Adventure of the Earl of Montrose on the run goes here
My Father’s Grandfather was a considerable land owner and grazier within about sixteen miles [was six but changed to sixteen] of Dover in Kent and had an estate in Romney Marsh. He had three sons one settled at Titchfield in Hampshire and another in Hertfordshire and the third remained with him. My father was the son of him [Francis Marsh] who settled at Titchfield, who became Captain and owner of a small ship and trading from Southampton to Lisbon in which he had been so successful that he had intended to settle on shore upon his fortune, but in coming home on his last voyage his ship was drove in a violent storm up the Channel to the east end to the Isle of Wight, and there foundered and every person in her was drowned but himself. He was said to be an excellent swimmer, but in such a sea he had not the least hopes of saving his life. He had prepared and always carried with him to sea an oil skin bag in
and descended from an old Saxon family – and at one time called ‘De Marisso’ These old Yeoman families in Kent held the same rank as ‘Esquires’ in the Shires and ‘Lairds’ in Scotland.
the shape of a hammock in which he proposed to put his valuable papers and lash around him and over his arms in case he should be forced by any accident at see, to throw himself therein, with the hope of saving his life and thereby swimming. In going this last voyage he was earnestly entreated by a gentleman and his son who was a near neighbour, to take the latter with him for pleasure who was a most amiable boy of fourteen years of age, who was very much admired by him and everyone else who knew him.
He therefore consented to take him and when he found there was no hopes of saving either of their lives or the ship he was quite miserable with regard to this fine boy who upon finding the danger they were in, clung to him as he was undressing himself and securing the aforementioned oil skin bag around him in such a manner as affected him beyond expression more especially as it was totally out of his power to assist or save him from drowning; and when he found the ship was sinking very fast and the seamen run up the rigging to keep as long as they could from the dreadful prospect before them, he was forced to shove the child from him, and commit himself to the sea, from which time he saw no more of the ship or the crew as she soon after sank and every person in her was drowned.
He had put into the oil skin bag his bank notes and his valuable papers, together with a small family bible, not above 7 inches long, 4 or 5 inches broad and about 1 inch and a half thick which is remarkable for containing the Old and New Testament, the reading and singing Psalms, the latter set to music, the Apocryphy and every chapter in the Old Testament explained by question and answer, which remained in the bag when he was miraculously drove on shore on the beach at the East end the said island, but was then totally senseless and void of the strength insomuch that as the waves drove him up the beach, he rolled back with them, but in a short time after a man at work in a field at a considerable distance discovered something washing up and down the beach with the surf of the sea which appeared very large and very uncommon, who thereupon went to see what it was, and on discovering a man he thought not dead tho’ senseless, he run up to the nearest house got a short ladder and help and carried him to it, whereafter the water was pretty well got out of his body, he by medical assistance came to his senses in about two hours, told the particulars of his misfortune, but could give no account of his wonderful preservation, and asked if the bag was found lashed round him, and if his books and papers were safe, observing if a man could be found on the island who could preserve the book he should not regard any expense; fortunately such a one could be found upon a visit from London to some of his friends who very judiciously did so, which is now in my library.
After this event he lived many years in peace and happiness reflecting on the goodness of God to him for his wonderful deliverance and escape from drowning, for which he daily returned thanks to the day of his death.