My fifth and final talk based on my research into the life of Captain Thomas Bowrey is the Tragic Case of the Worcester. I have stalled posting about this because I have said so much about the Worcester here and, in a short talk, there is nothing new to be said.
It is worth, however, highlighting just how relevant the story, set in the early years of the eighteenth century, is to our life in 2018. The key issues – the media, fake news, the Union of Scotland and England, piracy and slavery – are very much “on topic”. The light it throws on Bowrey’s paranoid micro-management demonstrates how little human nature has changed.
Bowrey’s commercial paranoia led to the Scots suspecting the true objectives of the voyage of the Worcester. However, the true objectives of whaling, slave trade and gaining commercial advantage at all costs were considered acceptable at the time – much less so today. That the Worcester was involved in piracy was fake news but believed by the Scottish mob stirred up by the infant newspapers. This we can all recognise despite it happening well over three hundred years ago. As for the union of England and Scotland: that question did not die with the referendum – the other referendum ensured that.
Yes, the tragic case of the Worcester remains relevant today. That is why so much is still being written about it and not just by me.