The Lyson narrative continues:
"With this machine, Mr. Lethbridge says, he could move about twelve feet square at the bottom of the sea, where he frequently staid thirty-four minutes: he had frequently been for six hours at a time in the engine, being frequently brought up to the surface, where he was refreshed with a pair of bellows. Many hundred times, he states, he had been ten fathom deep, and sometimes twelve fathom with difficulty. When his machine was finished, he offered his services to some merchants of London, to adventure on the wrecks of some treasure ships then lately lost; but it was some time before he found any who had sufficient confidence in the success of his experiments to offer him terms at all adequate to his deserts and expectations: but after his success had been proved, he was employed to dive on wrecks in various parts of the world, both for his own countrymen and for the Dutch and the Spaniards.
He mentions, in his letter already quoted, that he had dived on wrecks in the West Indies, at the Isle of May, at Porto Santo, near Madeira, and at the Cape of Good Hope. His most laudable endeavours were so far crowned with success, that he was enabled not only to maintain his family, but to purchase the estate of Odicknoll, in the parish of King's Carswell, near Newton Abbot. At the house of his grandson, John Lethbridge, Esq., at Newton, is a board on which is an inscription in gold letters, dated 1736, stating, that John Lethbridge, by the blessing of God, had dived on the wrecks of four English men of war, one English East Indiaman, two Dutch men of war, five Dutch East Indiamen, two Spanish galleons, and two London galleys, all lost in the space of twenty years; on many of them with good success ; but that he had been very near drowning in the engine five times. The apparatus, about twenty years ago, was at Governor Holdsworth's, at Dartmouth, but it was then in a decaying state.
There is reason to suppose, that Mr. Lethbridge was the first person, who, by his ingenuity and intrepidity, succeeded in recovering goods from wrecked vessels: "