On This Day: 5 August 1707

On this day in 1707, Henry Smith reported back to Thomas Bowrey that, despite only having been in Edinburgh for two business days, he had already achieved Soe good a ground work. (It always amazes me how modern the language used in the early eighteenth century appears.)

Smith had high hopes of being able to obtain the Worcester‘s supercargo’s account book and, even more unexpectedly, he had hopes of getting all of the ship’s papers that had been taken by that villaine Rory Mackensy (Roderick Mackenzie, the secretary of the Darien Company). Without the account book and papers, Bowrey was unable to quantify his loses from the seizure of the Worcester.

In answer to one of the questions he had been sent to Edinburgh with, Smith was able to confirm that all possible care had been taken to secure the cargo of the ship after it had been seized by locking and sealing the hatch. These had been forced and a cabinet (the chest of drawers mentioned yesterday?) had been ransacked but the two gold earrings and severall odd things werestill in the warehouse. However, there was no record of the gold crucifix set with diamonds and two diamond rings. Smith believed MacKensy had ’em.

Smith added: I am here in the Darke to every body for these verry men I enquire of knows not I Came on Purpose on this business. I get the impression that Smith is enjoying his cloak-and-dagger mission. Perhaps he was the correct person to send to Scotland. The letter is concluded with the comment: All these People Curses the Union Saying a few men has Sold there Country for English Gold. The Act of Union had come into effect just three months earlier.

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