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Empire & Industry

The Colonies

The Colonies

As early as the late 17th century, Scotland had attempted to build overseas colonies, although with limited finances and little to export, it was always going to prove difficult to compete against the larger European nations. To try and remedy this situation, the Bank of Scotland was founded in 1695 (ironically by an Englishman, John Holland), and the Company of Scotland was chartered with capital raised by public subscription to trade with "Africa and the Indies". The Company of Scotland became associated with several pre-union projects attempting to set up colonies abroad including the Darien Scheme, a venture devised by William Paterson from Tynwald in Dumfriesshire (strangely it had been Paterson, a Scotsman, who had founded the Bank of England), which hoped to establish a Scottish colony in Panama for the purpose of trading with the far east.

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