The Darien Company was created in May 1695, a copy of the successful English East India Company which immediately became a jealous and powerful rival.
A large part of Scotland's wealth was invested in the company whose operations (predominantly in the Spanish-controlled Isthmus of Darien) failed disastrously through a mixture of mismanagement, rivalry and sheer misfortune. It's failure created economic havoc in Scotland.
Initially, the Darien disaster created an upsuge of anti-English feeling in Scotland. it had such a drastic effect on Scotland's economy that many Scots felt more enthusiastic to support the union of the English and Scottish parliaments in 1707.*
I hunted high and low on website after website to find a suitable item to turn into this Press with no luck at all until I spotted this at the NEC fair. I was so pleased to find exactly the item I was looking for, it made the whole trip worthwhile!
It's items like this little Ledger that all add to the realism of the project. I love the fact that it's printed inside:
* Reproduced by kind permission of the National Trust for Scotland.