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3: The voyage made to Tripolis in Barbary, in the year 1584,...
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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 2Oth 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.
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