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The Darien Adventure

Company of Scotland minute book title page, 1696

The ‘Darien Adventure’, the gallant attempt to establish a Scots trading colony at Darien (now part of Panama) during the 1690s, is an episode of crucial importance in Scottish history. The failure of the venture coloured the relationship between Scotland and England for many years and was one of the economic reasons for the Scottish Parliament’s acceptance of the Act of Union in 1707.

Curiously, The Royal Bank of Scotland grew out of the failure of the colony, as its origins lie in the banking ambitions of the Commissioners of ‘the Equivalent’ – the sum awarded to Scotland under the Union in compensation for the losses incurred by Darien. As a result the archive collections of RBS include many papers relating to the Darien Adventure and its consequences.

This resource provides pupils with the opportunity to study an appropriate historical event, adopt methods of historical enquiry and use historical documents to develop their knowledge of the political and economic past.

Teachers’ notes

A history for teachers

Information sheets and worksheets for pupils

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