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18 June 2014
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Immigration and Emigration
Covenanting Colonies

Covenanting Memorial in Ayrshire
© SCRAN
The James with the Ayrshire contingent should have sailed with Lord Cardross's first party who were waiting off Largs onboard Walter Gibson's Pelican - renamed the Carolina Merchant for the occasion - under the command of Gibson's brother James. She was stopped from doing so by a wreck blocking the harbour mouth. When the James finally sailed for the Carolinas, in August 1684, she did so in the company of the Charles of Port Glasgow.

The James was lost on the coast of Carolina. Her captain survived and was back in Ayr by the beginning of November 1685. The Stuarts Town colony fared no better and, weakened by disease and hostility from the English authorities in Charleston, was completely destroyed by a Spanish attack the following year. This bitter lesson in real politik was re-enacted, with more disastrous consequences, ten years later at Darien.


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