Published: 26/05/2014 15:03 - Updated: 27/05/2014 11:05

From a transatlantic adventure to an Edinburgh coffee house

Indian Peter, Mike Maran


NEW Deer Public Hall will play host on Thursday evening (May 29) to the exciting tale of Indian Peter – a caffeine-fuelled, rip-roaring, swashbuckling story of kidnap, shipwreck, slavery, murder, mayhem and skulduggery set in an 18th century Edinburgh coffee house.

The hall will be set out with tables, and wine and soft drinks will be on sale for the performance by Mike Maran, with a musical soundtrack of fiddle music played by BBC young traditional musician of the year Rona Wilkie.

Narrator Maran will be telling the story of Scotsman Peter Williamson (1730-1799), known as Indian Peter, who was kidnapped in Aberdeen, sold as an indentured labourer to a farmer in Pennsylvania and then captured and enslaved by native Americans.

He escaped, joined the British Army and was captured by the French, who sent him back to Britain, where he published an account of his adventures which implicated the Aberdeen magistrates in his kidnapping.

They threw him in jail and then ran him out of town, but he successfully sued them, and with the compensation he opened Indian Peter's Coffee House in Edinburgh.

He also published an Edinburgh street directory, ran a private post office, and invented a submarine for commuting across the Firth of Forth to Fife.

Tickets for the 7.30pm performance, priced at £10 and £8, are available from the New Deer Pharmacy (01771 644217), Food for Thought (01771 644366), online from or on the door.

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