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at Jamaica, Barbadoes, and in the American planta. BOOK
X. tions, to prohibit all intercourse with the Scots, whose settlement at Darien was termed an in- ? fringement of the peace and alliance with Spain. At home, the most violent remonstrance was presented by the Spanish ambassador. The French king, to conciliate the court of Madrid, offered a squadron to dispossess the Scots. At the end of Abandoned
by the coeight months, the remainder of that ill-fated colony lony.
June 21. was constrained, by disease and famine, to abandon their settlement, and to embark for Europe; but in the West Indies and America, their ships were either denied access to the English harbours, or where detained when admitted 48.
Before the evacuation of Darien was reported, Settlement a second and a third expedition had sailed from and main Scotland, not inferior in numbers to the first 49, abandoned. The company renewed their applications to the king for protection. In opposition to the Spanish ambassador's memorial they maintained that a legitimate purchase from the native princes, who had still preserved their independence, and the rights of possession, was a title far preferable to the preoccupancy of a country which the Spaniards were unable to conquer, and which they had afterwards relinquished. But when it was
48 Pamphlets on Darien. Collect. concerning Darien, 122–43.
49 Two ships sailed in May with three hundred men, four others in September with thirteen hundred. Darien Papers.
BOOK understood in Scotland, that in consequence of the w proclamations in the Leeward Islands, the settle1699.
ment was abandoned, the whole nation was struck with consternation and despair. To recede was impossible, without utter ruin: the most vigorous orders to repossess the country were dispatched in quest of the second colony, and the settlement was resumed, under the same circumstances of famine and disease. The new colony found the huts burnt, and the forts demolished; but the difficulties of their situation, in a country that furnished no provisions for their support, nor any
returns for Europe, were encreased by dissensions Feb. 24. among themselves. Three months after their
arrival, they were attacked by the Spaniards. March 18. Twelve hundred that advanced from Panama,
were easily dispersed; but a squadron of eleven ships from Carthagena forced them to capitulate,
on permission to embark with their effects for 1700. Europe. Their ships were unprovided for such a
long voyage, and of three successive colonies that arrived at Darien, few survived to return to Scot
land 50.. Ferment of For'a time the nation was soothed and pleased,
with the hopes of repossessing its favourite settlement; and the apprehensions of utter ruin had begun to subside. But the public indignation at government was heightened, and the most clamorous efforts of rage were employed to extort
50 Darien Papers. Carstairs, 499. 511. 612.
from William a confirmation of the national right BOOK to Darien. In the hands of the Jacobites, who had insinuated themselves into the management . 1700. of the company, the court of directors acted as a powerful engine in opposition to government. Public prayers, to avert, or rather to exasperate the calamities of the nation, were appointed by the commission of the assembly at their request. A national address to assemble parliament, was circulated through the kingdom, and universally subscribed; while a proclamation against disorderly petitions was issued in vain 51. The address was presented by Tweedale, but the king's refusal to accelerate the meeting of parliament encreased the ferment. When he sought the approbation of the English parliament, the lords interposed to vindicate his opposition to the settlement at Darien, but the commons refused to concur in the address; when he recommended an union, to reconcile the hostile interests of the two kingdoms, they rejected the bill. In the resolution not to disturb the repose of Europe, nor to renew the war for an inconsiderable settlement, to which the claim was at least doubtful, his motives of just and enlightened policy obtained little credit, and made no impression upon the untractable Scots, When the day prefixed for their parliament ap- May 21. proached, the presbyterians united again with the Jacobitęs, and a majority appeared in opposition 51 Id. 500–13. Coll. Darien Papers, 103.
BOOK to the measures of the crown. The most inflamwa matory publications had been dispersed through
the nation; the most violent addresses were presented from the towns and counties; and whosoever ventured to dispute or to doubt the utility of Darien, was reputed a public enemy, devoted to a hostile and corrupt court. A resolution to assert the national right to Caledonia, and to support the colony as a national concern, was prevented by adjournment: and as the ferment still continued, the parliament was prorogued. Before the members dispersed, they concurred in a remonstrance to the king against illegal adjourn. ments, as a violation both of the freedom of debate, and of the declaration of rights. The popu. lace rose tumultuously, on the first notice of the defeat of the Spaniards by their countrymen at Darien. They proclaimed illuminations for the deliverance of Caledonia : they demolished the windows, or insulted the persons of the officers of state, and broke open the prisons to release some šeditious printers; nor had the government vigor sufficient to inflict a punishment adequate to the
offence 52. " Distress But when the surrender and final ruin of the and despair at the 105* settlement were known, the calamitous state of of Darien, the nation was universally felt." Two hundred
thousand pounds were sunk and lost in the different
52 Darien Papers, 133. Carstairs, 510_-38-9 86. 60715. Ralph, ii. 848. Minutes of the Scottish Parl. '
expeditions; an equal sum had been sent abroad, BOOK during five years of scarcity, for the purchase of food, and a general bankruptcy was expected to ensue. Many who had subscribed their whole fortunes, were reduced to ruin ; and few families had escaped the loss of a relative or a friend. Instead of returning with wealth and distinction, the adventurers who survived the mortality of a noxious climate, continued to languish in the Spanish prisons, or were left to starve in the English plantations; and the nation, awakened from its dreams of immense wealth, stript of its credit, its resources, and trade. Its stock for trade was exhausted; its credit was ruined; and as every neighbouring kingdom had proved hostile to its aggrandizement, all hopes were extinguished of emerging from a poor and contemptible state. The sense of present degradation, was exasperated by the memory of former independence, when its arms were respected, and when its alliance was solicited by the greatest potentates. Every domestic calamity which the country had sustained, was indus, triously traced to the removal of the seat of government; to the corrupt resort of the nobility to the English court, and to the pernicious influence of English councils since the union of the crowns. The most desperate attempts were projected; to sit in parliament by force; or to hold a convention of estates at Perth. On the death of the duke of July 29. Gloucester, in whom, as the last child of the prin