Over-confidence and mismanagement by the Scots, rather than English interference, caused the Darien Disaster, a new study finds. The first detailed examination of the financial records of the Company of Scotland and a vital new perspective of the events that led from Darien to the Union with England are revealed in a new book, The Price of Scotland.
A Scottish joint-stock company raised a vast amount of money during the financial mania of 1696. The Company of Scotland decided to compete with the trading powers of the day, build an expensive fleet of ships in Europe, and establish a colony at Darien on the isthmus of Central America. However, the colony failed and every penny was lost.
With the tercentenary of the Union in 2007, The Price of Scotland provides a timely re-assessment of Scotland’s strange journey from Darien to the Wealth of Nations. Douglas Watt’s new interpretation of this key period in history provides an analysis of events from the attempt to raise capital in London in 1695 to the shareholder bail-out, which was a crucial ingredient of the Treaty of the Union in 1707.