Friday 31 [October] We sailed out of the Downs. At eleven at night I was waked by a great noise. I soon found there was no danger; but the bare apprehension of it gave me a lively conviction what manner of men those ought to be who are every moment on the brink of eternity.
Saturday, Nov. 1, We came to St Helen's harbour, and the next day into Cowe's Road. The wind was fair, but we waited for the man of war which was to sail with us. This was a happy opportunity of instructing our fellow-travellers. May he whose seed we sow, give it the increase!
Sunday 16 [November], Thomas Hird, and Grace his wife, with their children, Mark, aged 21, and Phebe, about 17, late Quakers, were, at their often repeated desire, and after careful instruction, admitted to baptism.
Francis Barber (ca 1735 – 1801) was the Jamaican manservant of Samuel Johnson from 1752 until Johnson's death in 1784. Johnson made him his residual heir, with £70 a year to be given him by Trustees, expressing the wish that he move from London toLichfield, Staffordshire, Johnson's native city. After Johnson's death, Barber did this, opening a draper's shop and marrying a local girl. Barber was also left Johnson's books, papers and gold watch. In later years he had acted as Johnson's assistant in revising hisfamous dictionary and other works. Barber wasborna slave on a sugarplantation in Jamaica. Around the age of 15 he was brought toEngland by his owner, Colonel Richard Bathhurst, whose son, also called Richard, was a close friend of Johnson. He was sent to school inYorkshire. Johnson's wife Elizabeth Porter died in 1752, plunging Johnson into a depression that Barber later vividly described to Boswell. The Bathursts sent Barber to Johnson as a valet, arriving two weeks after her death. Although thelegal validity of salvery in England was ambiguous at this time (a later legal decision clarified that it did not exist in England), when the elder Bathurst died two years later he gave Barber his freedom in his will, with a small legacy of £12. Johnson himself was an outspoken opponent of slavery, not just in England butin the American Colonies too. Barber then went to work for an apothecary but kept in touch with Johnson. He later signed up as a sailor, until retrieved, perhaps against his wishes, by Johnson, returning to be his servant. Barber's brief maritime career is known from Boswell's Life of Johnson. “ Later Johnson put Barber, by then in his early thirties, in a school, presumably so that he could act as Johnson's assistant.
Barber is often mentioned in Boswell and other contemporary sources, and there are at least two versions of a portrait, one now in Dr Johnson's House [see pic] which may be of him. Most recent art historians thought it was probably painted by James Northcote (painter of the shark incident I mentioned recently) or perhaps by Northcote's master SirJoshau Reynolds, one of Barber's Trustees under the will (and afriedn of Johnson). An alternative view is that it is by Reynolds himself, but of his own black servant, not Barber. When making his will, Johnson asked Sir John Hawkins, later his first biographer, what provision he should make for Barber. Sir John said that a nobleman would give £50 a year. Then I shall be "noblissimus" replied Johnson, and give him £70. Hawkins disapproved, and after Johnson's death criticised his "ostentatious bounty and favour to negroes." The bequest was indeed widely covered in the press. Barber's life in Staffordshire was unsettled and he was apparently given to drinking. He died inStafford; his descendants still farm near Lichfield.
Friday 24 [October], Having a rolling sea, most of the passengers found the effects of it. Mr. Delamotte was exceeding sick for several days: Mr. Ingham for about half an hour. My brother's head ached much. Hitherto it has pleased God, the sea has not disordered me at all; nor have I been hindered one quarter of an hour from reading, writing, composing, or doing any business I could have done on shore. During our stay in the Downs, some or other of us went as often as we had opportunity on board the ship that sailed in company with us, where also many were glad to join in prayer and hearing the word.
Sir Brook Watson, Bart (1735-1807) was a British merchant, soldier and one-time Lord Mayor of London. He was perhaps most famous for being the subject of Watson and the shark, a painting by John Singleton Copley which depicted the shark attack on Watson as a boy. As a result of the attack Watson lost his right leg below the knee. More here.
Tuesday 21 [October], We sailed from Gravesend. When we were past about half the Goodwin Sands, the wind suddenly failed. Had the calm continued till ebb, the ship had probably been lost; but the gale sprung up in an hour, and carried us into the Downs.
We now began to be a little regular. Our common way of living was this: From four in the morning till five, each of us used private prayer; from five to seven we read the Bible together, carefully comparing it (that we might not lean to our own understanding) with the writings of the earliest ages. At seven we breakfasted. At eight were the public prayers. From nine to twelve I usually learned German, and Mr. Delamotte, Greek. My brother [Charles. see pic] wrote sermons, and Mr. Ingham instructed the children. At twelve we met to give an account to one another what we had done since our last meeting, and what we designed to do before our next. About one we dined.
The time from dinner to four, we spent in reading to those whom each of us had taken in charge, or in speaking to them seriously, as need required, At four were the evening prayers; when either the second lesson was explained (as it always was in the morning) or the children were catechised and instructed before the congregation. From five to six we again used private prayer. From six to seven I read in our cabin to two or three of the passengers (of whom there were about eighty English on board) and each of my brethren to a few more in theirs. At seven I joined with the Germans in their public service; while Mr. Ingham was reading between the decks to as many as desired to hear. At eight we met again to exhort and instruct one another. Between nine and ten we went to bed, where neither the roaring of the sea, nor the motion of the ship, could take away the refreshing sleep which God gave us.
Christian VI, King of Denmark (1730–1746)
[P-M 1. Ivar Eriksen Rosencrantz (1730–1735)
2. Johan Ludvig (1735–1751)]
France – Louis XV, King of France (1715–1774)
George II, King of Great Britain (1727–1760)
[P-M – Robert Walpole (1721–1742)]
Holy Roman Empire
Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1711–1740)
Ottoman (Turkish) Empire
Mahmud I, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1730–1754)
[Grand Vizier 1. Hekimoglu Ali Pasha (1732–1735)
2. Gürcü Ismail Pasha (1735)]
Portugal – John V, King of Portugal (1706–1750)
Prussia – Frederick William I, King of Prussia (1713–1740)
Russia – Anna Ivanovna, Tsaritsa of Russia (1730–1740)
Spain – Philip V, King of Spain (1700–1724, 1724–1746)
Sweden – Age of Liberty
Frederick I, King, also Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (1720–1751)
[P-M – Arvid Horn (1710–1738)]
Tuscany – Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1723–1737)
Estates of Friesland, Groningen, Guelders, Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland (1581–1795)
Grand Pensionary of Holland – Simon van Slingelandt (1727–1736)
Friesland – Willem IV, Stadtholder of Friesland (1711–1751)
Groningen – Willem IV, Stadtholder of Groningen (1729–1751)
Guelders – Willem IV, Stadtholder of Guelders (1722–1751)