The History of Leith

January 12, 2011

The Speedy Return

After the failure of their great colonial scheme the Darien Company still
carried on a shipping trade with the East. This was strongly resented by the East India Company, who looked upon the countries round the Indian Ocean as their peculiar sphere for trading. They seized and sold the Annandale, one of the Darien Company’s ships, while another, the Speedy Return, had sailed to the East three years before, and, in spite of her name, had not since been heard of.

Just at this time an East Indiaman, the Worcester, driven by stress of weather, sought shelter in the Forth. The Worcester did not belong to the East India Company, as was supposed at the time, but to a rival company founded in the same year as the Darien Company.
Rumours began to get abroad that Captain Green and the crew of the Worcester had captured a Scottish ship off the Malabar coast, and had murdered the crew. It was at once concluded that this ship was the Speedy Return, and that an overruling Providence had directed
Captain Green and his men to the Forth for punishment.
The upshot was that Captain Green and two of his crew were tried, and, without a shadow of proof, condemned to be hung as pirates on Leith sands, where the angry population of the two towns crowded to see that they did not escape. If the crew of the Worcester had seized
any Scottish ship it was not the Speedy Return, for that much misnamed vessel, it would seem, eventually found her way back to Leith.

source-The Story of Lrith

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