East Barnet

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Centre for Metropolitan History

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Author

Daniel Lysons

Year published

1796

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Pages

9-23

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'East Barnet', The Environs of London: volume 4: Counties of Herts, Essex & Kent (1796), pp. 9-23. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45462 Date accessed: 22 September 2014.


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EAST BARNET.

Situation.

This parish lies in the hundred of Caisho. The village is situated at the distance of one mile to the East of the North road, and ten miles from London.

Boundaries, extent, &c.

The parish of East Barnet is bounded by Chipping Barnet, Friarn Barnet, and Enfield. It contains about 900 acres of land, of which about 150 are arable, the remainder pasture. The soil is for the most part cold and spongy, being a mixture of clay and gravel. This parish pays the sum of 350l. to the land-tax, which is at the rate of 2s. 3d. in the pound.

The manor.

The manor of Barnet, including both Chipping and East Barnet, belonged to the Abbey of St. Alban's; upon the dissolution of which monastery it came into the hands of the crown. Queen Mary granted it, in the year 1554, to Anthony Butler, Esq. whose descendants fold it, in 1619, to Sir John Weld. Frances, relict of Humphrey Weld, conveyed it, in 1645, to William Small and Thomas Urmstone, who, in 1658, granted it to Thomas Monday, Esq. In 1665, it was aliened by Mr. Monday to John Elsome, Gent. and by the latter, the same year, to John Latten, Esq. In 1687, it was purchased by John Nicolls, Esq. of Hendon-Place, who, in 1695, sold it to Sir Thomas Cooke, Alderman of London (fn. 1) , who, the next year, mortgaged it to Atwell and others. In 1720, John Cooke, Esq. son of Sir Thomas, joined with the mortgagees in conveying this manor to James Duke of Chandos, whose successor, Henry, the second Duke, sold it, in the month of January 1747–8, to John Thomlinson, Esq. Upon the death of Mr. Thomlinson, which happened in 1767, it became vested, under his will, in his grandaughter and sole heir, Mary, now the wife of Edward Beeston Long, Esq.

Manor-house.

At the dissolution of monasteries this manor was valued at 48l. 3s. 6½d. per annum (fn. 2) . The ancient site of the manor is supposed to have been near the church at East Barnet. A house, which was purchased by Mr. Thomlinson of the Miss Montagu's, has of late years been considered as the manor-house. It was, in 1724, the seat of Lord Binning, from whom it passed to Mr. Spearman. In 1736 it was purchased by Thomas Trevor, Esq. who gave it to the daughters of Brigadier-general Montagu, brother of the Earl of Halifax (fn. 3) . In 1779 this house was in the occupation of Miss Julia Yonge (fn. 4) , (now Mrs. Sandford,) author of various essays, and a commentary on the Bible.

Sir Edward Alston's park.

Monken Frith-house.

In the year 1660, Sir Edward Alston had the Royal licence to impark 160 acres of land at East Barnet (fn. 5) . The fields are particularly described in the grant. The lands adjoining to the Frith-house being there mentioned, denote it to have been the estate on which is the seat of John Kingston, Esq. now called Oak-hill, but formerly Monken Frith-house. This seat was for many years the residence of Lord Chief Justice De Grey. The park has been long ago converted again into tillage.

Grant to Sir Richard Allibon.

In the year 1686, James the Second granted to Sir Richard Allibon, afterwards one of the Justices of the King's Bench, a messuage, then or late in the occupation of Charles Lord Dunbarton, with some lands in Barnet forfeited to the Crown by the attainder of Sir Robert Peyton (fn. 6) .

Trevor-park.

Trevor-park was, in 1732, the seat of the Hon. Thomas Trevor, afterwards Lord Trevor. In 1739, it was the property of William Pritchard Ashurst, Esq. (grandson of Sir William Ashurst, Alderman of London,) who bequeathed it to Dr. Hugh Smith. It is now the property and residence of his widow (fn. 7) .

Buckskin Hall.

Buckskin Hall, on the borders of the Chace, and partly within the parish of Enfield, was the property of Mrs. Trevor, on whose decease it came to the late Lord Dacre. It is now the property of the dowager Lady Dacre, and in the occupation of the Hon. William Elphinstone.

Little Grove.

Remarkable story of a Canada goose and a dog.

Little Grove was the seat of the late Mr. Justice Willes, who purchased it of Fane William Sharpe, Esq. Mr. Sharpe's father had at this place a Canada goose, which formed an extraordinary affection for a house dog. The story is extremely well attested, and furnishes a very curious anecdote in natural history. It was drawn up by Mr. F. W. Sharpe, and inserted in his copy of Willoughby's Ornithology:

"The following account of a Canada goose is so extraordinary, that I am aware it would with difficulty gain credit, was not a whole parish able to vouch for the truth of it. The Canada geese are not fond of a poultry-yard, but are rather of a rambling disposition; one of these birds was observed, however, to attach itself, in the strongest and most affectionate manner, to the house dog, would never quit the kennel except for the purpose of feeding, when it would return again immediately. It always sat by the dog, but never presumed to go into the kennel, except in rainy weather. Whenever the dog barked, the goose would cackle, and run at the person she supposed the dog barked at, and try to bite him by the heels. Sometimes she would attempt to feed with the dog; but this the dog, who treated his faithful companion rather with indifference, would not suffer. This bird would not go to roost with the others at night, unless driven by main force; and when in the morning she was turned into the field, she would never stir from the yard gate, but sit there the whole day in sight of the dog. At last, orders were given that she should be no longer molested, but suffered to accompany the dog as she liked: being thus left to herself, she ran about the yard with him all night; and what is particularly extraordinary, and can be attested by the whole parish, whenever the dog went out of the yard and ran into the village, the goose always accompanied him, contriving to keep up with him by the assistance of her wings, and in this way of running and flying, followed him all over the parish. This extraordinary affection of the goose towards the dog, which continued till his death, two years after it was first observed, is supposed to have originated from his having accidentally saved her from a fox in the very moment of distress. While the dog was ill, the goose never quitted him day nor night, not even to feed; and it was apprehended that she would have been starved to death, had not orders been given for a pan of corn to be set every day close to the kennel. At this time the goose generally sat in the kennel, and would not suffer any one to approach it, except the person who brought the dog's or her own food. The end of this faithful bird was melancholy; for when the dog died she would still keep possession of the kennel, and a new house-dog being introduced, which in size and colour resembled that lately lost, the poor goose was unhappily deceived, and going into the kennel as usual, the new inhabitant seized her by the throat and killed her." A similar affection was observed between a cat and a pigeon some years ago, at the house of the late Robert James, Esq. of Putney, with this difference that it appeared to be reciprocal. What rendered it more extraordinary was, that they were both found one day on the wall of the garden, and both became domesticated at Mr. James's, where they continued to be inseparable companions.

Bohun Place.

Bohun Place, the seat of Jacob Baker, Esq. was purchased by the present proprietor in the year 1775, of Robert Udney, Esq. who formed there the valuable collection of pictures, which he afterwards sold to the Empress of Russia.

Mount Pleasant.

Mount Pleasant, formerly the residence of the celebrated Elias Ashmole (fn. 8) , was, a few years ago, the seat of Sir William Henry Ashurst, one of the Justices of the King's Bench, who made considerable improvements there when Enfield Chace was inclosed. In 1786, he sold it to William Franks, Esq. It is now the property of William Wroughton, Esq.

West Farm.

West Farm, near Enfield Chace, is the residence of Sir William Dolben, Bart. M. P. for the university of Oxford.

The church.

The parish church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is a small structure, consisting only of a chancel and a nave. At the west end is a low tower.

On the south wall of the chancel is the monument of Lieut. Col. Isaac Eaton, who died in 1789, "after a long period of military "service in several parts of Asia." On the floor are the tombs of Mrs. Isabel Conyers, 1644; William Green, Esq. 1645; Grace, his widow, 1685; Elizabeth, wife of Henry Wickham, D. D. 1659; Richard Baldwin, Esq. 1677; John Keene, Esq. 1770; and Lancelot Andrewes, Esq. 1772. Chauncy mentions also Jane, wife of Matthew Thwaites, Gent. 1650.

In the nave are the tombs of Mrs. Ann Chauncy, 1760; Thomas Boehm, of London, merchant, 1770; Thomas Plukenett, Esq. 1772; Hannah, his daughter, wife of Ambrose Nickson, Esq. 1780; and Anna Maria, daughter of George Fawell, who married Letitia Eleonora, another of Thomas Plukenett's daughters.

Tombs in the church-yard.

In the church-yard are the tombs of Katherine, daughter and coheir of Sir John Fitzjames, of Leweston (Dors.) 1712; George Hadley, her husband, 1728; Elizabeth, wife of John Cox, merchant, and daughter of George Hadley, 1720; James Rawlins, Gent. 1715; Robert Tayler, rector of East Barnet 40 years, 1718 (fn. 9) ; Elizabeth, wife of Charles Mawson, Chester herald, 1718; Elizabeth, wife of George Hill, Gent. daughter and coheir (fn. 10) of John Richardson, Esq. 1718; Sarah, second wife of George Hill, and daughter of Richard Richardson, Esq. serjeant at law, 1728; Catherine, wife of John Richardson, 1731; Mary, wife of John Moore, daughter of the Rev. Isaac Simpson, rector of Laycock, Wilts, 1730; John Moore, her husband, 1746; John Duprie, merchant, 1734; Esther, his sister, wife of John Fuller, 1734; Mrs. Milicent Matthews, her sister, 1771; John Hadley, Esq. 1743; Richard Mawson, Esq. 1745; the Rev. Francis White, canon residentiary of Wells, and rector of Christian Malford, 1755; John Sharpe, Esq. 1756; Fane William Sharpe, Esq. (fn. 11) (his son), 1771; John Brown, Esq. 1767; Samuel Grove, LL. B. rector of East Barnet, 1769; Edward Grove, Esq. of Shippon, Berks, 1775; Samuel Grove, Esq. 1782; William Pritchard Ashurst, Esq. 1773; James Charles Booth, Esq. of Lincoln's Inn, (an eminent conveyancer,) 1778; Aaron Eaton, Esq. 1780; Major General Augustin Prevost (fn. 12) , 1786; 1786; Hugh Smith, M. D. 1789; Edward Mounslow, 64 years clerk of the parish, (aged 82,) 1791; Julia, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Dechair, 1793.

The rectory.

East Barnet is a rectory (in the diocese of London, and the deanery of St. Alban's), to which, as has been already observed, the chapel of Chipping Barnet is annexed. The advowson, since the dissolution of the Abbey of St. Alban's, to which it formerly belonged, has been vested in the crown. The commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices, in 1650, found by their inquest that East Barnet was a rectory, valued at 54l. per annum; that Chipping Barnet was a chapel of ease to it, but had its own officers for church and poor; that the glebe was 32 acres; that John Goodwin, who had been sequestered from both churches, did then officiate at East Barnet; and Mr. Edward Bulstrode at Chipping Barnet (fn. 13) . This rectory is rated in the king's books at 22l. 2s. 8½d. per annum. The present parsonage-house was purchased by Sir Robert Berkeley in 1631, and by him appropriated to the use of the rectors, to be held of him and his heirs on a lease of 99 years, renewable from time to time (fn. 14) . The old house, which stood near the church, was then in ruins.

Rectors. Edward Grant.

Edward Grant, D. D. instituted to this rectory in 1591, was master of Westminster school during the space of 20 years. He was esteemed a good Latin poet, and one of the best classical scholars of his time. Dr. Grant composed a copious grammar of the Greek language, which was abridged by Camden, to whom he resigned the school in 1592 (fn. 15) .

Gilbert Burnet.

Gilbert Burnet, instituted to the rectory of East Barnet in 1719, was son of Bishop Burnet. He was supposed to have been a contributor to Hibernicus's Letters, and was certainly one of the authors of the Free Thinker: during the Bangorian controversy he proved an able assistant to Bishop Hoadly, in whose defence he wrote three pamphlets. In 1719 he brought out an abridgment of his father's history of the Reformation (fn. 16) . Mr. Burnet died in 1726, and lies buried at East Barnet.

Richard Bundy.

Daniel Beausort.

Richard Bundy, D. D. instituted to this rectory in 1733, translated Pere Lamy's Biblicus Apparatus, and a Roman History, in six volumes folio. He died in 1739, being then one of the prebendaries of Westminster, and was buried at the Devizes, the place of his nativity (fn. 17) . Two volumes of his practical discourses (with lectures on the church catechism) were published in 1740, and two other volumes in 1750. Dr. Bundy's successor at East Barnet was Daniel Beaufort, author of a History of Ireland. He resigned this rectory to Mr. Grove in 1743, and died a few years ago at a very advanced age.

The present rector of East Barnet is Benjamin Underwood, M. A. Prebendary of Ely, who was instituted in 1779, on the death of Mr. Grove.

Parish register.

The earliest date of the register of baptisms at this place is 1553; that of burials, 1568; of marriages, 1582.

Comparative state of population.

Average of Baptisms. Average of Burials.
1581–1590 64/5 2 3/10
1681–1689 5⅓
1731–1740 8 3/10 103/5
1770–1779 8 3/10 114/5
1780–1784 103/5 124/5
1784–1789 10 91/5
1790–1794 131/5 81/5

The present number of houses is about 60.

Extracts from the Register.

Sir Robert Berkeley.

"Thomas, son of Sir Robert Barkeley, and Dame Elizabeth his wife, baptized the 24 day of June 1630; Katherine and Isabel their daughters, August 18, 1631." Sir Robert Berkeley, who resided many years at East Barnet, was made one of the Justices of the King's Bench in 1632. He was arrested by order of the Parliament (while sitting in his court) in the year 1640, and imprisoned in the Tower, for having determined against Hampden on the business of the ship money. He died in the year 1656, aged 72. There is a print of him by Hollar.

"George Brookes alias Cobham, the son of Sr John Brookes alias Cobham, Knt, and Frances his wife, born Oct. 11th, and baptized the 15th of the same, 1636." I suppose this Sr John Brooke to have been the same person to whom the title of Lord Cobham was restored in 1645. He died without surviving issue in 1651.

"Col. William Whichcote and Dame Margaret South married May 21, 1650."

"Thomas the eldest son of Henry Bellasis, heir apparent to his Grandfather Ld Viscount Falconbridge, and Mildred Saunderson the only daughter of Ld Castleton, married July 3, 1651." Thomas Belasyse succeeded to the title of Viscount Fauconberg on the death of his grandfather in 1652. His wife Mildred dying, he married Mary, daughter of Oliver Cromwell.
Lady Mary Ingram, buried May 16, 1661."

Remarkable mortality in one family.

"Sr James Hay, Bart, and Anne Laxton, married July 20, 1674."

Six children of Richard Gough were buried within the space of four months in the year 1684.

"The Honble Helen Mary Hamilton, daughter of the Rt Hon. Charles Visct of Binning and Ld of Byres (eldest son of the Rt Hon. the Earl of Haddington) and of Rachael his wife, the Lady Binning and Byres, was born Oct. 8, and baptized Oct. 23, 1724;" Charles was born Oct. 6, 1725; John, Oct. 22, 1726; Charles James, Oct. 3, 1727.—Charles Lord Binning died before his father; his eldest son Thomas was the late Earl of Haddington.

"The Rt Honble Charles Earl of Sunderland (fn. 18) and the Honble Elizabeth Trevor (fn. 19) were married May 23, 1732."

"Trevor Charles Roper (fn. 20) , son of Charles and Gertrude, baptized July 1, 1745; Henry, born Oct. 29, 1747; Gertrude, born Mar. 9, 1748–9; buried Mar. 22." Charles Roper their father was eldest son of Lord Teynham by his third wife.

"Spencer Compton Earl of Northampton and Anne Hougham "of East Barnet married May 16, 1769."

Sir Alexander Cuming.

"Sr Alexander Comyns, Bart, pensioner in the Charter-house, "buried Aug. 28, 1775." He was son of Alexander Cuming of Coulter, created a baronet in 1695. It appears by his journal (in the possession of Isaac Reed, Esq. of Staple Inn) that he was bred to the law of Scotland, but was induced to quit that profession in consequence of a pension of 300l. per annum being assigned him by government, either, as he intimates, for services done by his family or expected from himself. This pension was withdrawn in 1721, at the instance, as he suggests, of Sir Robert Walpole, who had conceived a pique against his father for opposing him in parliament. It is more probable, that he was found too visionary a schemer to fulfil what was expected from him. In 1729 he was induced, by a dream of Lady Cuming's, to undertake a voyage to America, for the purpose of visiting the Cherokee nations. He left England on the 13th of September, and arrived at Charles-Town on the 5th of December. On the 11th of March following he set out for the Indians Country; on the 3d of April 1730 he was crowned commander and chief ruler of the Cherokee nations in a general meeting of Chiefs at Nequisee among the mountains; he returned to Charles Town the 13th of April with six Indian Chiefs, and on the 5th of June arrived at Dover; on the 18th he presented the Chiefs to George II. at Windsor, where he laid his crown at his Majesty's feet; the Chiefs also did homage, laying four scalps at the King's feet, to shew that they were an overmatch for their enemies, and five eagles' tails as emblems of victory. These circumstances are confirmed by the newspapers of that time, which are full of the proceedings of the Cherokees whilst in England, and speak of them as brought over by Sir Alexander Cuming. Their portraits were engraved on a single sheet. Sir Alexander says in his journal, that whilst he was in America in 1729 he found such injudicious notions of liberty prevail, as were inconsistent with any kind of government, particularly with their dependence on the British nation. This suggested to him the idea of establishing banks in each of the provinces dependent on the British exchequer, and accountable to the British parliament, as the only means of securing the dependency of the colonies. But it was not till 1748 (as it appears) that he laid his plans before the Minister (fn. 21) , who treated him as a visionary enthusiast, which his journal indeed most clearly indicates him to have been. He connected this scheme with the restoration of the Jews, for which he supposed the time appointed to be arrived, and that he himself was alluded to in various passages of Scripture as their deliverer. He was not, like a late enthusiast, to conduct them to the Holy Land, but proposed to take them to the Cherokee mountains: wild as his projects were, some of the most learned Jews (among whom was Isaac Netto, formerly Grand Rabbi of the Portuguese synagogue) seem to have given him several patient hearings upon the subject. When the Minister refused to listen to his schemes, he proposed to open a subscription himself for 500,000l. to establish provincial banks in America, and to settle 300,000 Jewish families among the Cherokee mountains. From one wild project he proceeded to another; and, being already desperately involved in debt, he turned his thoughts to alchemy, and began to try experiments on the transmutation of metal. He was supported principally by the contributions of his friends; till at length, in 1766, Archbishop Secker appointed him one of the pensioners in the Charter-house, where he died at a very advanced age.

Sir Alexander Cuming appears to have been a man of learning, and to have possessed talents, which, if they had not been under a wrong bias, might have been beneficial to himself and useful to his country. Lady Cuming was buried at East Barnet, Oct. 22, 1743. His son, who succeeded him in the title, became deranged in his intellects, and died about three years ago, in a state of indigence, in the neighbourhood of Red-Lion-street, Whitechapel. He had been a captain in the army; the title became extinct at his death.

Dr. Hugh Smith.

"Hugh Smith, M. D. of Trevor-park, aged 53, buried July 4, 1789." Dr. Smith was author of "Philosophical Inquiries into the Laws of Animal Life," and a popular work intitled "Letters to Married Women," treating principally of the diseases and management of infants.

Benefaction to the poor.

In the year 1631, Sir Robert Berkeley, holding a small piece of land with a decayed cottage upon it, belonging to the poor of this parish, let formerly at 1 l. 3s. 4d. per annum, but then not worth half so much, did, in lieu of it, charge the site of the parsonage-house at East Barnet with the payment of 1 l. 6s. 8d. per annum for the use of the poor.

Footnotes

1 The descent of this manor, to the year 1695, is given from Chauncy's History of Hertfordshire; for the remainder I am indebted to the politeness of Mr. Long.
2 Newcome's History of St. Alban's, vol. ii.
3 For the particulars relating to this house, and much other valuable information concerning this parish, I am indebted to Mr. Underwood the present rector.
4 Sister of Sir George Yonge.
5 Pat. 12 Car. II. pt. 35. N° 33.
6 Pat. 2 Jac. II. pt. 2. N° 5.
7 The account of Trevor-park, Buckskin Hall, &c. is taken from Mr. Underwood's notes.
8 See his Diary, affixed to Lilly's Life, (anno 1635,) p. 291.
9 By his will he bequeathed a copy of the Whole Duty of Man to every family in his parish.
10 Margaret, her sister and coheir, died unmarried.
11 This tomb was erected by Mary, only daughter and heir of the deceased. She married first, Osmund Beauvoir, D. D. and secondly, Andrew Douglas, M. D.
12 Inscription—Sacred to the memory of Augustin Prevost, Esq. Major General in his Majesty's army, Colonel of the second battalion of the 60th regiment of foot, &c. &c. By birth a native and citizen of Geneva. He entered into the service of Great Britain in 1756, in the rank of Major, and uniformly distinguishing himself with the zeal and honour of a true soldier, he merited, and, on repeated occasions, received the thanks, both public and private, of the Generals under whom he served. He finished his more active military career with the memorable defence of Savannah in Georgia in 1779, where he commanded, and in a post, entrenched merely on the spur of the occasion, sustained a formal siege against the combined armies of France and America, commanded by the Count D'Estaing, of about three times his own number, supported by a powerful fleet, and furnished with a numerous and well-served artillery: he repulsed them in a general and well-maintained assault, and finally compelled them to raise the siege, thirtythree days from its being closely invested, twenty-six of open trenches, and fifteen of open batteries. As a man he was mild, unassuming, and modest, perhaps, approaching to a fault; as a soldier, manly, firm, determined; possessing himself equally in the hour of danger as in that of the calmest retirement: his solicitude on every occasion of public import was solely directed to the honourable discharge of his duty to the king and country he had chosen for bis.—A kind husband, a tender father, a sincere friend, a humane man.—He was also eminent in all the virtues and duties of private life. This monument is erected by the companion of some of his most trying scenes (fn. *) , now his afflicted widow, in pious and affectionate testimony of her gratitude to him who was the best of husbands and the best of men. Ob. May 4, 1786. æt. 63.
13 Parliamentary Surveys. Lamb. MSS. Library.
14 Note in the parish register. It was renewed by Dr. Bundy in 1739.
15 Bentham's Ely, vol. ii. p. 257.
16 Biograph. Bric. edit. 1789.
17 From the information of Mr. Underwood.
18 Afterwards Duke of Marlborough, and father of the present Duke.
19 Daughter of Thomas Lord Trevor.
20 The present Lord Dacre, which title he inherited in right of his grandmother Ann Lennard.
21 To the Right Hon. Henry Pelham, Esq. &c. The humble Memorial of Sir Alexander Cuming, Bart. July 14, 1748, sheweth: "That, in order to preserve the dependency of the British Plantations on Great Britain their mother country, as being their natural and true interest, and as being the surest means to secure their rational liberties and properties against all invaders whatsoever, it is humbly proposed, that the current specie of Great Britain may be made the current lawful money of the said Plantations, as the proper measure of property in all countries depending on the British crown and nation.
It is also humbly proposed, that 200,000l. sterling may be coined at the Tower of London for that purpose, to be lent, upon good and sufficient securities in the said provinces, at the present legal interest there.
It is also humbly proposed, that the said sum should be made the foundation of a provincial bank for all the British Plantations in America; that the said bank should issue out bank notes to the value of the said sum, and that the planters should be obliged to pay their quit-rents in such bank notes as are authorized by the British exchequer for the said purpose; which notes, being payable by the said provincial bank in gold and silver specie, on demand, cannot fall under any discount, so long as the managers act agreeably to their several trusts. It is humbly conceived, that this regulation is requisite to abolish the paper money in New England and Carolina, and for setting aside the currency of the clipt Spanish money in Jamaica or elsewhere; and as altering or debasing the lawful money of this kingdom is truly high treason, and as the paper money of the above-mentioned provinces does really alter the value of what ought to be the current lawful money of these countries as subjects to the Crown of Great Britain, so these regulations would remove many temptations they are now under to commit high treason."
* Mrs. Prevost's situation during the siege of Savannah, whither she had followed her husband from Florida, is thus admirably described in Madam De la Fite's "Lettres et Dialogues," vol. ii. p. 400–408, from Mrs. Prevost's own communications.—" C'est au bruit du canon, c'est d'une main tremblante que je trace ces lignes, au fond d'un caveau ténébreux éclairé seulement par la soible lumière d'une lamp. Il y a trois jours que le Comte D'Estaing, suivi d'une flotte Françoise, et à la tête d'une armée de François et d'Américains, est venu sommer M. Melford (Prevost) de se rendre. Je le vois résolu à tout hasarder pour la defense de la place, quoique très-inferieur en nombre à ceux qui viennent l'affailir; mais une partie de son armée étoit à Beaufort; il lui importoit done de cacher son dessein, & de tenir l'ennemi en suspens. Par un réponse adroite, il est parvenu à son but, & a donné le temps à fes troupes de le joindre à Savannah. Dans l'intervalle, il s'est préparé à tous les événemens que l'avenir peut amener; & sa mort est un de ceux qu'il sembloit prevoir. Enfermé dans son cabinet, il brûle les drapeaux Américains pris dans les campagnes précédentes; il brûle une partie de ses papiers, & me confie les autres. J'avois encore le temps de sortir de la ville avec mes ensans; mais ma suite eût fait naitre des foupçons, et il sut décidé que nous aurions pour demeure & pour asyle un souterrain à l'abri du canon. Trop occupé des devoirs de General pour veiller sur nous, le père et l'epoux le plus tendre nous a remis aux soins d'un Capitaine de Vaiffeau, qui, prisonnier sur la parole, ne put lui rendre aucun autre service.—Nous sommes entourés de la flotte ou de l'armée combinée, et nous avons à foutenir le feu croisé des lignes & celui de vaiffeaux. M. Melford est éloigné de moi que d'un quart de lieue, & cependant je n'ai pas la consolation de le voir. Occupé à défendre son armée et à tenir la flotte dans l'inaction, il n'ose point quitter son camp.—Nous avons changé de retraite et de souterrain. L'ingénieur m'avoit avertie que, jusqu'au moment où l'on jeteroit des bombes, je serois en sùreté dans ma maison; mais qu'il saudroit en sortir alors de peur d'être ensevelie sous ses ruines. Le Capitaine qui prend soin de nous m'a offert la sienne; elle est bâtie en bois plus petite & moins exposée. L'esperance me soutient encore; mais le sommeil, cet autre ami des malheureux, m'a presque abandonné. Si je m'endors pour quelques instans, des cris d'effroi me réveillent. Mes ensans ne s'accoutument point au bruit redoublé des canons et des bombes; & moi je ne puis ecarter de mon esprit cette pensée suneste: Peut-être un de ces coups meurtriers a-t-il atteint mon mari, avant que le son redoutable en soit parvenu jusqu'à moi.—A peine avois-je cessé d'écrire qu'un bruit affreux s'est fait entendre: c'est la chûte d'une bombe qui a ébranlé le frêle edifice où nous sommes, écrâfé la maison voisine embrâsé des tonneaux pleines de liqueur spiritueuses. Je n'étois point remise du premier saisissement quand on vint me dire qu'il salloit quitter notre asyle et la voisinage d'une maison embrâsée. Entrainée par le Capitaine qui portoit mon fils dans ses bras, je prend ma fille entre les miens; je fors du caveau et traverse en frémissant une partie de la ville. Nous evitons ainsi le danger du feu, mais notre suite nous expose à celui de canon & des bombes. L'ennemi, qui s'étoit apperçu de l'embrâsement, tire de tous côtés pour empêcher qu'on arrête les progrès de la flamme. Cependant le ciel veilloit sur nous; et fans éprouver d'accident, nous arrivons au bord de la rivière, près d'un banc de sable, assez élevé pour nous servir de rempart: là, je me couchai avec mes enfans, épuisée de fatigue, privée de la faculté de penser; seulement l'instinct maternel me ramenoit à mes enfans, et je veillois encore sur eux. Plus à plaindre que nous, M. Melford voyoit de son camp une maison embrâsée, la maison même (il le croyoit ainsi) qu'habitoient sa femme et ses enfans, & ne pouvoit envoyer personne à leur secours. Les ennemis menaçoient alors d'un assaut; il n'osoit degarnir ses lignes, ne les quitter un moment. Je passai le nuit sous le banc de sable, enveloppée d'une couverture de laine qu'un matelot eut la charité de me prêter. Nous apprimes le matin que la maison du Capitaine avoit été fauvée, contre toute attente, et nous retournâmes dans le caveau. M. Melford demanda ce jour-là au Comte D'Estaing la permission de faire sortir de la ville les femmes et les enfans, & ne put l'obtenir. l'ignore encore ou nous passerons la nuit.—Il est enfin décidé que nous irons ábord d'un de nos vaisseaux.—8 Oct. Elle est enfin passée cette nuit terrible. On avoit rapproché trois vaisseaux de transport, & posé des planches pour faciliter le passage de l'un à l'autre, en cas d'accident. Malgré ces précautions, je me voyois plus exposée que jamais, et regrettai bientôt l'asyle qu'on m'avoit fait quitter. Comment sortir précipitamment d'un vaiffeau, me disois-je; comment emporter mes enfans si nous sommes forcés de fuir? Pour la première fois aussi j'appercevois une vive inquietude sur le visage de mon guide: nos alarmes redoublent en voyant que toutes les bombes sont dirigées vers nous; il en tombe une dans le vaisseau qui touche le notre, et j'apprends qu'elle a tué un homme: le danger devient imminent; nous ne balançons plus à sortir du vaisseau, & nous allons chercher un refuge près du banc de sable, où j'ai passé le reste de la nuit.—Ils vont se livrer battaille! Grand Dieu! daigne avoir pitié de moi: s'il perit—je le sens, je ne pourrai lui survivre. Et mes enfans! Qu'entends-je, O Ciel!—Il est vivant! il est vainqueur! je l'ai revu—O moment le plus beau de ma vie, combien de maux il rachète, il efface!"