Jared Smith's Maternal Ancestry (Complete),  Memoirs Of A Huguenot Family, 1872 (Complete)

Chapter 13

Arrival at Cork — Pastoral charge — Manufactory — Happiness — Dissension in the church — Resignation — Reply — Remarkable dream — Visit fishing stations — Death of Aaron — Become fisherman — Remove to Bear Haven — Loss of the Robert — Bad season — Trading voyage — Successful fishery — Loss — Irish neighbors.

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

At first I preached in Christ Church, the use of it being granted to us after the English had finished the services of the day. We then 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, which we had regularly fitted up for the purpose with pulpit, benches, and everything necessary.

My manufactory here was altogether different from that which I had carried on at Taunton. I considered it most for my advantage to make something for which there would be a demand near home. The great article of manufacture in Cork at that time was a sort of coarse baize, two yards wide. I thought I would try to make something better than that, and I soon succeeded in making good broadcloth, for which it was only necessary to use finer wool than for baize and to weave it more closely and compactly.

I took a large house, a little out of town, in which I established my manufactory. I gave out the spinning and weaving. I put up a hot-press and a cold-press in my house, and the latter was so contrived as to compress the bales of goods. I had all the tools and machinery required for teasing and dressing the cloth, and for combing and carding the wool I built my dye-house near the river for the convenience of pumping up the water. A dyer in the city applied to me for permission to make use of my apparatus, which I granted on condition that he should dye all my worsted and cloth without charge, and make me a certain allowance out of his profits in dyeing for other people, and I well remember that in fifteen months he gained enough to pay me nearly £50 for my share. My knowledge and experience were of great service to him, because I had always written down the exact proportion of each drug that we used at Taunton, and attached to the memorandum a pattern of the article dyed. When he received any order he invariably came to consult with me, and by referring 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 flock, to whom I preached gratuitously, and thereby had the heartfelt satisfaction of serving the God who had blessed me without deriving any pecuniary advantage from it. My dear wife gained from our manufactory an ample support for the family. We were able to Refugees with employment, by which they earned enough to maintain their families respectably. The Church increased daily; Refugees came from various parts to settle in Cork when they heard that a French Church was established there. After a while those members of the congregation who were a in easy circumstances became ashamed of allowing me to preach without compensation, and they proposed to raise something by voluntary contribution, if it were only to show that they were grateful for my services. When it came to my knowledge, I thanked them much for their kind intentions; but I told them that as they could not possibly raise enough to support my family without exertion on my part, I would greatly prefer that whatever sum they were able to collect should be appropriated to the relief of the poor, of whom there were many in the congregation. I said that it was a very great pleasure to me to imitate St. Paul, preaching the Gospel and at the same time earning my living by the labor of my hands. They were well satisfied with the view I took, for 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.

On the 16th September, 1697, my wife gave birth to another boy, whom we presented to the Holy Sacrament of Baptism, and I baptized him myself, after our service was over, on the 19th of the same month. We gave him the name of Francis. I was the godfather, for I had a great dislike to make people solemnly promise that which they had no intention of performing. On the day of his baptism I made a great supper, as though I intended to feast the wealthiest of the French Refugees in Cork, but instead of that I invited about a dozen of the poor of my flock, and after they had eaten and drank abundantly of the best, I gave each one a shilling to take home.

I have already said that the French had received me with much kindness, and I may say the same of the people generally. The Corporation of Cork, as a mark of their esteem, presented me with the freedom of the City.[1]

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 world, it proved very transitory.

Great numbers of zealous, pious, and upright persons had joined our communion; but it could not be expected that all should be of this class. 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, had caused dissension in the Church there before its condemnation, and had then settled in Dover, where he also made dissension in the Church. It must have been to punish us for our sins, that he came from there to join our Church, and he had not been with us more than eighteen months, when he was the occasion of discord amongst us also. The history of it is as follows: he had a son of about 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 thirty tons, for Ostend, which he loaded with butter and tallow, promising payment in ready money. On a certain Saturday afternoon, he weighed anchor and dropped down to Cove, at the mouth of the harbor, expecting to sail early in the morning, and being Sunday, he hoped to steal away unobserved, and get off to sea without paying for his cargo. Amongst the tradespeople to whom he had given a written promise of payment, was a butcher, who had some doubt of the young man’s integrity, and therefore took the precaution of going to the father to ask him to put his name to his son’s promissory note. The father refused to do so, saying he had nothing whatever to do with the business. He imagined his son had by that time placed himself beyond pursuit; but it was not so, for the butcher hired a boat immediately, took bailiffs with him, and followed the vessel to Cove, and before sunset he put a stop to her sailing, unless the bills were paid first. The dishonest intentions of both father and son became apparent, and were frustrated.

I solemnly declare that I had not heard a whisper of the transaction when I mounted the pulpit next day. It so happened, strangely enough, that I had been for some weeks engaged in delivering a series of sermons upon the Ten Commandments; and on that day I had arrived at the Eighth Commandment, in regular course. In explaining to the best of my ability, the various ways in which the command of God,”Thou shalt not steal,” may be broken by violating the spirit of it, I very naturally mentioned the tricks and evasions sometimes practiced in commercial dealings. I pointed to acts so similar to the recent fraudulent attempt, that Isaac de la Croix was sure I meant it for him; others of the congregation thought so likewise. It was concluded I could not have sketched his character so true to the life, without knowing his history. He was extremely displeased, and uttered most blasphemous oaths as he left the church, and ended with exclaiming, “Thou shalt pay me for this.”

After the service was concluded, some of the elders of the Church came and spoke to me on the subject. I protested to them that it was the first I had heard of it, and therefore they must ascribe the singular coincidence to the Providence of God alone. Mr. De la Croix would never believe it, and he continued his threats of vengeance; and in the end, he made his words good, for he was the cause of much anxiety and distress to me.

On Monday morning it was ascertained that father and son were alike unable to pay for the cargo. The son absconded, and I never heard more of him. The creditors took possession of the articles, and each tradesman, as far as possible, took back his own property, and the vessel was soon emptied. The captain was the chief loser, for he had to seek a fresh freight.

Mr. de la Croix kept his promise, and lost no opportunity by which he could revenge himself upon me for the injury he imagined I had inflicted upon him. His plan was to try to poison the minds of my flock, and make them dissatisfied with me. He began first with persons whom he knew to be weak and vain; he told them they need not expect to rise to consideration in the city while they had a Presbyterian for their pastor. In this way he made an impression on the minds of some who aspired to the office of Mayor or Sheriff; they in turn talked over the matter with others, and by degrees a spirit of opposition was infused into the minds of a number of my hearers, and they waited upon me to request that I would receive ordination from the Bishop. I was not at all disposed to accede to their request, on the contrary, I used every argument to prevent them from deserting us, and going over to the Established Church. In the course of the discussion I became warm, and in the heat of dispute, I said that which I must acknowledge it would have been much better to have left unsaid, even though true. My opponents went to the Bishop to make a complaint of me, and they told him all that I had said, much that I had not said, and most assuredly had not even so much as thought. They effected what they wished, and exasperated the Bishop so much against me, that he made a formal complaint to Lord Galway, then in a high office in Ireland, who was disposed to sacrifice me to please the Bishop of Cork. We had a long correspondence on the occasion, of which you will find copies amongst my papers. Mr. de la Croix declared that I was not a minister at all, and he went about in the congregation, and visited amongst them from house to house, and told them all, that I was not an authorized minister. His misrepresentations were so far credited, that I was obliged to write for vouchers to the gentlemen of the Walloon Church, in Threadneedle-street, London. All this was most distressing to me, and, finally, for the peace of the church, I felt it my duty to request the Consistory of Cork to receive my resignation. I annex a copy of their reply to me.


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 whatever 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.


P. Renue,

P. Cesteau,

M. Ardouin,


John Hanneton,


Thus you see how much injury may be done by one quarrel some, malicious individual in a church. The poor minister is under the necessity of sacrificing his own comfort for the peace of the Church. I was certain that if I did not resign, a schism would be created, and did my best to prevent it. I wrote to Lord Galway and told him that if any change should be made in the mode of worship I had adopted, by the appointment of an English clergymen, I should feel myself bound, in spite of my resignation, to officiate for that portion of the flock who preferred the French usage. I believe this threat was not without its effect in causing Lord Galway to recommend Mr. Marcomb for my successor, which was most satisfactory to me, for he continued to carry on everything in the way I had commenced, and the Church service has ever since been conducted in the French mode.

I sometimes felt regret that I had been so humble as to request my discharge, for you will find in the sequel that I lost at Bear Haven all the property I had acquired. Nevertheless God, who only sends afflictions to try our faith, and not to bring us to ruin, has, in his infinite wisdom, turned all my misfortunes, losses and mortifications to my ultimate advantage, even in this life, and he has, in a manner almost miraculous, provided for all my wants, and enabled me to give my children the good education I desired.

In the month of July, 1698, my property began to diminish. A merchant in France who had heard that I lived in Cork, and could be depended on for honesty, consigned a vessel to my address. I knew nothing whatever of the man, but I received from him a very complimentary letter. I was simple enough to accept the consignment, and pay the freight and duties. The cargo consisted chiefly of salt and red wine from the Isle of Ré. When the wine came to be tried, it was found of such inferior quality that the dealers only offered £l per hogshead for that on which I had paid a duty of £3 the hogshead. This vessel was no sooner discharged than another followed with similar lading, except that there was white wine also. I was obliged to pay the freight, but I had gained experience enough by the first cargo not to pay the duty. By the representations which were made, part of the duty was remitted on the second cargo. After all was sold I was left a loser by the payment of the duty on the first cargo. I drew upon the merchant for the deficiency, but he allowed the bill to be protested and never paid me the balance.

Before proceeding, I must relate a very extraordinary event. I have already mentioned sending my two older boys, James and Aaron, to Amsterdam at the time I left Taunton. They remained there two whole years, and when I wished them to return, a captain of a vessel, who was named De Coudre, was going from Cork to Ostend, and I made an arrangement with him to bring them back on his return voyage. We were quite ignorant of the character of De Coudre, we only knew that he had relations living in that part of France from which my wife came, but the opportunity seemed most favorable for the return of our boys, and we had no reason to mistrust the man. I shipped £40 worth of my manufactures on board his vessel. I wrote by him and desired the boys to join him at Ostend, which they did. The vessel was not to come direct to Cork, but to stop first and discharge part of the cargo in London. The Captain was instructed to take the boys immediately on arrival to my brother Peter, at the Pest House. I had a letter announcing their safety at my brother’s house, where they were to stay until the merchandise was discharged and the vessel ready for sea. The night after I received this letter I was disturbed by the most distressing dream that could be imagined. I saw my poor boys struggling in the water, without any possibility of receiving help, they must inevitably be drowned. I awoke in perfect agony, and only closed my eyes to be distressed again by a recurrence of the same dreadful vision. In the morning I wrote a letter to my brother; I told him I had altered my plan, and did not like to trust the boys at 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. The letter was sent, and it might have been supposed that the weight would have been taken from my mind, and my fears have been dissipated, but it was no such thing; the same dreadful sight appeared before me again, in my dreams, each succeeding night, and the impression made upon my mind was so powerful that I was really sick with anxiety and distress. On the next post day I wrote a second letter to my brother, I gave him the particulars of the repeated dreams which had affected me so much. I told him I could not look upon them in any light but that of a warning from God, and that if my children should still be with him, I charged him not to let them go to sea. I said that if he should do so, after my telling him of the warning I had received, and the calamity I feared were to be fall them, I should forever lay the blame at his door. I made use of the most solemn and impressive language in this letter, which he had but just received when De Coudre, being ready for sea, called upon my brother to take the boys from his house to the vessel. He put the letter into his hand that he might read it for himself. He was greatly infuriated and tried to take the boys by force. When he found he could not get them, he went off, and refused to let them have any of their effects from the vessel. They returned by land, according to my directions; thanks be to my Heavenly Father for his providential warning! De Coudre put to sea without them; and neither he nor any of his crew have ever since been heard of.

The boys told me, when they reached home, that this man was the most horrid blasphemer they had ever heard; they said they had trembled with fright at hearing him vomit forth his imprecations, even against Heaven itself. On one occasion, when they had stormy weather, he had stamped upon the deck like a madman, roaring out to the devil to come and do his work. Who knows but that God, at that moment, would have punished this impious blasphemer, and precipitated his body to the bottom of the sea, and his soul into the gulf of hell, if it had not been for those two innocent children, in favor of whom he deferred his vengeance, and warned me in a dream what I should do.

James will confirm to you the truth of this most extraordinary incident. I am sure he can never forget his wonderful preservation. I would say to him, that I trust the grateful recollection of it may be of service to him through the whole course of his life. When he is tempted to sin against God, I would have him pause, and ask himself the question, whether it was to commit this sin, that God withdrew him 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 very great comfort of preaching the word of God to my countrymen in Cork, there was an Act passed by the Parliament of Great Britain, forbidding the exportation of any manufactured woollen goods from Ireland. This law broke up my manufactury entirely; for the broad cloth I made was much better suited for exportation than for home use. Cork had ceased to be an agreeable residence to me after the disputes in the Church; and though I remained there for some months, and I preached in English in a Presbyterian Church every Sunday, yet I had an unsettled feeling, and 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 to live upon with the money I had realized. While I was in this state, looking on all sides for something advantageous, I accidentally met with a merchant from Kinsale, who told me of his having purchased fish at Bantry, for shipment to Spain, upon which be had made a large profit, and that the fisherman from whom he made the purchase, had also made a profit. I thought I should like such an employment very much, being one so immediately dependent upon the good Providence of God for guiding the nets, and giving success according to his pleasure. It seemed to me one of the most innocent of all occupations; so, contrary to the course of the Apostles, who, from fishermen became preachers, I, who had been a preacher, thought of becoming a fisherman.

I sold all my manufacturing implements and utensils, gave up the employment, and leaving my family in Cork, I set out upon 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; I purchased from the latter gentleman some 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 in the midst of great preparations for being both a farmer and a fisherman. I purchased a cargo of salt to be in readiness; I put part of it in a cellar at Bantry, and part at Bear Haven. I did nothing but spend money this season; it was too late for fishing when I began, but I was full of sanguine expectations for the next year.

Whilst I was making these preparations at Bear Haven, in the year 1699, it pleased God to withdraw my second son, Aaron, from this world. This event was the most afflictive that I had ever yet experienced during the whole course of my life. The loss of property had never weighed heavily upon me, but the loss of this dear child afflicted me extremely. He had been long an invalid; his complaint was consumption, and his sufferings were very great at times, 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 at his bedside. He assured her of the fulness of his hope, that through the merits of his Saviour he was going to be received into a state of everlasting happiness.

This grievous dispensation made Cork still more unpleasant to us, and we determined to remove to Bear Haven, where I had rented the farms for the fishery. I sold the lease of my house at Cork, with the improvements I had made in it, for £100.

In this new undertaking I went into partnership 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 their share, at cost price, half of the Robert, a ketch of about 40 tons burthen, that I already owned, 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 was sent to France for another 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 shelves suitable for the purpose required, cellars to store the salt in, and presses in which 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; we were fully prepared to catch them, and turn them to the best advantage.

At first I had only James, my eldest son,with me. As soon as I had completed my preparations, and had every thing ready for the comfort of the family, I sent James to Cork for his mother and the children. They came round by sea 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,[2] or robbers, of whom there were great numbers in these parts.

Having no immediate use for the Robert, we chartered her to a merchant in Cork to go to Spain. The captain was an Irishman, named James Joy, and he was instructed to receive the money for the freight, and to employ it immediately in purchasing salt, oranges and lemons. He obeyed his instructions thus far, but instead of bringing the cargo to Cork, he ran the vessel ashore on the coast of France, scuttled her, and sold the wreck with whatever was recovered from it to a French merchant, and he remained in France to enjoy his ill gotten wealth. This was the unfortunate end of the ketch Robert, so far as we were concerned, but I have heard that the person who purchased her, as a wreck, was able to have her repaired, at a cost of little more than a crown, and that she has since been making trading voyages on the French coast.

In the month of May, 1700, we first commenced fishing for cod, off the Island of Durzey, but the weather was unfavorable, high winds and rough sea, which obliged us to return with scarcely any fish, and we had been at great expense. We next attempted to take salmon; our expenses were but small, our gains smaller still.

In July we mustered our whole force to take herrings, three tackles, six boats, and forty-five men, at an incredible expense. Had the fish been as abundant as usual at this season of the year, our profits would have been considerable, even though the expenses were so heavy. Very few fish appeared, but we were obliged to keep up the expensive establishment, for perhaps the fish might come, on the very day when we, for the sake of economy, had disbanded our force and given up waiting for them. One single draught in a large shoal of herring might pay all the expenses of one, two, or even three years. We were paying the same wages to the men all the time they were waiting, whether they caught any fish or not.

This season passing away with so little result, we thought it needless to keep both our vessels waiting for fish; so we sent the Judith on a trading voyage to Spain. With the probability before us of some day sending the Goodwill to Virginia, we added another deck for the purpose of keeping to bacco dry if she should have a cargo of it. This was an expense of £80, and made the vessel look clumsy, but she still sailed well. Finding that I had not fish enough to give her a full cargo, I proceeded by the directions of my partners in London to fill her up with beef ,butter, cheese and candles, which were of the value, including the fish, of £450. They recommended that she should be sent to Madeira first to dispose of her cargo, that she should there invest the proceeds in wine, then go to Barbadoes to sell the wine, and purchase with the proceeds sugar, rum and molasses, and proceed with these to Virginia, and after disposing of this third cargo, take in to bacco to bring home.

She accordingly went to Madeira, where she found so many vessels had already arrived laden with provisions, that every thing had to be sold under its cost. The same bad fortune attended them at Barbadoes, many vessels had brought wine, and the price was low. It had been agreed that the seamen should receive their wages at the second port, and this swallowed up so much money, in addition to the losses sustained by each cargo, that only £130 was left to invest in sugar, &c. With this small cargo they went on to Virginia, where the cry was still the same, so many vessels were there already, that the foreign produce was at a low price, and tobacco was so much in demand to fill the vessels, that it was high. The Pilot, who had come on board the vessel, saw how unpleasantly the Captain was situated, and he suggested to him that is would be for his advantage to take his cargo more into the interior, and he offered to conduct the vessel to a river he told him of that ran eighty leagues up the country, named, I think, Pataxent. The Captain decided to follow his advice, for he thought he might almost as well return without a vessel as without a cargo. When they reached the port, the Captain had every thing his own way, for no vessel had been there for more than six months, and they had not a pound of sugar, or a drop of rum or molasses in the place. He did so well with his half cargo, that he got in exchange a full cargo of tobacco. Every part of the vessel was crammed, even to the cabin and the sailors’ beds. She arrived at Bear Haven in August, 1701, and I had been so perfectly successful with the fishery, that I had a cargo ready for her to take in; but the tobacco was obliged to be first taken to London to be discharged. I wrote to my partners most urgently to use all possible dispatch and send her back to me for the fish.

On the 3d day of August, 1701, my wife was brought to bed of our youngest child Elizabeth. On that day we had most remarkable success in fishing. Our new slated house was not yet quite finished, and we were living in one end of the herring house, which was so full with the immense quantity taken, that every place was piled up with them, even to the very door of the chamber in which my wife was confined.

We cured this season more than two hundred thousand herrings; we pressed enough to fill two hundred hogsheads, and we also put up two hundred barrels of pickled herrings. Besides this, we had twelve tierces of salmon, seven or eight hundred dried codfish, and two thousand dried flukes, altogether worth about £1200. I was in daily and hourly expectation of the arrival of the Good will. I wrote and wrote again to my partners to make haste and send her, in order that she might take the first cargo of the season to Leghorn, and being first in the market would give us a large profit.

While I was in this state of suspense, I sent a small quantity by a vessel loading at Bear Haven for Leghorn, a few of each kind, and valuing the whole stock at the price I obtained for these, we should have received £1500 for them, if the Goodwill had only returned to take them.

It turned out that my partners owned a large quantity of wine in Spain, and they were alarmed by rumors of war. In such an event they would have lost all their wine if it had remained in Spain; and, on the other hand, if brought to England the prospect of war would be sure to increase its value. This was a large concern, and the fishery a small one to them, though a very large one to me. They thought nothing of the non-shipment of the fish, and kept the Goodwill running to and fro as fast as possible, hoping to secure all their wine for them before the declaration of war.

At last they wrote to me to sell the fish at Cork, as they really could not send the Goodwill. I went there, and found no purchaser. I wrote again, and begged them to send me another vessel if they could not let me have the Goodwill, for time was flying rapidly, and the fish, which ought to have been shipped long ago, were still on hand deteriorating in value. A man named Carré, in Cork, wrote to my partners, and told them he was expecting a ship, and that if it came he would give a certain price for the fish, about £600 for the whole. Instead of sending me another vessel in place of the Goodwill, they said I had better by all means let Carré have the fish at his price. I went to conclude the bargain with him early in December, for it was better to sell at half price than lose them altogether by keeping too long. Mr. Carré said he took them only on condition that a vessel he was expecting, I know not whence, perhaps from the kingdom of the Moon, should arrive in the course of the month of December. I wrote again to my partners. I complained excessively of their neglect of my interests. I told them that Carré had not the character of being a man of integrity, and it was absurd to depend upon him. As I had anticipated, his ship came not, and I doubt whether he had ever expected any. Wearied by my importunities, they at last bought an old vessel from Mr. Renue, which was delayed for repairs, and did not reach Bear Haven till the end of January, 1702. I loaded her with all possible dispatch, and on the 5th February she cleared out, and went as far as the mouth of the harbor, where she sprung a leak, and most of the sailors ran away, only three or four remaining with the master to work the pumps. I hired some Irishmen to pursue the sailors and bring them back. By much entreaty and many smooth words I persuaded them to go on board, help to stop the leak, and continue the voyage. They sailed for Leghorn and there sold the fish, from which I never received one single farthing. I was informed that the fish were so bad, that nothing more than was sufficient for paying the charges of all kinds had been received for them. I did not expect much, for Lent was over before the vessel reached Leghorn, and some of the fish would probably be injured by the leak; but I could not suppose there would be no return whatever, unless there was dishonesty.

Thus God, to whose blessed will we must submit, in his infnite and unsearchable wisdom, saw fit to deprive us of all the advantages we had anticipated from this most abundant season. We had stretched out our hands to receive the gift, but we could only see it, we were not allowed to grasp it. All! All was lost! Thus had God willed it. We were not worth of it.

My London partners had sustained so much loss by the fishery, never considering that they alone were to blame for it, that they wrote to me saying they would have nothing more to do with such a losing concern. It was in vain I wrote to them that their agreement was for three years, and that I had made all my engagements for that length of time, and this was only the second year. And I had hired fishermen for the next year, and it would be impossible for me to draw back without forfeiting at least £100. I made a full representation of all these circumstances; I pointed out to them how hard it was upon me, when they had occasioned the loss by detaining the Goodwill for their own purposes. I could not induce them to continue, and therefore I was obliged to go on for another year on my own account. The Goodwill was sold in London for a trifle compared with her cost. The expenses attendant upon building the cellars, herring house and presses, as well as the cost of the boats and tackle, were all charged to my account. They allowed me something for their share of the use of them during the two past years. They made it out that I owed them £600 when all was wound up. Thus I was totally and entirely ruined, but it was the will of God, and blessed be his name for the support of his grace, which enabled my dear wife as well as myself to submit to the chastisement without murmuring. We were able to say from the heart, “Thy will be done!” Amongst other expenses necessarily entailed upon me, was the building of a house for our residence, with substantial stonewall, 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 unprotected parts of the coast. This cost me a great deal of money, but you will find in the sequel it was not thrown away. The good providence of God made it the human means of procuring for me great advantages hereafter.

My Irish neighbors were in the habit of pillaging and cheating me in a thousand indirect ways. I had brought thirteen destitute Frenchmen into the neighborhood, who had served in the army under King William, and had been 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 became discouraged, and most of them left me before the end of the three years. I lost £80 by them, having advanced so much 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 most energetic labors result in nothing but failure. Every thing now went wrong with us. There was a Court held for the Barony at Bear Haven which was competent to decide in all causes under forty shillings. I do not believe that there were more than a 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 referred to a jury of Papists, who invariably decided against us. Protestants were never by any chance summoned to sit as jurors, and the consequences were most vexatious, for we not only lost our lawful dues, but were condemned to pay costs like wise. On the other hand, if the Irish took it into their heads to make any claim upon us, how unfounded soever it might be, they were sure to recover. Boyd was the judge for the Barony; he was a great rogue; Dwyer was the attorney, and he was no better. After some little experience, I put as top 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 very few Protestants who had lived there any length of time appeared to have caught the infection, and be come as bad 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 privateersmen, who were the best of friends, mutually aiding each other on all occasions, for the Irish 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 to their evil practices should draw upon me the hatred of these people, and I soon had the evidence of its being so; for I received a message from one Skelton, a captain of 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 Skelton to be informed that if he declared foxes’ war I should do the same; so he and his comrades had better be upon their guard, lest I should be beforehand and seize upon some of them first. It so happened, about four or five months afterwards, I received information that a notorious robber was concealed in the cleft of a rock, close to the sea-shore, upon my farm. I armed myself, and took some of my Protestant servants, upon whom I could depend, and went down to the rock, which we surrounded, and finding him there, we took him prisoner and sent him to Cork, where he was tried at the next Assizes, condemned and executed. I received the thanks of the magistrates and the Government for the service I had rendered to the country by taking up this man. The others were rather afraid of me afterwards, and kept aloof. In the course of twelve months this whole troop of brigands was dispersed. They had quarrels amongst themselves, and betrayed one another. I notice this as one more instance of the superintending providence of God, which most mercifully turned aside a threatened blow.

The animosity against me still continued, nay, it rather gained strength, for I was determined to do my duty as a Justice of the Peace, and I persevered in sending to Cork for trial all persons who were found to be in the habit of holding communications with French privateers, and trading with smugglers. The number was commonly eight or ten every Assizes. The privateers sustained a heavy loss by this, 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 neighboring ports, where they were going the value of their cargoes, &c., &c., which had enabled them to make many rich prizes. The Irish were rewarded for their treachery on such occasions by a considerable share of the booty, and they were of course very much enraged at me for putting a stop to their trade. All efforts to injure me had hitherto been unsuccessful, but they felt that they must make a desperate effort to drive me away from the neighborhood, or their occupation was gone; but once rid of me, they knew they could have it all their own way again. So it proved; for after I left the neighborhood the privateers hovered on the coast, and received information, took prizes, and bestowed rewards as heretofore, and one by one, all the respectable Protestants moved away.

[1] It is a remarkable coincidence that my father, James Maury, the great-grandson of James Fontaine, was also settled in a foreign land, and was so highly esteemed by the community amongst whom he lived, that the Corporation of Liverpool did by him, as that of Cork by his ancestor, voted to him the freedom of the Borough.
[2] The word tory having been long known as a cant term applied to a particular 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.

James Fontaine (1658) was the great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of Jared Smith (Editor of the AHB). He wrote an autobiography, the material of which was compiled and published by some of his descendants. The first publication is called, ”A Tale Of The Huguenots Or Memoirs Of A French Refugee Family (De La Fontaine)” (1838). The second publication is called, “Memoirs Of A Huguenot Family” (1872).

"A Tale Of The Huguenots Or Memoirs Of A French Refugee Family (De La Fontaine)", 1838 (Complete)
Memoirs Of A Huguenot Family, 1872 (Complete)