The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 34.052658, -6.767578

5 Annotations

First Reading

language hat  •  Link

From Jamil Abun-Nasr's A History of the Maghrib (pp. 223-24)
(the Dala'iyya was a Berber Sufi sultanate based in the Middle Atlas that had come to power in the 1640s, and the Andalusians were the Muslims expelled from Spain in 1492):

"[The rebel Ghailan's] successes in the north and an uprising in Fez precipitated a rebellion against the Dala'iyya in Sala in February 1660. It appears that Dala'iyya control lay heavily on the Andalusian chiefs, and with the help of the tribes nearby they sought to regain their independence. The Andalusians and their tribal allies succeeded in besieging Abdulla [governor of Sala and son of Muhammad al-Hajj, the Dala'iyya sultan] in the castle of Sala, and a Dala'iyya army sent to relieve him was defeated in June 1660 by Ghailan. But Abdulla was able to hold out in the castle for sixteen months, about the end of which he received a shipload of provisions from the English who had just occupied Tangier. Abdulla is said to have proposed to the authorities in Tangier an alliance with the Dala'iyya which would enable them to take possession of Sala in return for help against his enemies in the Gharb [the region including Meknes, Sala, and Wazzan]. The dispatch of the provisions seems to have been intended as an expression of interest in the proposed alliance, without the English governor of Tangier Teviot being committed to a definite policy at a time when he was still feeling his way in the complex political situation of northern Morocco. Ghailan's unhostile attitude towards the English takeover in Tangier in 1661 seems to have persuaded the governor not to pursue further the proposed alliance with the Dala'iyya. When in June 1661 Abdulla eventually withdrew from the castle, the Andalusians, now in control, followed an ambivalent policy towards Ghailan. They allowed a commander whom Abdulla had left behind to control the castle, thereby retaining nominal Dala'iyya authority to counterbalance Ghailan's increasing power. This arrangement came to an end in 1664 when the Andalusians of Sala formally recognized Ghailan's sovereignty over the town and agreed to remit to him the taxes levied on trade.

"The shifts in the attitudes of the Andalusians of Sala towards the Dala'iyya sultanate paralleled developments in relations between the Berber sultanate and Fez, and it is very likely that the Andalusians measured the power of the Dala'iyya chiefs by their ability to persuade Fez to accept their rule. Though Fez ceased to be the political capital of Morocco from the middle of the sixteenth century, it continued to constitute the country's political pulse...

"The Dala'iyya sultan was able to bring Fez to recognize his authority once more but he avoided causing fresh disturbance by appointing a Berber to govern it. New Fez was placed under the authority of Abu Abdulla al-Duraidi, chief of Duraid, an Arabian tribe... Old Fez had a special regime in which two local chiefs shared power... By 1662 the two cities of Fez were again in rebellion, and Abdulla, the former governor of Sala, was in vain trying to enter the city with a Berber army. But in September 1663, when Old Fez felt the heavy-handedness of the Duraid tribe..., its leaders voluntarily sought the imposition of direct Dala'iyya rule. By then Muhammad al-Hajj [the Dala'iyya sultan] could no longer control al-Duraidi who had become a brigand-ruler scourging the countryside around Fez and Meknes. So he left Old Fez to fend for itself against the Arabian tribes as best it could. Sala simultaneously broke its last links with the Dala'iyya, and about the same time the Alawite sharifs [who eventually took over the whole country and still rule it today] intensified their activities in north-eastern Morocco."

Pedro  •  Link

In 1656...

(From the Med) Mountagu went with one squadron to negotiate a settlement with the pirates of Salé, in which he was successful, due in no small part to the fear Blake inspired.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Salé (Berber: Sla, Arabic: سلا‎; from the Berber word asla, meaning "rock") is a city in north-western Morocco, on the right bank of the Bou Regreg river, opposite Rabat.

It is the oldest city in the Atlantic coast, as it was founded by the Phoenicians and was known back then as Sala (modern challah); it was completed since then from the other side of the river of Bou Regreg by the Banu Ifren dynasty. During the 17th century, Rabat was known as New Salé, or Salé la neuve (in French) which explains Salé as the oldest city on the river.

In the 17th century, Salé became a haven for Moriscos-turned-Barbary pirates. Salé pirates (the well-known "Salé Rovers") roamed the seas as far as the shores of the Americas, bringing back loot and slaves. They formed the Republic of Salé. There is an American family, van Salee, descended from a Salé Rover, Jan Janszoon.

The city of Salé was bombarded by the French Admiral Isaac de Razilly on 20 July 1629 with a fleet composed of the ships Licorne, Saint-Louis, Griffon, Catherine, Hambourg, Sainte-Anne, Saint-Jean. He bombarded the city and destroyed 3 corsair ships.…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

This is an unusual book review of a novel: apart from the first and last paragraphs, the body and picture are all about the 17th century nightmare posed by the Barbary Pirates from Sale, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli.

It includes information about the Europeans who turned Turk, what happened to the captives, and the painting, An English Ship in Action with Barbary Vessels, by Willem van de Velde, dated 1678, shows just what lengths our Admirals Allin, Sandwich, Batten, etc., went to trying to stop this scourge of the seas.

Not mentioned here is the estimate that 1,000,000 Europeans were enslaved in North Africa during the 17th century.
The Stuarts experienced slavery as being an unwelcome norm, just like the plague, which is one consideration when pondering why so few alarms sounded about exporting slaves to the Caribbean and North American plantations. (They also shipped off Scots and Irish soldiers after the Civil Wars, and Englishmen after the Monmouth Rebellion.)
Sadly Africans could handle the hot climate better than the Europeans, so in the 18th century skin color was the divider ... but now my reflections have nothing to do with this book review.…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pictures of Sala and Rabat at

Rabat - Morocco is home to 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, one of them being the entire capital city of Rabat. With its unique blend of modernity and antiquity, Rabat is a must-visit for history-loving tourists.

Overlooking the Oued Bouregreg, the red sandstone walls of Chellah are a formidable sight. Just past Bab Zaer, the ruins are easily accessible to those visiting Rabat. Upon entering, you’ll be immersed in a beautiful and well-preserved realm of ancient Moroccan history.

There is evidence that the site, which was a natural port on the banks of the Bouregreg, was first occupied by the Phoenicians as early as the third century BC. The Phoenician settlement was known as Shalat. The site was later controlled by Carthage, modern-day Tunisia.

Chellah was officially built by the Romans around 40 AD and was known at the time as Sala Colonia, or Sala. This major port city included key Roman architectural elements such as a forum, a triumphal arch, a temple, aqueducts, and a principal roadway.

Sala was also home to one of the Romans’ two main naval outposts on the Atlantic coast; the other was in the modern-day city of Larache. The Sala port was primarily used by commercial Roman ships heading southwest towards Casablanca.

During the reign of the Romans, Sala Colonia was a center of Christianity in Roman Africa.

Although the city fell to local Imazighen tribes around 250 AD, the Romans maintained commercial and political contact with Sala until the seventh century AD.

Sala was a town of Christianized Imazighen ruled by a Byzantine governor until 683 AD, when the Muslim Arabs arrived. Uqba ibn Nafi was the first Muslim ruler to conquer the city.

In 1031 AD, the Almoravids resettled Sala, erected new buildings in the town, and rebuilt the Great Mosque of Sala. They were overthrown by Amazigh Almohads by 1147 AD and the site became a royal burial ground.

Sala was abandoned in 1154 AD after its inhabitants moved across the Oued Bouregreg to Sale.

The Almohad dynasty used the site as a sacred cemetery, or necropolis, until the Marinid dynasty took power in the early 13th century AD.

In the 14th century AD, the Marinids named the necropolis “Chellah.” This dynasty built the defensive walls and towers that guard Chellah today, along with the mosque, the Quranic school, and the royal tombs.

The 1755 Lisbon earthquake destroyed the structures that remained in Chellah at the time. ...…

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