Execution Dock

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William Kidd (c. 1645—1701) pirate and privateer


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The place on the bank of the River Thames, near Wapping in London, where, traditionally, men convicted of piracy were executed. Originally the method of execution was to peg them down at low water below the high water mark on the river bank, so that the rising tide would drown them slowly. By the 16th century the method of execution had changed to being hanged in chains at a tall gallows. The body remained exposed on the gallows until it decomposed, or was eaten by seagulls, as a warning to others of the fate meted out to pirates such as Captain Kidd.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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