[Footnote 202: Funnel’s narrative in Dampier’s Voyages, vol. IV. pp. 1.—208. Harris, I. 131. Callender, III. 66. and III. 145.]
[Footnote 203: All these fancies are now shewn to be imaginary.—E.]
This expedition was undertaken at the beginning of the Succession war, in the reign of Queen Anne; and high expectations were raised from it, of performing great exploits against the Spaniards, who had accepted the Duke of Anjou as their king. The merchants believed that a very profitable expedition might be made into these parts, with a reasonable force, where the buccaneers, with small and ill-provided vessels, had performed such extraordinary things; and therefore, having obtained the best information they could as to the proper manner of accomplishing the design, they cheerfully contributed to the expences necessary for the purpose. With this view, they at first fitted out two ships of 26 guns and 120 men each, which were designed for the South Seas. One of these was named the St George, commanded by Captain William Dampier, in which Mr William Funnell sailed as chief mate. The other was the Fame, commanded by Captain John Pulling. Both ships were amply supplied with warlike stores, and well victualled for nine months; and had commissions from Prince George, the queen’s husband, lord-high-admiral, to proceed against the French and Spaniards; and the officers and crews of both were hired on the principles of sharing in the expedition, no purchase no pay.
While they lay in the Downs, some difference arose between the two captains, on which Captain Pulling went away with his ship, the Fame, intending to cruize among the Canary Islands, and never afterwards joined. Before sailing on the originally-proposed expedition, Dampier was joined by a small ship, the Cinque-ports galley, Captain Charles Pickering, of ninety tons, carrying 16 guns and 63 men, well victualled and provided for the voyage. The original plan of the voyage was to go first up the Rio Plata, as high as Buenos Ayres, in order to capture two or three Spanish galleons, which Dampier alledged were usually there. If this part of the expedition succeeded, so as to get to the value of about 600,000_l_. it was to be proceeded in no farther; but if his first object failed, they were then to cruize on the coast of Peru, to intercept the ships which bring gold from Baldivia to Lima. Should this again fail of success, they were to attempt some rich towns, as Dampier might direct. After this, they were to go to the coast of Mexico, at that time of the year when the great galleon usually comes from Manilla to Acapulco, which is commonly reported to be worth fourteen millions of dollars.