The principal navigations, voyages, traffiques, and discoveries of the English nation, by Richard Hakluyt

A letter to the right honourable William Hareborne her Majesties Ambassadour with the Grand Signior from Alger.

Right honorable, we haue receiued your honors letters dated in Constantinople the 5. of Nouember, and accordingly deliuered that inclosed to the king of this place, requiring of him, according as you did command vs in her Maiesties name, that he would vouchsafe to giue order to all his Captaines and Raies that none of them should meddle with our English shippes comming or going to or from these parts, for that they haue order not to passe by the Christian coast, but vpon the coast of Barbary, and shewing him of the charter giuen by the Grand Signior, requiring him in like case that for the better fulfilling of the amity, friendship and holy league betweene the Grand Signior and her Maiesty, he would giue us fiue or six safe-conducts for our ships, that meeting with any of his gallies or galliots, they might not meddle with them neither shoot at them: who made me answere he would neither giue me any safe conduct nor commission to his men of war not to meddle with them, for that he trusted to take some of them this yere, and made good account thereof. In like maner I spake to the chiefe of the Ianisers and the Leuents, who made me answere, the best hope they had this yere was to take some of them, and although they haue the Grand Signiors commandement we care not therefore: for we will by policy, or one meanes or other prouoke them to shoot some ordinance, which if they do but one piece, the peace is broken, and they be good prizes. And some of them say further, we care not for his safe-conduct, for if they shew it vs, we will conuey it away, we are sure the dogs cannot be beleeued against vs. The premisses considered, your honour is with all speed to procure the Grand Signior his fauorable letters directed to Hazan, the Cady, Captaines, Ianisers, and Leuents, and another like to Romadan Bassa, king of Tripolis, commanding them in no maner whatsoeuer to deale with our English ships bound into those parts or returning thence with their commodities, although they should shoot one at another: for when our ships shall meet them, for that, as your honor is aduertised, the gallies of Carthagena, Florence, Sicilia and Malta haue made a league to take all our ships comming in or going out of the Grand Signiors dominions, therefore if they meet with any of these gallies of Alger or Tripolis, thinking they be of them, and not knowing them a far off, they may shoot at them, which if therefore they should make them prizes, were against Gods lawes, the Grand Signior his league, all reason and conscience, considering that all the world doth know that Marchants ships laden with marchandise do not seeke to fight with men of warre, but contrariwise to defend themselues from them, when they would do them harme. Wherefore if your honour do not get out two letters of the Grand Signior as aforesayd, and send them hither with all speed by some one of your gentlemen accompanied with a chaus of the Court, or some other of the Grand Signiors servants, it is impossible that our English ships can escape freely from these or the Christians: for either they must of force go on the Christian coast, and so fall into their hands, or els on this coast, and fall into the kings of this towne, or Tripolis, their hands which if they should, will neuer be recouered. And if your honor cannot obtaine this thing, I beseech your honour in the behalfe of all the English marchants (who sent me hither to follow such order as your honour should giue me) to certifie her Maiesty, to the end that they may be commanded to leaue off traffique, and not to lose their goods, and her poore subiects the Mariners. And thus humbly taking my leaue, I desist from troubling your honor. From Algier the tenth of February 1583.

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Last updated Monday, March 10, 2014 at 22:20