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To the British public, particularly those who lined the way as thirty-two wagons laden with silver made their way from Portsmouth to the capital and proceeded in procession through the streets of London, Anson was a national hero and entered Parliament as the member for Hedon in Yorkshire in 1744. 

There was, however, a downside to the story as a dispute over prize money resulted in lengthy litigation, Anson's three-eighths of the prize money delivered an estimated payout of £91,000 (over one hundred and twenty times the £719 he earned as captain during the voyage's three year and nine-month duration). In contrast, an ordinary seaman would have received around £300, the equivalent of twenty years' wages.

In between, were the former officers from the Gloucester and Tryal. Things might have been different if Anson had formally promoted them to the equivalent rank once they came aboard the  Centurion. However, he didn't, and according to the Admiralty's rules, the transfer meant they lost their position and became, effectively, effectively, ordinary seamen. 

Since an officer's share was around £6,000, the litigation was inevitable.

While the courts initially decided in their favour, the surviving officers from the Gloucester and Tryal, lost on appeal, and the decision may have been influenced by their former commander's victory over the French at Cape Finisterre.

Meanwhile Anson was embarking on a political career and was already in touch with the Lord Chancellor, his uncle's friend Lord Hardwicke, but joined a group of opposition Whigs led by the Duke of Bedford, who became First Lord of the Admiralty when part of the Whig opposition was incorporated into the ministry in December 1744. 

© Ian Hughes 2017