A History of the British Presence in Chile: From Bloody Mary by W. Edmundson

By W. Edmundson

This booklet units out to relate the contributions to and impact at the historical past of Chile that British viewers and immigrants have had, no longer as bystanders yet as key avid gamers, beginning in 1554 with the English Queen 'Bloody Mary' turning into Queen of Chile, and finishing with the decline of British effect following the second one international warfare.

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Extra info for A History of the British Presence in Chile: From Bloody Mary to Charles Darwin and the Decline of British Influence

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Helen’s Road (near Portsmouth) in September 1740, intent on attacking Spanish settlements on the west coast of South America, and returned to Spithead in June 1744, after the war had finished. Six ships left England in a debacle of a voyage that from the first showed the signs of widespread corruption in the Royal Navy, with the ships leaking and the provisions almost inedible. Commodore Anson led in HMS Centurion, but two ships in his fleet failed to round Cape Horn. After clearing the Le Maire Strait, Anson wrote, “We had a continual succession of such tempestuous weather as surprised the oldest and most experienced mariners on board, and obliged them to confess that what they had hitherto called storms were inconsiderable gales compared with the violence of these winds” (1748, chapter 6).

Thomas Stradling assumed command, with the sailing master—a Scotsman named Alexander Selkirk—as his second-in-command. Unfortunately, they did not get along, and Selkirk was left marooned in September 1704 on the uninhabited islands of Juan Fernández and became the model for Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Most versions of the story say that Selkirk asked to be put ashore because of his disagreement with Stradling and 22 A History of the British Presence in Chile because he feared the Cinque Ports was not seaworthy; and indeed this ship did later sink off the coast of Peru with the loss of most of the crew.

Despite the five years’ work under Parker King and Stokes and FitzRoy, Francis Beaufort of the British Hydrographic Department was still not satisfied and wanted further work on the charts. The Admiralty recognized the potential for trade in the region and needed accurate information on southern Patagonia and the coast of Chile. The Spanish had disengaged, leaving a vacuum, and perhaps the British could establish a strong presence in the area. FitzRoy once again assumed command of the Beagle; the only ship to carry out the renewed surveying work on this voyage.

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