Arrival at Cork — Enter upon pastoral duties — Manufactory — Great happiness — Dissension in the church — Resignation — Copy of certificate — Remarkable warning by a dream — Visit fishing stations — Death of Aaron — Turn fisherman — Remove to Bear Haven — Loss of the Robert — Bad season — Trading voyage — Success in fishing — Loss by mismanagement of partners — Troublesome Irish neighbours

We landed in safety at Cork on the 24th December 1694, and the agreement I had entered into with the congregation was solemnly renewed. You may see the particulars in the act of the Consistory of Cork dated 19 January, 1695, on which day I commenced the discharge of my pastoral duties.

At first I preached at Christ Church, the use of it being granted to us after the English had finished the services of the day; then we assembled in the County Court room for our worship, and finally, I gave up, for the use of the Church, a spacious apartment on the lower floor of my house, and we had it regularly fitted up with pulpit, benches, and every thing necessary.

My manufactory here was altogether different from that which I had carried on at Taunton. I considered it best to make something for which there would be a demand near home. Coarse baize was the great article of manufacture in this place, but I determined to try my skill in something of better quality, and I succeeded in making good broad-cloth for which it was only necessary to use finer wool and weave it closer and tighter. I built a dye house for my own use at the edge of the river for the convenience of pumping up the water. A dyer in the city applied for permission to use my apparatus, which I granted on the condition that he dyed all my worsteds and cloths without charge, and made me a certain allowance out of his profits in dyeing for other people. My knowledge was very advantageous to him, because I had always written down the proportions of each drug that we used at Taunton, and attached to the memorandum a pattern of the article dyed; thus when he brought me any order he had received, by a reference to my books and comparing his pattern with those I had preserved, I was able to tell him at once the exact quantity he would require of each drug, and my instruction never failed to prove correct.

I was now at the height of my ambition; I was beloved by my hearers, to whom I preached gratuitously, and thereby had the satisfaction of serving the God who had blessed me, without deriving any pecuniary advantage from it. My dear wife gained by our manufactory an ample support for the family; and by giving employment to many poor Refugees, we were the means of enabling them to maintain their families respectably. The Church increased daily, Refugees came from various parts when they heard that there was a French Church in Cork; and by and bye those who were in easy circumstances became ashamed of allowing me to preach without receiving a stipend, and they proposed to make a voluntary contribution, if it were only to show that they felt grateful for my services. When it came to my knowledge, I thanked them much, but added that as they could not possibly raise enough to support my family without exertion on my own part, I would greatly prefer that whatever they collected should be appropriated to the relief of the poor, of whom we had many in the congregation; and that it gave me great pleasure to imitate St. Paul, preaching the Gospel and earning my living at the same time by the labor of my hands. They were well satisfied with this answer, because they could not raise more than £10, or at the very utmost £15, which would have been a mere trifle towards the support of my large family.

The corporation of Cork as a mark of their esteem presented me with the freedom of the City.

This state of things was altogether too good to last, my cup of happiness was now full to overflowing, and like all the enjoyments of this earth it proved very transitory.

Great numbers of zealous, pious and upright persons had joined our communion; but it could not be expected that all were of this class; and unfortunately there were some in the flock whose conduct was not regulated by the principles of our holy religion. A man named Isaac de la Croix, originally a merchant in Calais, who had caused dissension in the Church there before its condemnation; then set tied in Dover, and there also made dissension in the Church; and to punish us for our sins he came from there to join our Church, and he had not been with us more than eighteen months before he was the cause of discord amongst us also. The history of it is as follows. He had a son twenty-five years of age, who was in the habit of doing business on his own account; this young man chartered a vessel of about 30 tons for Ostend, and he loaded her with butter and tallow, promising payment in ready money. On a Saturday afternoon he went down in the vessel to Cove, at the mouth of the harbour, and expected, the next day being Sunday, to steal away, and get fairly out to sea without paying for any part of his cargo. A butcher, from whom he had made some purchases, feeling a little suspicious, went to the father, produced his son’s promissory note, and asked him to endorse it; he, thinking the vessel had got to sea, made answer that he had nothing to do with his son’s affairs. The butcher without loss of time hired a boat, and went down with bailiffs to Cove, where he found the vessel and stopped her, thus arresting the dishonesty of both father and son.

It so happened that I had some time before commenced a series of sermons on the ten commandments, and on Sunday, the day after this intended fraud had been discovered, my text, in regular course, was the eighth commandment: “Thou shalt not steal.” I solemnly declare before God, that when I mounted the pulpit, not a whisper of this transaction had reached my ears. I proceeded in my exposition to the very best of my power, explaining the various ways in which its spirit might be violated; and amongst others, I very naturally named the tricks and evasions sometimes practiced in commerce, which branch of the subject must have been well handled, for Isaac de la Croix felt that his character was sketched to the very life, and concluded that it was intended for him, which enraged him so much that as he left the Church he declared, with the most blasphemous oaths, that he would make me suffer for what I had said.

The elders related the story to me after the sermon, and I protested to them that I knew nothing of it before, and that the singular coincidence must be ascribed to the providence of God alone. Mr. de la Croix would not believe that it was undersigned, and continued his threats of revenge, and in the end made his words good, for he did cause me much anxiety and unhappiness.

On Monday morning it was ascertained that neither father nor son could pay for the cargo; the son ran away and I never heard more of him; the creditors went on board the vessel, and each claimed his own property as well as he could, the vessel was emptied, and the Captain was the main loser, having to seek a fresh freight.

Mr. de la Croix did not forget his promise of revenging himself upon me for his imaginary injury; he set to work without loss of time to poison the minds of my flock, he began with persons whom he knew to be weak and vain, telling them they would never rise to consideration in the city so long as they had a Presbyterian for their Minister. In this way he wrought upon those who looked up to the office of Mayor or even sheriff as something to be desired above measure; and by degrees, a spirit of opposition was infused into large numbers of my hearers, and they required me to receive ordination from the Bishop; this begot discussion, and the dispute waxing warm, I must acknowledge that I said that which it would have been much better to have left unsaid. A complaint was made to the Bishop of what I had said; and it contained what I had said, what I had not said, and assuredly what I had not even so much as thought. The Bishop was exasperated by this report, and he wrote in consequence thereof to my Lord Galway, then Lord Chief Justice of Ireland; this caused a correspondence between his Lordship and myself of which you will find full copies amongst my papers. Mr. de la Croix went so far as to assert that I was no Minister at all, and he visited from house for house repeating it, so that I was obliged to write for vouchers to the gentlemen of the Walloon Church on Threadneedle street, London. Finally, I felt it my duty, for the sake of peace, to request that they would allow me to resign and I annex a copy of their permission. (COPY.)

“Mr. James Fontaine our Minister having written to this congregation to request to be released from the service of the Church, for reasons assigned in his letter of 30th. May last, this congregation, distressed at the prospect of separation, and the causes which have led him to request it, deem it expedient nevertheless to give a reluctant and sorrowful consent to his desire; thanking him most humbly for the services he has rendered to this church during two years and a half, without receiving any stipend or equivalent whatsoever for his unceasing exertions. We feel bound to testify that though he has been obliged to use his own industry for the support of his family, yet it has never occasioned him to neglect any duty of the Holy Ministry. We have been extremely edified by his preaching, which has always been in strict accordance with the pure word of God. He has imparted consolation to the sick and afflicted, and set a bright example to the flock of the most exemplary piety and good conduct. We pray God to bless him and his family, and to grant him the consolation of exercising elsewhere, with more comfort to himself; those gifts which God has given him for the Holy Ministry to which he has been called.

“In testimony whereof we have given to him this present certificate at Cork, 5th. June, 1698.




Thus you see how much mischief one quarrelsome malicious spirit may occasion in a flock; the poor Minister feels it his duty to sacrifice his own comfort and interest for the peace of the church. It was a great source of satisfaction to me to be succeeded by Mr. Marcomb who continued to carry on every thing in the way I had commenced, and the church has ever since been governed according to the French mode.

I sometimes repented that I had been so humble as to request my discharge, for you will see, in the sequel, that I lost at Bear Haven all the property I had previously gained. Nevertheless God, who only sends afflictions to try our faith and not to ruin us, has in his infinite wisdom turned all my misfortunes, losses, and disgrace to my ultimate advantage, even in this life, and has almost miraculously provided me with all that was needful for the education of my children.

Before proceeding, I must relate a very extraordinary event. I have already said that before I left Taunton I placed my two oldest boys James and Aaron in Amsterdam; they remained there two entire years, and when I wished them to return, a Captain of a vessel named De Condre, who was going to Ostend, offered to bring them back with him to Cork. We knew nothing whatever of this man’s character, but my wife had known some of his relations who lived in the neigbourhood that she came from in France, and altogether we thought it a favourable opportunity for the boys to return; we thankfully accepted his offer, and I intrusted to him some of my manufactures to the value of £40. I wrote by him and desired the boys to proceed to Ostend, which they did. The vessel was to stop and discharge some of her cargo in London, and then return to Cork.

I had a letter from my brother Peter who resided in London to inform me that they had arrived there, and that the boys were in good health, staying at his house, until the merchandise was discharged. The night after I received this letter I had the most distressing dream you can imagine. I saw my poor boys struggling in the water, and that there was no help, they must inevitably be drowned; I awoke in agony, and every time I got to sleep for a few minutes the same dreadful dream returned. In the morning I wrote to my brother, told him I had altered my plan, and did not like trusting the boys to sea any more, so he must send them by land to Chester, and from Chester they could cross the Channel to Dublin, and proceed thence by land to Cork. You might suppose that after sending these instructions my mind would have been relieved; no such thing, the same dreadful object appeared before me again each succeeding night, and the impression made on my mind was so powerful, that I was really sick with anxiety and stress until the next post day; and I then wrote a second letter to my brother, gave him the particulars of the dreams which had afflicted me so much, and told him that I could not but consider them as a warning from God, and if my children should not yet have sailed at the time he received this letter, I charged him most solemnly not to let them go by sea; and added, that if he should do so after my telling him of the warning I had received, and the calamity I feared overtook them, that I should forever lay the blame of their death at his door. Almost immediately after the receipt of this second letter, De Condre, being ready for sea, called at my brother’s house for the boys to go on board the vessel, and my brother gave him my letter to read, with which he was greatly infuriated, and wanted to take them by force, and when he found that they would not be suffered to go with him, he refused to give up any of their baggage from the vessel.

They returned according to my directions by land, (thanks be to my Heavenly Father for his providential warning) and De Condre went to sea without them, and neither he nor any of his crew have ever been heard of since. The boys told me when they reached home that this man was the most horrid blasphemer they had ever heard, that they had trembled to hear him vomiting forth his imprecations even against heaven itself; and on one occasion when the weather was bad he had paced the deck like a madman calling upon the devil to do his work. Who knows but that God would at that moment have punished this impious blasphemer, precipitating his body to the bottom of the sea, and his soul to the gulf of hell, if it had not been for these two innocent children, in favor of whom he deferred his vengeance and warned me in a dream of what I should do.

James will confirm the truth of. this to you, for I am sure he can never lose the remembrance of his wonderful preservation; and to him I would say, that I trust his grateful recollection of it may be beneficial to him through the whole course of his life, and when he feels tempted to sin against God, let him ask himself this question. Was it to commit this sin that God withdrew me so miraculously from the waves of the sea?

I now resume the thread of my story. About the time that I was deprived of the great comfort of preaching the word of God at Cork, there was an act passed by the Parliament of Great Britain forbidding the exportation of manufactured woollen goods from Ireland; this entirely broke up my manufactory, for the cloths I made were much better suited for exportation than for home use. After the injury I had received I never felt Cork an agreeable residence, and though I remained some months longer, and preached in English every Sunday at a Presbyterian church, yet I was all the time on the look out for any thing that might turn up to suit me better.

I sometimes thought of buying a farm with the money I had acquired, and living upon it. While in this unsettled state, I fell in with a merchant from Kinsale, who told me of his having purchased fish at Bantry for shipment to Spain, upon which he had realized a large profit, and that it had also paid a profit to the fishermen from whom he made the purchase. I took a great liking to this mode of making a living, being so immediately dependent upon the good Providence of God for guiding the nets, and giving them success according to his pleasure, and it seemed to me to be one of the most innocent of all occupations; so, contrary to the Apostles, who from fishermen became preachers, I, from a preacher, thought of turning fisherman. I sold all my manufacturing implements, quitted the employment, and leaving my family in Cork, I went on a tour of observation through the fishing region. At Baltimore I made acquaintance with Colonel Beecher, who had very extensive fisheries, and at Castle Haven with Colonel Townsend; from the latter I purchased very good second hand tackle and boats all complete. I ascertained that it was impossible to carry on fishing with success unless you had a large farm, with many tenants upon it, bound to fish only for you. I went to Bear Haven, and there hired a considerable farm from Mr. Boyd at £100 per annum, another from Mr. Davis at £31 10s. and a third at £18.

Behold me now making grand preparations for being both farmer and fisherman. I bought a cargo of salt to be in readiness, and put part in a cellar at Bantry, and part at Bear Haven. I did nothing but spend money this season, it being too late for the fishery when I began, but I was full of hope for the next.

On my return to Cork, I found that it had pleased God to withdraw my second son Aaron from this life during my absence. This was the most severe affliction that I had ever yet experienced. The loss of property had never made much impression upon me, but to be deprived of this dear child was a severe stroke. He had been an invalid for a long time, his complaint was consumption, and his sufferings were at times very great from violent pain in his chest. He evinced the most entire resignation to the will of God, and with a firmness beyond his years tried to console his mother, who was shedding tears by his bed-side, with the hope he entertained that through the merits of his Saviour he would be received into everlasting happiness.

This grievous affliction made Cork still more unpleasant to us, so we determined to remove to Bear Haven, where I had rented the farms for the fishery. I went into partnership in this new undertaking with my cousin John Arnauld, and Messrs. Renue, Thomas, and Gourbould, all merchants in London. They were to have one half, and I the other. I put down to them at cost price half of the Robert, a vessel of about 40 tons that I had owned some time, and half the price of the tackle, boats, and salt that I had purchased. They bought in London, on joint account with me, two other vessels of about 50 tons each, the Goodwill and the Judith. They sent the Goodwill to me with nets, cordage, and every thing necessary to make two more tackles, and the Judith went to France to bring a cargo of salt. As we intended to salt the fish ourselves, I built a house for the purpose, with stone walls and a slated roof, and floors suitable, and cellars to store the salt in, and presses to press the fish. I also built more boats, and got the tackle all ready; and so now, in the year 1700 we were only waiting for God to send us the fish, and we were fully prepared to turn them to the best advantage.

At first I had only my oldest son James with me, but as soon as these preparations were completed, I sent him to fetch his mother and the children from Cork. I had while there sold the remainder of my lease and the improvements I had made in the house for £100. My wife gave it up as soon as James arrived, and every thing was packed, and the whole family came round with the goods and chattels in the Robert to Bantry, and thence to Bear Haven. The first year and a half we lived in a mere cottage thatched with straw, and we owe it to the good providence of God, that while we were so much exposed we never suffered from the tories, (robbers) of whom there were great numbers in these parts.

“The word tory having been long known only as a cant term applied to a particular political party, it may not be amiss to remark that it is here used according to its original signification. It is derived from the Irish word toruighim, (to pursue for purposes of violence,) and in the days of queen Elizabeth we discover it first used to signify the lawless banditti who were so troublesome in Ireland during her reign. In England, we find it applied for the first time by the opponents of Charles I to the followers of that unfortunate prince, under an idea that he favored the Irish rebels; and by an easy transition it became the distinctive appellation of that party who wished for the greatest extension of the royal prerogative.”

Having no immediate use for the Robert, we chartered her to a merchant in Cork to go to Spain, and the Captain, James Joy an Irishman, was to lay out the freight money as soon as he received it in salt, oranges and citrons; this he did, but instead of returning to Cork with the cargo, he ran the vessel ashore on the French coast, scuttled her, and sold the wreck with whatever was saved from it to a French merchant, and he remained in France to enjoy his ill gotten wealth. Here was an end of the ketch Robert so far as we were concerned; but the person who had bought her as a wreck had her repaired for little more than a crown, and she had since been constantly employed on the French coast in trading voyages.

In the month of May 1700, we first began to fish for cod off the Island of Durzey, but the weather was unfavourable, the wind high, and the sea rough; and after being at great expense we had to return with scarcely any fish. We tried to take salmon, and though our expense was small, our gains were still smaller.

In July we mustered our whole force to take herrings; three tackles, six boats, and forty five men, at an incredible expense; nevertheless, if the fish had been as abundant as was usual at this season of the year, our profit would have been considerable. Very few fish appeared, but we were obliged to continue a heavy expenditure, for perhaps the fish might come at the very time when we, for economy sake, had given up waiting for them, and a single draught in a large shoal of herring might pay all the expense of one, two, or even three years. Of course the men received the same wages whether they caught fish or not.

The season passing away so unsuccessfully, we thought it unnecessary to keep both our vessels waiting for fish, and we sent the Judith on a trading voyage to Spain. While the Goodwill was waiting for fish, we added another deck to her for the convenience of keeping Tobacco dry in case she should go to Virginia. This was an expense of £80, and made the vessel look clumsy, but she sailed very well. Finding that I had not fish enough to load her, I proceeded, by the direction of my partners in London, to make up the remainder of her cargo of beef, butter, cheese, candles &c., altogether including the Fish, worth £450. They recommended that she should go to Madeira first, to dispose of this cargo, and invest the proceeds in wine; then to Barbados, to sell the wine, and take in sugar, rum, and molasses, and proceed with these to Virginia, and there take in a cargo of Tobacco.

At Madeira every thing sold under its cost, owing to the number of vessels already arrived laden with provisions; and the same bad fortune followed them to Barbados; wine was abundant, and the losses were so great by these two transactions, that after paying the seamen’s wages they were only able to take about £130 worth of sugar &c., and when they got to Virginia, they still found so many vessels before them that the produce they had on board was at a very low price; and tobacco being much in demand, they were afraid they should have to return without any cargo. The Pilot, one Perry, seeing the unpleasant situation of the Captain, told him of a river named, I think, Ptoxon [Patuxent] which ran 80 leagues into the interior of the country, and that if he approved of it he would take the vessel there. The Captain agreed to make the attempt, coming to the conclusion that he might almost as well return without the vessel as without a cargo. When they arrived at the port, the Captain had every thing his own way, for no vessel had been there for more than six months, and there was not a pound of sugar, or a drop of rum or molasses in the place, and he managed so well that he got in exchange tobacco enough to fill every part of the vessel, even to the cabin, and the sailors had it crammed in their beds. She arrived at Bear Haven in August 1701, and I had met with ample success in fishing so that I had a cargo all ready for her, and I wrote to my partners in London, whither she went to discharge her Tobacco, to request that she might be sent back to me directly.

I have not mentioned that we had another son born before we left Cork; and on the 3d. August 1701 my wife was brought to bed of our youngest child Elizabeth. On that day we were particularly successful in fishing, and our slated house not being yet finished, we were living at one end of the herring house, which was so full with the immense quantity taken, that every place was piled up, even to the door of the chamber in which my wife was confined.

We cured this year more than two hundred thousand herrings, we pressed enough to fill two hundred hogsheads, and we put up two hundred barrels of pickled herrings. Besides this, we had twelve tierces of salmon, seven or eight hundred dried cod fish, and two thousand dried flukes, altogether worth about £1,200. Everyday I expected the Goodwill to arrive; I wrote, and wrote to my partners, to make haste and send her that our fish might be the first cargo in the market at Leghorn. While I was in this state of suspense, I sent a small quantity by a vessel loading at Bear Haven for Leghorn, and valuing the whole stock at the price I obtained for those I sent, which were a few of each kind, it would have been worth £1,500, if the Goodwill had only returned according to promise.

It turned out that my partners owned a large quantity of wine in Spain, and they were alarmed by rumours of war; and in such an event they would have lost all their wine if it remained in Spain, and on the other hand if brought to England the prospect of war would be sure to raise its price; this was a large concern, the fishery was a small one to them, though a very large one to me; and they retained the Goodwill, sending her to and fro as fast as possible, to bring all their wine before war was declared.

At last they wrote to me to sell the fish at Cork, as they could not send the Goodwill; I went there and finding no purchaser, I wrote again to beg they would send me a ship. Time was flying rapidly; the fish which ought to have been shipped long ago were still on hand. Finally these gentlemen bought an old vessel of 120 tons from Mr. Renue; she wanted repairs, and did not reach Bear Haven till January 1702. I loaded her in a very few days; and on the 5th. Feb. she set sail, but got no farther than the mouth of the harbour before she sprung a leak, and most of the sailors ran away. I hired some Irishmen, as soon as I heard of it, to run after the sailors and bring them back, and with much difficulty and many smooth words I got them on board again; the leak was stopped, and she proceeded on her voyage, from which I never received a single farthing; the account rendered was that the proceeds of the fish went no farther than to pay the charges of various kinds. Though I did not expect much from them, yet I never could believe that the loss was total, without dishonesty somewhere.

Thus God, to whose blessed will we must submit, in his infinite and unsearchable wisdom, saw fit to deprive us of all advantage from this most abundant season — all — all was lost, we were not worthy of it.

My London partners, having sustained such heavy losses by the fishery, wrote to me that they would have nothing more to do with it, though the agreement was for three years, and this was but the second. The expenses attendant upon building the cellars, herring house, and presses, as well as the cast of the boats and tackle were charged to me upon winding up our accounts; they allowing me something for the use of them during the two past years. I had also engaged fishermen for the next year, and it was impossible for me to drawback without losing at least £100 more. I made a full representation of all these circumstances, pointing out to them how hard it was upon me when they had occasioned the loss, by their own detention of the Goodwill; but it was to no purpose, there was nothing left for me to continue on my own account. The Goodwill was sold in London for a trifle compared to what she had cost. I felt that I was entirely ruined, but it was God’s will, and blessed be his name for the support of his grace, which enabled my dear wife, and myself also, to submit without murmuring to the chastisement, and to say from our hearts Thy will be done!

Amongst other expenses entailed upon me was the building of a house with substantial stone walls, slated roof and towers; in fact, a sort of little fortification for defence, in case of need, from the French corsairs, who sometimes made attacks upon the unprotected part of the coast. This cost me a great deal of money, but you will see in the sequel that it was not thrown away, the good providence of God making it the human means of procuring for me great benefit hereafter.

My Irish neighbours were in the habit of pillaging and cheating me in a thousand indirect ways. I had brought thirteen destitute Frenchmen into the neighbourhood, who had served in King William’s army, and were discharged, the war being over, and they knew not where to lay their heads. I gave them land to cultivate, but whether it was owing to their ignorance of agriculture, their habits of indolence engendered by a military life, or the perpetual injuries they received at the hands of the Irish, I know not, but certain it is, they were discouraged, and most of them left me before the end of three years; and by them I lost £80, which I had advanced for their use.

When God vouchsafes his blessing, every thing prospers, but let him withdraw the light of his countenance and the best laid plans and greatest exertions result in nothing but failure. All now seemed to go wrong with us. There was a court at Bear Haven for the Barony competent to decide in all causes under forty shillings. I do not believe that there were more than half a dozen Protestants in the adjacent country besides my own family, and those I had brought with me, so that when I or any of my Protestants demanded what was due to us, the matter was invariably decided against us by a jury of Papists, for Protestants were never by any chance summoned to sit upon a jury, and the consequence was that we not only lost our lawful dues, but were condemned to pay costs also. On the other hand, if the Irish took it into their heads to make any claim upon us, how unfounded so ever it might be, they were sure to recover. Boyd, the judge, was a very great rogue, and Dwyer, the attorney, was no better. After some little experience I put an end to this system of cheatery and false swearing, by appealing from the decision of the Barony to the county assizes. I may say with truth, that I was the only person in the whole Barony, who could be said to be really and truly in the Protestant interest, for the few Protestants who had lived there any length of time seemed to have caught the infection, and to have become as great rascals as the Irish Papists themselves.

I was a justice of the peace, and in that capacity I exerted myself to the utmost to break up the intercourse subsisting between the Irish robbers and the French privateers, who were the best of friends on every occasion, for the Irish always seemed to look upon it as a settled point that the enemies of the English must be their greatest friends. It was quite natural that my steady course of opposition should draw upon me the hatred of these people, and I soon had evidence of its being so, for I received a message from one Skelton, captain over an organized band of robbers in the woods, threatening me with an attack, saying that I might keep what guard I pleased, but they would manage to surprise me some day or other, and they would be with me before I had time to turn round. I caused them to be informed that if they declared fox’s war, I would advise them to be on their guard also, lest I should be beforehand and seize upon some of them first; and it so happened that about four or five months afterwards I did discover one of them hidden on my farm in the cleft of a rock, and I took him prisoner and sent him to Cork, where he was tried, condemned and executed. In the course of twelve months this whole troop of brigands was dispersed, they had quarrels amongst themselves and betrayed one another. This should be noted down as another instance of God’s superintending providence, in which a threatened blow was warded off. The animosity against me rather increased than diminished, for the reason that I persevered in sending to Cork for trial all persons who were found to be in the practice of communicating with the French privateers, and the number was generally from eight to ten every assizes. The privateers sustained a heavy loss, or rather I should say, lost the opportunity of making their usual gains, by being deprived of the means of obtaining the information they were in the habit of receiving, as to what vessels were in the neighbouring ports, where they were going, the value of their cargoes, &c. &c., which had enabled many of them to capture rich prizes. The Irish were accustomed to be rewarded for their treachery by a considerable share of the booty on these occasions, and they were of course much enraged, and as every effort they had hitherto tried to injure me had proved unsuccessful, they made up their minds to call in a force that would be adequate according to all human appearance to accomplish their grand desideratum of getting rid of me.


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