Darien Scheme

By RIDPATH, George, 1700 

Scotland’s Grievances, Relating to the Darien, &c. Humbly offered to the Consideration of the Parliament.

Social & Political
  • Author: RIDPATH, George
  • Publication place: [?London]
  • Publication date: 1700.
  • Physical description: Only Edition, 8vo., (175 by 115mm), errata leaf, title, 54pp., Ordinibus regni’ leaf bound at end.
  • Inventory reference: 3148

Notes

A rare pamphlet relating to the injustices meted out by the English Parliament on Scotland; with particular reference to the Darien Scheme.

The Darien scheme was an unsuccessful attempt by Scotland to become a world trading nation by establishing a colony called New Caledonia” on the Isthmus of Panama in the late 1690s. In practice the undertaking was marked by poor planning and leadership, lack of demand for trade goods, devastating epidemics of disease, and increasing shortage of food; it was finally abandoned after a siege by Spanish forces in April of 1700. As the Darien company was backed by about a quarter of the money circulating in Scotland, its failure left the nobles and landowners — who had suffered a run of bad harvests — almost completely ruined and was an important factor in weakening their resistance to the Act of Union of 1707.

George Ridpath (d. 1726) was a Scottish journalist and pamphleteer, who seemed to be in constant trouble with the then Tory authorities. 

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