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A true and exact Account
The Retaking of a Ship, called The Friends Adventure, of Topsham,
After she had been taken six days, and they were upon the coasts of France with it four days.
Where One Englishman and a boy set upon Seven Frenchmen, killed two of them, took the other Five prisoners, and brought the ship
and them safe to England.
Their Majesties' Customs of the said ship amounted to £1,000 and upwards.
Performed and written by ROBERT LYDE, Mate of the same ship.
LONDON, Printed for R. BALDWIN, near the Oxford Arms, in Warwick lane.
Here present you with a token of GOD's almighty goodness in relieving me, by His special Providence, from the barbarity, in
humanity, and most cruel slavery of the Most Christian Turk of France : whose delight it is, to make his own subjects, slaves ; and his chief study to put prisoners of war to the most tedious and cruel lingering deaths of hunger and cold, as I have experimentally, to my own damage, both felt and seen, by a four months' confinement in his country. Whereas, by their cruel usage, I was reduced to the last gasp of life : but, through the merciful goodness of GOD, I did recover; notwithstanding that of 600 prisoners, upwards of 400 were starved to death, as by the sequel more fully will appear.
What I have written is really matter of fact : and it had never appeared in print, were it not to vindicate myself, and to free myself from the many calumnies and aspersions of unreasonable men : who have not so much civility as to commend the action; but, on the con
ADDRESS TO THE COURTEOUS READER.
trary, tell the World, that I attacked the Frenchmen in cold blood, and murdered the two men I fairly killed ; and that the spirits of them have haunted me ever since, and will till I am hanged.
Others say, that I retook the ship without a Commission, and I might have as well taken any other ship, and so been hanged for a pirate.
And others, more unreasonably, say, that the boy solicited me, for many days together, to stand by him in the attempt, before I consented to it.
And others say, that I had the help of the Devil to bring home the ship.
And therefore to convince these, and to satisfy others; I have here represented you with an exact Relation of the whole matter of fact, with an account of my bringing the ship and prisoners home together, also with the ingratitude and unkindness of the owners of the ship and cargo to me.
It is not so methodical as I could wish it was; but I hope your candour will excuse it : for it was not ambition, but respect to my native country, together with the reasons before hinted, that prompted me to make it public.
I shall detain you no longer : but wishing prosperity to Their Majesties, and the settlement and happiness of these nations, I subscribe myself,
Your cordial and real friend,
A true and exact Account of the retaking of the Friends' Adventure, of Topsham, from the French ; after she had been taken six days, and upon the coast of France four days : by one Englishman
and a boy.
T is natural for all men living to have a certain kind of a natural affection for the country from whence they first have their being : and every man ought as much to vindicate his native country as he would his own posterity! for the fall or ruin of the one is the Prodromus of the other; besides the duty and allegiance
which we owe, by GOD's command, to our most gracious Sovereigns, the King (WILLIAM III.] and Queen (MARY).
And how much we ought, at this time particularly, to fight in vindication of all, I presume none can be ignorant of. For if the enemy fall upon and assault us, with all the strength they have, we ought in like manner to resist as powerfully: and if unhappily they prove victors at any time, this book will inform you how cruelly they use their prisoners of war, contrary to the ancient custom of nations. The very report of which, before I experimentally knew their tyranny, did so exasperate me against them, that if I could possibly have had any assistance, next to Providence, to have stood by me, I would never have gone into France, a captive at all ! for i had resolved to myself rather to die upon the deck fighting, than ever to be subject to those that, Nero like, rejoice over