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been paid out of the prize money, became insubordinate. Resisting them as long as he dared, he hoisted the black flag, and became pirate on his own account. He snapped up traders and merchantmen wherever he could find them; he respected neither flag nor nationality. He put in his sickle, and reaped the illicit harvest of the ocean. Bent on large spoils, he set sail for the East India coasts. At the entrance of the Red Sea he attacked a fleet of Mocha merchantmen, but was beaten off by their Dutch and English convoy. Some days after he took the Quedah Merchant, a rich, fine vessel of 400 tons. Burning the Adventure Galley, he embarked in his prize, and his lucrative but perilous game still went on. Kidd gathered an enormous treasure of ill-gotten gain. His success was his ruin. He became so well known that he began to have great difficulty in finding supplies. Seeing the game was nearly up, he resolved on a bold move. Leaving the Quedah Merchant and his great accumulation of treasure in Hispaniola in the West Indies, he sailed for New York, and communicated with Bellomont. When he landed, to make matters secure, the Governor had him arrested. Kidd's move was to be tried in New York, where there was a large contraband traffic, and where he would have been certain of getting a lenient sentence and a certain amount of sympathy. The earl suspected his intention and sent him to England. Before this step had been taken Kidd besought the Governor to allow him to visit the West Indies under guard, and bring home his treasure from the place where he had it concealed. The request was refused, and at the Old Bailey, on the 8th and 9th May, 1701, Kidd was tried on the charge of piracy and murder, and condemned and hung. In fitting out the Adventure Galley, Bellomont had been assisted by some of the leading statesmen of his party. In Britain the Tories, taking advantage of the great popular excitement, got up a wonderful hue-and-cry over the affair of Kidd; and on the other side of the Atlantic the enemies of Livingston made themselves equally busy. Both parties were entirely unsuccessful in their attempts to inculpate their political or personal enemies with the piracies of the notorious buccaneer. The amplest investigation only made clearer—although the adventure had turned out badly—the zeal of Bellomont and Livingston in the King's service. Kidd's treasure is acknowledged on all hands to have been vast. Though often sought after, it has not been found to this day. Poe's "Gold Beetle" is the most notable example of that extensive literature to which Kidd's extraordinary career has given birth.
Livingston having been acquitted of complicity with Kidd, was engaged in pressing upon the Home Government the necessity of establishing Christian missions among the Indians when his friend, the Earl of Bellomont, died. This was both a grief and a misfortune. Livingston's enemies getting a majority in the State Council, took steps to crush him. Carried away by a fierce hatred and a baseless political rancour, they called him to account for his intromission with the State funds. Livingston promised to do so, but wished first to have time to take copies of his accounts before letting them out of his hands. Deeming his demand for time but a frivolous excuse, they at once confiscated his estate, loaded it with an indemnity of ^17,000, and hurled him in disgrace from his public offices. All these things were embodied in an Act of the State Assembly! And so, in 1701, Livingston, at the end of thirty years of incessant toil of brain, and hand, and foot, found himself stripped, at one fell swoop, of the whole of his property, and cast upon the world in a worse position than when he first set foot in America. His native resolution at this juncture stood him in splendid stead. He refused to be crushed, and resolved again to visit Britain, and lay his case before the Lords of Trade. When he was nearing our shores he was captured in the Bristol Channel by a French privateer. An English frigate coming in sight, the Frenchman abandoned his prize, but not until he had plundered her of everything he could carry away. Amongst the other things stolen were Livingston's records and papers. This threw a tremendous difficulty in the way of establishing his complaints. After, however, a prolonged examination, in 1705 Livingston succeeded in getting all his claims acknowledged, and an order for reinstatement in his estates. Again he beguiled the tedium of waiting on the law by pressing on the Government the necessity of attacking Canada. When he returned to America his position was too strong to be further resisted, and he soon found himself in the midst of his manor exercising a princely hospitality. In 1715 he became a member of the Colonial Assembly, and four years later he was elevated to the distinguished position of Speaker to that body. He filled the chair of the House with great credit to himself and much advantage to the colony till the infirmities of increasing years compelled him, in 1725, to tender his resignation. He had now become, as it were, a part of the State, and on his vacating the Speakership the Assembly paid to his character and labours a touching tribute. But the duties of life were more to him than life itself. Inability to work meant really to him inability to live. Two years after resigning the Speakership, his life, so full of startling incident and advenure, came to a quiet close, His wife bore him nine children, and he named his eldest son John after his own Covenanting father, who had played by the Garrel, chased butterflies on the High Craigends, and bird-nested in the Barrwood.
Lady Livingston's Epitaph; Viscount Dundee—His Life a Biographical Problem—His Avariciousness—From Cornet to Peer—Birth—College Life—In the Army of William—Joins Royalists—Sent to Scotland—Drumclog—John King's Invitation—Dundee's Marriage—Jean Cochrane's Beauty and Constancy—The Cases of John Brown and Andrew Hislop— Attends the Convention—Rallies the Clans—Killiecrankie.
In the churchyard of Kilsyth there is a mural tablet bearing the following inscription :—
"Beneath this stone are deposited the remains of Jean Cochrane, Viscountess of Dundee, wife of the Hon. William Livingston of Kilsyth, and their infant son. Their deaths were caused by the falling in of the roof, composed of turf, of a house in Holland. Mr. Livingston was with difficulty extricated. The lady, her child, and nurse were killed. This occurred in the month of October, 1695. In 1795 the vault over which the church at that time stood having been accidentally opened, the bodies of Lady Dundee and her son, which had been embalmed and sent from Holland, were found in a remarkable state of preservation. After being for some time exposed to view, the vault was closed. The lady was the daughter of William, Lord Cochrane, who predeceased his father, William, first Earl of Dundonald. She married first John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount of Dundee, who was killed at the battle of Killiecrankie,