FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF RICHARD HAKLUYT.
Richard Hakluyt, notwithstanding the Dutch look of his name, was of a good British stock, from Wales or the Welsh borders. At the beginning of the fourteenth century an ancestor of his, Hugo Hakelute, sat in Parliament as member for Leominster.
Richard Hakluyt, born about five years before the accession of Queen Elizabeth, was a boy at Westminster School, when visits to a cousin in the Middle Temple, also a Richard Hakluyt, first planted in him an enthusiasm for the study of adventure towards a wider use and knowledge of the globe we live upon. As a student at Christ Church, Oxford, all his leisure was spent on the collection and reading of accounts of voyage and adventure. He graduated as B. A. in 1574, as M. A. in 1577, and lectured publicly upon geography, showing "both the old imperfectly composed, and the new lately reformed maps, globes, spheres, and other instruments of this art."
In 1582 Hakluyt, at the age of about twenty-nine, issued his first publication: "Divers Voyages touching the Discovery of America and the Lands adjacent unto the same, made first of all by our Englishmen, and afterwards by the Frenchmen and Bretons: and certain Notes of Advertisements for Observations, necessary for such as shall hereafter make the like Attempt." His researches had already made him the personal friend of the famous sea captains of Elizabeth's reign. In 1583 he had taken orders, and went to Paris as chaplain to the English ambassador, Sir Edward Stafford. From Paris he returned to England for a short time, in 1584, and laid before the Queen a paper recommending the plantation of unsettled parts of America. It was called "A particular Discourse concerning Western Discoveries, written in the year 1584, by Richard Hakluyt, of Oxford, at the request and direction of the right worshipful Mr. Walter Raleigh, before the coming home of his two barks." Raleigh and Hakluyt were within a year of the same age.
To found a colonial empire in America by settling upon new lands, and by dispossessing Spaniards, was one of the grand ideas of Walter Raleigh, who obtained, on the 25th of March in that year, 1584, a patent authorising him to search out and take possession of new lands in the Western world. He then fitted out two ships, which left England on the 27th of April, under the command of Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlow. In June they had reached the West Indies, then they sailed north by the coasts of Florida and Carolina, and they had with them two natives when they returned to England in September, 1584. In December Raleigh's patent was enlarged and confirmed, and presently afterwards Raleigh was knighted.
Richard Hakluyt's paper, in aid of this beginning of the shaping of another England in the New World, was for a long time lost. It was first printed in 1877 at Cambridge, Massachusetts, among the Collections of the Maine Historical Society. It won for its author a promise of the next vacant prebend at Bristol; the vacancy came about a year later, and the Rev. Richard Hakluyt was admitted to it in 1586.
Hakluyt remained about five years at Paris as Chaplain to the English Embassy, and while there he caused the publication in 1586 of an account by Laudonniere of voyages into Florida. This he also translated and published, in London, in 1587, as "A Notable History containing Four Voyages made by certain French Captains into Florida." In 1588 Hakluyt returned to England, and in the next year, 1589, he published in one folio volume, "The Principal Navigations, Voyages, and Discoveries of the English Nation." In April of the next year he became rector of Witheringsett-cum-Brockford, in Suffolk. The full development of his work appeared in three volumes folio in the years 1598, 1599, and 1600, as "The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffics, and Discoveries of the English Nation," the first of these volumes differing materially from the volume that had appeared in 1589.
Hakluyt became, in May, 1602, prebendary, and in 1603 archdeacon of Westminster. He was twice married, died about six months after Shakespeare, and was buried in Westminster Abbey on the 26th of November, 1616.
THE WORTHY ENTERPRISE OF JOHN FOX, AN ENGLISHMAN, IN DELIVERING 266 CHRISTIANS OUT OF THE CAPTIVITY OF THE TURKS AT ALEXANDRIA, THE 3RD OF JANUARY, 1577.
Among our merchants here in England, it is a common voyage to traffic to Spain; whereunto a ship called the Three Half Moons, manned with eight and thirty men, well fenced with munitions, the better to encounter their enemies withal, and having wind and tide, set from Portsmouth 1563, and bended her journey towards Seville, a city in Spain, intending there to traffic with them. And falling near the Straits, they perceived themselves to be beset round about with eight galleys of the Turks, in such wise that there was no way for them to fly or to escape away, but that either they must yield or else be sunk, which the owner perceiving, manfully encouraged his company, exhorting them valiantly to show their manhood, showing them that God was their God, and not their enemies', requesting them also not to faint in seeing such a heap of their enemies ready to devour them; putting them in mind also, that if it were God's pleasure to give them into their enemies' hands, it was not they that ought to show one displeasant look or countenance there against; but to take it patiently, and not to prescribe a day and time for their deliverance, as the citizens of Bethulia did, but to put themselves under His mercy. And again, if it were His mind and good will to show His mighty power by them, if their enemies were ten times so many, they were not able to stand in their hands; putting them, likewise, in mind of the old and ancient worthiness of their countrymen, who in the hardest extremities have always most prevailed, and gone away conquerors; yea, and where it hath been almost impossible. "Such," quoth he, "hath been the valiantness of our countrymen, and such hath been the mighty power of our God."
With such other like encouragements, exhorting them to behave themselves manfully, they fell all on their knees, making their prayers briefly unto God; who, being all risen up again, perceived their enemies, by their signs and defiances, bent to the spoil, whose mercy was nothing else but cruelty; whereupon every man took him to his weapon.
Then stood up one Grove, the master, being a comely man, with his sword and target, holding them up in defiance against his enemies. So likewise stood up the owner, the master's mate, boatswain, purser, and every man well appointed. Now likewise sounded up the drums, trumpets, and flutes, which would have encouraged any man, had he never so little heart or courage in him.
Then taketh him to his charge John Fox, the gunner, in the disposing of his pieces, in order to the best effect, and, sending his bullets towards the Turks, who likewise bestowed their pieces thrice as fast towards the Christians. But shortly they drew near, so that the bowmen fell to their charge in sending forth their arrows so thick amongst the galleys, and also in doubling their shot so sore upon the galleys, that there were twice so many of the Turks slain as the number of the Christians were in all. But the Turks discharged twice as fast against the Christians, and so long, that the ship was very sore stricken and bruised under water; which the Turks, perceiving, made the more haste to come aboard the ship: which, ere they could do, many a Turk bought it dearly with the loss of their lives. Yet was all in vain; boarded they were, where they found so hot a skirmish, that it had been better they had not meddled with the feast; for the Englishmen showed themselves men indeed, in working manfully with their brown bills and halberds, where the owner, master, boatswain, and their company stood to it so lustily, that the Turks were half dismayed. But chiefly the boatswain showed himself valiant above the rest, for he fared amongst the Turks like a wood lion; for there was none of them that either could or durst stand in his face, till at last there came a shot from the Turks which brake his whistle asunder, and smote him on the breast, so that he fell down, bidding them farewell, and to be of good comfort, encouraging them, likewise, to win praise by death, rather than to live captives in misery and shame, which they, hearing, indeed, intended to have done, as it appeared by their skirmish; but the press and store of the Turks were so great, that they were not long able to endure, but were so overpressed, that they could not wield their weapons, by reason whereof they must needs be taken, which none of them intended to have been, but rather to have died, except only the master's mate, who shrunk from the skirmish, like a notable coward, esteeming neither the value of his name, nor accounting of the present example of his fellows, nor having respect to the miseries whereunto he should be put. But in fine, so it was, that the Turks were victors, whereof they had no great cause to rejoice or triumph. Then would it have grieved any hard heart to see these infidels so violently entreating the Christians, not having any respect of their manhood, which they had tasted of, nor yet respecting their own state, how they might have met with such a booty as might have given them the overthrow; but no remorse hereof, or anything else doth bridle their fierce and tyrannous dealing, but the Christians must needs to the galleys, to serve in new offices; and they were no sooner in them, but their garments were pulled over their ears, and torn from their backs, and they set to the oars.
I will make no mention of their miseries, being now under their enemies' raging stripes. I think there is no man will judge their fare good, or their bodies unloaden of stripes, and not pestered with too much heat, and also with too much cold; but I will go to my purpose, which is to show the end of those being in mere misery, which continually do call on God with a steadfast hope that He will deliver them, and with a sure faith that He can do it.
Nigh to the city of Alexandria, being a haven town, and under the dominion of the Turks, there is a road, being made very fencible with strong walls, whereinto the Turks do customably bring their galleys on shore every year, in the winter season, and there do trim them, and lay them up against the spring-time; in which road there is a prison, wherein the captives and such prisoners as serve in the galleys are put for all that time, until the seas be calm and passable for the galleys, every prisoner being most grievously laden with irons on their legs, to their great pain, and sore disabling of them to any labour; into which prison were these Christians put and fast warded all the winter season. But ere it was long, the master and the owner, by means of friends, were redeemed, the rest abiding still in the misery, while that they were all, through reason of their ill-usage and worse fare, miserably starved, saving one John Fox, who (as some men can abide harder and more misery than other some can, so can some likewise make more shift, and work more duties to help their state and living, than other some can do) being somewhat skilful in the craft of a barber, by reason thereof made great shift in helping his fare now and then with a good meal. Insomuch, till at the last God sent him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison, so that he had leave to go in and out to the road at his pleasure, paying a certain stipend unto the keeper, and wearing a lock about his leg, which liberty likewise five more had upon like sufferance, who, by reason of their long imprisonment, not being feared or suspected to start aside, or that they would work the Turks any mischief, had liberty to go in and out at the said road, in such manner as this John Fox did, with irons on their legs, and to return again at night.
In the year of our Lord 1577, in the winter season, the galleys happily coming to their accustomed harbourage, and being discharged of all their masts, sails, and other such furnitures as unto galleys do appertain, and all the masters and mariners of them being then nested in their own homes, there remained in the prison of the said road two hundred three score and eight Christian prisoners who had been taken by the Turks' force, and were of fifteen sundry nations. Among which there were three Englishmen, whereof one was named John Fox, of Woodbridge, in Suffolk, the other William Wickney, of Portsmouth, in the county of Southampton, and the third Robert Moore, of Harwich, in the county of Essex; which John Fox, having been thirteen or fourteen years under their gentle entreatance, and being too weary thereof, minding his escape, weighed with himself by what means it might be brought to pass, and continually pondering with himself thereof, took a good heart unto him, in the hope that God would not be always scourging His children, and never ceasing to pray Him to further his intended enterprise, if that it should redound to His glory.
Not far from the road, and somewhat from thence, at one side of the city, there was a certain victualling house, which one Peter Vuticaro had hired, paying also a certain fee unto the keeper of the road. This Peter Vuticaro was a Spaniard born, and a Christian, and had been prisoner above thirty years, and never practised any means to escape, but kept himself quiet without touch or suspect of any conspiracy, until that now this John Fox using much thither, they brake one to another their minds, concerning the restraint of their liberty and imprisonment. So that this John Fox, at length opening unto this Vuticaro the device which he would fain put in practice, made privy one more to this their intent; which three debated of this matter at such times as they could compass to meet together, insomuch that, at seven weeks' end they had sufficiently concluded how the matter should be, if it pleased God to further them thereto; who, making five more privy to this their device, whom they thought that they might safely trust, determined in three nights after to accomplish their deliberate purpose. Whereupon the same John Fox and Peter Vuticaro, and the other five appointed to meet all together in the prison the next day, being the last day of December, where this John Fox certified the rest of the prisoners what their intent and device was, and how and when they minded to bring that purpose to pass, who thereunto persuaded them without much ado to further their device; which, the same John Fox seeing, delivered unto them a sort of files, which he had gathered together for this purpose by the means of Peter Vuticaro, charging them that every man should be ready, discharged of his irons, by eight of the clock on the next day at night.
On the next day at night, the said John Fox, and his five other companions, being all come to the house of Peter Vuticaro, passing the time away in mirth for fear of suspect till the night came on, so that it was time for them to put in practice their device, sent Peter Vuticaro to the master of the road, in the name of one of the masters of the city, with whom this keeper was acquainted, and at whose request he also would come at the first; who desired him to take the pains to meet him there, promising him that he would bring him back again. The keeper agreed to go with him, asking the warders not to bar the gate, saying that he would not stay long, but would come again with all speed.
In the mean-season, the other seven had provided them of such weapons as they could get in that house, and John Fox took him to an old rusty sword-blade without either hilt or pommel, which he made to serve his turn in bending the hand end of the sword instead of a pommel, and the other had got such spits and glaves as they found in the house.
The keeper being now come unto the house, and perceiving no light nor hearing any noise, straightway suspected the matter; and returning backward, John Fox, standing behind the corner of the house, stepped forth unto him; who, perceiving it to be John Fox, said, "O Fox, what have I deserved of thee that thou shouldest seek my death?"
"Thou villain," quoth Fox, "hast been a bloodsucker of many a Christian's blood, and now thou shalt know what thou hast deserved at my hands," wherewith he lift up his bright shining sword of ten years' rust, and stroke him so main a blow, as therewithal his head clave asunder so that he fell stark dead to the ground. Whereupon Peter Vuticaro went in and certified the rest how the case stood with the keeper, and they came presently forth, and some with their spits ran him through, and the other with their glaves hewed him in sunder, cut off his head, and mangled him so that no man should discern what he was.
Then marched they toward the road, whereinto they entered softly, where were five warders, whom one of them asked, saying, who was there? Quoth Fox and his company, "All friends." Which when they were all within proved contrary; for, quoth Fox, "My masters, here is not to every man a man, wherefore look you, play your parts." Who so behaved themselves indeed, that they had despatched these five quickly. Then John Fox, intending not to be barren of his enterprise, and minding to work surely in that which he went about, barred the gate surely, and planted a cannon against it.
Then entered they into the jailer's lodge, where they found the keys of the fortress and prison by his bedside, and there got they all better weapons. In this chamber was a chest wherein was a rich treasure, and all in ducats, which this Peter Vuticaro and two more opening, stuffed themselves so full as they could between their shirts and their skin; which John Fox would not once touch and said, "that it was his and their liberty which he fought for, to the honour of his God, and not to make a mart of the wicked treasure of the infidels." Yet did these words sink nothing unto their stomachs; they did it for a good intent. So did Saul save the fattest oxen to offer unto the Lord, and they to serve their own turn. But neither did Saul scape the wrath of God therefor, neither had these that thing which they desired so, and did thirst after. Such is God's justice. He that they put their trust in to deliver them from the tyrannous hands of their enemies, he, I say, could supply their want of necessaries.
Now these eight, being armed with such weapons as they thought well of, thinking themselves sufficient champions to encounter a stronger enemy, and coming unto the prison, Fox opened the gates and doors thereof, and called forth all the prisoners, whom he set, some to ramming up the gate, some to the dressing up of a certain galley which was the best in all the road, and was called "The Captain of Alexandria," whereinto some carried masts, sails, oars, and other such furniture, as doth belong unto a galley.
At the prison were certain warders whom John Fox and his company slew, in the killing of whom there were eight more of the Turks which perceived them, and got them to the top of the prison, unto whom John Fox and his company were fain to come by ladders, where they found a hot skirmish, for some of them were there slain, some wounded, and some but scarred and not hurt. As John Fox was thrice shot through his apparel, and not hurt, Peter Vuticaro and the other two, that had armed them with the ducats, were slain, as not able to wield themselves, being so pestered with the weight and uneasy carrying of the wicked and profane treasure; and also divers Christians were as well hurt about that skirmish as Turks slain.
Amongst the Turks was one thrust through, who (let us not say that it was ill-fortune) fell off from the top of the prison wall, and made such a groaning that the inhabitants thereabout (as here and there stood a house or two), came and questioned him, so that they understood the case, how that the prisoners were paying their ransoms; wherewith they raised both Alexandria, which lay on the west side of the road, and a castle which was at the city's end next to the road, and also another fortress which lay on the north side of the road, so that now they had no way to escape but one, which by man's reason (the two holds lying so upon the mouth of the road) might seem impossible to be a way for them. So was the Red Sea impossible for the Israelites to pass through, the hills and rocks lay so on the one side, and their enemies compassed them on the other. So was it impossible that the walls of Jericho should fall down, being neither undermined nor yet rammed at with engines, nor yet any man's wisdom, policy, or help, set or put thereunto. Such impossibilities can our God make possible. He that held the lion's jaws from rending Daniel asunder, yea, or yet from once touching him to his hurt, cannot He hold the roaring cannons of this hellish force? He that kept the fire's rage in the hot burning oven from the three children that praised His name, cannot He keep the fire's flaming blasts from among His elect?
Now is the road fraught with lusty soldiers, labourers, and mariners, who are fain to stand to their tackling, in setting to every man his hand, some to the carrying in of victuals, some munitions, some oars, and some one thing some another, but most are keeping their enemy from the wall of the road. But to be short, there was no time misspent, no man idle, nor any man's labour ill-bestowed or in vain. So that in short time this galley was ready trimmed up. Whereinto every man leaped in all haste, hoisting up the sails lustily, yielding themselves to His mercy and grace, in Whose hands is both wind and weather.
Now is this galley a-float, and out of the shelter of the road; now have the two castles full power upon the galley; now is there no remedy but to sink. How can it be avoided? The cannons let fly from both sides, and the galley is even in the middest and between them both. What man can devise to save it? There is no man but would think it must needs be sunk.
There was not one of them that feared the shot which went thundering round about their ears, nor yet were once scarred or touched with five and forty shot which came from the castles. Here did God hold forth His buckler, He shieldeth now this galley, and hath tried their faith to the uttermost. Now cometh His special help; yea, even when man thinks them past all help, then cometh He Himself down from Heaven with His mighty power, then is His present remedy most ready. For they sail away, being not once touched by the glance of a shot, and are quickly out of the Turkish cannons' reach. Then might they see them coming down by heaps to the water's side, in companies like unto swarms of bees, making show to come after them with galleys, bustling themselves to dress up the galleys, which would be a swift piece of work for them to do, for that they had neither oars, masts, sails, nor anything else ready in any galley. But yet they are carrying into them, some into one galley, and some into another, so that, being such a confusion amongst them, without any certain guide, it were a thing impossible to overtake the Christians; beside that, there was no man that would take charge of a galley, the weather was so rough, and there was such an amazedness amongst them. And verily, I think their god was amazed thereat; it could not be but that he must blush for shame, he can speak never a word for dulness, much less can he help them in such an extremity. Well, howsoever it is, he is very much to blame to suffer them to receive such a gibe. But howsoever their god behaved himself, our God showed Himself a God indeed, and that He was the only living God; for the seas were swift under His faithful, which made the enemies aghast to behold them; a skilfuller pilot leads them, and their mariners bestir them lustily; but the Turks had neither mariners, pilot, nor any skilful master, that was in readiness at this pinch.
When the Christians were safe out of the enemy's coast, John Fox called to them all, telling them to be thankful unto Almighty God for their delivery, and most humbly to fall down upon their knees, beseeching Him to aid them to their friends' land, and not to bring them into another danger, since He had most mightily delivered them from so great a thraldom and bondage.
Thus when every man had made his petition, they fell straightway to their labour with the oars, in helping one another when they were wearied, and with great labour striving to come to some Christian land, as near as they could guess by the stars. But the winds were so contrary, one while driving them this way, another while that way, so that they were now in a new maze, thinking that God had forsaken them and left them to a greater danger. And forasmuch as there were no victuals now left in the galley, it might have been a cause to them (if they had been the Israelites), to have murmured against their God; but they knew how that their God, who had delivered Egypt, was such a loving and merciful God, as that He would not suffer them to be confounded in whom He had wrought so great a wonder, but what calamity soever they sustained, they knew it was but for their further trial, and also (in putting them in mind of their further misery), to cause them not to triumph and glory in themselves therefor. Having, I say, no victuals in the galley, it might seem one misery continually to fall upon another's neck; but to be brief the famine grew to be so great that in twenty-eight days, wherein they were on the sea, there died eight persons, to the astonishment of all the rest.
So it fell out that upon the twenty-ninth day after they set from Alexandria, they fell on the isle of Candia, and landed at Gallipoli, where they were made much of by the abbot and monks there, who caused them to stay there while they were well refreshed and eased. They kept there the sword wherewith John Fox had killed the keeper, esteeming it as a most precious relic, and hung it up for a monument.
When they thought good, having leave to depart from thence, they sailed along the coast till they arrived at Tarento, where they sold their galley, and divided it, every man having a part thereof. The Turks on receiving so shameful a foil at their hands, pursued the Christians, and scoured the seas, where they could imagine that they had bent their course. And the Christians had departed from thence on the one day in the morning and seven galleys of the Turks came thither that night, as it was certified by those who followed Fox and his company, fearing lest they should have been met with. And then they came afoot to Naples, where they departed asunder, every man taking him to his next way home. From whence John Fox took his journey unto Rome, where he was well entertained by an Englishman who presented his worthy deed unto the Pope, who rewarded him liberally, and gave him letters unto the King of Spain, where he was very well entertained of him there, who for this his most worthy enterprise gave him in fee twenty pence a day. From whence, being desirous to come into his own country, he came thither at such time as he conveniently could, which was in the year of our Lord God 1579; who being come into England went unto the Court, and showed all his travel unto the Council, who considering of the state of this man, in that he had spent and lost a great part of his youth in thraldom and bondage, extended to him their liberality to help to maintain him now in age, to their right honour and to the encouragement of all true-hearted Christians.
THE COPY OF THE CERTIFICATE FOR JOHN FOX AND HIS COMPANY, MADE BY THE PRIOR AND THE BRETHREN OF GALLIPOLI, WHERE THEY FIRST LANDED.
We, the Prior and Fathers of the Convent of the Amerciates, of the city of Gallipoli, of the order of Preachers, do testify that upon the 29th of January last past, 1577, there came into the said city a certain galley from Alexandria, taken from the Turks, with two hundred and fifty-eight Christians, whereof was principal Master John Fox, an Englishman, a gunner, and one of the chiefest that did accomplish that great work, whereby so many Christians have recovered their liberties, in token and remembrance whereof, upon our earnest request to the same John Fox, he has left here an old sword, wherewith he slew the keeper of the prison, which sword we do as a monument and memorial of so worthy a deed, hang up in the chief place of our convent house. And for because all things aforesaid, are such as we will testify to be true, as they are orderly passed, and have therefore good credit, that so much as is above expressed is true, and for the more faith thereof, we, the Prior and Fathers aforesaid, have ratified and subscribed these presents. Given in Gallipoli, the 3rd of February, 1577.
I, Friar VINCENT BARBA, Prior of the same place, confirm the premises, as they are above written.
I, Friar ALBERT DAMARO, of Gallipoli, sub-prior, confirm as much.
I, Friar ANTHONY CELLELER, of Galli, confirm as aforesaid.
I, Friar BARTLEMEW, of Gallipoli, confirm as above said.
I, Friar FRANCIS, of Gallipoli, confirm as much.
THE BISHOP OF ROME, HIS LETTERS IN BEHALF OF JOHN FOX.
Be it known unto all men, to whom this writing shall come, that the bringer hereof, John Fox, Englishman, a gunner, after he had served captive in the Turks' galleys, by the space of fourteen years, at length, through God his help, taking good opportunity, the 3rd of January last passed, slew the keeper of the prison (whom he first stroke on the face) together with four and twenty other Turks, by the assistance of his fellow-prisoners; and with 266 Christians (of whose liberty he was the author) launched from Alexandria, and from thence arrived first at Gallipoli, in Candia, and afterwards at Tarento, in Apulia; the written testimony and credit of which things, as also of others, the same John Fox hath in public tables from Naples.
Upon Easter Eve he came to Rome, and is now determined to take his journey to the Spanish Court, hoping there to obtain some relief towards his living; wherefore the poor distressed man humbly beseecheth, and we in his behalf, do in the bowels of Christ, desire you, that taking compassion of his former captivity and present penury, you do not only suffer him freely to pass through all your cities and towns, but also succour him with your charitable alms, the reward whereof you shall hereafter most assuredly receive, which we hope you will afford to him, whom with tender affection of pity we commend unto you. At Rome, the 20th of April, 1577.
THOMAS GROLOS, Englishman, Bishop of Astraphen.
RICHARD SILLEUN, Prior Angliae.
ANDREAS LUDOVICUS, Register to our Sovereign Lord the Pope, which for the greater credit of the premises, have set my seal to these presents. At Rome, the day and year above written.
MAURICIUS CLEMENT, the governor and keeper of the English hospital in the city.
THE KING OF SPAIN, HIS LETTERS TO THE LIEUTENANT FOR THE PLACING OF JOHN FOX IN THE OFFICE OF A GUNNER, ETC.
To the illustrious prince, Vespasian Gonsaga Colonna, our Lieutenant and Captain-General of our realm of Valencia, having consideration that John Fox, Englishman, hath served us, and was one of the most principal which took away from the Turks a certain galley, which they have brought to Taranto, wherein were two hundred and fifty-eight Christian captives. We license him to practice, and give him the office of a gunner, and have ordained that he go to our said realm there to serve in the said office in the galleys, which by our commandment are lately made. And we do command that you cause to be paid to him eight ducats pay a month, for the time that he shall serve in the said galleys as a gunner, or till we can otherwise provide for him, the said eight ducats monthly of the money which is already of our provision, present and to come, and to have regard of those which come with him. From Escurial the 10th of August, 1577.—I, the King,
JUAN DEL GADO.
And under that a confirmation of the Council.
VERSES WRITTEN BY A. M. TO THE COURTEOUS READERS, WHO WAS PRESENT AT ROME WHEN JOHN FOX RECEIVED HIS LETTERS OF THE POPE.
Leaving at large all fables vainly used, All trifling toys that do no truth import, Lo, here how the end (at length) though long diffused, Unfoldeth plain a true and rare report; To glad those minds which seek their country's wealth, By proffered pains to enlarge his happy health. At Rome I was, when Fox did there arrive, Therefore I may sufficiently express, What gallant joy his deeds did there revive In the hearts of those which heard his valiantness. And how the Pope did recompense his pains, And letters gave to move his greater gains.
But yet I know that many do misdoubt, That those his pains are fables and untrue; Not only I in this will bear him out, But diverse more that did his patents view. And unto those so boldly I daresay, That nought but truth John Fox doth here bewray; Besides here's one was slave with him in thrall, Lately returned into our native land, This witness can this matter perfect all, What needeth more? for witness he may stand. And thus I end, unfolding what I know, The other man more larger proof can show. Honos alit artes, A. M.
THE VOYAGE MADE TO TRIPOLIS IN BARBARY, IN THE YEAR 1584, WITH A SHIP CALLED THE JESUS, WHEREIN THE ADVENTURES AND DISTRESSES OF SOME ENGLISHMEN ARE TRULY REPORTED, AND OTHER NECESSARY CIRCUMSTANCES OBSERVED. WRITTEN BY THOMAS SANDERS.
This voyage was set forth by the Right Worshipful Sir Edward Osborne Knight, chief merchant of all the Turkish Company, and one Master Richard Stapers, the ship being of the burden of one hundred tons, called the Jesus; she was builded at Farmne, a river by Portsmouth. The owners were Master Thomas Thompson, Nicholas Carnabie, and John Gilman. The master (under God) was one Zaccheus Hellier, of Blackwall, and his mate was one Richard Morris, of that place; their pilot was one Anthony Jerado, a Frenchman, of the province of Marseilles; the purser was one William Thompson, our owner's son; the merchants' factors were Romaine Sonnings, a Frenchman, and Richard Skegs, servant unto the said Master Stapers. The owners were bound unto the merchants by charter party thereupon in one thousand marks, that the said ship, by God's permission should go for Tripolis in Barbary, that is to say, first from Portsmouth to Newhaven in Normandy, thence to S. Lukar, otherwise called S. Lucas, in Andalusia, and from thence to Tripolis, which is in the east part of Africa, and so to return unto London.
But here ought every man to note and consider the works of our God, that (many times) what man doth determine God doth disappoint. The said master having some occasion to go to Farmne, took with him the pilot and the purser, and returning again, by means of a gust of wind, the boat wherein they were was drowned, the said master, the purser, and all the company; only the said pilot by experience in swimming saved himself, these were the beginnings of our sorrows. After which the said master's mate would not proceed in that voyage, and the owner hearing of this misfortune, and the unwillingness of the master's mate, did send down one Richard Deimond and shipped him for master, who did choose for his mate one Andrew Dier, and so the said ship departed on her voyage accordingly; that is to say, about the 16th of October, 1584, she made sail from Portsmouth, and the 18th day then next following she arrived into Newhaven, where our said last master Deimond by a surfeit died. The factors then appointed the said Andrew Dier, being then master's mate, to be their master for that voyage, who did choose to be his mates the two quarter-masters of the same ship, to wit, Peter Austine and Shillabey, and for purser was shipped one Richard Burges. Afterward about the 8th day of November we made sail forthward, and by force of weather we were driven back again into Portsmouth, where we refreshed our victuals and other necessaries, and then the wind came fair. About the 29th day then next following we departed thence, and the 1st day of December, by means of a contrary wind, we were driven to Plymouth. The 18th day then next following we made forthward again, and by force of weather we were driven to Falmouth, where we remained until the 1st day of January, at which time the wind coming fair we departed thence, and about the 20th day of the said month we arrived safely at S. Lucas. And about the 9th day of March next following we made sail from thence, and about the 18th day of the same month we came to Tripolis in Barbary, where we were very well entertained by the king of that country and also of the commons. The commodities of that place are sweet oils; the king there is a merchant, and the rather (willing to prefer himself before his commons) requested our said factors to traffic with him, and promised them that if they would take his oils at his own price they should pay no manner of custom, and they took of him certain tons of oil; and afterward perceiving that they might have far better cheap, notwithstanding the custom free, they desired the king to license them to take the oils at the pleasure of his commons, for that his price did exceed theirs; whereunto the king would not agree, but was rather contented to abate his price, insomuch that the factors bought all their oils of the king's custom free, and so laded the same aboard.
In the meantime there came to that place one Miles Dickinson, in a ship of Bristol, who together with our said factors took a house to themselves there. Our French factor, Romaine Sonnings, desired to buy a commodity in the market, and, wanting money, desired the said Miles Dickinson to lend him a hundred chikinoes until he came to his lodging, which he did; and afterwards the same Sonnings met with Miles Dickinson in the street, and delivered him money bound up in a napkin, saying, "Master Dickinson, there is the money that I borrowed of you," and so thanked him for the same. He doubted nothing less than falsehood, which is seldom known among merchants, and specially being together in one house, and is the more detestable between Christians, they being in Turkey among the heathen; the said Dickinson did not tell the money presently, until he came to his lodging, and then, finding nine chikinoes lacking of his hundred (which was about three pounds, for that every chikinoe is worth seven shillings of English money), he came to the said Romaine Sonnings and delivered him his handkerchief, and asked him how many chikinoes he had delivered him. Sonnings answered, "A hundred"; Dickinson said "No"; and so they protested and swore on both parts. But in the end the said Romaine Sonnings did swear deeply with detestable oaths and curses; and prayed God that he might show his works on him, that other might take ensample thereby, and that he might be hanged like a dog, and never come into England again, if he did not deliver unto the said Dickinson a hundred chikinoes. And here behold a notable example of all blasphemers, cursers, and swearers, how God rewarded him accordingly; for many times it cometh to pass that God showeth his miracles upon such monstrous blasphemers to the ensample of others, as now hereafter you shall hear what befell to this Romaine Sonnings.
There was a man in the said town a pledge, whose name was Patrone Norado, who the year before had done this Sonnings some pleasure there. The foresaid Patrone Norado was indebted unto a Turk of that town in the sum of four hundred and fifty crowns, for certain goods sent by him into Christendom in a ship of his own, and by his own brother, and himself remained in Tripolis as pledge until his said brother's return; and, as the report went there, he came among lewd company, and lost his brother's said ship and goods at dice, and never returned unto him again.
The said Patrone Norado, being void of all hope and finding now opportunity, consulted with the said Sonnings for to swim a-seaboard the islands, and the ship, being then out of danger, should take him in (as was afterwards confessed), and so go to Tallowne, in the province of Marseilles, with this Patrone Norado, and there to take in the rest of his lading.
The ship being ready the first day of May, and having her sails all abroad, our said factors did take their leave of the king, who very courteously bid them farewell, and when they came aboard they commanded the master and the company hastily to get out the ship. The master answered that it was impossible, for that the wind was contrary and overblowed. And he required us, upon forfeiture of our bands, that we should do our endeavour to get her forth. Then went we to warp out the ship, and presently the king sent a boat aboard of us, with three men in her, commanding the said Sonnings to come ashore, at whose coming the king demanded of him custom for the oils. Sonnings answered him that his highness had promised to deliver them customs free. But, notwithstanding, the king weighed not his said promise, and as an infidel that hath not the fear of God before his eyes, nor regard of his word, albeit he was a king, he caused the said Sonnings to pay the custom to the uttermost penny; and afterwards ordered him to make haste away, saying that the janisaries would have the oil ashore again.
These janisaries are soldiers there under the Great Turk, and their power is above the king's. And so the said factor departed from the king, and came to the waterside, and called for a boat to come aboard, and he brought with him the foresaid Patrone Norado. The company, inquisitive to know what man that was, Sonnings answered that he was his countryman, a passenger. "I pray God," said the company, "that we come not into trouble by this man." Then said Sonnings angrily, "What have you to do with any matters of mine? If anything chance otherwise than well, I must answer for all."
Now the Turk unto whom this Patrone Norado was indebted, missing him, supposed him to be aboard of our ship, presently went unto the king and told him that he thought that his pledge, Patrone Norado, was aboard on the English ship. Whereupon the king presently sent a boat aboard of us, with three men in her, commanding the said Sonnings to come ashore; and, not speaking anything as touching the man, he said that he would come presently in his own boat; but as soon as they were gone he willed us to warp forth the ship, and said that he would see the knaves hanged before he would go ashore. And when the king saw that he came not ashore, but still continued warping away the ship, he straight commanded the gunner of the bulwark next unto us to shoot three shots without ball. Then we came all to the said Sonnings, and asked him what the matter was that we were shot at; he said that it was the janisaries who would have the oil ashore again, and willed us to make haste away. And after that he had discharged three shots without ball he commanded all the gunners in the town to do their endeavour to sink us; but the Turkish gunners could not once strike us, wherefore the king sent presently to the Banio (this Banio is the prison whereas all the captives lay at night), and promised that if there were any that could either sink us or else cause us to come in again, he should have a hundred crown, and his liberty. With that came forth a Spaniard called Sebastian, which had been an old servitor in Flanders, and he said that, upon the performance of that promise, he would undertake either to sink us or to cause us to come in again, and thereto he would gage his life; and at the first shot he split our rudder's head in pieces, and the second shot he struck us under water, and the third shot he shot us through our foremast with a culverin shot, and thus, he having rent both our rudder and mast and shot us under water, we were enforced to go in again.
This Sebastian for all his diligence herein had neither his liberty nor a hundred crowns, so promised by the said king; but, after his service done, was committed again to prison, whereby may appear the regard that a Turk or infidel hath of his work, although he be able to perform it—yea, more, though he be a king.
Then our merchants, seeing no remedy, they, together with five of our company, went ashore; and they then ceased shooting. They shot unto us in the whole nine-and-thirty shots without the hurt of any man.
And when our merchants came ashore the king commanded presently that they, with the rest of our company that were with them, should be chained four and four to a hundredweight of iron, and when we came in with the ship there came presently above a hundred Turks aboard of us, and they searched us and stripped our very clothes from our backs, and broke open our chests, and made a spoil of all that we had; and the Christian caitiffs likewise that came aboard of us made spoil of our goods, and used us as ill as the Turks did. And our master's mate, having a Geneva Bible in his hand, there came the king's chief gunner and took it out from him, who showed me of it; and I, having the language, went presently to the king's treasurer, and told him of it, saying that since it was the will of God that we should fall into their hands, yet that they should grant us to use our consciences to our own discretion, as they suffered the Spaniards and other nations to use theirs; and he granted us. Then I told him that the master gunner had taken away a Bible from one of our men: the treasurer went presently and commanded him to deliver up the Bible again, which he did. And within a little after he took it from the man again, and I showed the treasurer of it, and presently he commanded him to deliver it again, saying, "Thou villain! wilt thou turn to Christianity again?" for he was a relagado, which is one that was first a Christian and afterwards becometh a Turk; and so he delivered me the Bible the second time. And then I, having it in my hand, the gunner came to me, and spake these words, saying, "Thou dog! I will have the book in despite of thee!" and took it from me, saying, "If you tell the king's treasurer of it any more, by Mahomet I will be revenged of thee!" Notwithstanding I went the third time unto the king's treasurer, and told him of it; and he came with me, saying thus unto the gunner: "By the head of the Great Turk if thou take it from him again thou shalt have a hundred bastinadoes." And forthwith he delivered me the book, saying he had not the value of a pin of the spoil of the ship—which was the better for him, as hereafter you shall hear; for there was none, either Christian or Turk, that took the value of a pennyworth of our goods from us but perished both body and goods within seventeen months following, as hereafter shall plainly appear.
Then came the guardian Basha, who is the keeper of the king's captives, to fetch us all ashore; and then I, remembering the miserable estate of poor distressed captives in the time of their bondage to those infidels, went to mine own chest, and took out thereof a jar of oil, and filled a basket full of white ruske, to carry ashore with me. But before I came to the Banio the Turkish boys had taken away almost all my bread, and the keeper said, "Deliver me the jar of oil, and when thou comest to the Banio thou shalt have it again;" but I never had it of him any more.
But when I came to the Banio and saw our merchants and all the rest of our company in chains, and we all ready to receive the same reward, what heart is there so hard but would have pitied our cause, hearing or seeing the lamentable greeting there was betwixt us. All this happened the first of May, 1584.
And the second day of the same month the king with all his council sat in judgment upon us. The first that were had forth to be arraigned were the factors and the masters, and the king asked them wherefore they came not ashore when he sent for them. And Romaine Sonnings answered that, though he were a king on shore, and might command there, so was he as touching those that were under him; and therefore said, if any offence be, the fault is wholly in myself and in no other. Then forthwith the king gave judgment that the said Romaine Sonnings should be hanged over the north-east bulwark, from whence he conveyed the forenamed Patrone Norado. And then he called for our master, Andrew Dier, and used few words to him, and so condemned him to be hanged over the walls of the westernmost bulwarks.
Then fell our other factor, named Richard Skegs, upon his knees before the king, and said, "I beseech your highness either to pardon our master or else suffer me to die for him, for he is ignorant of this cause." And then the people of that country, favouring the said Richard Skegs, besought the king to pardon them both. So then the king spake these words: "Behold, for thy sake I pardon the master." Then presently the Turks shouted and cried, saying, "Away with the master from the presence of the king." And then he came into the Banio where we were, and told us what had happened, and we all rejoiced at the good hap of Master Skegs, that he was saved, and our master for his sake.
But afterwards our joy was turned to double sorrow, for in the meantime the king's mind was altered: for that one of his council had advised him that, unless the master died also, by the law they could not confiscate the ship nor goods, neither make captive any of the men. Whereupon the king sent for our master again, and gave him another judgment after his pardon for one cause, which was that he should be hanged. Here all true Christians may see what trust a Christian man may put in an infidel's promise, who, being a king, pardoned a man now, as you have heard, and within an hour after hanged him for the same cause before a whole multitude; and also promised our factors their oils custom free, and at their going away made them pay the uttermost penny for the custom thereof.
And when that Romaine Sonnings saw no remedy but that he should die, he protested to turn Turk, hoping thereby to have saved his life. Then said the Turk, "If thou wilt turn Turk, speak the words that thereunto belong;" and he did so. Then said they unto him, "Now thou shalt die in the faith of a Turk;" and so he did, as the Turks reported that were at his execution; and the forenamed Patrone Norado, whereas before he had liberty and did nothing, he then was condemned slave perpetual, except there were payment made of the foresaid sum of money.
Then the king condemned all us, who were in number five and twenty, of which two were hanged (as you have heard) and one died the first day we came on shore by the visitation of Almighty God, and the other three and twenty he condemned slaves perpetually unto the Great Turk, and the ship and goods were confiscated to the use of the Great Turk; then we all fell down upon our knees, giving God thanks for this sorrowful visitation and giving ourselves wholly to the almighty power of God, unto whom all secrets are known, that He of His goodness would vouchsafe to look upon us.
Here may all true Christian hearts see the wonderful works of God showed upon such infidels, blasphemers, and runagate Christians, and so you shall read in the end of this book of the like upon the unfaithful king and all his children, and of as many as took any portion of the said goods.
But first to show our miserable bondage and slavery, and unto what small pittance and allowance we were tied, for every five men had allowance but five aspers of bread in a day, which is but twopence English, and our lodging was to lie on the bare boards, with a very simple cape to cover us. We were also forcibly and most violently shaven, head and beard, and within three days after, I and five more of my fellows, together with fourscore Italians and Spaniards, were sent forth in a galiot to take a Greek carmosel, which came into Arabia to steal negroes, and went out of Tripolis unto that place which was two hundred and forty leagues thence; but we were chained three and three to an oar, and we rowed naked above the girdle, and the boatswain of the galley walked abaft the mast, and his mate afore the mast, and each of them a whip in their hands, and when their devilish choler rose they would strike the Christians for no cause, and they allowed us but half a pound of bread a man in a day, without any other kind of sustenance, water excepted. And when we came to the place where we saw the carmosel, we were not suffered to have neither needle, bodkin, knife, or any other instrument about us, nor at any other time in the night, upon pain of one hundred bastinadoes: we were then also cruelly manacled, in such sort that we could not put our hands the length of one foot asunder the one from the other, and every night they searched our chains three times, to see if they were fast riveted. We continued the fight with the carmosel three hours, and then we took it, and lost but two of our men in that fight; but there were slain of the Greeks five, and fourteen were cruelly hurt; and they that were found were presently made slaves, and chained to the oars, and within fifteen days after we returned again into Tripolis, and then we were put to all manner of slavery. I was put to hew stones, and other to carry stones, and some to draw the cart with earth, and some to make mortar, and some to draw stones (for at that time the Turks builded a church), and thus we were put to all kinds of slavery that was to be done. And in the time of our being there the Moors, that are the husbandmen of the country, rebelled against the king, because he would have constrained them to pay greater tribute than heretofore they had done, so that the soldiers of Tripolis marched forth of the town, to have joined battle against the Moors for their rebellion, and the king sent with them four pieces of ordnance, which were drawn by the captives twenty miles into the country after them, and at the sight thereof the Moors fled, and then the captains returned back again. Then I, and certain Christians more, were sent twelve miles into the country with a cart to load timber, and we returned again the same day.
Now, the king had eighteen captives, which three times a week went to fetch wood thirty miles from the town, and on a time he appointed me for one of the eighteen, and we departed at eight of the clock in the night; and upon the way, as we rode upon the camels, I demanded of one of our company who did direct us the way: he said that there was a Moor in our company which was our guide; and I demanded of them how Tripolis and the wood bare one off the other, and he said, "East-north-east and west-south-west." And at midnight, or thereabouts, as I was riding upon my camel, I fell asleep, and the guide and all the rest rode away from me, not thinking but I had been among them. When I awoke, and, finding myself alone, I durst not call nor holloa, for fear lest the wild Moors should hear me—because they hold this opinion, that in killing a Christian they do God good service—and musing with myself what were best for me to do: if I should return back to Tripolis without any wood or company I should be most miserably used; therefore, of the two evils, rather I had to go forth to the losing of my life than to turn back and trust to their mercy, fearing to be used as before I had seen others. For, understanding by some of my company before how Tripolis and the said wood did lie one off another, by the North Star I went forth at adventure, and, as God would have it, I came right to the place where they were, even about an hour before day. There altogether we rested, and gave our camels provender, and as soon as the day appeared we rode all into the wood; and I, seeing no wood there but a stick here and a stick there, about the bigness of a man's arm, growing in the sand, it caused me to marvel how so many camels should be loaded in that place. The wood was juniper; we needed no axe nor edged tool to cut it, but plucked it up by strength of hands, roots and all, which a man might easily do, and so gathered together a little at one place, and so at another, and laded our camels, and came home about seven of the clock that night following: because I fell lame and my camel was tired, I left my wood in the way.
There was in Tripolis at that time a Venetian whose name was Benedetto Venetiano, and seventeen captives more of his countrymen, which ran away from Tripolis in a boat and came inside of an island called Malta, which lieth forty leagues from Tripolis right north; and, being within a mile of the shore and very fair weather, one of their company said, "In dispetto de Dio adesso venio a pilliar terra," which is as much to say: "In the despite of God, I shall now fetch the shore;" and presently there arose a mighty storm, with thunder and rain, and the wind at the north, their boat being very small, so that they were enforced to bear up room and to sheer right afore the wind over against the coast of Barbary, from whence they came, and rowing up and down the coast, their victuals being spent, the twenty-first day after their departure, they were enforced through the want of food to come ashore, thinking to have stolen some sheep. But the Moors of the country very craftily (perceiving their intent) gathered together a threescore of horsemen and hid themselves behind the sandy hill, and when the Christians were come all ashore, and passed by half a mile into the country, the Moors rode betwixt them and their boat, and some of them pursued the Christians, and so they were all taken and brought to Tripolis, from whence they had before escaped; and presently the king commanded that the foresaid Benedetto, with one more of his company, should lose their ears, and the rest to be most cruelly beaten, which was presently done. This king had a son which was a ruler in an island called Gerbi, whereunto arrived an English ship called the Green Dragon, of the which was master one M. Blonket, who, having a very unhappy boy on that ship, and understanding that whosoever would turn Turk should be well entertained of the king's son, this boy did run ashore and voluntarily turned Turk. Shortly after the king's son came to Tripolis to visit his father, and seeing our company, he greatly fancied Richard Burges, our purser, and James Smith. They were both young men, therefore he was very desirous to have them to turn Turks; but they would not yield to his desire, saying, "We are your father's slaves and as slaves we will serve him." Then his father the king sent for them, and asked them if they would turn Turks; and they said: "If it please your Highness, Christians we were born and so we will remain, and beseech the king that they might not be enforced thereunto." The king had there before in his house a son of a yeoman of our Queen's guard, whom the king's son had enforced to turn Turk; his name was John Nelson. Him the king caused to be brought to these young men, and then said unto them, "Will you not bear this, your countryman, company, and be Turk as he is?" and they said that they would not yield thereunto during life. But it fell out that, within a month after, the king's son went home to Gerbi again, being five score miles from Tripolis, and carried our two foresaid young men with him, which were Richard Burges and James Smith. And after their departure from us they sent us a letter, signifying that there was no violence showed unto them as yet; yet within three days after they were violently used, for that the king's son demanded of them again if that they would turn Turk. Then answered Richard Burges: "A Christian I am, and so I will remain." Then the king's son very angrily said unto him, "By Mahomet thou shalt presently be made Turk!" Then called he for his men and commanded them to make him Turk; and they did so, and circumcised him, and would have had him speak the words that thereunto belonged; but he answered them stoutly that he would not, and although they had put on him the habit of a Turk, yet said he, "A Christian I was born, and so I will remain, though you force me to do otherwise."
And then he called for the other, and commanded him to be made Turk perforce also; but he was very strong, for it was so much as eight of the king's son's men could do to hold him. So in the end they circumcised him and made him Turk. Now, to pass over a little, and so to show the manner of our deliverance out of that miserable captivity.
In May aforesaid, shortly after our apprehension, I wrote a letter into England unto my father, dwelling in Evistoke in Devonshire, signifying unto him the whole estate of our calamities, and I wrote also to Constantinople to the English ambassador, both which letters were faithfully delivered. But when my father had received my letter, and understood the truth of our mishap, and the occasion thereof, and what had happened to the offenders, he certified the Right Honourable the Earl of Bedford thereof, who in short space acquainted her Highness with the whole cause thereof; and her Majesty, like a most merciful princess tendering her subjects, presently took order for our deliverance. Whereupon the Right Worshipful Sir Edward Osborne, knight, directed his letters with all speed to the English ambassador in Constantinople to procure our delivery, and he obtained the Great Turk's commission, and sent it forthwith to Tripolis by one Master Edward Barton, together with a justice of the Great Turk's and one soldier, and another Turk and a Greek, which was his interpreter, which could speak beside Greek, Turkish, Italian, Spanish and English. And when they came to Tripolis they were well entertained, and the first night they did lie in a captain's house in the town. All our company that were in Tripolis came that night for joy to Master Barton and the other commissioners to see them. Then Master Barton said unto us, "Welcome, my good countrymen," and lovingly entertained us; and at our departure from him he gave us two shillings, and said, "Serve God, for tomorrow I hope you shall be as free as ever you were." We all gave him thanks and so departed. The next day, in the morning very early, the king having intelligence of their coming, sent word to the keeper that none of the Englishmen (meaning our company) should go to work. Then he sent for Master Barton and the other commissioners, and demanded of the said Master Barton his message. The justice answered that the Great Turk, his sovereign, had sent them unto him, signifying that he was informed that a certain English ship, called the Jesus, was by him the said king confiscated about twelve months since, and now my said sovereign hath here sent his especial commission by us unto you for the deliverance of the said ship and goods, and also the free liberty and deliverance of the Englishmen of the said ship whom you have taken and kept in captivity. And further, the same justice said, I am authorised by my said sovereign the Great Turk to see it done; and therefore I command you, by the virtue of this commission, presently to make restitution of the premises or the value thereof. And so did the justice deliver unto the king the Great Turk's commission to the effect aforesaid, which commission the king with all obedience received; and after the perusing of the same, he forthwith commanded all the English captives to be brought before him, and then willed the keeper to strike off all our irons. Which done, the king said, "You Englishmen, for that you did offend the laws of this place, by the same laws therefore some of your company were condemned to die, as you know, and you to be perpetual captives during your lives; notwithstanding, seeing it hath pleased my sovereign lord the Great Turk to pardon your said offences, and to give you your freedom and liberty, behold, here I make delivery of you unto this English gentleman." So he delivered us all that were there, being thirteen in number, to Master Barton, who required also those two young men which the king's son had taken with him. Then the king answered that it was against their law to deliver them, for that they were turned Turks; and, touching the ship and goods, the king said that he had sold her, but would make restitution of the value, and as much of the goods as came unto his hands. And so the king arose and went to dinner, and commanded a Jew to go with Master Barton and the other commissioners to show them their lodgings, which was a house provided and appointed them by the said king. And because I had the Italian and Spanish tongues, by which there most traffic in that country is, Master Barton made me his caterer, to buy his victuals for him and his company, and he delivered me money needful for the same. Thus were we set at liberty the 28th day of April, 1585.
Now, to return to the king's plagues and punishments which Almighty God at his will and pleasure sendeth upon men in the sight of the world, and likewise of the plagues that befell his children and others aforesaid. First, when we were made bondmen, being the second day of May, 1584, the king had 300 captives, and before the month was expired there died of them of the plague 150. And whereas there were twenty-six men of our company, of whom two were hanged and one died the same day as we were made bondslaves, that present month there died nine more of our company of the plague, and other two were forced to turn Turks as before rehearsed; and on the 4th day of June next following, the king lost 150 camels which were taken from him by the wild Moors; and on the 28th day of the said month of June one Geffrey Malteese, a renegado of Malta, ran away to his country, and stowed a brigantine which the king had builded for to take the Christians withal, and carried with him twelve Christians more which were the king's captives. Afterwards about the 10th day of July next following, the king rode forth upon the greatest and fairest mare that might be seen, as white as any swan; he had not ridden forty paces from his house, but on a sudden the same mare fell down under him stark dead, and I with six more were commanded to bury her, skin, shoes, and all, which we did. And about three months after our delivery, Master Barton, with all the residue of his company, departed from Tripolis to Zante in a vessel called a settea, of one Marcus Segoorus, who dwelt in Zante; and, after our arrival at Zante, we remained fifteen days there aboard our vessel, before we could have Platego (that is, leave to come ashore), because the plague was in that place from whence we came, and about three days after we came ashore, thither came another settea of Marseilles, bound for Constantinople. Then did Master Barton and his company, with two more of our company, ship themselves as passengers in the same settea and went to Constantinople. But the other nine of us that remained in Zante, about three months after, shipped ourselves in a ship of the said Marcus Segoorus, which came to Zante, and was bound for England. In which three months the soldiers of Tripolis killed the said king; and then the king's son, according to the custom there, went to Constantinople, to surrender up all his father's treasure, goods, captives, and concubines unto the Great Turk, and took with him our said purser Richard Burges, and James Smith, and also the other two Englishmen which he the king's son had enforced to become Turks as is aforesaid. And they, the said Englishmen, finding now some opportunity, concluded with the Christian captives which were going with them unto Constantinople, being in number about 150, to kill the king's son and all the Turks which were aboard of the galley, and privily the said Englishmen conveyed unto the said Christian captives weapons for that purpose. And when they came into the main sea, towards Constantinople (upon the faithful promise of the said Christian captives) these four Englishmen leapt suddenly into the crossia—that is, into the middest of the galley, where the cannon lieth—and with their swords drawn, did fight against all the foresaid Turks, and for want of help of the said Christian captives, who falsely brake their promises, the said Master Blonket's boy was killed and the said James Smith, and our purser Richard Burges, and the other Englishmen were taken and bound into chains, to be hanged at their arrival in Constantinople. And, as the Lord's will was, about two days after, passing through the Gulf of Venice, at an island called Cephalonia, they met with two of the Duke of Venice, his galleys, which took that galley, and killed the king's son and his mother, and all the Turks that were there, in number 150, and they saved the Christian captives; and would have killed the two Englishmen, because they were circumcised and become Turks, had not the other Christian captives excused them, saying that they were enforced to be Turks by the king's son, and showed the Venetians how they did enterprise at sea to fight against all the Turks, and that their two fellows were slain in that fight. Then the Venetians saved them, and they, with all the residue of the said captives, had their liberty, which were in number 150 or thereabouts, and the said galley and all the Turks' treasure was confiscated to the use of the State of Venice. And from thence our two Englishmen travelled homeward by land, and in this meantime we had one more of our company which died in Zante, and afterwards the other eight shipped themselves at Zante in a ship of the said Marcus Segoorus which was bound for England. And before we departed thence, there arrived the Ascension and the George Bonaventure of London, in Cephalonia, in a harbour there called Arrogostoria, whose merchants agreed with the merchants of our ship, and so laded all the merchandise of our ship into the said ships of London, who took us eight also in as passengers, and so we came home. And within two months after our arrival at London our said purser Richard Burges, and his fellow, came home also, for the which we are bound to praise Almighty God during our lives, and, as duty bindeth us, to pray for the preservation of our most gracious Queen, for the great care her Majesty had over us, her poor subjects, in seeking and procuring of our deliverance aforesaid, and also for her Honourable Privy Council; and I especially for the prosperity and good estate of the house of the late deceased, the Right Honourable the Earl of Bedford, whose honour I must confess most diligently, at the suit of my father now departed, travailed herein—for the which I rest continually bounden to him, whose soul I doubt not but already is in the heavens in joy, with the Almighty, unto which place He vouchsafed to bring us all, that for our sins suffered most vile and shameful death upon the cross, there to live perpetually world without end. Amen.
THE QUEEN'S LETTERS TO THE TURK, 1584, FOR THE RESTITUTION OF THE SHIP, CALLED THE JESUS, AND THE ENGLISH CAPTIVES DETAINED IN TRIPOLIS, IN BARBARY, AND FOR CERTAIN OTHER PRISONERS IN ALGIERS.
Elizabeth, by the grace of the Most High God and only Maker of Heaven and Earth, of England, France, and Ireland Queen, and of the Christian faith, against all the idolaters and false professors of the name of Christ dwelling among the Christians, most invincible and puissant Defender; to the most valiant and invincible Prince, Sultan Murad Can, the most mighty ruler of the Kingdom of Mussulman and of the East Empire, the only and highest monarch above all, health and many happy and fortunate years, with great abundance of the best things.
Most noble and puissant Emperor, about two years now past, we wrote unto your Imperial Majesty that our well-beloved servant, William Harebrown, a man of great reputation and honour, might be received under your high authority for our ambassador in Constantinople and other places, under the obedience of your Empire of Mussulman; and also that the Englishmen being our subjects might exercise intercourse and merchandise in all those provinces no less freely than the French, Polonians, Venetians, Germans, and other your confederates, which travel through divers of the East parts endeavouring that by mutual traffic the East may be joined and knit to the West.
Which privileges, when as your most puissant Majesty by your letters and under your dispensation most liberally and favourably granted to our subjects of England, we could no less do but in that respect give you as great thanks as our heart could conceive, trusting that it will come to pass that this order of traffic so well ordained will bring with itself most great profits and commodities to both sides, as well to the parties subject to your Empire as to the provinces of our Kingdom.
Which thing, that it may be done in plain and effectual manner, whereas some of our subjects of late at Tripolis in Barbary, and at Algiers, were by the inhabitants of those places (being perhaps ignorant of your pleasure) evil intreated and grievously vexed, we do friendly and lovingly desire your Imperial Majesty that you will understand their causes by our ambassador, and afterward give commandment to the lieutenants and presidents of those provinces, that our people may henceforth freely, without any violence or injury, travel and do their business in those places.
And we again with all endeavour shall study to perform all those things which we shall in any wise understand to be acceptable to your Imperial Majesty, which God, the only Maker of the World, Most Best and Most Great, long keep in health and flourishing. Given in our Palace at London, the 5th day of the month of September, in the year of Jesus Christ our Saviour 1584, and of our reign the twenty-sixth.
THE COMMANDMENT OBTAINED OF THE GRAND SIGNIOR BY HER MAJESTY'S AMBASSADOR, FOR THE QUIET PASSING OF HER SUBJECTS TO AND FROM HIS DOMINIONS, SENT IN ANNO 1584 TO THE VICEROYS, ALGIERS, TUNIS, AND TRIPOLIS IN BARBARY.
To our Beglerbeg of Algiers. We certify thee by this our commandment that the right honourable William Harebrowne, ambassador to the Queen's Majesty of England, hath signified unto us that the ships of that country, in their coming and returning to and from our Empire, on the one part of the seas have the Spaniards, Florentines, Sicilians, and Maltese, on the other part our countries, committed to your charge, which above said Christians will not quietly suffer their egress and regress into and out of our dominions, but to take and make the men captives, and forfeit the ships and goods, as the last year the Maltese did one which they took at Gerbi, and to that end do continually lie in wait for them to their destruction, whereupon they are constrained to stand to their defence at any such times as they might meet with them; wherefore considering by this means they must stand upon their guard when they shall see any galley afar off, whereby if meeting with any of your galleys, and not knowing them, in their defence they do shoot at them, and yet after, when they do certainly know them, do not shoot any more, but require to pass peaceably on their voyage, which you would deny, saying, "The peace is broken, for that you have shot at us, and so do make prize of them, contrary to our privileges, and against reason:" for the preventing of which inconvenience the said ambassador hath required this our commandment. We therefore command thee that upon sight hereof then do not permit any such matter in no sort whatsoever, but suffer the said Englishmen to pass in peace, according to the tenor of our commandment given, without any disturbance or let by any means upon the way, although that, meeting with thy galleys, and not knowing them afar off, they, taking them for enemies, should shoot at them, yet shall ye not suffer them to hurt them therefor, but quietly to pass. Wherefore look thou, that they may have right according to our privilege given them, and finding any that absenteth himself and will not obey this our commandment, presently certify us to our porch, that we may give order for his punishment; and with reverence give faithful credit to this our commandment, which having read, thou shalt again return it unto them that present it. From our palace in Constantinople, the prime of June, 1584.
THE TURK'S LETTER TO THE KING OF TRIPOLIS, IN BARBARY, COMMANDING THE RESTITUTION OF AN ENGLISH SHIP, CALLED THE JESUS, WITH THE MEN AND GOODS, SENT FROM CONSTANTINOPLE BY MAHOMET BEG, A JUSTICE OF THE GREAT TURK'S, AND AN ENGLISH GENTLEMAN, CALLED MASTER EDWARD BARTON. ANNO 1584.
Honourable and most worthy Pasha Romadan Beglerbeg, most wise and prudent judge of the West Tripolis, we wish the end of all thy enterprises happy and prosperous. By these our Highness's letters we certify thee that the Right Honourable William Harebrowne, Ambassador in our most famous porch for the most excellent Queen's Majesty of England, in person and by letters hath certified our Highness that a certain ship, with all her furniture and artillery, worth two thousand ducats, arriving in the port of Tripolis, and discharged of her lading and merchandise, paid our custom according to order, and again the merchants laded their ship with oil, which by constraint they were enforced to buy of you, and having answered in like manner the custom for the same, determined to depart. A Frenchman, assistant to the merchant, unknown to the Englishmen, carried away with him another Frenchman indebted to a certain Moor in four hundred ducats, and by force caused the Englishmen and ship to depart, who, neither suspecting fraud nor deceit, hoisted sails. In the meantime, this man, whose debtor the Frenchman had stolen away, went to the Pasha with a supplication, by whose means, and force of the Castle, the Englishmen were constrained to return into the port, where the Frenchman, author of the evil, with the master of the ship, an Englishman, innocent of the crime, were hanged, and five-and-twenty Englishmen cast into prison, of whom, through famine and thirst, and stink of the prison, eleven died, and the rest were like to die. Further, it was signified to our Majesty also that the merchandise and other goods with the ship were worth seven thousand six hundred ducats. Which things, if they be so, this is our commandment, which was granted and given by our Majesty, that the English ship, and all the merchandise, and whatsoever else was taken away, be wholly restored, and that the Englishmen be let go free, and suffered to return into their country. Wherefore, when this our commandment shall come unto thee, we straightly command that the foresaid business be diligently looked unto and discharged. And if it be so that a Frenchman, and no Englishman, hath done this craft and wickedness, unknown to the Englishmen, and, as author of the wickedness, is punished, and that the Englishmen committed nothing against the peace and league, or their articles; also, if they paid custom according to order, it is against law, custom of countries, and their privilege, to hinder or hurt them. Neither is it meet their ship, merchandise, and all their goods taken should be withholden. We will, therefore, that the English ship, merchandise, and all other their goods, without exception, be restored to the Englishmen; also, that the men be let go free, and, if they will, let none hinder them to return peaceably into their country; do not commit that they another time complain of this matter, and how this business is despatched certify us at our most famous porch. Dated in the city of Constantinople, in the nine hundred and ninety-second year of Mahomet, and in the end of the month of October, and the year of Jesus 1584.
A LETTER OF MASTER WILLIAM HAREBROWNE, THE ENGLISH AMBASSADOR, LEDGER IN CONSTANTINOPLE, TO THE PASHA ROMADAN, THE BEGLERBEG OF TRIPOLIS, IN BARBARY, FOR THE RESTORING OF AN ENGLISH SHIP, CALLED THE JESUS, WITH GOODS AND MEN DETAINED AS SLAVES, 1585.
Right Honourable Lord, it hath been signified unto us by divers letters, what hath fallen out concerning a certain ship of ours, called the Jesus, into which, for the help of Richard Skegs, one of our merchants in the same, now deceased, there was admitted a certain Frenchman, called Romaine Sonnings, which for his ill behaviour, according to his deserts, seeking to carry away with him another Frenchman, which was indebted to certain of your people, without paying his creditors, was hanged by sentence of justice, together with Andrew Dier, the master of the said ship, who, simply and without fraud, giving credit to the said Frenchman, without any knowledge of this evil fact, did not return when he was commanded by your honourable lordship. The death of the said lewd Frenchman we approve as a thing well done, but contrariwise, whereas your lordship hath confiscated the said ship, with the goods therein, and hath made slaves of the mariners, as a thing altogether contrary to the privileges of the Grand Signior, granted four years since, and confirmed by us, on the behalf of the most excellent the Queen's Majesty of England, our mistress, and altogether contrary to the league of the said Grand Signior, who, being fully informed of the aforesaid cause, hath granted unto us his royal commandment of restitution, which we send unto your honourable lordship by the present bearer, Edward Barton, our secretary, and Mahomet Beg, one of the justices of his stately court, with other letters of the most excellent Admiral and most valiant captain of the sea, requiring your most honourable lordship, as well on the behalf of the Grand Signior as of the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, my mistress, that the men, oils, ship, furniture, money, and all other goods whatsoever, by your lordship and your order taken from our men, be restored unto this my secretary freely, without delay, as the Grand Signior of his goodness hath granted unto us, especially in regard that the same oils were bought by the commandment of our Queen's most Excellent Majesty for the provision of her Court. Which if you perform not, we protest by these our letters against you, that you are the cause of all the inconveniences which may ensue upon this occasion, as the author thereof contrary to the holy league sworn by both our princes, as by the privileges, which this our servant will show you, may appear. For the seeing of which league performed, we remain here as Ledger in this stately court, and by this means you shall answer in another world unto God alone, and in this world unto the Grand Signior, for this heinous sin committed by you against so many poor souls, which by this your cruelty are in part dead, and in part detained by you in most miserable captivity. Contrariwise, if it shall please you to avoid this mischief, and to remain in the favour of Almighty God and of our princes, you shall friendly fulfil this our just demand (as it behoveth you to show yourself a prudent governor and faithful servant unto your lord), and the same may turn to your great honour and profit by the trade of merchandise, which our men in time to come may use in that government of yours, which, generally, as well those poor men as all others which you shall meet at the sea, ought to be, according to the commandment of the Grand Signior, friendly entertained and received of your honourable lordship; and we will not fail in the duties of a special friend whatsoever you shall have occasion to use us as we desire. Almighty God grant unto your lordship (in the fulfilling of this our just request, whereby we may be delivered from further trouble in this matter and yourself from further displeasure) all true felicity and increase of honour. Given in our palace from Capamat, in Pera, the 15th of January, 1585.
A BRIEF EXTRACT SPECIFYING THE CERTAIN DAILY PAYMENTS, ANSWERED QUARTERLY IN TIME OF PEACE, BY THE GRAND SIGNIOR, OUT OF HIS TREASURY, TO THE OFFICERS OF HIS SERAGLIO OR COURT, SUCCESSIVELY IN DEGREES; COLLECTED IN A YEARLY TOTAL SUM AS FOLLOWETH:
For his own diet every day, one thousand and one aspers, according to a former custom received from his ancestors; notwithstanding that otherwise his diurnal expense is very much, and not certainly known, which sum maketh sterling money by the year, two thousand one hundred and ninety-two pounds, three shillings, and eightpence.
The forty-five thousand janisaries, reparted into sundry places of his dominions, at five aspers a day, amounteth by the year, five hundred fourscore and eleven thousand and three hundred pounds.
The azamoglans' tribute children far surmount that number, for that they are collected from among the Christians, from whom between the years of five and twelve they are pulled away yearly perforce; whereof I suppose those in service may be equal in number with the janisaries abovesaid, at three aspers a day, one with another, which is two hundred fourscore and fifteen thousand five hundred and fifty pounds.
The five Pashas whereof the Viceroy is supreme, at one thousand aspers the day, besides their yearly revenues, amounteth sterling by the year, ten thousand nine hundred and fifty pounds.
The five Beglerbegs, chief presidents of Greece, Hungary, and Slavonia, being in Europe, in Anatolia, and Carmania of Asia, at one thousand aspers the day; as also to eighteen other governors of provinces at five hundred aspers the day, amounteth by the year thirty thousand five hundred and threescore pounds.
The Pasha, admiral of the sea, one thousand aspers the day, two thousand one hundred fourscore and ten thousand pounds.
The Aga of the janisaries, general of the footmen, five hundred aspers the day, and maketh by the year in sterling money one thousand fourscore and fifteen pounds.
The Imbrahur Pasha, master of his horse, one hundred and fifty aspers the day, in sterling money three hundred and eight and twenty pounds.
The chief esquire under him, one hundred and fifty aspers, is three hundred and eight and twenty pounds.
The Agas of the Spahi, captains of the horsemen, five at one hundred and fifty aspers to either of them, maketh sterling one thousand nine hundred threescore and eleven pounds.
The Capagi Pashas, head porters, four, one hundred and fifty aspers to each, and maketh out in sterling money by the year, one thousand three hundred and fourteen pounds.
The Sisinghir Pasha, controller of the household, one hundred and twenty aspers the day, and maketh out in sterling money by the year, two hundred threescore and two pounds, sixteen shillings.
The Chiaus Pasha, captain of the pensioners, one hundred and twenty aspers the day, and amounteth to, by the year, in sterling money, two hundred threescore and two pounds, sixteen shillings.
The Capigilar Caiafi, captain of his barge, one hundred and twenty aspers the day, and maketh out by the year, in sterling money, two hundred threescore and two pounds, sixteen shillings.
The Solach Bassi, captain of his guard, one hundred and twenty aspers, two hundred threescore and two pounds, sixteen shillings.
The Giebrigi Bassi, master of the armoury, one hundred and twenty aspers, two hundred threescore and two pounds, sixteen shillings.
The Topagi Bassi, master of the artillery, one hundred and twenty aspers, two hundred threescore and two pounds, sixteen shillings.
The Echim Bassi, physician to his person, one hundred and twenty aspers, two hundred threescore and two pounds, sixteen shillings.
The forty physicians under him, to each forty aspers is three thousand eight hundred threescore and six pounds, sixteen shillings.
The Mustafaracas, spearmen attending on his person, in number 500, to either threescore aspers, and maketh sterling threescore and five thousand and seven hundred pounds.
The Cisingeri, gentlemen attending upon his diet, forty, at forty aspers each of them, and amounteth to sterling by the year, three thousand five hundred and four pounds.
The Chiausi, pensioners, four hundred and forty, at thirty aspers, twenty-eight thousand nine hundred and eight pounds.
The Capagi, porters of the Court and city, four hundred at eight aspers, and maketh sterling money by the year, seven thousand and eight pounds.
The Solachi, archers of his guard, three hundred and twenty, at nine aspers, and cometh unto, in English money, the sum of six thousand three hundred and six pounds.
The Spahi, men of arms of the Court and the city, ten thousand, at twenty-five aspers, and maketh of English money, five hundred forty and seven thousand and five hundred pounds.
The Janisaries, sixteen thousand, at six aspers, is two hundred and ten thousand and two hundred and forty pounds.
The Giebegi, furbishers of armour, one thousand five hundred, at six aspers, and amounteth to sterling money, nineteen thousand seven hundred and fourscore pounds.
The Seiefir, servitors in his esquire or stable, five hundred, at two aspers, and maketh sterling money, two thousand one hundred fourscore and ten pounds.
The Saefi, saddlers and bit-makers, five hundred, at seven aspers, seven thousand six hundred threescore and five pounds.
The Capergi, carriers upon mules, two hundred, at five aspers, two thousand one hundred fourscore and ten pounds.
The Ginegi, carriers upon camels, one thousand five hundred, at eight aspers, and amounteth in sterling money to twenty-six thousand two hundred and fourscore pounds.
The Reiz, or captains of the galleys, three hundred, at ten aspers, and amounteth in English money, by the year, the sum of six thousand five hundred threescore and ten pounds.