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points: for the second day after I arrived
in Londonwhere we got in June, 1801I
was taken very bad of a fever, and I was
obliged to keep my bed for two months;
but, thanks be to God, I soon got better,
And my old shipmate, who during my illness
had gone to Boston, and had promised to
return to London again as soon as his
business was settled, but he did not; for, poor
fellow, he was taken with the same
complaint that I had, as soon as he arrived in
Boston, and died in a week after he got home.
So now, being left to myself again, and being
tired of going to sea, I intended to settle
myself on shore. With this intent I went to
Mr. Scovel, who was owner of several wharfs,
where the traders used to discharge and
take in their cargoes, and spoke to him, and
told him my intention, and likewise to ask
him what the best use would be that I could
make of my money; and he was very kind to
me, and told me that I had best put my money
in the bank, and that I should have constant
employment at any wharf that he had, that I
was a mind to choose. And now, having this
point settled, I got to come to another; and
that is, that during my illness a young
woman that used to attend on me, I found
that I got very fond of her, and I could see,
by the attention she paid me, that I was not
indifferent to her; and as I was going to stop
on shore, I thought I wanted a wife, and after
a little courtship I gained her consent, and
we got married at St. Olave's Church, which
is in Tooley Street, in the Borough, on the
27th day of December, 1801.

I had taken a little house in Vine Yard,
close to Pickle Herring Stairs; and having
money I set up a little shop to sell cabbages,
and potatoes, and wood, and coals; and,
thanks be to God, me and my wife we done
very well, for I used to go every day to work
at the wharves, loading and discharging
coasting vessels, and my wife minded the
shop. And so things went on quite comfortable
till the latter part of July, 1802, when
a strange accident occurred which put an
end to all my happiness for a long time.
The case was this: my wife's mother-in-law
was a woman greatly given to drink, and she
used to come to my wife and get things upon
trust, and go and spend the money in drink;
and having run up a pretty good score, my
wife spoke to her about it; but she, being half
drunk, abused my wife and struck her. My
landlord, Mr. Bland, seeing the affair, came
down and told me of it, for my house was
close to the wharf where I was working; and
I ran up directly, and ordered her out of the
house, and told her not to come there any
more; and a good many words passed between
us; and at last she told me she would make
me sorry for turning her out of doors; but I
did not mind her. But I soon had occasion to
be sorry for what had happened; for the war
between France and England had broke out
again, and the press was very hot; and my
wife's mother-in-law went to the lieutenant
of the press-gang, and informed against me
that I was a seafaring man, and served my time
at sea; and about half-past ten o'clock that
same evening, just when I was going to shut
my shop up, the press-gang came, and took me
too. I had a scuffle for it before I was taken,
for I knocked the first two down that came
into my house; but I was soon overpowered,
and was taken by force, and taken down to
the boat which they had brought to Pickle
Herring Stairs; and from there I was taken
on board the "Enterprise," which lay at
Tower Hill Stairs, where I was put both legs
in irons and my hands tied behind me; and
there I laid till the morning, when me and
some more pressed men were put on board of
a tender, and sent down to the big Nore on
board of the "Old Namur," which lay flagship
there; and next morning I was sent
on board of the "Childers," ten-gun brig, to
be sent round to Spithead, where we arrived
on the 5th of August, 1802. And now having
come a little to myself, you may depend my
feelings and my mind was none of the best.
The chief thing that grieved me was thinking
about my wife; for I knew she was about
seven months gone in the family way; but the
only way I had left to do her any good was
to write to her; and having, by good luck,
three guineas in my pocket, which I put there
in the evening before I was pressed, to pay for
some potatoes, in the morning, which I had
bought, I went and bought some paper, and
pens, and ink, and I wrote a letter to my
landlord, Mr. Bland, and told him where I
was; and I told him to go to Mr. Scovel, the
gentleman that had my money, for him to
get two substitutes for me, which would come
to about sixty pounds per man, and to let me
know how my wife was, and to be sure not to
let my wife's mother-in-law come there. I
directed this letter to Mr. Bland, for fear, if I
directed it to my own house, it might have
been stopped. I remained on board of the
"Childers " three days after we arrived at
Spithead; and then I was sent on board of
the "Royal William," which lay flag-ship at
Spithead. And now all my hopes being at an
end of getting an answer to my letter, as my
letter would be directed to the "Childers,"
I turned to and wrote again, and told them
where I was; but I might have saved myself
the trouble, for I was only three days on
board of the "Royal William" before I was
drafted to the "Albion," of seventy-four guns,
and she was bound to the East Indies for
to take out a convoy of merchant ships. We
sailed from Spithead in the beginning of
September, 1802; and I left England with a
heavy heart, not having heard from my
friends. I often thought that none of my
letters had gone; and being very careless of
myself, I gave way to all sorts of badness,
gambling, drunkenness, cursing and
swearing, which brought me continually into