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Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies (Darien Company), MS 69

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 MS 69
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies (Darien Company), MS 69
Date(s): [1699-1702]
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume containing 8 leaves
Name of creator(s): Unknown.
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies was created by an Act of the Scottish Parliament in Jun 1695. Under this act the Company was granted exclusive privilege of trade between Scotland and America, and perpetual monopoly of trade with Asia and Africa. The Company undertook two disastrous voyages to the Darien Isthmus, Panama, in 1698-1699, where it hoped to establish a Scottish colony named Caledonia. The attempt failed and the colony was abandoned by 1700. The Company was dissolved in 1707.


Scope and content/abstract:

Manuscript volume containing a treatise entitled 'Considerationes upon the question whither the parliament of Scotland should begin nixt session with asserting their right to Caledonia and the legality of our settlement there', [1698]. This manuscript was written after 1698 and before 1702, as reference is made on the last page to the 'Anatomy of the equivalent, printed some years ago'. This refers to The anatomy of an equivalent, an anonymous work written by George Savile, Marquis of Halifax, and published about 1688.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Single item.

Conditions governing access:

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Finding aids:

Collection level description.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Part of the Goldsmith's Library of Economic Literature, initially collected by Herbert Somerton Foxwell and presented by the Goldsmith's Company to the University of London in 1903.

Allied Materials

Related material:

University of London MS 63 consists of a collection of papers relating to the Darien Company, and AL 97 is a letter from Jean Pellerin urging the English to support the Scots colony at Darien, which would facilitate trade with Latin America and undermine the strength of Spain and France, [Amsterdam, 1699]. There are numerous works relating to the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies in the Goldsmith's Library of Economic Literature.

The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, holds accounts and papers, 1694-1709 (Ref: Adv MSS 8311-8393; Ch 238-42), and a letter book, 1696-1697 (Ref: MS 1914); the Royal Bank of Scotland Archives contain directors minutes, instruction books, acts, orders and resolutions of the general council, 1696-1707 (Ref: D); the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, hold minutes of the nominees appointed by Parliamentary Act for establishing the company, 1696 (Ref: GD 103/2/4/41).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

The Darien Papers: being a selection of original letters and official documents relating to the establishment of a Colony at Darien by the Company of Scotland trading to Africa and the Indies, 1695-1700 [Edited by John Hill Burton] (Edinburgh, 1849); James Samuel Barbour A History of William Paterson and the Darien Company (W. Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh & London, 1907); Francis Russell Hart The Disaster of Darien. The story of the Scots settlement and the causes of its failure, 1699-1701 (Constable & Co, London; Cambridge, Mass, [1930]); George Pratt Insh The Darien Scheme (Staples Press, London, 1947); John C.B. Scott A Bibliography of Printed Documents and Books relating to the Scottish Company, commonly called the Darien Company (1906).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Sarah Smith as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions:
ISAD(G) 2nd edition, and NCA rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names (1997).

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jul 2000

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