Mistakes led to Darien disaster

I AM amazed at the letter from John JG McGill (14 July). It bears no attachment to the events of the Darien Scheme at all. He fails to mention that the project was to build a colony there in territory already claimed by Spain as New Granada. Why would England engage in a war against the French to offend Spain and risk Spain joining the French?

Apart from picking the wrong location for settlement – which was swampland and killed off most of the first expedition, led by Thomas Drummond, completely out of his depth, who was I believe the same Thomas Drummond notorious for his involvement in the Glencoe Massacre – Scotland sent a second expedition, which was also a disaster, and the Spanish eventually allowed the survivors passage home. England didn’t force the Scots to set this scheme in motion.

I do wish that certain elements of the Yes campaign wouldn’t try to paint my country as responsible for all the disasters visited upon earth from time immemorial.

I can understand the feeling of wanting your own separate identity and nation – that’s what I want for England. I wish the Yes campaign success, but please do away with these “chip on shoulder outbursts”.

Stuart Eels, Chippenham


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