Captain Kidd's (First) Hanging - Town of Ramsgate Pub, Wapping High Street, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.208 W 000° 03.721
30U E 703897 N 5709907
Quick Description: With roots set back in the mid 15th century, the Town of Ramsgate public house claims to be the oldest on the Thames. The pirate, Captain Kidd, was hanged here. It was attempted but the rope broke and he was taken to Tilbury where he was hanged.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 2/12/2015 9:05:04 AM
Waymark Code: WMNC9Z
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Scooter Bill
Views: 0

Long Description:

The Knowledge of London website tells us:

Town of Ramsgate was known originally as the Red Cow; after a rather bad-tempered red-head barmaid. its name came from the Kentish fishermen who landed their catch next door at Wapping Old Stairs. From the balcony at low tide you can still see the post where pirates were executed at Execution Dock, being made to stand on a plank with a rope around their necks. The plank was tipped over, leaving the victims gasping for breath for 30 minutes. Still alive, they would then be cut down, squeezed into a metal gibbet, and left to sink in the muddy river bank at low tide. After being submerged three time by the incoming tide, and after an unpleasant death, they were left for the crows to pick at the rotting human flesh through the bars of the cage.

One famous pirate to die this way was Captain Kidd, in 1701. As a super star of the day he pulled a big crowed, among them an ex-lover. Kidd growled: 'I have lain with that bitch three times, now she comes to see me hanged'.

The badly rusted harness was only rediscovered in the mud this century. During the eighteenth century, the cellars of the pub were used as dungeons for convicts awaiting transportation to America and Australia. There is also a nearby pub called 'The Captain Kidd' after the famous execution.

The Historic UK website also tells us:

Perhaps the most famous pirate to be tarred and hung in a cage was Captain Kidd (see image on the right), the inspiration for Treasure Island. In 1701 he was convicted of piracy and murder and was taken from Newgate Prison and executed in the same year. Rather gruesomely, on the first hanging attempt the rope broke and he only died on the second attempt. Even more gruesomely, his body was left tarred and gibbeted in an iron cage on the Thames riverbanks for more than twenty years!

Site Description: Execution dock where pirates were executed

Date of Pirate Activity (Estimated): Late 17th century

Reference Web-link or Book Title:

Site Admission (If needed): Free

Hours Available (If needed):
The Town of Ramsgate pub is restricted by licensing hours. A passage runs alongside the pub to Wapping Stairs and, at low water, access can be made to the foreshore of the River Thames. Caution is required as the steps can be slippery.

Additional Information (optional):
From the pub, or on the foreshore, a gallows can be seen but is purely for effect!

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