Francis Brooks (1693), Barbarian Cruelty..., pp. 24-55.
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In the Year 1683, Captain Venetia the younger, a Pirate belonging to Sally, met with one Mr. Bellamy, an English-Man, who was bound for Leghorn in a Pink of 8 Guns, to whom he gave Chase: and when he came up to Mr. Bellamy, the Pirate examined him from whence he came? he answered, From London; and enquired likewise of him whither he was bound? who said, To Leghorn. Mr. Bellamy asked him from whence he came, and what Place he belonged to? he said, To Algier. The Pirate commanded Bellamy to hoist out his Boat, and bring his Pass aboard, who answered, he should hoist out his own if he had any business with him, which he did, and sent his Lieutenant aboard on Bellamy. One of Mr. Bellamy's Men that had been a Captive in Sally, knowing the said Pirate, told the Master he knew him very well, and that he belonged to Sally. When the Lieutenant came to Bellamy's side, Mr. Bellamy placed some of his Men with their small Arms at the entring, and said, one Man should not enter him save the Lieutenant, who viewed Mr. Bellamy's Pass, acknowledging it to be good. The Lieutenant returning aboard their own Ship, acquainted the Captain, saying, We'll fire at them and affright them; in order to which, he commanded them to make ready; the Pirate firing at Mr. Bellamy, he fired at them again, so they fought a considerable time: Mr. Bellamy killed and wounded about thirty of his Men, and he wounded some of Bellamy's Men: but for want of Powder Mr. Bellamy was forced to yield. When Venetia had taken him and his Company, and brought them aboard his own Ship, leaving several of his own Men in their stead, he began to examine Mr. Bellamy why he had killed and wounded so many of his Men? Who answered, he would have killed all the rest, and him too, if he had had Powder; with that the Pirate cut him down with his Cutlass, and rip'd him open, and said, there was an end of a Dog, so threw his murdered Body into the Sea, and carried all his Men into Sally, and from thence to Macqueness. Thus have these bloody Heathenish Crew deceived many of our Country-men, telling them they belonged to Algier, when they belonged to Sally. I pray God keep all my Country-men, and all good Christians out of the Hands of that barbarous and inhuman Crew, the worst that live upon the Earth! and that all may beware of them, hath caused me thus to write; being one that by sad Experience, and from a certain Knowledg I have had of them, can assure these things to be nothing but a real Truth; and bless God, that he has thought me worthy to escape them, and that I am now come safe to the Land of my Nativity.
In the Year 1685, a Ship being bound from London to Barbadoes, in which were four Women, two of them being Mother and Daughter; one of those Heathenish Pirates meeting them, gave them Chase, and coming up to them, examined them strictly from whence they came, and whither bound? who told them as afore, From London to Barbadoes; (the Pirate was Venetia the younger, who had 300 Men, and 18 Guns) after the Commander had enquired the same of them, he understood what they were, they telling him, that they came from Algier; so they demanded of him to shew his Pass, and said he must hoist out his Boat; they seeing him not provided with Guns to defend himself, could make no Resistance, which being done, the Captain of the Pirate took them into his Cabin, and would shew himself kind to them, treating them, and giving them Dates. In the mean while the Lieutenant and Moors girded their Pistols and Cutlasses on their Wastes, and with the English-man's Boat went aboard his Ship, and took all that were aboard him, with the four Women. And the Captain asked who the young Woman was, and whether she was ever married? Account being given him concerning her, he ordered her to be put in the Cabin, lest any of his own barbarous Crew should offer to lie with her, and so sailed away for Sally. Being come there, the Captain of the Pirate brought them they had taken to Macqueness, and the Women were carried before the Eunuchs. The Captain giving an account to the chief Eunuch, that one of those Women was a Virgin; but for the Men, they were driven by the Negroes to hard Labour. And afterwards all the Christians of the Ship and the 4 Women were brought up to Macqueness; the Women were brought before the Emperor's Eunuchs, and an account given to the Chief of them by the Moors Captain, that one of them was a Virgin, and she was immediately sent to the Emperor's Women: and the Eunuch sent to the Vice-Roy, acquainting him how he had disposed of the Virgin, who ordered the other Women to be brought to his House, and ordered the Negroes to drive the poor Christians to hard Labour, who at Night were lock'd up amongst the other Christian Captives, having no Sustenance allowed them for that day; and what their poor Brethren offered them, they could not eat, being such Bread as I have already described, so bad, that the Beasts in that place refused to eat it: and what betwixt their Diet and Lodging on the cold ground, together with the Negroes hard Usage, many of them fell sick. And to add to their Extremity, were threatned and abused by the Negroes to turn Moors; but they daily prayed to God to strengthen them in their Afflictions, and in his great Mercy work some way for their Deliverance out of this dreadful Bondage.
Afterwards the chief Eunuch sent word to the Emperor, that he had a Christian Virgin amongst the rest of his Women. The Emperor ordered him to send her up to the Camp, with a parcel of his Eunuchs to guard her thither. When she came to the Camp, the Emperor urged her, tempting her with Promises of great Rewards if she would turn Moor, and lie with him. She earnestly desired of the Lord to preserve and strengthen her to resist his earnest Perswasions, and great Proffers, which he used, to have his Desires fulfilled. When he could not prevail so, he fell to threatning her, and put her amongst his Negro Women, and threatned to kill them if they offered to shew her any Kindness, where they kept her, beating and abusing her for several days. She prayed still to the Lord to strengthen her, and held a Resolution to withstand him; who again sought to prevail with her, tempting and promising of her great things, if she would turn, which she still refused: so he caused her to be stript, and whipt by his Eunuchs with small Cords, so long till she lay for dead; and he caused her to be carried away out of his Presence that time, and charged his Women none of them should help her till he sent for her, which was not till two days after, and in the mean time to have no Sustenance but that black rotten Bread: at which time he sought again to prevail with Promises and Threats, which she still withstood, praying to the Lord that she might be preserved from him, and be delivered from his cruel Hands. Then he prick'd her with such things, as commonly his Women use instead of Pins, being as sharp. Thus this beastly and inhuman Wretch by all ways he could invent, sought to force her to yield, which she resisted so long, till Tortures, and the hazards of her Life forced her to yield, or resign her Body to him, tho her Heart was otherwise inclined. So he had her wash'd, and clothed her in their fashion of Apparel, and lay with her; having his Desire fulfilled, he inhumanly, in great haste forc'd her away out of his Presence; and she being with Child, he sent her by his Eunuchs to Macqueness (who delivered her with the Emperor's Charge concerning her) to the chief Eunuch, and after that she was delivered of two Children.
About four Years ago, two English-men and a French-man being at Memora; and as they were passing along the River, on a certain time in a Boat, with some Moors, one of which was a Lieutenant, he ordered the Christians to go on Shore to fetch a little of their black Rusk and Water: And as they were passing along the River to take their Pleasure, the Christians said one to another, Now is the time, with the Lord's leave, for us to see for our Liberty: The French-man said, The Moors would be too many for them: The English-men said, Fear not, let us trust in the Lord, and he'll deliver us. So they going aboard with their Bread and Water, the Lieutenant bid them get out their Oars, and pull up like Dogs as they were; which they bore patiently. At Night some of the Moors lying down, they fell upon those Moors that were awake. They then fearing the Christians would be too hard for them, called out, and awaked the other Moors. Then the Lieutenant and other Moors came, and he drew his Knife, and stabb'd one of the English-men to death, the other knock'd him down, and they fought so long till Blood was spilt on both sides. The next day the English-man and French-man were carried up to Macqueness in Irons, before the Emperor, and by the Moors was informed of what was done. The Emperor upon Examination, told them if they did not immediately turn Moors, he would kill them. The French-man yielded: the Emperor then threatned the English-man, if he did not turn, he would quickly kill him. He made Answer, God's Power was greater than the Devil's; and let him do what he would, he should not make him turn Moor. The Emperor called for his Sword, and immediately fell to cutting him, threatning him still to turn; he said he was brought up in the Faith of Jesus Christ, and he would not forsake it. Then this inhuman Wretch in great spleen cut him till he fell down, and hack'd and hewed him as if he had been butchering an Ox, and caused the Negro Boys to run his Body full of Holes with Knives, till his Body was as full of Holes as possible it could be; when he had so done, Bring, saith he in his own Language, four English Dogs to fetch that Dog away: and as they carried his Body away, the Negro Boys stoned them, saying, that should be the end of them if they did not turn Moors; but they were glad to go quietly without answering again; if they had made any Reply, they had certainly been fallen upon by the Negro Boys. So their greatest Satisfaction was, his dying in the Christian Faith, and his counting that more precious than his own Life, holding the same stedfast before that cruel Tyrant, whilst he had Breath in his Body. Then they carried him to the place where they lodged under ground, so took off his Irons and kept him there all Night, and the next Morning carried him where he was to be buried, the Negroes still stoning of them as they went along. As soon as they had laid his Body in the Ground, they were hurried by the Negroes to work again after their usual manner.
The Tyrant coming a certain time to view his Work, examining what was the reason they went no faster on? They answered, Several of the Christians were fallen sick: So this inhuman Tyrant went to the place where they lay, which was under Ground (acting the part of Herod, in killing at his Pleasure, as well as of Pharaoh, who of old encreased the Israelites Bondage, in causing them to make Brick, and allowing them no Straw. But we read of the End of those cruel Tyrants.) So by the Emperor's Order his Negroes fell to haling and dragging them out of that place, when in that weak and feeble condition that they could not stand on their Legs when dragged before him; he instantly killed seven of them, making their Resting-place a Slaughter-house. The very Moors were terrified to see so inhuman and bloody an Action. It is a Proverb, The more Rain, the more Rest: but God knows it was most commonly our Lot to be driven and kept closest at our Work when it rained; yea, when it rained most fast, our Work was nothing lessened, but the more encreased: and besides the Christians, he sets thousands of his own Natives to work with great Chops, and to carry Earth on their Heads in Baskets from one place to another. And let it rain never so fast, (there falling store of Rains in the Winter Season) he'll stay by them, setting his Negroes to drive them with Whips of small Cords and Sticks from Morning till Night; and if he's minded to eat, he often sends home to his Castle, and hath his Victuals sent him, lest the Slaves should neglect his Work.
He hath great Buildings in his Castle, which will not be finished in his time, and there he keeps the poor People at work, in order to suppress and keep them low.
His small Forts at his Castle are more for a show of great Strength, to make his Enemies afraid, than for any use he puts them to, making them into Store-houses, and turning them to such-like uses.
In the Year 1688, the Tyrant coming out one time to see his Works, as constantly he did, a sort of stuff they used instead of Mortar, being Earth, Lime, and Sand mixed together, to build their Walls with; and taking up a handful thereof, he did not like it: upon which he sent his Negroes to fetch the Master-Workman to him, which being haled by the Neck before him, he asked why more Lime was not mixt with the Earth? he made answer he wanted Lime, and that was the reason the Stuff was no better: he sent for the Shack of the Negroes and Christians that were at work, examining him after the same manner? who said he wanted Mules to bring them Lime: he then sent for the Mules to see how many there were, and wanting one of his number, which the Negro said he had at his House, and was lame, he ordered his Negro Boys to keep him fast, while he sent some of the rest to enquire whether the Negro said true? but they finding not the Mule that was wanting, he ordered the Negro, immediately to be stript unto his Drawers, and fastened to a Mule's Tail, which was done, and he was dragg'd so the space of half a Mile to Prison, there to remain; and had the Master-Workman stretch'd out by four Negroes, two at his Hands and two at his Feet, beating of him till he could not turn himself, bidding him take care of his Mules, saying, if when he came again he found such bad stuff for his Work, he would cut off his Head. So immediately he sent his Negro Boys to fetch the seventy Christians that were at hard Labour making a Wall; so asked one of them if he could speak his Language? who said he could, examining him in like manner about the Stuff? who answered, he durst not for fear acquaint him of the Badness of it: so, he took one of his Sticks they used to carry after him, and calling him Dog, bid him hold his Head fare to strike at: having strucken him down, he knocked down all the rest with his own Hands, and broke their Heads so miserably, that the place was all bloody like a Butcher's Stall, and none of them durst make Resistance, for if they had, he would presently have killed them. So he bid them rise like Dogs as they were, saying, if they used any more such bad Stuff in his Work, he would kill them all.
In 1689, the Emperor sent down to the Coyde, or Governour of Tangier, to take a view of Alarache, where was a Garison belonging to the King of Spain. The Governour taking view thereof, he sent him farther Orders to prepare for the taking it, if he could possibly. So sending back to the Emperor to provide him Forces, the Emperor sent him down 40000 Horse and Foot, besides the Forces he had there: And he laying Siege to the Place, the Spanish Boats fetch'd off the Officers Wives and Children. They afterwards raised a small Fort, to keep all small Vessels or Boats from fetching any Thing off. Which the Friars taking notice of, hoisted up a Flag of Truce; and came to a Treaty with the Governour of the Moors, till they had been with the Emperor at Macqueness. When come thither, they told him, that if he would let them go, and take what was their own with them, they would give him the Place, with the Christians, and all the Ammunition and Guns. To which he agreed, saying, He would. They returning again to Alarach, ordered the Governour of the Moors to make a Feast; and going to their own Garison, told their own Governour, that they had made an Agreement with the Emperor, and that they should march into Ceuta in their own Arms, saying, They had better do so, than go into Slavery amongst the Christians. The Governour, and the Governour of the King of Spain dining together: When Dinner was over, he bid him send for his Men, and send them with all speed to Ceuta. They being come, he commanded them to lay down their Arms; which he (to wit, the Moors Governour) quickly secured, telling them, they must go up to the Emperor at Macqueness, for he had a mind to see them, and afterwards they must return to Ceuta. So the Moors took the great Guns, with their Carriages, Muskets and Powder, carrying them all to the Emperor, with a Band of Men to guard them thither. Being come thither, he set his Negroes to drive them to work; ordering the great Guns to be unmounted, and laid flat on the Ground betwixt the two Walls, with those Guns that were brought from Memora. So the Negroes kept them at hard Slavery, beating and whipping them all day long; and at Night they were to lodge under-ground; allowing them such Bread as his other poor Captives have, and Water to sustain them alive.
After the poor Christians had undergone their hard Labour and cruel Stripes, for the space of five Months time, many of them fell sick and died: then this Tyrant came and enquired, what was become of them? they gave him account, that seven hundred of them were turned Moors, and five hundred were dead. After that the poor Christians concluded to draw a Petition to the King of Spain, and lay before him their miserable Condition under this Tyrannical Emperor, having but now and then rotten Bread, and Water when they could catch it, and therewith cruelly punished to add to their Extremity. The King of Spain received their Petition; and viewing it, declared to his Council what a Condition his poor Subjects were in under this cruel Tyrant the Emperor of Morocco. And the said King took it into consideration, and sent over an Ambassador to the Emperor, to see if he could agree with him for his Subjects that were there in Slavery. The Ambassador being come, an Agreement was made betwixt them, that the King of Spain should give a thousand Moors for an hundred Christians. And for the Souldiers Wives that were not carried off, and young Children, they agreed for 4 Moors a Head. The Ambassador bargained with the Emperor, to have the Christians down to Tittivan, lying near unto Tangier, and there to remain till the Moors were brought over, and left at Ceuta, a Place not far from thence. After which the Ambassador returned home to the King of Spain, acquainting his Master what a miserable Condition his poor Subjects were in, working from Morning to Night, allowing them nothing but old rotten Barley-bread and Water; not suffering them to have any thing to lie upon, after their hard Labour and cruel Usage by the Moors, nor no Apparel to wear, but daily beating them, and often with his own Hands, to force them to turn Moors. The King of Spain ordered his Ambassador to take as many Moors as he had agreed for: So he went and got the Moors together, and went over to Ceuta with them; when being come thither, he went to Tittivan; and leaving the Moors in Ceuta, he spoke to their Governor, told him the Moors were ready at Ceuta, and that as many Christians as he was pleased to send to Ceuta, there should be so many Moors surrendred as they had agreed for. When the Moors were all delivered up, and the Christians brought in; The Moors Governour brought them up to Maqueness to the Emperor; the Emperor enquired of them how they had fared in Christendom? They answered, they had allowed them a Jacket and a pair of Breaches once a Year; and for their Provision, they had a certainty of Rusk, and hot Beans once a Day. But being come to their own Country, they began to lament the Christian Captives poor Condition, seeing daily what they endured with Hunger, Cold and Stripes; and many times the Tears fell from their Eyes for Grief to see it; some of the Moors saying, We are Christians, (privately to them) but durst not publickly own it: And at another time told the Captives, (when they saw the Emperor's Cruelty, often murdering one or other at his Pleasure; and themselves had nothing allowed them but a little of that rotten Barley-bread, and a little Butter than stunk) that they had rather be in Spain than there. And some of the Moors got back again into Spain, acquainting the People there what a cruel Tyrant their Emperor was, and how miserably he used the poor Christians. And when the Spanish Ambassador returned with the Christians, into their own Country, the King asked them how they had fared? Who gave a large Account, as aforesaid, of the hard Bondage and Slavery the Emperor of Morocco had kept them in whilst they were under him. The King said, it was well they had kept their Faith, as they had done, whilst there. And his Ambassador drew a Petition to the King his Master, imploring his Favour to remember them that were left behind, and take their suffering Condition into his Christian Consideration; which he did, and ordered them some Relief. Those that were left behind, likewise petitioned him to allow them something Yearly: Which was done, and care taken that it should be sent over for their Use: As likewise our Factories at Cales and Portugal, having enquired how it was with them; and understood the English fared no better than the rest, contributed towards their Necessities, and sent it over from Cales to Tittivan, to one Mr. Anthony Packer a Merchant there, desiring him to order it them for their Relief: Who accordingly did, and they therewith bought them a few Clothes to cover their Nakedness. So they wrote back to Mr. Anthony Packer, and to the Factories, returning them Thanks for their Kindness in remembring them, praying to God to prosper them in their Affairs. And I beseech God to open the Hearts of our Gracious King and Queen of England, as he hath done others, to grant some Relief for their distressed Subjects that are yet in that place, whose cruel Sufferings I could do no less than acquaint them with, being when I left them, in as poor a condition as ever.
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This page is by James Eason