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A History of William Paterson and the Darien Company
Chapter VIII. Restitution of the capital, with interest, to the subscribers of the Darien Company


In the month of September 1699, shortly after Councillor Daniel Mackay had arrived in Edinburgh by special express from Darien with accounts of the good condition of the Colony, strange rumours came to hand by advices from Sir William Beeston, Governor of Jamaica, to Secretary Yernon, London, that the colonists had absolutely deserted the settlement and gone and dispersed themselves, nobody could tell where. The story was at first set down as altogether malicious and false, and was even laughed at by Mr Mackay, who, at the time, was on the eve of returning to the Colony. But on 10th October the Directors themselves confirmed the unhappy rumours. They wrote : "The report which we had on 19th September of the Colony's desertion proves too true, for we have advices from New York that the big ships, the Caledonia and the Unicorn, are arrived there in the beginning of August." In another letter, of same date, addressed to The Original Council of the Colony at New York, the Directors say: " The surprising and unaccountable news of your shameful and dishonourable abandonment of Caledonia on 29th June last, without any the least hint thereof from yourselves, affords us but too much matter of reflection on your infatuated proceedings for some time past."

It happened that, at the time when the rumours reached Edinburgh, the Company's second expedition, consisting of the Rising Sun and her three consorts, was lying in the Clyde, fully equipped, waiting a favourable wind to proceed to Darien. But as already mentioned, the councillors on board that fleet, although requested by the Directors to delay their departure pending the receipt of fresh sailing orders, hurriedly set sail before the fact of the abandonment of the settlement could be communicated to them. Shortly after their departure, Councillor Mackay, who it had been intended should have accompanied them, followed in the Speedy Return,  and Captain Campbell of Finab also followed in another small vessel. These gentlemen were sent express by the Directors, by different routes, and both carried important dispatches to the new Colony. Later on, another ship, the Margaret of Dundee, Captain Leonard Robertson, commander, sailed from that port with a cargo of provisions and strong liquors; but it did not reach Darien until the middle of June, two months after the colonists had surrendered the settlement to the Spaniards, whose ensigns were now seen flying on the fort.

The interest of the Scottish people was now centred on the fate of the 1300 colonists who had embarked in the second expedition. In due time dispatches came home advising their arrival at Darien, but containing also the expression of their bitter disappointment at finding the settlement deserted, and the fort and huts in ruins. After voting on the question, the new colonists resolved to land and replant the settlement. Unfortunately, the majority of the councillors were lukewarm in the business, and after a short experience despatched most depressing reports to the Directors, which further deepened the gloom prevailing among their fellow-countrymen at home..

The Darien enterprise had taken possession of the Scottish heart, and if any one so much as presumed to doubt its usefulness or success, he was deemed a public enemy. On 25th November

1699 the Earl of Marchmont, writing to the Rev. William Carstares, King William's confidential Secretary in London, says—

"The concern" (regarding Darien) "which appears in persons of all ranks, and even the meaner people who are not particularly interested and have no shares in the stock, for supporting and prosecuting the undertaking, is a thing scarcely to be imagined. I will assure you that any that would pretend here to persuade anybody that the falling out of that design may prove a prejudice to this nation would prevail nothing, but lose himself and carry the ill-will and disesteem of almost every one."

The people generally were now in a strange temper in regard to the affair. On 20th June 1700 the universal depression was temporarily relieved by intelligence arriving of the victory of Captain Campbell over the Spaniards. The patriots of Edinburgh, now calling themselves " Caledonians," assembled in " Pate Steill's Parliament," in the Cross Keys tavern, and decreed that the city should be illuminated in celebration of the event. This business was carried out with all the stern and resolute daring usual to an Edinburgh mob. The populace- gathered in crowds from all quarters, and ruthlessly smashed all the windows that were not illuminated, without respect to rank, except that, if anything, they did more damage to the houses of members of the Government. The mob next attacked the Tolbooth, the "Scottish Bastille," and with sledge-hammers and fire destroyed the door, setting the prisoners at liberty. The magistrates were paralysed. When these worthies appeared on the scene, accompanied by the veteran Town Guard, they were brushed aside " by a great many in gentlemen's habits, who came briskly up to them with drawn swords." The mob also seized and locked the Netherbow Port, in case the Lord High Commissioner's troop of Guards from Holyrood House should be brought upon them; they also requisitioned the services of the musical bells of St Giles, although these were under town authority, causing them to be jangled merrily to the tune of " Wilful Willie, wilt thou be wilful still ? " At the end of the fray it was estimated that glass to the value of 5000 (Scots money ?) had been destroyed.

The tumultuous joy of the so-called patriots was soon extinguished. In little more than a week after the display of the illuminations, news came to hand of the surrender of the colonists to the Spaniards, and the consequent ruin and final abandonment of the settlement. Popular indignation now burst forth in all directions. "Nothing," says Sir Walter Scott, "could be heard throughout Scotland but the language of grief and of resentment. Indemnification, redress, revenge, were demanded by every mouth, and each hand seemed ready to vouch for the justice of the claim. For many years no such universal feeling had occupied the Scottish nation."

Not only had Scotland sustained great loss of life and treasure, but the national pride had been wounded by the entire defeat of the country's efforts to establish a foreign trade. The ferment of the people was intensified by the knowledge that the failure of their enterprise was, as they believed, largely due to the unfriendliness of their sovereign and the jealousy and hostility of the English people. They felt that the honour and independence of Scotland required to be vindicated.

Paterson was in Edinburgh when the .painful news of the final evacuation of the Darien Settlement came to hand, and he at once frankly acquiesced in the failure. His attitude at this time was beyond praise. Instead of sinking under the accumulated disasters, he rose superior to his reverses. He used his influence in the most disinterested manner to allay the extreme irritation prevailing among his countrymen, and left out of account all his own personal sufferings and losses. He tried to persuade the incensed subscribers to the stock of the Company to bear patiently what they could not remedy; and he represented to them that the opposition of the English Government was only one of the contributing causes of the failure, and that the want of foresight in the Directors at home, and the dissensions and lack of energy in the Council on the spot, were main factors in the misfortunes that had taken place. These averments as to gross mismanagement both at home and in the Colony were supported by the testimony of Captain Campbell of Finab, who returned to Scotland from Darien about this time. In August 1700 the Duke of Queensberry, then Lord High Commissioner in Scotland, stated that Paterson had succeeded in moderating the anger of the Scots respecting Darien, and in disposing them "to concert such things as they should agree upon, and were proper to demand in Parliament." His Grace added: "Mr Paterson is against moving anything this session about Caledonia (Darien), and tells me that he thinks he has gained some considerable men to his opinion. He has no by-end, and loves this Government in the Church and State."

At the same time, Paterson had the conviction that justice would yet be done by England to the unfortunate subscribers to the Company. To this end, in his various plans for reviving the Darien Settlement he invariably included a clause making provision for indemnifying the subscribers for their losses. This indemnification is particularly dwelt upon, as not only an act of justice but of good policy, in his great tract, 'Proposals and Reasons for Constituting a Council of Trade,' which was originally printed at Edinburgh in 1700-1, when the extreme discontentment at the failure of the Darien enterprise had somewhat abated.

When the Estates of Parliament assembled in May 1700, several addresses and petitions from the shires and burghs, as well as from the Company itself, were presented in support of the Company's title to Darien, and a resolution was proposed that the Colony was a legal and rightful settlement, and that Parliament would uphold it as such. And when news of the final evacuation of the settlement reached Scotland at the end of June, the Estates took up the matter in earnest, declaring that Darien was a national affair, and should be considered before anything else, except religion. For years, from this time onward, Darien became a prominent question, and occupied a large space in the discussions of the House.

When the Parliament reassembled in October, the king endeavoured to soothe the members by sending a conciliatory message through the Duke of Queensberry, his Commissioner. He expressed his regret that, for "invincible reasons," he was unable to agree to assert the Company's right to settle a colony in Darien, but he was heartily sorry for what had happened, and was most willing to concur with Parliament in any measures for aiding and supporting the Company, and for repairing their losses.

But the members were not satisfied with the royal message, and expressed keen resentment at the harsh treatment which they, as well as the Company, had received at the hands of both Spain and England. So strong was the feeling in the House on the burning question of Darien that, on the 16th of November, the business of the day was interrupted in order that two pamphlets assailing the Company, and a third lampooning Paterson's personal character, might be considered. After some parts of the pamphlets had been read, they were found " to be blasphemous, scandalous, and calumnious," and the same were ordered "to be brunt by the hand of the common hangman of the city of Edinburgh at the Mercat-cross thereof." Two of the tracts were alleged to have been written by Walter Herries, who had been surgeon and purser on board the first expedition, and who now appeared as a renegade Scot and libeller of his nation. A few weeks afterwards a proclamation was published offering 6000 Scots as a reward for his apprehension.

Towards the end of the session, in January 1701, the subject of Darien was again brought forward, and was debated with much heat and clamour. The interference of the king and the English Parliament with the Company's Act in December 1695 was censured, and strong disapproval of the Hamburg Memorial of April 1697 and the Colonial proclamations was expressed. The debate was closed by the House ratifying the Company's original Act, and continuing all their privileges for the space of nine years beyond the period originally allowed.

During the remainder of King William's reign the people of Scotland showed their sullen resentment in many ways, and it has been stated that, if they had been possessed of a capable leader, nothing could have prevented a rebellion against the king, and war with England. This feeling of violent discontent was carried into Queen Anne's reign. On this point Sir John Dalrymple, in his ' Memoirs,' says :—

"In Scotland alone the Queen was embarrassed in her Government. . . . The passions of the high and low against England and English Councils, on account of the sufferings of the Darien Company, fluctuated from rage to sullenness and from sullenness to rage."

An incorporating Union had been one of King William's favourite projects. Soon after his accession to the throne, he had recommended it to the Scottish Parliament as the only effectual means of preventing dissensions between the two countries. And on 28th February 1702, eight days before his death, his Majesty sent a message to the House of Commons again recommending a Union, which, from his approaching dissolution, he had no hopes of accomplishing himself. One of the first acts of Queen Anne also was to send a letter to the Scots Parliament, in June 1702, in which she reiterated the late king's appeal for a Union, and earnestly recommended its favourable consideration. The Queen's Commissioner also dwelt strongly on the advantages which would flow from such a Union.

During this session the matter made considerable progress, when the Scots Parliament empowered the queen to nominate Commissioners to treat for a Union. The Commissioners appointed from each kingdom met at the Cockpit, Westminster, 10th November 1702, and at their sittings came to an agreement on several points, but some difficulties arose which led to the adjournment of the conference. One of these was in connection with the Darien Company. The Scots proposed that the privileges of the Company should be preserved intact; but this was objected to by the other side as being incompatible with those of the English East India Company, and that the existence of two rival companies might prove injurious to the trade of the United Kingdom. On 1st February following, the Scots again brought forward their proposal, this time in writing, for consideration at next meeting, with the additional proviso that, in the event of the dissolution of the Darien Company being insisted on, the subscribers should be recouped at the expense of the public treasury. But at the next meeting, held on 3rd February, a letter was read from the queen adjourning the Commission; and it never met again. Although the joint deliberations at this time did not result in any definite agreement, they paved the way for the final arrangements for the Treaty, and the Scots Commissioners had the satisfaction of having left on record their views as to the manner in which the Darien Company should be dealt with in future negotiations with England. The minutes of the Scottish Parliament, of 9th September following, contain a resolution that the Scottish Commission for the Treaty is "terminat and extinct," and not to be revived without the consent of the Estates.

The chief aim of the Scots in any negotiations for a treaty of Union was to secure admission to the advantages of English trade everywhere. They determined to use all fair means to get this accomplished, and to show England that she could not wrong them with impunity. In accordance with this resolution, in the Parliament which assembled on the 6th of May 1703 the Scots passed the famous Act of Security, by which it was enacted that, on the death of Queen Anne without issue, her successor in Scotland should not be the same as the individual adopted by the English Parliament, unless the Scottish people were admitted to share with England the full benefits of trade and navigation. The Act also provided that the affairs of Scotland should, for the future, be thoroughly secured from English or foreign influence. By a further clause, which was to come into force at once, all the fencible men in Scotland of the Protestant faith were to be trained in the use of arms by being drilled once a month at least. The Act was triumphantly carried in an excited House; but the Queen's Commissioner refused to give the measure the royal assent, as it openly proclaimed a determination to dissolve the regal Union. This was met again by the Estates refusing to grant supplies until the Act should receive the queen's sanction.

During the same session the powers and privileges of the Darien Company were again ratified.

The Scots Parliament reassembled on 6th July 1704, when the Act of Security was again passed, and duly reported to the queen. On the advice, mainly, of her sagacious counsellor, Lord Godolphin, although not without hesitation, the queen now gave way. The Act was confirmed by the royal assent on the 5th of August, and a supply for six months was voted by the House unanimously.

The passing of the Scotch Act of Security caused much alarm in England. Orders were issued from London to call out the Militia of the four northern counties, and to fortify and garrison several of the English border towns, so as to be prepared for an invasion from the Scots.

At this critical juncture an unfortunate incident occurred which further inflamed the mutual resentment between the two nations.

The Darien Company, after the miscarriage of their great colonisation scheme, and consequent loss of their capital, made a feeble attempt to carry on a colonial shipping trade. One of their vessels, the Annandale, equipped for a voyage to India, put into the Downs in order to complete her crew. While there she was boarded and confiscated at the instance of the English East India Company, and restitution was solicited by the Darien Company in vain. Shortly thereafter, by a singular coincidence, the Worcester, Captain Thomas Green, commander, an English East India ship (erroneously supposed to belong to the English Company) put into the Firth of Forth for repairs. At the place where she was moored the ship was visible from Edinburgh, and a popular cry got up that the Government officials should seize her by way of reprisal; but they declined to interfere. The Darien Company, founding on the wide powers contained in their Act, thereupon issued a warrant for the seizure, and their zealous secretary, Mr Roderick Mackenzie, resolved to execute the warrant himself. For this purpose Mackenzie enlisted the help of eleven "genteel pretty fellows," whom he met at the Cross in the High Street. These he divided into two bodies, and they visited the Worcester, ostensibly as pleasure parties unacquainted with each other. Mutual hospitality was indulged in on board, when at a preconcerted signal from Mackenzie his mercenaries overpowered the crew, about double their number, and captured the ship. The vessel was detained at Burntisland, and while there some of Green's men, either in their anger or their cups, let slip words importing that Captain Green had been guilty of piracy on a ship belonging to the

Darien Company, and had murdered the crew. Two of Green's men, both negroes, were specially free in their talk on the subject, but the name of the vessel that had been attacked was not stated. It happened that the Company, three years previously, had despatched a vessel to India, the Speedy Return, commanded by Captain Thomas Drummond, and it had not been heard of since. It was, therefore, concluded that the people of the Worcester had captured her and murdered the crew, and that Providence had directed them to the neighbourhood of Edinburgh for punishment.

These rumours reaching the Privy Council, they took up the matter, and after a searching examination, Green and his crew were arrested and brought to trial before the Court of Admiralty. Although there was no direct evidence to prove that the vessel in question was the Speedy Return, Green and several of his men were brought in guilty of piracy, robbery, and murder, and were sentenced to be hanged on the sands of Leith. The Government were disposed to obtain a reprieve from the Crown for the prisoners, whose guilt was so very doubtful. The queen also interposed, and the carrying out of the sentence was postponed; but the mob of Edinburgh, with their usual fury, intimidated the authorities, and demanded the lives of the prisoners. The affair resulted in Captain Green, Madder, his first mate, and Simpson, a gunner, being executed on the 11th of April 1705, in terms of the sentence. They all died protesting their innocence. The rest of the crew were dismissed after being imprisoned for a time. Unfortunately, it subsequently transpired that Captain Drummond, whom the Worcester s people had been charged with murdering, was actually alive in a distant land at the time of the execution, so that if Green and his men had ever committed piracy on any vessel, it could not have been the Speedy Return. The impression went abroad that the unfortunate men had had scant justice, and had been sacrificed in retaliation for the ill-treatment of the Darien Company by the English Government.

This unhappy affair excited the keenest resentment in England, and still further embittered the strained relations of the two countries. The friends of peace and progress were now deeply impressed with the conviction that a legislative Union should no longer be delayed. This step alone, it was believed, would compose the differences and extinguish the heats that were subsisting between the two nations.

The Estates reassembled on the 28th June 1705, but the royal message was not read till the 3rd of July. In her letter Queen Anne urgently advised the Estates to follow the example set by England and provide for the appointment of a Commission to treat for a legislative Union. On the 24th of August, after debates on the state of the currency, and trade, and respecting the succession, the draft of an Act empowering Commissioners to meet and treat with English Commissioners for a Union was presented to the House by the Earl of Mar, and read. The proposal led to a long and warm discussion, which culminated in the question of the selection of the Commissioners. On 1st September the Duke of Hamilton, who had up to this time retarded the passing of the Act, now suddenly made a change of front, and astonished his party by moving that the Scottish Commissioners should be nominated by the queen. This clause was carried by the small majority of eight, and with it the whole Act, which was passed amidst a scene of great excitement.

The Scottish Commissioners were selected and appointed by the queen on 27th February 170G, and those for England on 10th April,—thirty-one on either side. Like their predecessors of November 1702, they assembled at the old Council Chambers of the Cockpit, "Westminster, and their first sederunt was held on 16tli April 170G. Happily, on this occasion they met in a conciliatory spirit, all being impressed with the gravity of the crisis, which was simply a choice either of " one Parliament or two Crowns."

On the 21st of June the Scots Commissioners proposed that the rights and privileges of the Darien Company be continued after the Union, or if the privileges of the Company were judged inconvenient for the trade of the United Kingdom, that the private rights of the Company be purchased from the proprietors. On the 25th the Commissioners for England answered that they were of opinion that the continuance of the Darien Company was inconsistent with the good trade of the United Kingdom, and consequently against the interest of Great Britain, and therefore they insisted that it ought to be determined. But being sensible that the misfortunes of the Company had been the occasion of misunderstandings and un-kindnesses between the two Kingdoms; and thinking it to be above all things desirable, that upon the Union of the Kingdoms, the subjects of both may be entirely united in affection, they therefore wish that regard may be had to the expenses and losses of the particular members of the Company, in the manner hereafter mentioned; and they hope that when the Lord Commissioners for Scotland have considered how generally that undertaking was entered upon in Scotland, and consequently how universal that loss was, they will readily agree to the proposal."

Following upon this, the English Commissioners, "being extremely desirous to bring the Treaty to a speedy conclusion," agreed that, on the completion of the Union, the sum of 398,085, 10s. should be paid to Scotland as "an equivalent" for what that kingdom should become liable for towards payment of the debts of England, and for agreeing to an equality of taxes. They further proposed that the equivalent money should be applied (1) in discharging the public debts of Scotland, (2) in renovating the coin, and (3) in repaying the capital stock of the Darien Company, with interest at 5 per cent; and that immediately on such repayment of the capital stock and interest, the Company should be dissolved and cease. All these proposals, in connection with the equivalent, were embodied in No. XV. of the draft Articles of Union, which were signed by the Commissioners on 22nd July, the day before their meetings terminated.

When the proposed Articles of the Union were remitted to Scotland, and brought up for discussion in Parliament in the month of October, they roused great indignation all over the country. Day after day addresses from the shires, burghs, and parishes respectively poured in upon the Estates, all couched in nearly identical terms, and protesting against an incorporating Union with England. In the month of November riots took place at Glasgow, and an armed force publicly burned the Articles at Dumfries. At the same time a stream of pamphlets, chiefly assailing the Union, issued from the press. Paterson took part in the fray, but he appeared on the other side of the controversy—that of promoting the Union; and in his ' Proceedings of the Wednesday's Club in Friday Street' he gives an able exposition of the necessity for and advantages of an incorporating Union, and combats the various adverse opinions prevalent on the subject. This was not a new idea with him. For several years he had advocated such a measure, and before King William's death he had entered zealously into his Majesty's policy of a legislative Union. In Paterson's opinion, the very failure of the Scottish aims at colonial enterprise in Darien made a closer union with England all the more imperative. He was in Edinburgh in September and October 1706 on the business of the Union, having been appointed by Lord Treasurer Godolphin to a Commission, along with Drs Gregory and Bower, to examine the public accounts. While so employed he penned five important letters, with a statement of the debt and revenues of both nations, demonstrating the reasonableness and advantages of the Union. These letters appear in a manuscript in the British Museum. His friend, James Duprd, writing to him some time afterwards on the subject of his letters, addresses him "To William Paterson, Esq., my most honoured and worthy master," and says, in reference to the influence the letters had on the Union question, that "they bore such weight with the Committees appointed to examine the several matters referred to them, that we may without flattery say that they were the compass the Committees steered by." The following extract from his fourth letter, dated Edinburgh, 8 th October 1706, written three days after the opening of Parliament, describes clearly how the non-success of the Darien scheme was one of the accelerating causes of the Union. He says :—

"Although the keeping up of our [Darien] Company could not possibly prove of any benefit to its proprietors, but, contrariwise, be a certain hazard and loss, besides the needless umbrage it would give, yet will it, in the fruits of the Union, have had better success for the time than any other in Christendom—viz., a return of its capital stock advanced, with 5 per cent interest, besides the honour of being the means of uniting this noble and famous island, and thereby being the means of introducing, not only its own members, but with them their whole country, into a free and open trade. I doubt not but you will remember that when we first proposed this Company, the prospect of its being instrumental in bringing a Union was warm and sensible on our spirits, as being the best and most desirable issue it could possibly have. Even the success we wished for, and sought in our attempts to Caledonia, could not possibly have terminated in more than this. And of this, our early sentiments and inclination, the motto of our Company is, and will be, a standing monument— viz., Vis Unita Fortior.

"In fine, as it is plain this Company hath rather been calculated and fitted for and towards bringing a Union, than for subsisting in an ununited state; and since, if the Union had been brought about by good success in our attempt to Caledonia, we have reason to believe no good patriot would have been angry, it would certainly be strange to find any so, when even the miscarriage of that design hath contributed to the Union."

Towards the end of December 1706, when the fifteenth Article of the Treaty (dissolving the Darien Company and making provision for its losses) came up for consideration before the Estates, it caused much stir. The Court of Directors of the Company expressed dissatisfaction with the terms proposed, liberal as these were, on the ground that the compensation offered involved the dissolution of their Company. They prayed to be heard by counsel as to the value of the privileges conferred on the Company by their Act, which were now to be sacrificed. On this point De Foe says that the proposal of the Directors was put forward not so much in behalf of the Company as to put a stop to the Union, since it was evident that two India companies, one English and the other Scottish, could not be consistent with the good trade of the United Kingdom. The Company's proposal was therefore rejected, and the fifteenth Article, after some alteration and amendment, was approved and carried.

The Estates thereafter referred it to a special committee to look into and consider what the capital stock of the Darien Company, with interest, might amount to, together with the Company's debts, and to report the same to Parliament. Accordingly, when the committee brought in their report, dated 21st February 1707, it was found that the total amount due to the Company, as at 1st May 1707, in respect of capital stock, debts, and interest, amounted to 243,166, 0s. 3d. sterling, made up as follows :—

Darien Company. — Total capital stock advanced by the proprietors, with interest at 5 per cent to 1st May 1707 . . . 229,482 15 If.

Add—Debts due by the Company 14,809 18 11

Making together . . 244,292 14 Of

Deduct—Money lent to proprietors 1,126 13 9f

Balance due to the proprietors . 243,166 0 3

When the committee's report was submitted to Parliament on 5th March, it transpired that a considerable amount of interest previously allowed by the Company to certain proprietors had been overlooked. The report was therefore referred again to the committee, in order that the calculation of the interest might be revised. By making allowance for this omission it was found that the balance due to the proprietors would have to be modified by the sum of 10,281, 15s. 2id., thereby reducing the grand total of the compensation from 243,166, 0s. 3d. to 232,884, 5s. Old. sterling, the amount afterwards inserted in the relative Act.

The committee further found that there were debts due to the Company amounting to 22,951, 3s. 3fd., consisting entirely of call-money in arrear by the proprietors, with interest to 1st May. This indebtedness the committee recommended should be cancelled, and the debtors discharged, on the ground that if payment were to be insisted on, it would merely temporarily increase the capital stock of the Company, and the money would fall to be paid back to the debtors again. The last amount that the committee condescended upon was a sum of 1654, lis. Old., the value of the Company's "dead stock." These assets consisted of the ship Caledonia, lying in the river of Clyde, with her furniture, guns, and apparelling; that lodging at


Erected in 1698, and Taken Down in 1871.

the back of Milns Square, over against the Tron Kirk, with some little household plenishing therein and the Company's share of the cargo of the Speedwell, shipwrecked in the East Indies, effeiring to the Stock of six hundred pounds Sterling, with the burden of Cellar rent of the stores of the Caledonia, and the expenses of keeping the said ship after the first of May; and of the freight, seamen, and factor's wages of the said cargo of the Speedwell, and other supervenient charges upon the said ship and cargo."

The committee recommended that the above "dead stock" money should be retained by the Company for the purpose of defraying the costs attending the liquidation — such as Directors' fees, staff salaries, and legal expenses; and also for awards to be granted to gentlemen-officers and others who went to Darien, for their faithful services.

The 25th of March 1707, the day on which the Scottish Parliament sat for the last time, was a red-letter day in the life of Paterson, for on it he beheld the royal sceptre extended to touch the Act concerning the Payment of the Sums out of the Equivalent to the African

Company. By this Act an amount " not exceeding the sum of 232,884, 5s. 0|d. sterling," was directed to be paid to the Darien subscribers in restitution of all their losses—a great boon to the Scotland of that period; and this consummation was largely achieved through the unremitting pleadings of Paterson during the preceding six years.

On the same memorable day, a signal mark of honour was given to him in connection with the part he took in bringing about the Union. The Minutes of Parliament record that " It being moved to recommend Mr William Paterson to her Majesty for his good service, after some reasoning thereon, it was put to the vote, Eecommend him to her Majesty or Not? and it was carried Eecommend."

Mr Hill Burton ('Darien Papers') states that it was only in a comparatively small number of cases that the subscriber who signed the subscription book in 1696 signed the receipt for the Equivalent certificate in 1707. In many cases the certificates were taken by assignees, in others by successors, and in not a few by arresting creditors. De Foe partly explains this by stating that the miscarriage of the Darien Company's designs had been so effectual that not only was their paid-up capital all expended, but they were much in debt besides.

This made the subscribers so apprehensive of further calls that many of them eagerly sold out their stock, several offering to dispose of their whole interest for 10 per cent on the original holding. And although repayment of the capital stock to the subscribers was provided for in the Treaty of Union, yet the fury of the opposition to the Union was so pronounced, both inside and outside of Parliament, that holders of Darien stock had little dependence on the Treaty being carried out.

Reimbursement to the Darien subscribers was to be made in cash. The queen appointed twenty-five Commissioners to administer the funds, and the Equivalent money lay in the Bank of England.

De Foe, who was in Scotland at the time, gives an account in his ' History of the Union' of the manner in which the Equivalent money was paid in Edinburgh. In terms of the Articles of Union, the money should have been paid on 1st May 1707; but July arrived, and there was no advice of its having left London. Scandalous reflections began to spread abroad to the effect that the English, having secured the Union, would pay only when they pleased, and perhaps never. Others gave forth the idea that, the money not being paid on 1st May, the Union was dissolved; " and there was a discourse of some gentlemen, who came to the Cross of Edinburgh, and protested in name of the whole Scots nation that the conditions of the Treaty not being complied with and the terms performed, the whole was void." At last, in August, the money arrived in Edinburgh, in twelve waggons guarded by a party of Scots Dragoons, who drove directly to the Castle, where the gold was deposited. Even this did not satisfy the populace. They hooted the drivers, and railed on the very horses that drew the waggons ; and when the drivers returned from the Castle, they were stoned. Of the total amount of the Equivalent, 100,000 only was brought to Edinburgh in gold, the remainder being in Exchequer bills, payable on demand, which the Bank thought would be readily taken in Scotland. This raised a new clamour, the people declaring that the English had tricked them by putting them off with bills payable 400 miles away, and which, if lost or mislaid, or by accident burnt, were irrecoverable. The Commissioners saw the mistake, and sent to London for 50,000 more gold. They also intimated that nobody would be obliged to take bills without their consent. In a short time, as the people found that Exchequer bills were accepted in payment for large transactions, and that they could readily be exchanged for coin or bills of exchange payable in London, their dislike to them gradually wore off. De Foe further remarks that, from an "interest" point of view, the Bank had hoped that the Exchequer bills would remain in circulation in Scotland; but in this they were disappointed, as the bills returned to England so directly that in six months' time there was not one to be seen north of the Tweed.


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