On This Day: 12 August 1704

On this day in 1704, the Worcester was seized by the Scots whilst anchored in Leith Road in retaliation for the seizure of the Annandale by the English.

Captain Thomas Green, his senior officers and many of his crew were ashore in Leith and Edinburgh when Roderick MacKenzie carried out a carefully planned operation the start of which was signalled by the Royal Mary, a Scottish warship who then stood guard to ensure that no English ship came to the aid of the Worcester. Leading eleven carefully selected gentlemen, MacKenzie boarded the Worcester in a convivial manner, pretending he wished to speak with Green. They drank with the remaining officers before suddenly drawing their weapons, overpowering the crew and taking the ship.

By nine o’clock at night, the Scots had sealed the hatches, gunroom, chests and cabinets with the official seal of the Scottish African and East India Company. The remaining officers and crew of the Worcester were put ashore.

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