, his marriage did not last and they divorced in 1988. 

Peter had a half-brother Bill by Norman’s second wife who perhaps became even more famous.  In his youth he was a champion amateur jockey who later bred horses at the farm adjoining the family estate at Horton Hall.  He was married to Christina, the sister of Lord Lucan’s wife, and he had a cameo role in the events following Lord Lucan’s sensational disappearance in 1974 after the murder of his child’s nanny. 

What of the next generation?  One heir, Adam, died of a suspected drugs overdose in Cambodia in 2004; the other, Johnnie, is a renowned photographer with over seventy works in the National Portrait Gallery

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