Pirates: The Captain Kidd Story at Museum of London Docklands

Please note this blog is no longer active. This post was last updated 6 years, 10 months ago and may contain out of date prices, opening times, links and information. Go to www.visitlondon.com for the lastest visitor information for London.

Avast ye landlubbers, there be pirates in town! Hot on the heels of the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Museum of London Docklands opens its new exhibition about pirates this week. I went to this morning’s press view to find out more.

Pirates: The Captain Kidd Story is a exhibition telling the story of the infamous Captain Kidd, who was hung for murder and piracy in 1701. The show also explores Kidd’s influence on common perceptions of pirates.

The exhibition asks you to decide whether Kidd was guilty of crimes including murdering a member of his crew, illegally attacking two vessels and colluding with instead of capturing other pirates.

Highlights of the exhibition include a Jolly Roger flag from 1789, beautiful old maps used by real pirates to navigate unfamiliar seas, and a gruesome example of a gibbet cage, in which Kidd’s decomposing body was hung at Tilbury Point for more than two years.

Pirates brings us right up to the present, showing how the legend of Kidd’s buried treasure (which he attempted to use as a bargaining tool in exchange for his life) inspired almost all pirate fiction including Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Plus, there’s display of popular pirate culture, including a Jack Sparrow doll, a Muppet Treasure Island poster and even pirate erotic novels!

At the end of the exhibition, you can give your verdict on whether Kidd was guilty or not by depositing a plastic chip in one of two boxes.

Don’t miss the Pirates Late on 27 May for grog, lessons in how to talk like a pirate and a pirate fashion workshop.

Pirates: The Captain Kidd Story at Museum of London, 20 May-30 October 2011. Book tickets


  1. Look out for the Captain around London tomorrow as he shares his treasured pieces of eight that will allow free entry into his exhibition. Follow him on Twitter @William_Kidd (alternatively search #piratecab)or on our Facebook page facebook.com/MuseumofLondon

  2. kenny says:

    Pirates have inspired the play adventures of many children