This inscription marks the book as belonging to Robert Marsham, the great-great-great-grandson of Sir Cloudesley Shovell and Lady Elizabeth, his wife.
The first page of the letter
This letter was written to Lady Elizabeth Shovell by Rev. Gilbert Crockatt, rector of St. Paulinus Church, Crayford.
It works to comfort her in the loss of her husband and two sons aboard the Association through biblical passages and reference to Christian duty.
The letter’s preface contains a great deal of biographical material about Sir Cloudesley Shovell, and extols his deeds in the navy and his many victories. It traces his life from his upbringing in Norfolk to his time under Myngs and Narborough to his captaincy to his work as Admiral.
The priest praises Shovell’s kind nature in regards to his family and country, and his honourable nature in regards to his duty in the navy.
This letter shows just how greatly Cloudesley Shovell was missed after his death, and how much of an impact he had on those close to him.
The rest of the letter
The remaining pages of Rev. Crockatt’s letter to Lady Shovell can be seen in the photo gallery below.