Famous Villains: Reading for Specific Information

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Level: B2

Read the text below. Match choices (A - H) to (1 – 5). There are two choices you do not need to use.

(1) _______
William Kidd (1645-1701), a famous Scottish pirate, first worked as a respectable New York trader and sea captain. In 1695, King William III of England commissioned him a privateer to capture certain notorious pirates and to seize goods that they had stolen. Kidd sailed from London in 1696 with a new ship and a hand-picked crew. But an English warship took some members of his crew, and he had to recruit more men in pirate-infested New York.
Kidd left New York in September 1696, and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. He attacked a merchant fleet off the east coast of Africa. His seizure of two rich ships sailing under French passes was lawful because England was at war with France. He refused the demands of his ill-tempered crew to attack other ships. But he captured no pirates. Instead, he went to Madagascar, where he made friends with the pirates he had been sent to take.
Many of his men left him, and Kidd returned with one of the ships to the West Indies. There, he learned he had been declared a pirate. He sailed north and left gold, silver, and Indian goods with the Gardiner family on Gardiner’s Island, N.Y. The English government seized this treasure, and Kidd was arrested when he landed at Boston. He was sent to England to be tried for five acts of piracy and for the murder of his gunner, William Moore. Kidd was not allowed to have legal advice, and he could not use his personal papers. He was found guilty and hanged.
Tales and legends grew up about Kidd’s supposed buried treasure and his deeds. “The Ballad of Captain Kidd” was sung around the world. W. Irving, E.A. Poe, and R.L. Stevenson have used this legend.

( 2 )________
Blackbeard (? - 1718), a British pirate, received his name from his habit of braiding his long, black beard and tying the braids with ribbon. Few pirates have looked and acted so fierce as Blackbeard. He terrorized the Carolina and Virginia coasts between 1716 and 1718 in his ship, The Queen Anne’s Revenge. He lurked in rivers or behind and bars and ruthlessly attacked all ships.
He once “took the King’s pardon”, but it lasted only a few weeks.
Blackbeard took such a toll of shipping and created so much terror along the American coast that Virginia and Carolina planters organized against him. The Virginia governor sent the ship H.M.S. Pearl out to take him alive or dead. He was caught on November 21, 1718, near Ocracoke Inlet, off the North Carolina coast. He fought desperately with sword and pistol until he fell with 25 wounds in his body.

( 3 )________
Henry Morgan (1635-1688), was born Llanrhymn, Wales. As a young boy he was sent from Bristol, England to the island of Barbados as an indentured servant. This was a form of white slavery which was widely used at that time. Supposedly indentured servants were to work for approximately seven years and then be granted their freedom to pursue their own careers. Many holders of these servants tried to circumvent the English law by various means so that the servant would spend a longer time working for little.
Morgan’s freedom came when in 1654 Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, then the ruler of England, sent a large invasion force to the West Indies with the intention of capturing Hispaniola from the Spanish. The fleet anchored in Barbados, where many young men deserted their owners to join up this invasion force.
In 1669 Morgan ventured through the tight inlets of the Maracaibo lagoon with four hundred men and a few small ships. He sacked Maracaibo, which the Spaniards had hastily abandoned upon seeing his approach.
Admiral Don Del Campo, the commander of three war galleons, offered to let Morgan go provided the privateers turn over the loot they had taken from the area. Del Campo gave Morgan and his men two days to decide their fate. Morgan sent rowboats laden with men to the far shore of the island, only to have the men duck when the boats were out of sight and return to the ships with every man. The Spaniards, fearing a land assault from behind, turned their heavy guns away from the inlet and towards the vulnerable side of their fortifications. While the Spaniards were busily shifting their cannons and preparing themselves for infantry attack, Morgan raised anchor and sailed through the inlet unscathed.

( 2 )________
The Barbarossa Brothers
Aruj and his younger brother Hizir were born in Greece in the 1470s. Aruj began his career by attacking Aegean ships from his home island of Lesbos. After being freed from slavery to the Knights of Rhodes by Egyptian forces, he began working with his brother Hizir out of the port of Alexandria with ships provided by the local ruler.
After moving to the Western Mediterranean around 1505, they flooded the base of Djerba with plunder from merchant and warships alike. Several years later, they moved to the port of Djidjelli near Algiers after a fallout with the Sultan of Tunis, and stepped up their attacks on the Spanish, which included raiding more coastal towns and forts.
After two years of conflict with local areas still controlled by the Spanish, Aruj was killed while trying to escape a siege in the town of Tlemcan, and his brother Hizir assumed control.

( 5 )________
Baden-Powell (1857-1941), founded the Boy Scout movement. His experiences as a soldier in the British Army convinced him that British boys needed more physical training and experience in outdoor life than they had been receiving. This prompted him to start the Boy Scouts in England in 1907. With his sister, Agnes Baden-Powell, he organized the Girl Guides in England two years later. As scouting spread to other nations, Baden-Powell became the most important Scout leader in the world. Baden-Powell joined the British Army in 1876, and served in India, Afghanistan, and South Africa. During the Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902), his famous defense of Mafikeng, in spite of famine and sickness in his ranks, earned Baden-Powell promotion to the rank of major general.

Which of the following ________________?
A waited in a concealed position before assaulting the ships
B concocted and executed a brilliant plan of deception
C took vengeance on the monarchy
D was sentenced to death for betrayal of the king by joining the buccaneers
E had a kin to sack coastal towns with
F made out a systemfor measuring each person’s share of the booty
G was raised to the higherposition in the military
H was a reputable dealer and later became a poacher


1.D; 2.A; 3.B; 4.E; 5.G