On this day in 1704, the ship Worcester anchored in the Leith road. The decision to wait there for a convoy to Newcastle was to prove to fatal for Captain Thomas Green, his mate John Madder and John Simpson. But why was this decision made?
The Worcester had proved especially unseaworthy on its voyage to the East Indies. Despite many of the crew being sick with feavours and fluxes, Green had to take the very leaky ship from the Malabar Coast on the west of India to Bengal on the east coast in order to have her repaired before returning to England.
Having managed to reach the Cape of Good Hope without incident, Green waited here until he was able to join a convoy for the final leg of his voyage. Thomas Bowrey had warned that they should directed that he should do this to avoid the risk of capture by French privateers. The English Channel as an especially dangerous place at the time. Having departed from the Cape in Dutch convoy with two other English ship, the Worcester again sprung a leak and fell behind. Alone, they sailed west of Ireland and round the north of Scotland but most of their gunpowder had been ruined by water.
Without any means of protection, Green had to pull into Edinburgh for repairs and to await another convoy.