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Real Pirates of the Caribbean go on Show at Museum of London

An original pirate flag from the collection going on display

The real pirates of the Caribbean will go on display at a new exhibition scheduled to open at the Museum of London Docklands on Friday 20th May 2011 until Sunday 30th October 2011.

Pirates: The Captain Kidd Story, tells the gruesome story of a privateer turned pirate who was executed in London on 23rd May 1701 in Wapping, UK. He had sailed with the backing of many of Britain’s elite, including the king, but a series of politically dangerous raids left him isolated from his backers.

The Admiralty Oar

The exhibition will include the beautiful silver Admiralty Oar, which has not seen in public since the last piracy execution in 1864.

The Admiralty oar was owned by the High Court of Admiralty which once judged the crimes of the seas. The Admiralty Deputy Marshall would carry the object on horseback when leading execution processions.

Dating from the late 15th century, the upper part of the Admiralty Oar dates from around 1660-1675 meaning that it would have been carried in front of Captain Kidd on his way to Execution Dock.

The exhibition will include explanations of the corruption and bribery throughout English society which allowed the pirate trade to flourish, as well as the manipulation of the East India Company.

Over 170 objects will be displayed, including:

  • Kidd’s last letter with the promise of hidden treasure
  • A real pirate flag, the Admiralty Marshall’s Silver Oar and a gibbet cage
  • An original 1724 edition of Captain Johnson’s History of the Pyrates
  • An early 18th century cannon
  • Images of the Quedah Merchant ship wreck, the vessel that was captured by Scottish privateer, William “Captain” Kidd on January 30, 1698.

Hilary Davidson, Curator Fashion & Decorative Arts at the Museum of London adds:

“The story of Captain Kidd helped create much of the pirate mythology we’ve known and loved since the Golden Age of piracy. Kidd’s legacy is found in every tale of buried treasure and with his contemporaries in crime, like Blackbeard, inspired vivid characters from Long John Silver to Captain Jack Sparrow. The exhibition also reveals the remarkable breadth of pirate treasure plundered from ships bound for London’s luxury goods markets.”

School groups will allowed into the exhibition for free with child admission starting at £4 for advance bookings. Address: Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN

About Museum of London

Museum of London
The Museum of London tells the story of London and its people, past, present and future. Museum of London, 150, London Wall EC2Y 5HN. 020 7001 9844. Nearest tube: St Paul's, Barbican, Moorgate. Open 10am - 6pm, 7 days a week.

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