Tuesday, February 2, 2010
The year was 1689. Robert Culliford, William Kidd and six other Britons were shipmates on a French privateering vessel called the Sainte Rose. They had been plundering with the sanction of King Louis XIV of France, the "Sun King." But when tensions with the Holy Roman Empire erupted into the Nine Years' War, Culliford and his countrymen mutinied and took over the ship. Kidd became the new Captain. They renamed the ship Blessed William, and used it to defend English colonies and to privateer against the French. But then, on February 2 of 1690, Culliford stole the ship and went Caribbean pirate! It's a little unclear whether Culliford mutinied against Kidd, or simply took the ship while he was ashore, but in any case today marks the anniversary of the start of Culliford's pirate career.