12 Annotations

First Reading

Clement  •  Link

Bosphorus Straits
I suspect that the straights referred to in the Jan 19, 1662 entry, are the Bosphorus. Sam notes that "the Turks do take more and more of our ships..." meaning they were levying an increasingly heavy tax on goods passing through. This criticism of the Turks was perpetually voiced by nations shipping goods from the Black Sea.

vicenzo  •  Link

Sorry! do not agree, Clement, the darned Moors, they ranged right up to the English coast {Cormwall) to get cheap labor and bed warmers. They, the Moors are the cause for the occupation of Tangiers and creating defences, in order to have Trading ships sail around the Horn of Africa to the East Indies and not be pestered by the Corsairs of Algiers and Morroco.

dirk  •  Link

The Straits

Vicenzo is right here: it's Gibraltar and not the Bosphorus. Don't be deceived by the use of the word "Turks" in this context: what's meant are the North-African corsairs (pirates if you want, but "loosely" in the service of the Sultan in Istambul). The term "Turks" was applied generically by the nations of christian Europe to every harassment coming from the muslim world - here specifically the Algerian pirates who more or less undisturbed slipped through Gibraltar, and raided the Spanish, French and British coastlines for booty and slaves.

The Knights of St.John at Malta were very active against these corsairs - with good results - but they couldn't prevent some of them slipping through the Straits.

Clement  •  Link

Striking sail in the Straits
Yes, Gibralter is a stronger case. You're right about the broad use by Europeans of the terms Moors and Turks for any Muslim, but I find even further support for Sam's description. The Turkish Sultan sent Pashas to rule areas of Northern Africa until at least 1659, having gained a measure of control in the early 16th century supporting Barbarossa's contest against Spain.
(1911 Britannica with scan error corrections)

vicenzo  •  Link

Modern pirates: Bloomberg News [google s] today LA Times stated that slayings in pirate attacks rise . Main Area of concern surrounds Aceh Province along with Nigeria with many incidents.

Jim  •  Link

I'm inclined to Gibralter as well, knowing the English had forces there. And in fact, the entry on Thomas Allin says he sailed in 1664 in force to attempt a peace treaty with the Algerines.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Am I right in thinking these pirates went on to be the Barbary Pirates in the 19th Century ... and possibly ISIS today? Looks like the same area and tribes to me ... ?

James Morgan  •  Link

ISIS is centered in Northern Iraq and Eastern Syria, thus thousands of miles East of the Barbary Pirates who were suppressed with the colonial occupation in the early 19th Century.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

For a book about the Knights of St. John and their famous defense of Malta which changed the region's history for decades:

The Great Siege, Malta 1565: Clash of Cultures: Christian Knights Defend Western Civilization Against the Moslem Tide -- by Ernle Bradford

Kindle edition

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.