George Marsh – aged 38 in 1760
Milbourne Marsh – aged 51 in 1760
Milbourne Warren – cousin of George Marsh
Diary of George Marsh
Although it was not my meaning to make any memorandum of more distant branches of my relatives, there are such extraordinary events and circumstances in the life of Mr Milbourne Warren who was my mother’s sister’s son, that I think them truly worth recording; This Mr Warren had been several years in the East Indies, but had not been fortunate there, soon after his return to England, it so happened that he went there again and was Master Carpenter of His Majesty’s ship Norfolk, on board which was Rear Admiral Cornish’s flag [Sir Samuel Cornish, 1715c-1770], by whom he was very much esteemed insomuch that when it was foreseen as the fleet lay at an anchor in the Madrass – that a monsoon or storm was coming on then the Admiral had consulted with the Officers, what was best for them to do for the preservation of themselves, their ships and the fleet, they all agreed to strike yards and topmasts and make the ships as snug as possible, and ride it out at their anchor there; but the Admiral said where is Mr Warren, he is an old experienced East Indian I do not see him amongst us: Upon which he was sent for from some duty he was performing in the ships hold, and upon the Admiral informing him that they all agreed that it would be the best security for the fleet to remain at their anchors and ride out the storm by them as aforementioned and asking him for his opinion, he replied he was very sorry to differ from them, but he was very certain there would be less danger in running out to sea and there making the ships as snug as possible.
The Admiral and all the Officers agreed to follow his advice and His Majesty’s ships, Norfolk, Weymouth and America ran out to see accordingly but such was the violence of the storm on the 20th, 21st, and 23rd of October 1763, that there was great fear that they would founder, particularly the Admiral’s ship, the Norfolk, the butt of a plank at her counter having started off, by which the sea broke in and filled her so fast, as rather to gain upon the Pumps, whereupon Mr Warren desired that he and a stout young man he had brought up, might be lashed with rope and lowered over the Quarter of the ship, with mauls and spike nails in their hands in hopes of getting it to again and securing it; but as the ship rolled violently they were a considerable time in great danger before they succeeded therein which was on the 22nd October 1763, and just before they had done so, the ship had pitched so deep as to ship such a see as carried away all the bulkheads and cabins into it.
Before this event as the fleet was ordered home and the Admiral meant to sail for England very soon, and knowing Mr Warren had got about £1,600 which he had no opportunity or remitting home, he permitted him to make a warehouse on one side under the forecastle, for all the goods he had bought with this money, for that purpose (as it was then peace) three of the guns were ordered to be struck down the hold.
In this sea the warehouse and the goods were also carried away, and upon the officer upon the quarter deck calling out to Warren to immediately to acquaint him therewith, he replied, my loss is nothing compared with that I hope we have effected viz:- to save all our lives. Soon after they were pulled up upon the Quarter Deck very much wounded and bruised by the ships rolling, particularly Mr Warren who received such a wound upon his ankle as he never recovered.
After the storm abated the Admiral was so sensible of his service that he all the Officers and the other ships companies all subscribed to his great loss, the Admiral gave him £100 and every person in the three ships in proportion to their abilities. So that the sum collected exceeded his loss, and I have now a silver hammered punch bowl made by an Indian out of part of the dollars given to him by the common men, with the ships and a particular account of the event engraved thereon.
Most of the private ships that trusted to their anchors in the Madrass Road foundered there in the storm.
Soon after this event the Admiral ordered Mr Warren, with proper assistance, to go up the country to look for trees for masts to replace or repair those broken or damaged by the storm. When at a great distance from the sea he found a young English gentleman almost at the point of death with a violent bloody flux in a miserable hole belonging to one of the poor natives without money or friends – whereupon he engaged a black doctor to attend and caused him to be supplied with all possible necessaries, the whole of which he engaged to pay for.
The Doctor directed a bird to be boiled and covered with Kyan Pepper and made him suck it, which stopped the flux, and he recovered in a few days. Mr Warren paid all expenses and gave the gentlemen ten guineas to enable him to get to the sea coast and obtain a passage to England, and then took his leave of him with thanks and blessings.
Upon Mr Warren’s return in the ship and with the fleet to England he found his wife had been a very bad women and run him greatly in to debt which very much affected him. In a few years after he had been in England my brother Milbourne was removed from being Naval Officer at Mahon to be Storekeeper of His Majesty’s Yard at Deptford; whereupon Admiral Cornish waited upon Lord Egmont [John Perceval, 2nd Earl of Egmont, 1711-1770 ], then First Lord of the Admiralty, to beg that Mr Warren might succeed him, setting forth his services and abilities, and asserted that such he knew was his worth, that he would go barefooted from one end of London to the other to serve him, as in gratitude he said he ought to do for saving under Providence his and the ships Companies lives.
I also confirmed his good character and added he was a first cousin of mine. He was therefore appointed Naval Officer at Mahon [Minorca] accordingly, and then being in distressed circumstances, I furnished him with three hundred pounds to fit him out.
And as his wife begged forgiveness of what was passed, and assuring him she would make it her constant and future study to deserve his love and protection, he took her out with him, and in about three years after she was caught in bed with an Officer in the Army, on which he immediately applied to me to get him divorced, and as the officer was very poor, and knew great damages or imprisonment would ensue, he turned evidence against her for which however, none of his Brother Officers would afterwards mess with him.
They were accordingly divorced from Bed and Board and though he had no fortune with her, I persuaded him not to suffer her to starve, but to allow forty pounds per year for her life which he complied with. He had a son by her who died a Captain in the Army.
In about six years (1770? 1777?) after Mr Warren had been settled at Mahon, he signed a bill of lading of a ship bound to Grand Cairo which is situated quite at the head of the Mediterranean Sea, and on her arrival there this Bill of lading came into the hands of the Bey’s or Governors Secretary who upon seeing the name particularly the Christian name, he was struck with surprise and after great enquiry found he was the very man who had been so humane and kind to him in the East Indies about fourteen years before. Who thereupon procured an Arabian stallion and sent to him at Mahon, but as the ship stopped at Leghorn it was a considerable time before another offered to carry him from thence there, where he was very much admired by all judges of horses, an – in about three months after Mr Warren sent him to Gibraltar in his way to England as a present to me, and there again he was kept many months before a ship offered.
At length within a year and half from Cairo he was landed at Woolwich and brought up from thence to the Navy Office, where he was also kept several months (as it was winter time). The admirations of vast numbers of people who continually came to see him, but as it was in the War I had neither time or indeed knowledge enough of horses to know how to dispose of him.
So that I sent him to a famous livery stable near Hertford Street, Mayfair, and grew quite uneasy at the vast and continued expense of him, whereupon Dr Hugh Smith said, though he was very fond of horses and had a great many of them, he would give me fifty guineas for him to put an end to my expense, which I readily accepted; indeed he observed he might be worth a thousand or more pounds for breed, however I parted with him to the Doctor with the loss of about forty guineas by my present, as the charges of freight and keep cost me about ninety.
I was nevertheless equally obliged to Mr Warren. He covered many mares but in about two years after the Doctor had him he was kicked by one of them, had his leg broken and was afterwards shot. Mr Warren had been very useful to the Danish fleet at Mahon for which I received in London and sent to him two very large silver tureens with dishes with an inscription on them importing they were a present from the King of Denmark to Mr Warren for the great service he had rendered to his fleet which were valued at three hundred pounds which he left to me at his death and I presented them to my son William.
Some time before Mr Warren’s death he obtained leave from the Navy Board to go to Beriges Mountains which divide France from Spain famous for water that has been found useful to old wounds and from the blow he received on his ankle in endeavouring to secure the butt of the plank at the Norfolk Counter, he not only ever after lame but suffered great pain, he did not however find any relief from it, and soon after his return to Mahon it terminated in his death, which happened in the beginning of the year 1783.
1 May [1759 or 1760]
Took a lodging at Dolston (Dalston ?) near Hackney and discharged it in October following.
Finding my agency business encreased very fast and have constantly great confinement and public business at the Navy Office from 10 o’clock in the morning ’till 3 and from 6 o’clock in the evening ’till 9 I was obliged to be up early and late and take every opportunity to carry on my Agency business, so as to finish that dayly, otherwise I should soon have been in great confusion therewith.
20 June 1760
I this day took Henry Creed a youth recommended to me from Bristol to copy letters etc. When it was known to my neighbours I meant to take a youth in my office, many begged me to take their sons to initiate them to business, without any pay for the first year, after which, to allow them what I pleased, but as I had promised Mr Creeds friends I would not go from it, tho’ it might have been a great saving to me as well as a great convenience. The first year I found him of very little service to me, but as he was a sober industrious good hearted lad, I encreased his salary every year till it amounted to £60 per annum and with some other allowances to £120.
30th September 1762
The Hon. Augustus Hervey, afterwards Earl of Bristol [Augustus John Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol, 1724-1779], in coming into the chops of the Channel in His Majesty’s ship Dragon with the news of our having taken Havanna, took a French Frigate of War of 10 Guns named the Francis Lewis, to which he appointed me this day sole agent, and tho’ she was claimed by an English Merchant as his private property, and not a ship of War, and he prosecuted me for her as such in Doctors Commons, I cast him there by proving to the Court that she was commanded by a Lieutenant of the French Navy whose pennant was flying on board her and as such she was so condemned accordingly, by which I got a moiety of her, instead of one eighth and all lading consisting of Brass Guns, cloth, linen, buckles, buttons etc etc etc bound to Newfoundland, which was at this time in possession of the French, and notwithstanding the Law suit, the prize money was paid in less than four months after she was taken which amounted not to about £6,000.
10th October 1763
Upon reading in the newspaper this evening at my Lodgings in Peckham that the Earl of Egmont [John Perceval, 2nd Earl of Egmont, 1711-1770] was appointed first Lord of the Admiralty, who I had not seen or waited upon since Jan 1755 (see page 82) I wrote to an acquaintance of his the following morning as soon as I entered into my house in Savage Gardens which was about 6 o’clock, and sent a Porter with the letter, in which I signified what had passed between his Lordship and myself at that time, and if his Lordship thought I could be of any service to him, I would do myself the honor to of waiting upon him. Upon his reading my letter sent an Admiralty messenger to me, and requested I would go to him as soon as I could, upon which I waited upon him this 18 Oct 1763, who expressed concern for my not having accepted his general invitation or even called upon him since the aforementioned time, for which I made the best apology I could, he declared he had not only great gratitude but a very particular for me, and asked what was my present income, desiring I would be quite open with him in all my affairs, as he intended to be so with me in all his; he having entertained the highest and best opinion of me.
I replied I had from the Crown as a pay Clerk about £160 per annum, but that I had cleared by my private business as an agent the year before this £1500, whereupon he remarked he had nothing in his gift that would amount to any thing near that sum, of which I observed I was very sensible thereof, but at the same time signified to his Lordship, I should be glad to obtain rank, and wished to be appointed a Commissioner of the Navy or Victualling, which he assured me I should be, the second vacancy that might happen, he having promised the first to his relation Mr Fortry, who by misfortune had lost a great estate, and desired to know if I would accept of being his private secretary, as he should stand in great need of my assistance in Naval affairs, adding that I could not be allowed any salary for it, but I should be permitted to have leave from the Navy Office for that purpose where my salary etc should be continued to me, which I most readily agreed to.
But he observed he would not advise me to drop my private advantageous business as an agent, which I had acquired with great labour and industry, but take a partner therein. For which purpose he would not wish me to attend him ’till I had settled my private affairs.
This advice coincided with my own opinion and intention. As soon as it was known that I was appointed his Lordship’s private secretary two young gentlemen’s fathers of rank and fortune proposed [to] lay down half the sum I was in advance to the Officers to whom I was agent, and one of them offered me a premium of £1,000 in addition thereto if I would take his son as my partner, and the other offered £300.
Though both the young men were very capable, sober and very fit for it in all respects but from their age, I did not think it advisable to trust so great a concern with such young men; but thought of proposing it to Mr Edward Ommaney who was a Clerk in the Clerk of the Survey’s office in Portsmouth yard, and who had transacted business for me therein for near two years, and who was very careful, diligent and capable, and was too of a proper age, being about 20 years old. I wrote to him and proposed the same to him, whereupon he came up to my house in Savage and saw my books and accounts and was astonished to see what I got in the business, he imagining I did not get above one third of the sum, and added that he and his family should be bound to pray for me.
I therefore engaged with him, without any premium, and signified that the rent of the house, the Clerk’s salary and every other expense should be abated from the sum annually gained by the business, and the neat sum equally divided between him and myself, and on his part he was to execute and have the whole charge of the business with the assistance of Mr Creed my clerk, and tho’ he was not well acquainted with it, Mr Creed was and would instruct him in it, and he had also me to apply to for any information he could not give him. We therefore had writings drawn up, and agreed the partnership accordingly for eleven years, and at the expiration of that time, to continue it as much longer as we should think proper. I therefore took him from a clerkship of £35 a year only, and placed him in a situation in which he gained for his part in the first year upwards of £700, and the business from my connections dayly increasing.
But I too soon found he was a person who could not bear prosperity for he became unbearably insolent to the various Offices or rather to the clerks in them in which we had any business, and would therefore have been kicked out of many of them, but out of regard to me they did put up with therewith. Tho’ not without great expense and in one instance, in which he accused a person of forgery in a public office before all the clerks, who immediately prosecuted him for it, and for two months before the Tryal was to come on, he could not rest night or day, and was dayly applying to me to use my interest to get the matter made up, which I did with great difficulty accomplish by paying all the expenses, and giving £50 to the injured person, and desired him to charge me with half of the whole, and be very cautious, and conduct himself with more propriety in future.
In about six years (1769?) after the commencement of the partnership I articled my eldest son to a proctor in Doctor Commons named Mr Green, and my youngest son seemed inclined to go into my office in the agency business. I therefore spoke to Mr Ommaney thereon, and proposed, when our partnership ended, he should take my son as his partner, when I would quit the business entirely to them, as by that time he would be so well acquainted with it, as to be able to conduct it with the clerk, and take all the labour of it from him, but tho’ I had before to oblige him consented to take another clerk in the office at £50 per annum, whose name was Page, and a relation of his, he declined taking my son into the office, which however he did at last do tho’ very unwillingly, but for the few months he was therein he did not behave to, or introduce him to any of my friends who came to the office, or care to employ him in the business. I therefore took him from thence and entered him a clerk in the Victualling Office where I was appointed a Commissioner the 20 instant. Mr Ommaney said nothing to me thereon or even asked my reason for so doing, but rather seemed pleased that he was removed from it, although he had often expressed a great regard for him, but said he should be miserable to trust any person with his property, as I had trusted him with mine. At the same time owned he did know a more worthy youth.
Soon after Mr Ommaney came into the partnership Mr Creed applied and wished to leave the office he having found such a change and he a so disagreeable man in every respect that he had no kind of comfort in it. I advised him however not to do so, ’till he could get something better, and that I was and ever should be his fast friend. He therefore remained in it. About a year before the partnership expired Mr Ommaney came to me and said he was very unhappy in thinking I and everybody who knew what I had done for him, would think him a very ungrateful man, and even cryed with the reflection, and tho’ I was sensible this conduct was all deceit and proceeded from a bad heart, I replied I should not think any more about it, and related my plan as soon as the partnership should expire, which was that I would set my son up in the business and take Mr Creed as a partner, and recommend them to all my friends, but assured him I would not apply to or attempt by any means whatever to get any of his acquaintance from doing business with him, but then I should expect the like conduct on his part. He again forced tears and said this act of forgivingness so filled him with gratitude that so long as he breathed it would be uppermost in his mind.
He nevertheless soon after began to write letters privately to all my friends and signified that as soon as our partnership expired and had declared I would have nothing more to do with the business, which therefore naturally devolved to him, and hoped for their favours, and was uncommonly kind and obliging to them all for that purpose. The most remarkable instance was with Lord Mulgrave [Constantine John Phipps, 2nd Baron Mulgrave, 1744-1792], who when a Captain wanted the loan of £1000 and the largeness of the sum alarmed Mr Ommaney who came to consult me about it, his Lordship having employed me from his youth as his agent through his uncle Lord Bristol who was also a Captain in the Navy.
And as I knew Lord Mulgrave was a man of honour and great property, I observed we should advance that sum to him. Whereupon he wrote to his Lordship and made it a great obligation to him, in his doing so, and tho’ it was equally at my risque, he claimed the whole merit of it, and thereby insured him to do business with him in future and to recommend all his friends to him, observing that I intended to decline all kind of private business. When I found he had acted so base a part with all my friends, I then wrote to them, but as many of them were greatly indebt to the house, which they thought was to him only, they promised to continue with him after the partnership should expire.
Others left him and appointed my son and Mr Creed their agent notwithstanding they had promised to appoint Mr Ommaney, arguing that he had obtained that promise in consequence of a false representation and very ungrateful behaviour. Lord Mulgrave however continued with him, as he told me out of gratitude for the loan of the £1000 which he concluded was from him only. So that I lost one of the best friends I had, and by whom Mr Ommaney did not get less afterwards from him and through his interest in being appointed agent to very rich prizes than £10,000.
When the partnership expired I told (1774?) Mr Ommaney I never more would have the least connection with him, and that I should ever despise his principles and ungrateful conduct. In the eleven years of our partnership we gained £22,000 the half of which he got entirely through my favour to him. My son and Mr Creed have continued in the business together very happy and successfully ever since, and I have reason to be thankful that my son was not connected with so avaricious bad principles a man, so contrary in respect to his turn of mind.
20 Oct 1763
Lord Egmont (turn back to page 99) observed to me soon after he had appointed me his private secretary that he had put me to great expense in attending him, and therefore he anxiously wished to show his gratitude in getting me some good appointment the first opportunity that might offer, for tho’ he had promised Mr Fortry the first vacancy he should certainly give it to me, at the same time hinting that he might not long preside at the Admiralty, indeed it was then strongly reported he would soon be First Lord of the Treasury. From this hint and knowing Mr Rule one of the Commissioners of the Victualling had been long ill, I wrote him an anonymous letter signifying that I would give him £1000 and insure him superannuation too if he was inclined thereto. As soon as he received the letter had answered it and wished to see me. Whereupon I took a hackney coach and went to his house the same night, who on seeing me, and being quite satisfied of my interest, applied the next day for superannuation viz 21 October 1763.
2 November 1763
Mr Rule was superannuated and I was appointed one of the Commissioners for the Victualling of His Majesty’s Navy in the branch of the Cutting house which is to see the oxen and hogs killed there for the use of the Navy were good and agreeable to contract, and cut up and cured agreeable to the rules of the Navy which was the duty of the Officer under me to see who is called the Storekeeper of the Cutting House. And I was by Lord Egmont’s desire continued to attend him at the Admiralty.
Mr Rule from a worne out constitution, did not live long after this transaction.
7 November 1763
Took my seat at the Victualling Board.
1 December 1763
Executed the agreement for Partnership with Mr Ommaney for eleven year’s certain, but to continue it afterwards as much longer as we should agree to do so.
4 December 1763
I hired a Chariot by the month as I was obliged to go every day to the Admiralty.
10 April 1764
Took a lease of a house at Camberwell Green for 14 years.
13th May 1764
Set out with Lord Egmont, Lord Howe [Admiral Richard Howe, 1st Viscount Howe, 1726-1799] and Lord Carysford [John Proby, 1st Baron Carysfort, 1720-1772] with Mr Stephens to visit the Dockyards.
11 July 1766
Articled my dear son George to Mr Green, a proctor in Doctors Commons, and gave him two hundred guineas with him.
13 August 1766
Lord Egmont quitted the Admiralty, upon Mr Pitt’s coming into the Ministry, tho’ the King and Mr Pitt desired he would not, but he observed Mr Pitt and he were of different political opinions, and tho’ they had only differed as gentlemen, he did not think it would be to his honour to serve with him, but observed to me, he was sorry on my account for this event, as he had it not in his power he was pleased to observe, to do anything for me, and had put me to great expense and given me much trouble, but added he would not have me be concerned for it, he having recommended me to the King, to be removed to the Navy Board when a vacancy might happen there.
And then observed that Mr Burchett the Comptroller of the Receivers Accounts [George Ann Burchett, died 1766] of sixpence of Man a Month abated from seamans wages for the Royal hospital at Greenwich, had through powerful interest applied to him, for a gentleman to succeed him, as he desired to quit his office, which he would not comply with foreseeing he should not remain long at the Admiralty, and that it might be a desirable appointment for me in addition to my place as a Commissioner of the Victualling, or for my eldest son but concluded Mr Birchet wished to make terms and come to some agreement, which if I thought moderate and worth my while to agree to, he would permit him to quit. I thereupon called on and discoursed Mr Birchet, who said he would readily resign if he could have security for the payment of his full salary during his life. On these conditions many of my friends thought it no desireable bargain whilst others did not think I run any risque as he was and had been a very debauched man, full of diseases and so offensive that there was no bearing the room where he was, consequently there was very little probability of his living many months.
Milbourne Marsh kept his post as Gibraltar until 1763, then returned to being Naval Officer at Menorca. In 1764 he submitted plans to have Menorca’s dockyard amenities removed from the existing overcrowded and inadequate site near Mahon to Saffron Island. His report read “.. as also the leveling the island, and that wharfs, careening pits, sheds for stores and other like conveniences may then be erected, the whole expense whereof, he has estimated will amount to Â£6348 exclusive of timber to be sent from England. And he having also acquainted us, that by performing the aforesaid works, the island will then have upon it six wharfs, each of two hundred feet long and be capable of careening that number of ships at the same time.” Here he transformed the dockyards into the most substantial and impressive overseas naval facility controlled by a European power.
In October 1765 he gained the position of Agent Victualler at the naval dockyard at Chatham, Kent, probably brought about by his brother, George Marsh’s instigation. Here he designed and built a new wharf in the Victualling yard, set up a new seventy-two-foot long storehouse, extended and improved many of the yards other facilities and organized a system of offshore defenses.
Diary of George Marsh
13th August 1766
After maturely considering this offer and the observations of my several friends upon it, I determined to agree to give him the security he desired upon his quitting the office which he did do accordingly, and I was this day appointed to succeed him, as my son was thought too young. I judged it prudent however to immediately insure £1000 upon my life which cost me upwards of £40 and would be an annual expense to me to that amount, but by doing so I made my mind easy, for tho’ I was blessed with good health I was sensible I was liable to sudden death and various accidents, and that if I should die before him my family would be obliged to pay £100 a year the whole amount of his salary as long as he lived, and as the insuring this sum would in that case pay him the same for more years than it was thought he could possibly live, I was quite happy I had done so. About two months after Mr Burchett died at the age of about 50 after dragging on a short but very miserable life. He was the son of Mr Secretary Burchett [Josiah Burchett, 1666?-1746] and Queen Ann was his God Mother, who was therefore named George Ann Burchett.
I now became possessed of the whole income.
In 1766 Milbourne was slightly involved with the land dealings of his daughter Elizabeth and son-in-law in Florida, signing some of the legal documents that would have got them thousands of acres of Florida real estate if things had gone to plan, which they didn’t. Her husband became bankrupt and she was left at home with Milbourne in Chatham where she wrote “The Female Captive” about her time in Morocco. Later she went with her daughter to India to meet up with her husband, leaving her son, Burrish behind. However in 1771 her daughter was sent back and her son Burrish was shipped to India with Milbourne paying the cost of Â£80. However, the ship’s chief mate ran off with that money so Milbourne had to pay out another Â£50 for the passage. Burrish arrived in Madras in 1772 in a not very good state, and then was sent off with a merchant to Tehran for a few years to learn Persian which was the official language of the East India Company and the of the Mughal court.
George Marsh Diary
13 September 1766
Parted with the lease of my house at Camberwell.
17th February 1768
I took a farm at Mottingham near Eltham with a view of purchasing it, with about 150 acres of land, having heard it was in chancery and would be soon sold, for which I agreed to give £100 a year. I had not placed a person in it above a month before I found that no one could prove themselves heir to it but that two or three lawyers pretended they were employed by the heir, who had cut down and sold trees and very much hurt the estate, and as a Mr Hoddart, a vary old and rather insane man was the last possessor of it, as well as near 500 acres more land in that neighbourhood, I applied to the Lords of the Treasurer and fully represented the case and signified that it now thought the whole estate would prove an Escheat to the Crown, and that if their Lordships would grant me a leave of it upon my proving it so, at the rate Sir John Shaw paid for the Crown land near it for £7 per acre, I would at my own expense file Bills in Chancery against the pretended heirs and sue out the Escheat, and they having agreed thereto I proceeded and made them give up their claims accordingly.
But soon afterwards a Mr Bowman of the Isle of Wight proved himself to be the heir at Law, and his attorney came to me, and having satisfied Lord Bathurst and myself that he was so, and it being far from my wish to keep any man out of his right or to do any kind of injustice, I put him in possession, who his lawyer said was so sensible to my kindness in driving out all the pretended heirs, and of the vast trouble I had therein, that he had orders to offer the whole or any part of the Estate to me to purchase, and to pay all the expense I had been at, and whatever I should reasonable require for my trouble in the affair, I thereupon produced receipts for what I had paid amounting to about £110 which he immediately repaid me, and I desired to purchase part of the land at the market price in the neighbourhood which was then 30 years purchase, which he said was a very fair price, and that I might depend on having the same. I observed as to the trouble I had in the affair which tho’ very great and the little petty expenses of Coach hire etc etc of which I had kept no account, I should give that up, and was very glad that I had been the means of Mr Bowman’s getting possession of his lawful right, and then parted in full expectation of having that part of the estate that I desired, but I did not see, or could get any latter, either from himself, or his lawyer afterwards, but in about six months after I heard the estate was sold at 28 years purchase to a particular friend of the lawyer.
10 May 1768
Being desirous of a summer retreat from London I hired a lodging at Mr Rhode’s at Lewisham and left it the 25th October following.
21 September 1768
Having for some time been continually pressed by Earl of Egmont to take land under him in St John’s River East Florida where he had a grant of 120,000 acres, observing he was certain he should raise a considerable fortune there, and next to his own family, he wished most heartily success to me and mine, I did this contrary to my reason and opinion join with Thomas Hicks Esq in accepting a grant of land from him of 1000 acres between us for which we were to pay him 20 shillings a year ground or quit rent. This I consented to merely out of gratitude to his Lordship who earnestly wished me to do so.
13 February 1769
Took a house and about 22 acres of grassland of Peter Thompson Esq at Lewisham, which I afterwards hired of the lxxxx Mr Siborne a farmer there for 25 years, at 80 per annum, and he was to keep the house and premises in repair and pay all the taxes.
I was appointed by Sir Edward Hawke afterwards Lord Hawke who presided at the Admiralty Board to be one of the Directors of the Royal Hospital at Greenwich.
23 May 1769
Quitted the farm at Mottingham
Finding the concerns in Florida what I always feared they would prove to be viz a very expensive troublesome disagreeable business, I determined to drop it, for by my carrying on too a correspondence with rougues of agents who were continually drawing alarming bills on me, as the correspondent proprietor under Lord Egmont without assigning any reason for what they drew them, I was made very unhappy. His Lordship had appointed one Martin Jolly his agent and allowed him £300 per year and