Francis Brooks (1693), Barbarian Cruelty..., pp. 1-24.

An Impartial Relation of the poor Captives under the Emperor of Morocco, &c.

IN November 1681, I went on Board the William and Mary of Bristol, of 120 Tuns Burden, 7 Guns and 4 Paterero's, William Bowry Commander, being bound from Bristol to Plymouth for a Convoy, from whence we went with our Convoy (the Turkish Tyger) to Cales, where she left us; when the Fleet was safe arrived, we staid there for good Company or Convoy; but none coming, our Merchants went to a French Commander of 26 Guns that was bound for Marseilles; who agreed with them to carry us safe thither: In order thereunto he went aboard and fired a Gun, which hearing, we set sail after him. We were not above three Leagues out of Cales, but he hoisted his Top-sails, and left us; however we got safe to Malaga, where we again waited for a Convoy: but after we had staid there a considerable time, expecting we should have met with one, we were forced to go without, being loaded with Herrings which were likely to be spoiled. From thence we went to Allicant, where we met with two Flemings bound for Marseilles, one of 16 Guns, the other of 20, with whom we set Sail about Four a Clock in the Morning: and four hours after we met with the Bristol Frigat, who enquired from whence we came? they answered, From Algier. We enquired what was the best News there? they answered, Good News, for they had made Peace with Algier; so we brought to, and our Master hoisted out his Boat, and went aboard them, and procured a Copy of the Articles of Peace made between the English and Algerines: after which he sailed with the two Flemings in Company to Marseilles, where we lay 19 days for Pratique, which being gained, we went into the Mould and delivered our Loading; after which our Master was very urgent for us to take in our Loading, and so return; but the Merchants said we must wait a while, and we should have it; so we took ino our Ballast, and our Master took in the Merchants at Santra Pee: and afterwards we went to Santra Pell, and took in Loading of Oil, and set Sail for Bristol: but coming homewards, we put into Malaga, where there was a Ship that came from Tunis, bound for London, in which were two Lions and two Barbary Horses, being a Present for the late King Charles the Second, whose Commander came on board us, to give our Master a Visit. We enquired of him whither he was bound? he said, To Tangier, but to make no stay but one day. Our Master told him he should be glad of his Company homewards: who said he should be likewise glad of his Company; upon which our Master went ashoar, having some Concerns with the Merchants. The same day the Londoner sail'd away, leaving us behind. Next day, being the 2d of August 1681, in the Morning we set Sail alone; and coming within six Leagues of Tangier, we saw a Ship give us chase, when they came up with us, ask'd us whence we came? we said from Marseilles. We enquired the same of her; who answered, From Algier: so he bid our Master hoist out his Boat: our Master answered, he would not for any Ship he should meet withal. Our Master further told him, he should hoist out his Boat if he had any thing to do with him, and if he came to him, he should see he had a Pass; so he sent his Lieutenant aboard us in his own Boat, to whom our Master shewed his Pass, and he acknowledged it to be good, and calling to his Commander, told him the same, who nevertheless desired our Captain to come abord with his Pass: our Master told him, that if the Lieutenant would stay on board us, one of our Men should go aboard, and shew him the Pass. The Lieutenant agreed thereto, and when the Captain had viewed the Pass, the Moors went into their own Ship, and loading their Pistols they stuck them in the Waste-band of their Drawers under their Coats, and every one of them had likewise a Cutlass stuck on their Waste: so they entred aboard us all at once, firing their Pistols, and cut and wounded us with their Cutlasses. * They had on board them 300 Men and 16 Guns; when they had thus taken our Ship, they carried us to Sally, and sent our ship into Memora, having secured us in a place under Ground: our Diet they gave us was a little black Bread and Water. There they kept us four days, and then sent us to Memora to discharge the Ship they took from us, and sent the Oil with which we were loaden, in Skins, upon Camels and Mules, to the Emperor of Morocco. After we had work'd there very hard all Day in delivering the Ship, they put us down in the Hold of their Ship in Irons, and afterwards sent us to Macqueness, where the Emperor's Castle is, and where he keeps all his Slaves, and we were delivered up to the Vice-Roy, (the Emperor being then in Camp against a City to the Southward, called Tarradant in Barbary) and by his Negroes we were driven to work all day, driving and cursing of us, bidding us turn Moors, and at Night we were driven to a place where the rest of the Christians lay, being like a Vault under ground.

In the Year 1680, the English Captives that were under this inhuman Tyrant, the Emperor of Morocco, bewailing their own Condition, making moan to one another, and praying to God for Deliverance, at last concluded amongst themselves to draw a Petition to our late King Charles the Second of Great Britain, giving him to understand their miserable Condition in this Captivity: which being done, the King took it into Consideration, and sent over Captain Francis Nicolson; who being come, and seeing the Cruel Bondage his poor Country-men were in, their hard Labour and cruel Fare, having therewith many cruel Stripes and Blows, he could not but lament their Condition, and prayed God that he might come to some Composition with that Hellish Tyrant for them. The Emperor at the same time sent for the Shack, or Chief over all the Jews in his Dominion, and bid him build a Town, which would be better for the Jews than the Cane Houses, (his Name was Abraham Memoran) and at that time Captain Nicholson made an Agreement with the Emperor for the Christians, and the English and Portuguese were delivered him up, the Emperor wishing them a good Journey to Tangier; the Captain took them out of the Town that Night, which the Shack of the Jews hearing of, that came to the Emperor, telling him, if he would let him have the Christians to build the Jews Town, he would give him as much Money as the Captain had agreed with him for: the Emperor bid him come again in the morning. Then the Shack or Chief of the Jews went immediately home to his House, and got a Present ready, and sent it in to the Emperor's Wife, that she might sollicite the Emperor for him: which having received, she sent word back by the Eunuchs, that she would endeavour to prevail with him, which she did. And the next Morning he spoke again with the Emperor, who immediately sent out his Negroes to drive back the Christians, which were hurried again to their Works in a cruel manner. The Moors of his City Maqueness seeing that, cursed the Jews for doing it: But the Captain could in no wise prevail with this grievous Tyrant the Emperor, (notwithstanding the Captain had done what in him lay to have got the Christians away) who said he would not part with them till the Town was finished. So they went to work with great Chops, and Baskets to carry Earth in; and the Negroes were set over them to keep them at it from Morning to Night. When the Town was finished, he put in his Negroes: but the Curse of the Jews fell upon their own Governour, his Mischief returned on his own Head, as will shortly be shewn. In the mean time the poor Christians were grievously hurried and punished by those Hellish Negroes at the Command of this wicked and inhuman Tyrant the Emperor, and had scarce time to take any Nourishment, or eat any of their bad Bread that was allowed them, but with a great many Threats, Stripes and Blows by the Negroes, bidding them turn Moors. In which condition they prayed to God to preserve them in their Faith; in which, through his Assistance, they remained constant.

Sometime after Captain Nicholson being gone from thence, the Emperor laid Siege against a City called Tarradant, in the South-part of that Dominion, being kept by a King whose Name was Mully Hammet: and having been there a considerable time, he sent to the Chief of the Jews, to bring him up some Goods which he wanted from Maqueness. When he had gotten Mules, and carried them to the place where Emperor was in Camp, the Vice-Roy's Son being there with the Emperor, went to the said Shack or Chief of the Jews, and desired him to assist him with some Money, and his Father would repay him, when he, viz. the Chief of the Jews, should return to Maqueness. He told him his Father owed him already several thousand Ducats, and would not pay him any, for as yet he could get none from him: and said moreover, if he should die and perish, he would not lend him a penny. Of which Passages he acquainted his Father, writing a Letter thereof to Macqueness. Afterwards the Chief of the Jews went to Macqueness to the Vice-Roy called Coid Birry, and told him he had acquainted the Emperor of the Care he had in his Absence of his Castle and Business; he taking little notice of him, but returning him Thanks for his Kindness, he went away. But Coyd Birry the Governour (being so called in the Emperor's Absence) ordered one of his chief Negroes in a little time after to go and take such a Horse which he described to him, and go to the place where the Country-People kept their Market, to see if he could find the said Chief of the Jews; and if he saw him, take little notice of him; but if he had an opportunity, watch as he went home to his House, and kill him. The Negro did as he was ordered, and espying the Shack, or Chief of the Jews, going home to his House, in a Road which lay through a parcel of Olive-Trees, the Negro came to him, pretending Kindness to him, being glad to see him, &c. and riding by his side along on Horseback, spied his opportunity very diligently, so spurred his Horse over him, rode upon him and trode out his Brains. Word thereof was quickly carried to the Vice-Roy, that the Chief of the Jew was killed, at which he seemed to be sorry, that the People might take no notice thereof, and acquainted the Emperor therewith, and had made search, but knew not who had done it. The Emperor sent him word back, that if he did not find out who did it, he would cut off his Head, and ordered the said Vice-Roy to put the Governour of the Jews Son to be the Chief in his stead; but the old Jew was soon forgotten by the Emperor.

When the Emperor had laid Siege some Years against Tarradant, and could not take it, he returned home to Macqueness. After he had been at home a certain time, he went against that City with about 70000 Horse and Foot, and declared that if any Christians knew what belonged to mining, he would set them to work; and that if they took the Town, they should have their Liberty; so four English Men undertook the Work, the Moors digged, and they gave Directions. The Mines being finished, and 30 Barrels of English Powder rowled into the Mine, and a Train laid; the Christian that fired it was blown up: and a Breach was made in the Castle-Wall, but they could not enter, their Enemies fired so thick upon them, killing a great many of Mully Ishmaell the Emperor's Men. They mined again under the Burges, or small Forts: after Powder was put in, and a Train laid, he that gave fire to it, had his Arm struck off, the Burg was blown up with the People therein. And the Emperor Mully Ishmaell coming to view the Breach, and being told by the People, the Christian had lost his Arm, he ordered his chiefest Doctor to take care and heal him; for in case he did not see to him carefully, he should lose his Head. Mully Hammet got up his People to the Breach, and kept out the Emperor and his Forces, that they could not enter. Afterwards Mully Hammet went out of his Castle with a small Guard, and meeting with some of the Emperor's Scouts, one of them knowing Mully Hammet, cock'd his Piece and shot him to death: Then Mully Hammet's Guard fought with Mully Ishmael's Scouts, and there were several killed on both sides. Some of Mully Hammet's Guards retired into the Castle, and acquainted the chiefest of them that were in the Castle, that their King was killed: presently they proclaimed Mulle Rann (being the chiefest of the Governours in Mully Hammet's time) to be their King. Which News being carried to the Emperor by his Scouts, he enquired who had killed Mully Hammet? they told him one of the Scouts, which he sent presently for by a Messenger, and bid him acquaint him that he should have a good Reward for killing him; he being brought before the Emperor, expecting a great Reward for so doing, after he had examin'd him, he rewarded him with calling of him Dog, and said he should die for killing Mully Hammet, and immediately caused him to be made fast to a Mule's Tail, and so had him dragged through the Camp, and ordered one to go before and declare, that it was for killing of Mully Hammet; he was dragged so long till his Body was torn in pieces; after that he had him put in a place where the Country People used to come into the Camp. Mully Ran kept the Castle and City, and the Emperor's Forces made more Mines in order to take the City and Castle, which being finished, they blew up the Town-Walls, and severall small Forts, with the People in them, and made so great a Breach that Mully Ishmaell entred his Men and took both the City and Castle, and promised the People he would be kind to them: but when he took the Town, he secured their Arms, Ammunition and Treasure, and carried the People of that Place to Maqueness: and being come down to Macqueness, he put all the Christians, and several hundreds of the Natives to work there to make a Court, and Houses for his Women. And coming on a certain time, (as he uses constantly to do) although it rained very fast, as he was going into one of the Houses, the Master-Workman and his Assistants going to hoist up a piece of Timber, and the Rope that held it broke, and the Timber fell, with which he suddenly retired back, and sent for the Master-Workman in great Passion, threatning him for taking no better care: he told him he was as careful as he could be for his Life in doing it, saying, it was a Mischance he could not prevent; nevertheless he took a Piece out of one of his Boys Hands, and shot him to Death, and went among the Christians raving and tearing as if he would have killed them all, setting his Negroes and Guard to beat both the Moors and the Christians that were at work; which they did with such Violence, that many of them had their Heads and Arms miserably broken, making his Buildings more like a Slaughter-house than a place of Work; and at the same time ran two of his Moors through with his Launce. So that he makes no more to kill a Man at his Pleasure, than to kill a Dog.

In a little time after the Emperor was come to Macqueness, the three Christians that were Miners, desired their Liberty as he had promised: He granted it, and ordered a Letter to the Governour of Sally, that he should send them away by the first opportunity; a Ship being ready, they desired their Liberty, being at Sally, in order for their Journey; but the Governour instead of granting it, abused and railed on them, saying, they should pay him so much a Head, or they should not go. The English Man that lost his Arm, turned back and acquainted the Emperor thereof, telling him what the Governour said, who wrote a Letter and sent him with two of his chief Negroes, saying, If he would not let them go off, he would cut off his Head: The Governour hearing that, durst not detain them any longer. So the three English Men, whose Names were William Chalender, Robert Jackson, and Benjamin Newman, through the Goodness of God arrived at London, and came again to their own Country.


* When they meet with any of our Merchant-Men of small Force, having but 8 or 10 guns, they often deceive them, by telling them they are Algerines, getting the Master on board them to shew his Pass; when he and his Men are on board, they enter them, and take their ship.

This page is by James Eason

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