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Ostensibly written by Richard Walter, chaplain of the Centurion, there is no doubt the opinions expressed in the account were those of Anson, who exercised close control over the partisan analysis of Spanish power in the Pacific. 

The book urged a survey of the Falklands as a preliminary step towards the establishment of a British base near Cape Horn and revived calls for the exploration of Patagonia 's west coast, in the hope of finding a more convenient harbour than Juan Fernandez. 

It delivered a highly favourable account of what might have been achieved if the squadron had left earlier. In Anson's version of events, captured Spanish letters revealed hopeless decadence and confusion, disaffected Creoles, discontented Indians and defenceless ports. If he had been able to capture  Valdivia, there would have been a full-scale Indian uprising in Chile, spreading to Peru, and transforming itself into a general insurrection across Spanish America.

A Voyage Round the World provided a depressingly graphic, if depressing picture of the passage of scurvy through the crews. It also reveals that the cure for the disease was known even before James Lind's work later in the decade. 

As far back as 1593, Richard Hawkins had noticed the efficacy of oranges and lemons in a sailor’s diet, but the problem of obtaining them in hostile waters where ports were closed to them would continue to dog Anson's successors. 

Lind's controlled experiment in 1746 demonstrated that patients with scurvy who were fed oranges and lemons recovered quicker than those on other diets, and although Lind published his findings in 1753 his results were ignored in preference to less successful solutions advocated by more powerful lobbyists.

While Anson, like his privateering predecessors, made few geographical discoveries and added nothing of significance to geographical knowledge, books and tales like his helped maintain interest in the Pacific and the publicity surrounding the voyage led to a surge of activity in the Pacific. 

Considerations of geography, commerce and strategy pointed to the Pacific as one of the most important objectives for the rival European powers, and Anson became one of the key players as those considerations unfolded.

© Ian Hughes 2017