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89 Hertfordshire, if I remember aright. The estate was called Wotton. He had four children ; two sons, and two daughters. My grandfather was the heir to the land. His name was John. One of his daughters was called Sarah, a very beautiful young woman. She was engaged to a young gentleman, that had a great love for ber, and she for him ; but her father would not permit a union to take place between them; as he thought the young gentleman was not of a family grand enough for his daughter; so he compelled her to break it off. The disappointment made such an impression upon their minds, that they were both determined to give up the world ; and she gave herself entirely up to religion ; and as she was very beautiful, she had many admirers, but refused them all. Her private meditations, and many hymns she composed, were afterwards printed ; and my mother had the work in her possession; some of them I learnt when a child, as I greatly delighted in them. When flattered by the alluring charms of the world, her answer was as follows:
“ Suppose my youth in wit and beauty's bloom
What's all their gold to me?
'Tis death must set me free.
From earth's dull pleasures, and senseless mirth,
Come thou my soul, in haste retire;
And to thy native heaven aspire.
Can every wish and want supply ;
Are all above the sky.
Then leave I all and fly
thou art mine; the contract's seald
To see it all made good."
In this manner she made various hymns; and all her meditations were on heavenly things, till she died of a broken heart, which, if I remember right, she was about thirty; and the gentleman died about the same age. — The reason why I have brought forward her meditations is, because they have been a comfort and consolation to me, amidst the various troubles I have passed through, to bring my heart above this world.
Now I shall return to the history from what I have heard my father and mother say. My greatgrand-father was a very proud, austere man, which made it very unpleasant to his children ; and having a second wife, it made it so unhappy to the eldest son, who was my grandfather, that his father and he parted in great anger, and he never saw his father afterwards. He had an uncle settled in Pensylvania, who had great property, and no family; and there he determined to go. The first voyage he took they were shipwrecked. I never heard whether any were saved, but my grandfather; and he was protected by some Jews on the coast where they were cast away, and 91 he remained there till he saw a ship that he made sigus to, and they sent a boat and took him aboard. While he was with the Jews it was the season of the year that they went to a certain place every year to worship, where they said the Messiah would come, and my grandfather went with them. He said they all were very kind to bim, in supplying him with necessaries. The ship that he entered into was bound for Topsham, in Devonshire. As he was without money he attended the captain, as a servant; but in his voyage he told the captain, who his father was, and where he lived ; but said, from the manner they had parted, he could not write to him, and was afraid his father would disinherit him, by cutting off the entail of the land. The captain undertook to write to his father, informing him of the shipwreck, and distress of his son). His father wroie back a letter to the captain, icclosing a draught for £200, which he desired he would let his son have; and to let him know, though he was angry with him, yet he never would disinherit him; for he would never cut off the entail of the land, which had been in succession for seven generations. When the captain received the letter he called my grandfather, and said, “ Mr. Southcott, why had not you made yourself known to me sooner? I used to call you John, but I should never have treated you in the manner I have, if I had known you had been that gentleman's son. Then the captain and my grandfather became great friends, and had a great respect for each other. When the ship came into Topsham my grandfather fell in love with Miss Mauditt, of a moderate for tune; they married, and lived at Topsham, till my father was born ; then my grandfather was determined to take another voyage to Pensylvania, to his uncle. He arrived safely, and his uncle rejoiced greatly to see him, and wished him to remain with him ; but when he found he had a wife and child in Topsham, he said if my grandfather would return for his wife and child, and come back to him, and settle there, they should live as he did ; and, when he died, he would leave them all his property ; and he was the richest man in the place; and, as he had no child, he should leave it all to him. My grandfather said, he would return to England for his wife and child.
But, during the time of his absence, there was a gentleman of the name of Southcott, who had no family or relations; and, hearing of the discord between my grandfather and his father, he said he was afraid the name of the Southcotts would come low; therefore he advertised, that if John Southcott, son of William Southcott, would come to him, he would give him the sum of ten thousaud pounds; as the gentleman was then fast in a decline. But as my grandfather was not in England, to answer the advertisement, and the gentleman did not know him personally, there was another family near, of the same name, who went and personated my grandfather; and he made his will and left them ten thousand pounds, and died very soon after. When my grandmother Heard it she was greatly grieved about it, and told it to my grandfather, when he came home, what he had lost by being absent. He desired her not to grieve at the loss of that; for he said he should have plenty ; for his uncle had settled all his estate and property upon him; and as his father had promised that he would never cut off the entail of his land, he should have all he could wish for; and intreated her to go with him to Pensylvania. But this she refused to do; and he could no ways
93 prevail upon her; for my grandfather was quite the reverse of his father: he was a very humane man, of tender feelings. He bore an excellent character; and therefore he did not use arbitrary power over his wife to compel her to go against her will. He staid at Topsham with his wife till the second son was born, which was John; he then took another voyage to go over to his uncle again ; but he never reached the place; for the ship was wrecked, and he was drowned.
Here my grandmother was left in great distress, with two children, destitute of the fortune they had à right to expect; and as my grandfather had never made up the breach with his father, there had been no intercourse between them. Therefore her spirit was too proud to stoop, as she might not be looked upon as a match fit for him; and thus she would not write to him. Her uncle took my father to provide for him; he had an estate of fifty pounds a year, which he promised to leave to him; and another relation of my grandmother took my uncle John ; and she married again to a captain of a ship soon after my grandfather's death ; and -soon after his death his father died; and then the youngest son, which was William, wrote a letter to my grandmother, that his father was dead, and he was not married, nor ever intended ; but if she would come with her two sons, the eldest should have the land that he was heir to, and the youngest should have all his fortune that remained; for his sister was married to a gentleman in London. When she received the letter she was so mortified and confounded, to think that she married again so soon after her husband's death, with a man that was spending all her property, that she thought she should be so much despised by him, that she never answered his letter; and he was offended, and wrote no more.