Page:Yorkshire Oddities, Incidents and Strange Events.djvu/359

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347
Jonathan Martin, Incendiary of York Minster.

Portsmouth. Never knew that he had deserted; he was continually amongst the crews of the King's ships. Went to London with him, and he talked a good deal about religion when at Portsmouth, but lived very loosely in London.[1] Martin told me a variety of his adventures—that he was nearly murdered by the Algerines, &c., &c., but that he was marvellously delivered, and that God had told him in his dreams to quit the sea. He had a good deal of prize-money to receive, but there was a delay in his getting it. The day he was to have it finally, he was to meet me at Rotherhithe; he never came, and from that time (1810) I never saw nor heard of him."

Martin does not tell us how long he remained in the transport service; but when he was paid off, he proceeded to Newcastle to visit his parents, probably in 1810; and then went to work with Mr. Page, a farmer at Norton, in Durham.

"Here," he observes, "commenced that series of trials which almost obliterated the remembrance of my former difficulties, and which, were they not well-known to many now living, might appear to border on romance." In reading his life, however, we can find no traces of "trials" which were not brought upon himself; and there is very little of the "romantic" about them. A few months after his residence at Norton he married, and became the father of a son.

"I had him baptised Richard," he says. "I was deterred from giving him my own name on account of the sins of my youth, as I conceived if I did, the Lord might take

  1. Neither Mr. Nicoll nor the other pensioner assert that Martin was guilty of a loose life. Perhaps this was only on the occasion of his visiting London with the sailor who mentions it. Mr. Nicoll says Martin was a moral man.