An 18th-century conspiracy theorist is convinced Captain Cook’s landing at Botany Bay was faked in a London engraving parlour.
Simeon Williams Esq, of Putney, London, has published a pamphlet pointing out ‘ye egregious dyscreppancies’ in reports from the Antipodes suggesting that a man has successfully made the impossible voyage across the great southern ocean to Terra Incognita.
Woodcut engravings of the event have been the sensation of London Town for weeks, and Williams has published several single-sheet papers accusing believers of being ‘akin to ye diabollik fusion of manne and sheepe’, and suggested they awaken from their mental slumber.
Williams – who is best known to readers for insisting that the Dutch burning the British fleet at Chatham was an ‘insyde jobbe’, in his treatise ‘An investigation into ye claimed destruction of oak beams by iron cannon-shot’ – claims he can show that humanity possesses neither the wit not the skill to create charts and ships which would pass the Roaring Forties to their destination and return unharmed.
“If you gaze with manifold and great care upon the engravings, the Flag of His Majesty does fly both straight and true upon this alien foreign land with neither creases nor wrinckles”, he told us.
“They must think we possess the wit of an ape to believe such errant nonsense, that no breeze blows to cause e’en the slightest flutter in the standard!
“And their tales of strange beasts hopping like a capering acrobat across the sward are a bald and unconvincing narrative fit for lunaticks and children. It is a trick, to strike fear into our French foes and make them believe we have surpassed them in scientific wisdom,” he concluded smugly.
Convinced of the rightness of his cause, Williams has pledged to pursue Cook when he returns from wherever he has been hiding during the deception and force him to swear on the Bible his tale is true.