On the 2nd of February 1709, Alexander Selkirk (born Selcraig) was rescued from Juan Fernandez Island, now known as Robinson Crusoe Island.
Alexander was born in Lower Largo in 1676. He was the seventh son of the local shoemaker John Selcraig and Euphan Mackie. As a youngster he was so unruly that he was summoned before the Kirk Session for his “undecent carriage” . He took off to sea before the case was concluded.
Alexander enlisted in a privateering expedition led by Captains Dampier and Pickering whose intention was to profit from plundering the Spanish galleons and the rich Spanish colonies. Privateering expeditions were given approval by the government but were, in fact, little more than legalised piracy which was very profitable if the expeditions were successful. Alexander was a first class navigator and was appointed sailing master on the ninety ton vessel “Cinque Ports” which had sixteen guns and a crew of sixty three. Continue reading “On This Day – 2nd February 1709”