Captain William Kidd was a Scottish sea captain who was commissioned as a privateer and had experience as a pirate. Legend has it that he was tried and executed in London in 1701 for murder and piracy.
Kidd had captured a French ship, commanded by an English captain, as a prize. He had been commissioned by the Crown as a privateer for this expedition, but the political climate of England turned against him in this case.
The belief that Kidd had left buried treasure contributed greatly to the growth of his legend.