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Voyager's Tales

2: The Copy of the Certificate for John Fox and his company...

<< 1: The Worthy Enterprise of John Fox, an Englishman,... || 3: The voyage made to Tripolis in Barbary, in the year 1584,... >>
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.


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 2Oth of April, 1577.

THOMAS GROLOS, Englishman, Bishop of Astraphen.


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.

<< 1: The Worthy Enterprise of John Fox, an Englishman,... || 3: The voyage made to Tripolis in Barbary, in the year 1584,... >>