Dates don’t add up

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - COMMENT -

A reg­u­lar reader has emailed to say: “In a re­cent ar­ti­cle about an Ar­broath mer­chant’s suc­cess in the Caribbean, I was puz­zled by some of the dates given.”

“The mer­chant, John Philips, went on to be­come gover­nor of the is­land of St Maarten.

“What puz­zled me were the dates quoted in the ar­ti­cle. It said he was born in 1684, yet he was stan­dard-bearer for Bon­nie Dundee in 1689 at the Bat­tle of Kil­liecrankie. That would have made him five years old.

“Then a cap­tion said his house on St Maarten, later to be­come the court­house, was built for him in 1793. That would have made him 109 at the time of con­struc­tion.

“When I pointed out the ap­par­ent anom­alies to my wife as the poor soul tried to read her book, with­out look­ing up she sim­ply made the grim re­mark, no doubt shared by many read­ers: ‘You re­ally must get a life!’”

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