William Hoscut was a Scottish officer who served as first mate of the Obra Dinn during its final voyage in 1802. He died when Captain Robert Witterel shot him attempting to extort the shells he had.
Hoscut was first mate of the Obra Dinn and was assisted by his steward, Paul Moss. As the first mate, he was Captain Witterel's second-in-command and was usually seen with the captain. Hoscut was the brother of Abigail Hoscut Witterel, the captain's wife. This makes him Captain Witterel's brother-in-law.
Hoscut was first seen watching the execution of Hok-Seng Lau, a Formosan guard guilty of a murder he did not commit, alongside the captain and the other mates. He was also seen fighting a crab rider as it invaded the ship.
Hoscut, seaman Henry Brennan, and topman Lewis Walker joined Captain Witterel in attempting to intervene when Leonid Volkov attempted to prevent surgeon Henry Evans and his party from escaping. Meanwhile, Midshipman Thomas Lanke overheard Gunner's Mate Olus Wiater and Fourth Mate John Davies planning mutiny and panicked, shouting "Mutiny!" at the top of his lungs. Lanke got stabbed in the back for his trouble, and Davies wrestled for Wiater's gun, and ended up blowing his face off. The resulting disturbance attracted the attention of Hoscut, Brennan, and later on Walker. While Brennan clubbed Davies for supposedly killing Wiater with malice aforethought, Hoscut rushed to Lanke's aid. As Lanke lay dying, Hoscut told Brennan to bring the surgeons kit.
After an undisclosed amount of time, Hoscut eventually attempted mutiny with the last remaining crewmen to extort the shells from Captain Witterel. Witterel refused and promptly shot Hoscut the second he burst through the door.
Though Hoscut did not kill anyone aboard the Obra Dinn, the HEIC investigation found out that he attempted mutiny when the ship had only four people on board. This attempt was unrelated to the mutiny discussed in chapter IX, Escape. Hoscut's motivation seemed to have something to do with shells on board but this was not explained in the narrative. His estate is fined £25 for attempted mutiny.
It seems that Hoscut and Witterel were quite close, as Witterel referred to Hoscut as a friend while lamenting his death.
Hoscut can be identified after The End, part 4 when Captain Witterel mentions that he shot his wife's brother. According to the crew manifest, there was a woman on board with the last name Hoscut Witterel, making her the captain's wife.
Although the game does not unblur his face until after The End, part 4, Hoscut can technically be identified after The End, part 1, from his strong Scottish accent and uniform. The only other Scottish officer on board, the purser, would not wear this kind of uniform (nor stand next to the Captain during an execution).
Hoscut can also be identified in Escape, part 1 when he is seen leaving his quarters. Since only the first mate is allowed to occupy the first mate's quarters and the room was left undisturbed, only Hoscut could have exited the room.
Hoscut appears in 14 memories. Chronologically, he first appears in Murder, part 2. He is first introduced to the player in The End, part 1. He dies in the same part and is the first character whose death the chief inspector witnesses. His corpse is among those still on the ship when she drifts back into Falmouth.
- Murder, part 2
- Unholy Captives, part 1
- Unholy Captives, part 2
- Unholy Captives, part 4
- Soldiers of the Sea, part 4
- Soldiers of the Sea, part 5
- Soldiers of the Sea, part 7
- Escape, part 1
- Escape, part 2
- Escape, part 3
- Escape, part 4
- Escape, part 5
- Escape, part 6
- The End, part 1
- The Justice at Sea sketch