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

Scope and Content

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.

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.


Single item.

Access Information

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.

Acquisition Information

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.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Manuscript quarto. Bound in quarter-morocco.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Smith as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Separated Material

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).

Conditions Governing Use

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.

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 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).