The Pirate who Stole Scotland: William Dampier and the Creation of the United Kingdom



Pen & Sword Books Ltd
FORMAT: Hardback
ISBN: 9781399093644
RRP: £25.00
PAGES: 248
PUBLICATION DATE: January 30, 2023


The Pirate who Stole Scotland: William Dampier and the Creation of the United Kingdom

By (author) Leon Hopkins

Economic warfare is not a new phenomenon. In the protectionist climate of the seventeenth century, trade embargoes, exclusions and boycotts were common. England was among the most active nations when it came to using economic clout to get its own way. It did so to force Scotland to accept an Act of Union: to submerge its independence within a United Kingdom governed from London. Instrumental in this attack upon the Scots was William Dampier, the principal subject of this book. He was an extraordinary man. A farmer’s son, he became the most travelled man of his generation. He was a pirate, a brute and a devious sociopath. But he was also a scientist and a talented writer who gave his readers accurate descriptions of previously unknown places, peoples, plants and animals. He was a daring explorer and an expert navigator who mapped coastlines and logged wind patterns and ocean currents. He led the first Royal Navy expedition to Australia, over 70 years before Captain Cook’s arrival. Dampier’s writing made him famous, but not rich. It allowed him to rub shoulders with the leading men of his day; scientists such as Robert Hooke, Edmund Halley and Hans Sloane, businessmen such as Sir John Houblon (first governor of the Bank of England) and William Paterson, politicians such as James Vernon and Charles Montagu (first Earl of Halifax), and Admiralty men such as Admiral Sir George Rooke and Samuel Pepys. And Dampier was in the pay of the English Government; an agent known to Queen Anne, in which capacity he engineered a financial disaster and political drubbing for Scotland.

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