We know of John Milbourne from the following:
1. The diary of his grandson George Marsh (1722-1800). The relevant section reads as below.
2. The other item is a mother of pearl gaming counter handed down in the family. This has the Milbourne family coat of arms on the right with the three shells (Sable, a chevron between three escallops, Argent). On top is another shell as the crest. Also another gaming counter with the initials JMW. These may relate to Milbourne Warren and there could perhaps be someone with the name John Milbourne Warren. Milbourne Warren is also covered extensively in the diary of George Marsh.
The relevant section from the diary of George Marsh covering John Milbourne reads as follows:
His son John Milbourne my mother's father did some years after obtain part of his valuable estate consisting chiefly of a small colliery Yd and lived in a very genteel manner near Morpeth and Alnwick in Northumberland, highly esteemed by the nobility and gentry of the country in so much that he was intrusted and had the management of several of their large estates as their land steward;- Soon after the death of his wife he unfortunately was bound for a nobleman's son for 20,000, who proved false to him which occasioned his sudden departure from his house leaving five daughters at a boarding school and immediately to seek protection 'till his affairs could be settled. For this purpose he got on board a ship of war stationed on that coast, commanded by Captain Townshend [Sir Isaac Townsend, 16??-1731] to whom he told his case and entreated his protection for a few days, although he was a total stranger to him, who most humanely and kindly gave it, and even insisted that he should live with him, and have a bed put up for him in his state room to sleep by him.
Mr Milbourne was of very genteel engaging manners a fine handsome person, a good scholar and of great abilities, and as the Captain found he was an excellent Pen man, and Mr Milbourne wished to be as useful to him as possible, whilst he remained on board his ship, and at this time the Ministry corresponded with the Captain respecting some very important business, it was intended that he should be sent upon to one of the Courts in Germany, he desired him to write all his letters for him in the execution of which he was so pleased that when Mr Milbourne in about a fortnight after his first going into his Ship, had advise that the Nobleman had satisfied his son's creditors, and that he might return to his house and family; the Captain entreated him to go with him to the German Court to transact the business for him, who first returned to his house to put his affairs into proper hands, and then went back to the Captain agreeable to his desire and proceeded with him to the Coast of Holland, he having entertained the utmost gratitude and indeed affection for him for his great kindness and protection to him. They had not made the Coast but a few hours before a violent storm came on in which the ship foundered and half the crew were drowned, but as the Captain and himself were of the number saved, they proceeded on the Captain's business to the German Court where they were so lucky as to accomplish it in a very few days to the great satisfaction of the Ministry, insomuch that upon the Captain's return to London an account came from Portsmouth that the Commissioner of the Navy residing there was dead, he Sir Isaac Townshend was appointed to succeed him as Commissioner of the Navy there. Upon which he further requested Mr Milbourne to go with him to that place and that they might never separate till death should part them, which he also complied with, and had good appointments there by the Captain's interest. Mr Milbourne being seized in the year 1722 with a violent fever made a Will and took leave of his five daughters, and told them not above an hour before his death, that he had left his fortune equally between them. Immediately after they had retired out of his room a female who was his housekeeper and managed his house and servants got a low fellow of a lawyer to the house, who made a Will, leaving the whole of his fortune to her, and though the signing was not his handwriting nor could he be in his senses when it was said he executed it, yet as no other Will could be found and the lawyer took an oath it was his handwriting and that he was in his perfect senses when he signed it, she got possession of the whole fortune and effects.
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