The following proclamation by King William shows to what an extent piracy was practiced. It also demonstrates how Kidd's and Avery’s denunciation as pirates was so serious a matter, they were publicly debarred from receiving the royal proclamation of clemency.

BY THE KING A PROCLAMATION
William R
Whereas we being informed, by the frequent complaints of our good subjects trading to the East Indies, of several wicked practices committed on those seas, as well upon our own subjects as those of our allies, have therefore thought fit (for the security of the trade of those countries, by an utter extirpation of the pirates in all parts eastward of the Cape of Good Hope, as well beyond Cape Comorin as on this side of it, unless they shall forthwith surrender themselves, as is herein after directed) to send out a squadron of men of war, under the command of Capt. Thomas Warren. Now we, to the intent that such who have been guilty of any acts of piracy in those seas, may have notice of our most gracious intention, of extending our royal mercy to such of them as shall surrender themselves, and to cause the severest punishment according to law to be inflicted upon those who shall continue obstinate, have thought fit, by the advice of our privy council to issue this proclamation; hereby requiring and commanding all persons who have been guilty of any act of piracy, or any ways aiding or assisting therein, in any place eastward of the Cape of Good Hope to surrender themselves within the several respective times herein after limited, unto the said Captain Thomas Warren, and the commander in chief of the squadron for the time being, and to Israel Hayes, Peter Dellanoye, and Christopher Pollard, esquires, commissioners appointed by us for the said expedition or to any three of them, or, in case of death, to the major part of the survivors of them. And we do hereby declare, that we have been graciously pleased to empower the said Capt. Thomas Warren, and the commander in chief of the said squadron for the time being, Israel Hayes, Peter Dellanoye, and Christopher Pollard, esquires commissioners aforesaid, or any three of them, or, in case of death, to the major part of the survivors of them, to give assurance of our most gracious pardon unto all such, pirates in the East Indies, viz. all eastward of the Cape of Good Hope, who shall surrender themselves for piracies or robberies committed by them upon the sea or land ; except, nevertheless, such as they shall commit in any place whatsoever after notice of our grace and favour hereby declared; and also excepting all such piracies and robberies as shall be committed from the Cape of Good Hope eastward, to the longitude or meridian of Socatora, after the last day of April, 1699, and in any place from the longitude or meridian of Socatora eastward, to the longitude or meridian of Cape Comorin, after the last day of June, 1699, and in any place whatsoever eastward of Cape Comorin after the last day of July, 1699, and also excepting Henry Every alias Bridgeman, and William Kidd.

Given at our court of Kensington, the 8th. day of December 1698, in the 10th year of our reign. God Save the King.

The Trial of Captain William Kidd at the Old Bailey, for Murder and Piracy upon the High Seas; and of Nicholas Churchill, James Howe, Robert Lamley, William Jenkins, Gabriel Loff, Hugh Parrot, Richard Barlicorn, Abel Owens and Darby Mullins for Piracy. Then proclamation as usual being made, the aforesaid prisoners were brought to the bar, and arraigned for Piracy
History ~ Trial Transcript
Pre-Trial Procedure
On May 8, 1701, The King's Commission for holding the court being first read, they proceeded to call the gentlemen summoned upon the Grand Jury, and the persons sworn were the seventeen following, viz.:

William Broughton, Thomas Hanwell, Daniel Borwell, Humphry Bellamy, Nath. Rolston, sen., Joshua Bolton, Benjamin Pike, Joseph Marlow, Benjamin Travis, Stephen Thompson, Thomas Cooper, Robert Gower, Robert Clement, Thomas Sesson, William Goodwin, Robert Callow, Thomas Haws.
CI. of Arr : Gentlemen of the Grand-jury, stand together, and hear the charge.

The King's majesty commands all justices of the high court of Admiralty, that have any authority to take any inquisitions, recognizance’s, examinations, or information’s of offences committed within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty of England, to deliver the records of the same into this court, and all others are commanded to keep silence, upon pain of imprisonment.

Then Dr. Oxenden gave the charge to the Grand Jury, explaining the nature of the commission, and the crimes enquirable by virtue of it by the Grand Jury.

Then the Grand Jury withdrew, and after some time returned into court, and found the Bill of Indictment against Captain Kidd for Murder, and another against him and Nicholas Churchill, James Howe, Robert Lamley, William Jenkins, Gabriel Loff, Hugh Parrot, Richard Barlicorn, Abel Owens and Darby Mullins for Piracy.

Officers/Jurisdiction of the court (glossary)

The Clerk of Arraignments is an officer attached to the Central Criminal Court and to each Circuit. He has to discharge for the Judge sitting on the Crown side (i.e., in criminal cases) the duties which are discharged for him by a master on the civil side : taxation of costs, allowance to witnesses, the business connected with jurors, their excuses and fines, the custody of documents, the duty of recording verdicts, and the making out of warrants after sentence is pronounced. He is also expected to advise the Court upon points of Criminal procedure.

The High Court of Admiralty was a Court of Maritime jurisdiction, anciently styled the Court of the Lord High Admiral. It had two jurisdictions: one as an Instance Court in which civil and criminal suits of a maritime nature were decided, and the other as a Prize Court. As early as the reign of Edward III the Court of the Admiral was firmly established.

CI. of Arr : William Kidd, hold up thy hand.
Kidd :  May it please your lordships, I desire you to permit me to have counsel.
Recorder : (Sir Salathiel Lovell) What would you have counsel for ?
Kidd : My lord, I have some matter of law relating to the indictment, and I desire I may have counsel to speak to it.
Dr. Oxenden : What matter of law can you have?
CI. of Arr : How does he know what he is charged with? I have not told him.
Recorder : You must let the court know what those matters of law are, before you can have counsel assigned you.
Kidd : They be matters of law, my lord.
Recorder: Mr. Kidd, do you know what you mean by matters of law?
Kidd: I know what I mean; I desire to put off my trial as long as I can, till I can get my evidence ready.
Recorder: Mr. Kidd, you had best mention the matter of law you would insist on.
Dr. Oxenden : It cannot be matter of law, to put off your trial, but matter of fact.
Kidd: I desire your lordship's favour; I desire Dr. Oldish and Mr. Lemmon may be heard as to my case.
Kidd : I would beg that I may have my papers for my vindication.
CI. of Arr : Nicholas Churchill, hold up thy hand.
Churchill : My lord, I desire I may have the benefit of the proclamation; I came in upon the King's proclamation.
Recorder : If you do not plead, the court must pass judgment upon you. You can have no benefit in what you say, till you have pleaded. If you were indicted for felony, and you will not plead, the law takes it in nature of a confession, and judgment must pass, as if you were proved guilty.
CI. of Arr : Nicholas Churchill, hold up thy hand. James Howe, hold up thy hand, Robert Lamley, hold up thy hand. (Which they did)
Recorder : W. Kidd has not held up his hand.
CI. of Arr : He does hold up his hand. William Jenkins - hold up thy hand, Gabriel Loff - hold up thy hand, Hugh Parrot  - hold up thy hand, Richard Barlicorn - hold up thy hand,  Abel Owens - hold up thy hand.
Owens: I came in upon the King's proclamation, and entered myself into the King's service.
Recorder : You must plead first, and then if there be occasion, you will have the benefit of it. (Then he held up his hand)
CI. of Arr : Darby Mullins, hold up thy hand.
Mullins : May it please your lordships, I came in voluntarily on the king's proclamation.
Recorder : This is the same case with Owens, you must speak to that afterwards.
CI. of Arr : W. Kidd, you stand indicted by the name of William Kidd.  Art thou guilty or not guilty?
Kidd : I cannot plead to this indictment, till my French passes are delivered to me.
CI. of Arr : Are you guilty or not guilty ?
Kidd : My lord, I insist upon my French papers; pray let me have them.
Recorder : That must not be now, till you have put yourself upon your trial.
Kidd : That must justify me.
Recorder : You may plead it then, if the court see cause.
Kidd : My justification depends on them.
Recorder : Mr. Kidd, I must tell you, if you will not plead, you must have judgment against you, as standing mute.
CI. of Arr : What can he have counsel for, before he has pleaded?
Recorder : Mr. Kidd, the court tells you, you shall be heard what you have to say when you have pleaded to your indictment. If you plead to it, if you will, you may assign matter of law, if you have any; but then you must let the court know what you would insist on.
Kidd: I beg your lordship's patience till I can procure my papers. I had a couple of French passes, which I must make use of in order to my justification.
Recorder : That is not matter of law. You have had long notice of your trial, and might have prepared for it. How long have you had notice of your trial?
Kidd: A matter of a fortnight.
Dr. Oxenden : Can you tell the names of any persons that you would make use of in your defence ?
Kidd: I sent for them, but I could not have them.
Dr. Oxenden : Where were they then?
Kidd I brought them to my lord Bellamont in New England.
Recorder : What were their names? You cannot tell without book. Mr. Kidd, the court see no reason to put off your trial, therefore you must plead.
CI. of Arr : W. Kidd, hold up thy hand.
Kidd: I beg your lordships I may have counsel admitted, and that my trial be put off; I am not really
prepared for it.
Recorder : Nor never will, if you can help it.
Dr. Oxenden : Mr. Kidd, you have had reasonable notice, and you knew you must be tried, and therefore you cannot plead you are not ready.
Kidd : If your lordships permit those papers to be read, they will justify me. I desire my counsel may be heard.
Mr. Coniers : We admit of no counsel for him.
Recorder : There is no issue joined; and therefore there can be no counsel assigned. Mr. Kidd, you must plead.
Kidd : I cannot plead till I have those papers that I insisted upon.
Mr. Lemmon : He ought to have his papers delivered to him, because they are very material for his defence. He has endeavoured to have them, but could not get them.
Mr. Coniers : You are not to appear for any one till he pleads, and that the court assigns you for his counsel.
Recorder : They would only put off the trial.
Mr. Coniers : He must plead to the indictment.
CI. of Arr : Make silence.
Kidd : My papers were all seized, and I cannot make my defence without them. I desire my trial may be put off till I can have them.
Recorder : The court is of opinion they ought not to stay for all your evidence ; it may be they will never come. You must plead, and then if you can satisfy the court, that there is a reason to put off your trial, you may.
Kidd : My lord, I have business in law, and I desire counsel.
Recorder : Mr. Kidd, the course of courts is, when you have pleaded, the matter of trial is next: if you can then show there is cause to put off the trial, you may but now the matter is to plead.
Kidd : It is a hard case when all these things shall be kept from me, and I be forced to plead.
Recorder : If he will not plead, there must be judgment.
Kidd : My lord, would you have me plead, and not to have my vindication by me?
CI. of Arr : Will you plead to the indictment ?
Kidd : I would beg that I may have my papers for my vindication.
Recorder : Mr. Kidd, I must tell you, if you will not plead, you must have judgment against you, as standing mute.
Kidd : I cannot plead till I have these papers; and I have not my witnesses here.
Recorder : You do not know your own interest; if you will not plead you must have judgment against you.
Kidd : If I plead I shall be an accessory to my own death, till I have persons to plead for me.
Recorder : You are an accessory to your own death, if you do not plead. We cannot enter into the evidence, unless you plead.
CI. of Arr : Are you guilty or not guilty?
Recorder : He does not understand the law; you must read the statute to him.
CI. of Arr : Mr. Kidd, are you guilty of this piracy, or not guilty?
Kidd : If you will give me a little time to find my papers, I will plead.
CI. of Arr : There is no reason to give you time; will you plead or not?
Mr. Coniers : Be pleased to acquaint him with the danger he stands in by not pleading. Whatever he
says, nothing can avail him till he pleads.
Recorder : He has been told so, but does not believe us.
Mr. Coniers : If there be any reason to put off his trial, it must be made appear after issue is joined.
Recorder : If you say guilty, there is an end of it; but if you say not guilty, the court can examine into the fact.
Officer : He says he will plead.
CI. of Arr : W. Kidd, art thou guilty or not guilty ?
Kidd: Not guilty.
CI. of Arr : How wilt thou be tried ?
Kidd.: By God and my country.
CI. of Arr : God send thee a good deliverance  (And so of all the rest)
Kidd : My lord, I beg I may have my trial put off for three or four days, till I have got my papers.
Recorder : The judges will be here by-and bye, and you may move the court then; we are only to prepare for your trial: We do not deny your motion; but when the court is full, they will consider of the reasons you have to offer.
The pre-trial procedure should have been a simple affair.  Its purpose was simply to confirm the identities of the accused prisoners, ensure they understood the charges they were indicted with, receive their guilty or not guilty pleas and appoint the two juries for the two trials.
As you will read, the procedure was bogged down with points of law, uncertainty over the terms of the Kings proclamation, lost pieces of evidence and slowness of providing Kidd with defence funds.
Astonishingly, the whole procedure was preceded by the reading of the King’s Proclamation which denounced Kidd and Avery as unfit persons to receive the King’s clemency, debarring them from the general amnesty and pardon for piracy.  Perhaps the establishment knew something that every other researcher since has missed ~ Kidd and Avery were in league together with their Indian Ocean adventures, and the investigators of the day knew it.
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Site content (text and Images) are the property of Paul Hawkins - © All rights reserved
Site design and layout Copyright 2000/9  Paul Hawkins - All rights reserved