Captain Kidd crusade as TV treasure hunter backs bid to clear name of Scots 'pirate'

An adventurer who has helped salvage treasures found in shipwrecks across the world is backing a campaign to clear the name of a privateer wrongly hung for being a pirate.

Marine archaeologist and TV treasure hunter Neil Cunningham Dobson wants to see a royal pardon granted to Captain William Kidd.

Kidd, who was born in Dundee in 1654, made a successful living chasing pirates.

But his fortunes dramatically changed when he was accused of being a pirate too.

He stood trial in London in 1701 and, after the evidence he needed to clear his name disappeared, he was convicted and hanged.

Scottish-born privateer William 'Captain' Kidd (Image: Getty Images)
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Neil, who regularly appears on TV as a result of his work helping salvage the precious metals found on shipwrecks, has lent his support to a campaign to clear Kidd.

Neil, of St Andrews, said: Scotland has a rich and varied maritime history full of amazing characters and a fair share of infamous pirates and privateers.

Pirates were criminal men or women who attacked ships or coastal towns to rob them or capture prisoners for ransom.

A privateer was a private person with a private warship sanctioned by a countrys government to attack foreign shipping and share a portion of the plunder.

Kidd, in my mind, is the most famous Scottish privateer of all time. Now we have unchallenged evidence that he would have been cleared of the major charges of piracy.

"It would be wonderful if, after more than 30....

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