In the year of 19th April, 1786, I was married to Elizabeth Flindel, of Helford, in the parish of Manaccan, and in April 19, in 1787, she bore me a daughter, who was called after her mother's name, and I think it was about middle of November.

I went in a lugger smuggling, about 140 tons, mounting sixteen carriage guns. After making one voyage at home to the King's Cove I got a freight for Costan, (?Cawsand, nr Plymouth) and as I depended on them people to look out if there were any danger, according to their promise, came into the Bay, and after some time spoke with a boat from the above place, saying it was a clear coast, there was no danger to bring the vessel up to anchor, and we should have boats enough out to discharge all the cargo immediately. So that I brought the vessel to anchor, leaving the jib with the trysail and mizen set, and begun to make ready, opening the hatches, etc., when I saw two boats rowing up from the shore. I said to the pilot, `There is two boats coming.'

He answered,' They are our boats coming to take the goods out,' etc.

Soon after a boat come alongside. ' Do you know these is two man-o'-war's boats?' We immediately cut the cable, and before the lugger gathered headway were right under the stern. They immediately cut off the mizen sheet, and with a musket shot, shot off the trysal tack and boarded us over the stern. My people having some muskets, dropped them down and went below. I knowing nothing of that, thought that all would stand by me. I begun to engage them as well as I could without anything in my hands, as they took us in surprise so suddenly, I having my great coat on buttoned about me, I seeing none of my people, only one man at the helm; and when they saw no person to oppose them, turned upon me with their broad swords, and begun to beat away upon my head. I found the blows very heavy - crushed me down to the deck - and as I never loosed my senses, rambled forward. They still pursued me, beating and pushing me, so that I fell down on the deck on a small raft just out of their way. I suppose I might have been there about a quarter of an hour, until they had secured my people below, and after found me laying on the deck. One of them said, 'Here is one of the poor fellows dead.' Another made answer, 'Put the man below.'

He answered again, saying, ` What use is it to put a dead man below ?' and so past on. About this time the vessel struck aground, the wind being about East S.E. very hard, right on the shore. So there I laid very quiet for near the space of two hours, hearing their discourse as they walked by me, the night being very dark on the 30 January 1788. When some of them saw me lying there, said, `Here lays one of the fellows dead,' one of them answered as before, ' Put him below.'

Another said, The man is dead.'

The commanding officer gave orders for a lantern and candle to be brought, so they took up one of my legs, as I was lying upon my belly; he let it go, and it fell as dead down on the deck. He likewise put his hand up under my clothes, between my shirt and my skin, and a then examined my head, and so concluded, saying, 'The man is so warm now as he was two hours back, but his head is all to atoms.' I have thought hundreds of times since what a miracle it was I neither sneezed, coughed, nor drew breath that they perceived in all this time, I suppose not less than ten or fifteen minutes.

The water being ebbing, the vessel making a great heel towards the shore, so that in the course of a very little time after, as their two boats was made fast alongside, one of them broke adrift. Immediately there was orders given to man the other boat in order to fetch her ; so that when I saw them in the state of confusion, their guard broken, I thought it was my time to make my escape, so I crept on my belly on the deck, and got over a large raft just before the main mast, close by one of the men's heels, as he was standing there handing the trysail. When I got over the lee-side I thought I should be able to swim on shore in a stroke or two. I took hold of the burtons (a small tackle of two pulleys to be fastened anywhere needed.-(Phillips' Dictionary, 1706)) of the mast, and as I was lifting myself over the side, I was taken with the cramp in one of my thighs. So then I thought I should be drowned, but still willing to risk it, so that I let myself over the side very easily by a rope into the water, fearing my enemies would hear me and then let go.

As I was very near the shore, I thought to swim onshore in the course of a stroke or two, as I used to swim so well, but soon found out my mistake. I was sinking almost like a stone, and hauling astern in deeper water, when I gave up all hopes of life, and begun to swallow some water. I found a rope under my breast, so that I had not lost all my senses. I hauled upon it, and soon found one end fast to the side just where I went overboard, which gave me a little hope of life. So that when I got there, could not tell which was best, to call to the man-of-war's men to take me in, or to stay there and die, for my life and strength was almost exhausted ; but whilst I was thinking of this, touched bottom with my feet. Hope then sprung up, and I soon found another rope, leading towards the head of the vessel in shallower water, so that I veered upon one and hauled upon the other that brought me under the bowsprit, and then at times; upon the send of a sea, my feet was almost dry. I thought then I would soon be out of their way. Let go the rope, but as soon as I attempted to run, fell down, and as I fell, looking round about me, saw three men standing close by me. I know they were the man of-war's men seeing for the boat, so I lay there quiet for some little time, and then crept upon my belly, I suppose about the distance of fifty yards, and as the ground was scuddy, some flat rock mixt with channels of sand, I saw before me a channel of white sand, and for fear to be seen creeping over it, which would take some time, not knowing there was anything the matter with me, made the second attempt to run, and fell in the same manner as before.

My brother Charles being there, looking out for the vessel, desired some of Cawsand men to go down to see if they could pick up any of the men dead or alive, not expecting ever to see me any more, almost sure I was either shot or drowned. One of them saw me fall, came to my assistance, and taking hold of me under the arm says, `Who are you ?' So as I thought him to be an enemy, made no answer.

He said, 'Fear not, I am a friend ; come with me.' And by that time forth was two more come, which took me under both arms, and the other pushed me in the back, and so dragged me up to the town. I suppose it might have been about the distance of the fifth part of a mile. My strength was almost exhausted ; my breath, nay, my life, was almost gone. They took me into a room where there were seven or eight of Cawsand men and my brother Charles, and when he saw me, knew me by my great coat, and cried with joy, `This is my brother!'

So then they immediately stript off my wet clothes, and one of them pulled off his shirt from off him and put on me, sent for a doctor, and put me to bed. Well, then, 1 have thought many a time since what a wonder it was. The bone of my nose cut right in two, nothing but a bit of skin holding it, and two very large cuts in my head, that two or three pieces of my skull worked out afterwards ; and after so long laying on the deck with that very cold weather, and being not altogether drowned, but almost, I think, I did not know I was wounded or lost any blood.

And now, my dear reader, I am going to show you the hardening nature of sin. When I was struggling in the water for life I gave up all hope, I was dead in my own mind; nevertheless my conscience was so dead asleep I thought nothing about Heaven or hell or judgement; and if I had died then I am sure I should have awaked amongst devils and damned spirits. See here this great salvation and that of the Lord. I have been very near drowned, I think, twice before this, and have been exposed to many dangers many a time in the course of time between the five years the lugger eras lost in the North Channel and this time, privateering, smuggling, etc., but I think conscience never so dead as now.

I stayed there that night and the next evening took chaise. My brother and me, and the doctor came with us so far as Lostwithiel, and arrived at home the night after to brother Charles' house. I stayed there about six or seven days, until it was advertised in the papers, I think three hundred pounds, for apprehending the Captain for three months from the date thereof, which set us all of alarm.