Defoe’s Early Life by F. Bastian (auth.)

By F. Bastian (auth.)

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Sample text

He had been taken up for dead and thrown into the cart. When they arrived at the pit, the piper had awoken and terrified the bearers by sitting up and calling out, 'Hey! ' Hayward, recovering himself, said, 'Why, you are in the dead-cart, and we are a-going to Bury you'. 's' friend Dr Heath, probably to be identified with Geoffrey Heath, barber-surgeon of Coleman Street, perhaps introduced into the story as the only medical man known to Defoe at this early period of his life. 43 He may have treated young Daniel for childish ailments, but perhaps also visited the Foe household in connection with his mother's failing health.

21 It was estimated that in 1676 the parish of Dorking contained 1000 who conformed to the Church of England, 200 Protestant Nonconformists, and 18 Papists. 22 In this and other ways, it was a microcosm of England, a stable community in which it must have been easier to grasp the elements of English society than in the anonymous fluctuating throng of London. Although it contained fewer than 2000 souls, all four of the recognised denominations of Dissenters were represented, and there were meetings in the town for at least three of these.

The second son, James, was apprenticed in the Fishmongers' Company in 1672, but then disappears from view. John Marsh, the third son, also apprenticed in the Fishmongers' Company, to Paul Pindar in 1674, eventually settled down as a 34 Defoe's Early Life tradesman in the London parish of St Lawrence Jewry, marrying in 1683 and raising a family. He kept in touch with James Foe, who left him £20 in his will made in 1706. William Marsh, the youngest son, and almost exactly of an age with Defoe, entered the Inner Temple and became a lawyer's clerk.

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