Dates don’t add up
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!’”