William Paterson & the Darien Scheme

Born in Tynwald, Dumfriesshire, in 1658, William Paterson moved to England at a young age and became a merchant and financier, trading for the most part with the Americas and the West Indies, and living for a while in the Bahamas where he got a taste of colonial life. It was Paterson, a Scot, who founded the Bank of England in 1694. He worked as Director of the bank for one year before resigning in order to pursue other grand plans. At this point in time Scotland was an unhappy place economically and politically, it had suffered seven years of crop failure and the King had dragged them into England's wars, losing the few overseas colonies that Scotland had, such as Nova Scotia in Canada, and at the same time had introduced the Navigation Act, which forbade Scottish merchants to trade with England unless they used English ships and English companies.

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