London: Printed by T. Wright ..., and sold by G. Kearsly, 1777. Fourth edition. Hardcover. Trials of pirate Captain Kidd, and New York colonial politician Nicholas Bayard, complete in itself.
Captain William Kidd (c.1654 – 1701) was a Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy, although some modern historians note that relegating him to the role of pirate and putting him on trial was a maneuver used by politicians of the day to deflect attention from their own questionable roles in privateering.
Here Kidd testifies that he has French passes, which would have provided proof that he worked as a privateer and not a pirate: "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" (p287). Kidd was not allowed to retrieve his papers; he was found guilty on all charges (murder and piracy) and sentenced to death. (pp287-339).
In 1910 at the British Public Records archives, the French passes were found that Captain Kidd claimed would prove his innocence.
The second trial of note included here is that of Colonel Nicholas Bayard, p419-440. Bayard, the 16th mayor of New York City, was accused in 1702 of high treason before Chief Justice William Atwood, on the basis of a remonstrance signed by him and others, considered to be libelous. Bayard was sentenced to death, but after the death of the New York governor and the corrupt Chief Justice, the proceedings were annulled, and Bayard's property and name were cleared.
Volume 5 of 6 volumes. Folio, 852pp (text printed in 2 columns, each numbered as if a separate page). Deaccessed by the NY Association of the Bar Library, with their stamp on the title page. Pale green cloth with leather gilt spine labels, and paper label. Spine slightly sunned, labels chipped . OCLC: 1360856. Very good condition. Item #23980