A briefe relation of the siege and taking of the Citie of Rhodes, by Sultan Soliman the great Turke, translated out of French into English at the motion of the Reuerend Lord Thomas Dockwray, great Prior of the order of Ierusalem in England, in the yeere, 1524.

Text for this edition is taken from The principal navigations, voyages, traffiques, and discoveries of the English nation / collected by Richard Hakluyt, and edited by Edmund Goldsmid. Edinburgh: E. & G. Goldsmid, 1885-1890. Volume V.

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Table of Contents

A briefe relation of the siege and taking of the Citie of Rhodes, by Sultan Soliman the great Turke, translated out of French into English at the motion of the Reuerend Lord Thomas Dockwray, great Prior of the order of Ierusalem in England, in the yeere, 1524.

Willingly faithfully to write and reduce in veritie Historiall, the great siege, cruel oppugnation, and piteous taking of the noble and renowmed citie of Rhodes, the key of Christendome, the hope of many poore Christian men, withholden in Turkie to saue and keepe them in their faith: the rest and yeerely solace of noble pilgrimes of the holy sepulchre of Iesu Christ and other holy places: the refuge and refreshing of all Christian people: hauing course of marchandise in the parties of Leuant, I promise, to all estates that shall see this present booke, that I haue left nothing for feare of any person, nor preferred it for fauour. And first I shall shewe the occasions that moued this cruell bloodshedder, enemie of our holy Christian faith, Sultan Soliman, now being great Turke, to come with a great hoste by sea and by lande, to besiege and assayle the space of sixe moneths, night and day, the noble and mightie citie of Rhodes, the yere of the incarnation of our Lord Iesu Christ, 1522.

The occasions why the great Turke came to besiege the Citie of Rhodes.

The first and principall cause was that he did consider and sawe by experience, that there was none other Towne nor place in Leuant that warred against him nor kept him in doubt, but this poore rocke of Rhodes. And hearing that continuall complaintes of his subiectes as well of Syria, as of Turkie, for the domages and prises dayly done of their bodies and goods by Christian men of warre receiued into Rhodes: And also of the shippes and gallies of the religion, he tooke conclusion in himselfe, that if he might put the sayde Towne in his power and subiection, that then he should be peaceable lord of all the parties of Leuant, and that his subiects should complaine no more to him.

The second, that he might followe the doings of his noble predecessours, and shewe himselfe very heire of the mightie and victorious lord Sultan Selim his father, willing to put in execution the enterprise by him left the yeere one thousand fiue hundred twentie and one. The which Selim the great Turke put in all redinesse his armie to the number of three hundreth sayles purposing for to send them against Rhodes, if mortalitie had not happened in his host, and he afterwarde by the will of our lorde was surprised and taken with death: wherefore he being in the latter ende of his dayes, (as some Turkes and false christian men that were at this siege shewed me) did charge by his testament, or caused to charge his sonne now being great Turke, that after this death hee should make his two first enterprises, the one against Bellegrado in Hungarie, and the other against Rhodes, for to get him honour, and to set his Countries and subiectes in rest and suretie. The which fatherly motion easilie entered into him and was imprinted in the heart and yoong will of the sayde Solyman, his sonne, the which soone after the death of his father put in effect the first enterprise, and raised an huge hoste both by water and by land, and went himselfe in person against Bellegrado, a right strong place in Hungarie. The taking of Belgrade. And after that hee had besieged it the space of two moneths or thereabout, for fault of ordinance and vitailes, it was yeelded to him by composition the eight day of September, in the yeere of our lord, one thousand fiue hundred twentie and one. The sayd Solyman hauing this victory, being swollen and raised in pride and vaineglory, turned his heart agaynst Rhodes. Neuertheless, he not ignorant of the strength of it, and considering the qualities of the people that were within it, of whom he should be well receiued as his predecessours had bene aforetimes, doubted much, and knew not how to furnish his enterprise. For his capitaines and Bashas turned him from it as much as they might by many reasons, they knowing the force of it, saue onely Mustofa Basha his brother in lawe, the which councelled and put him in minde to goe thither. Finally, hee purposed entirely to haue it by treason or by force. Forren physicians become spies oftentimes. And also, for the same cause and purpose, his father in his dayes had sent a Iewe physician into Rhode as a spie, to haue the better knowledge of it: the sayd Solyman was informed that he was there yet, wherefore he sent him worde that he should abide there still for the same cause. And gaue in charge to one of the chiefe men in Sio, to send vnto the sayd Iewe all things needefull to maintaine him. And the same Iewe wrote to him of Sio, vnder priuie wordes, all that was done in Rhodes to giue knowledge thereof to the great Turke: and the better to hide his treason, the sayde Iewe made himselfe to bee baptised. And to bee the more named to be expert in Physike, he did some faire cures to such such as were diseased, whereby he began to bee well trusted, and came in fauour with many substantiall folkes of the towne. Among all other things whereof hee aduertised the great Turke, one was of a wall that was taken downe for to be new builded at the bulwarke of Auuergne, certifying him that if hee came hastely with his hoste, hee might easilie and at vnawares surprise the towne in such estate as it was at that time. Many other aduertisements and warnings hee shewed the Turke, which shall bee declared hereafter. A Portingale traitor. But beside his aduertisement, the sayd great Turke stirred and prouoked by a false traitour, a Portingale knight of ours, that time Chanceller of the sayd holy Religion, a man of great authoritie, dignitie, and vnderstanding, and one of the principall lordes of the counsell of the same, named Sir Andrew de Merall, by little and little was mooued and kindled to the sayd enterprise of treason, whereof was no maruell, for it was a great hope and comfort to haue such a person for him, that knew all the estate and rule of the religion and of the towne. And for to declare the occasions of the cursed and vnhappy will of the said traitor that had bene occasion of so great losse and damage, and shall be more at the length, if the diuine power set not to his hand.

Philip de Villiers great master. And here it is manifestly to bee vnderstood of all men, that after the death of the noble and right prudent lord, Fabrice of Cacetto, great master of Rhodes, the sayd Sir Andrew enflamed with ambition and couetousnesse to bee great master, and seeing himselfe deceiued of his hope, by the election made the two and twentieth day of Ianuary, of the right reuerend and illustrate lord, Philip de Villiers Lisleadam, before him: from that time hee tooke so great enuie and desperation, enmitie and euil will, not onely against the sayde lord; but against all the holy religion, that hee set all his studie and purpose, to betray and sell his religion and the citie of Rhodes to the cursed misbeleeuers, forgetting the great honours and goodnesse that hee hath had of the religion, and hoped to receiue, with many other particuler pleasures that the sayd lord master had done to him. But the deuill, vnkindnesse, and wickednesse had so blinded the eyes of his thought, that hee in no wise could refraine him, but at euery purpose that was spoken afore him, hee was short and might not dissemble. And one day among other hee sayde before many knights, that hee would that his soule were at the deuill, and that Rhodes and the religion were lost. And many other foolish and dishonest purposes and wordes hee vttered, whereat none tooke heed, nor thought that hee had the courage to doe that thing that hee hath done. Howbeit, obstinate as Iudas, hee put in execution his cursed will: for soone after that the tidings of the election was sent Westward to the sayde noble lord, the sayd de Merall did send a Turke prisoner of his to Constantinople, vnder shadowe to fetch his ransome. By whom he aduertised the great Turke and his counsell, of the maner and degree of Rhodes, and in what state and condicion the towne was in of all maner of things at that time, and what might happen of it, prouoking and stirring him to come with a great hoste to besiege the towne. And after the comming of the sayd reuerend lord great master, he gaue other aduise to the great Turke, shewing him that hee could neuer haue better time to come, seeing that the great master was new come, and part of the wall taken downe, and that all Rhodes was in trouble by occasion of some Italian knights, rebels agaynst the lord great master: of the which rebellion he was causer, the better to bring his cursed mind to passe: and also gaue the sayde great Turke knowledge that all Christian princes were busie, warring each vpon other, and that he should not doubt but if the rebellion lasted among them, the towne should be his without faile, as it is seene by experience. And for lacke of succours of euery part, and especially of such as might easily haue holpen vs beyng our neighbours, with their gallies and men of warre, wherefore it is now in the handes of the enemies of the christian faith. The which monitions and reasons of the false traitor being vnderstood and pondered by the great Turke and his counsell, it was considered of them not to loose so good occasion and time. Wherefore hee made most extreme diligence to rigge and apparell many ships and vessels of diuers sorts, as galliasses, gallies, pallandres, fustes, and brigantines, to the number of 350. sailes and moe.1 When the prisoner that the sayd de Merall did send into Turkie had done his commission, hee returned into Rhodes, whereof euery man had maruell. And many folkes deemed euil of his comming againe, as of a thing vnaccustomed, but none durst say any thing, seeing the sayd de Merall of so great authoritie and dignitie, and he cherished the sayd prisoner, more than he was woont to doe. Therefore belike hee had well done his message, and had brought good tidings to the damnable and shamefull mind of the sayd traitor de Merall.

1 A Galliasse was a 3 masted galley; Pallandres were manned by 20 men and Fustes by 12 to 15.

How the great Turke caused the passages to be kept, that none should beare tidings of his hoste to Rhodes.

The great Turke intending with great diligence to make readie his hoste both by sea and by land, the better to come to his purpose, and to take the towne vnwarily as hee was aduertised, thought to keepe his doings as secret as hee might, and commaunded that none of his subiects should goe to Rhodes for any maner of thing. And likewise he tooke all the barkes and brigantines out of the hauens and portes in those coastes, because they should giue no knowledge of his armie. And also hee made the passages by land to bee kept, that none should passe. Howbeit, so great apparell of an armie could not bee long kept close: for the spies which the lord great master had sent into Turkie, brought tidings to the castle of saint Peter, and to Rhodes, of all that was said and done in Turkie. Neuerthelesse, the sayd lord gaue no great credence to all that was brought and told, because that many yeeres before, the predecessours of the great Turke had made great armies: and alway it was sayd that they went to Rhodes, the which came to none effect. And it was holden for a mocke and a by-word in many places, that the Turke would goe to besiege Rhodes. And for this reason doubt was had of this last armie, and some thought that it should haue gone into Cyprus or to Cataro, a land of the lordship of Venice. Howbeit the great master not willing to bee taken vnwarily, but the meane while as carefull and diligent for the wealth of his towne, and his people, vnderstanding these tidings of the Turkes armie, did all his diligence to repaire and strengthen the towne. Amongst all other things to build vp, and raise the bulwarke of Auuergne, and to cleanse and make deeper the ditches. And the more to cause the workemen to haste them in their businesse, the sayd lord ouersawe them twise or thrise euery day.

How the lord great master counselled with the lordes for prouision of the towne.

Sir Iohn Bourgh the English Turcoplier. Then the sayd reuerend lord thought to furnish and store the towne with more vitailes for the sustenance thereof, and for the same many times hee spake with the lordes that had the handling and rule of the treasurie, and of the expenses thereof in his absence, and since his comming: That is to wit, with the great Commander Gabriel de pommerolles, lieutenant of the sayd lord: The Turcoplier Sir Iohn Bourgh of the English nation: and the Chancellor Sir Andrew de Meral, of whom is spoken afore and of his vntruth agaynst his religion. The which three lordes sayd, that hee should take no thought for it, for the towne was well stored with vitailes for a great while, and that there was wheate ynough till new came in: Notwithstanding it were good to haue more, or the siege were laied afore the towne, and therefore it were behoouefull to send for wheate and other necessaries into the West for succours of the towne, and at that time to puruey for euery thing.

Of the prouision for vitailes and ordinance of warre.

As touching the store and ordinance of warre, the sayd lordes affirmed that there was ynough for a yeere and more, whereof the contrary was found, for it failed a moneth or the citie was yeelded. It is of trueth that there was great store, and to haue lasted longer then it did. But it was needful to spend largely at the first comming of the enemies to keepe them from comming neere, and from bringing earth to the ditches sides as they did. And moreouer you are to consider the great number of them, and their power that was spred round about the towne, giuing vs so many assaults and skirmishes in so many places as they did, and by the space of sixe whole moneths day and night assailing vs, that much ordinance and store was wasted to withstand them in all points. And if it failed, it was no maruell. Howbeit the noble lord great master, prouided speedily for it, and sent Brigantines to Lango, to the castle of saint Peter, and to the castels of his isle Feraclous and Lyndo, for to bring powder and saltpeter to strength the towne, but it suffised not.

And for to speake of the purueiance of vitailes, it was aduised by the lord great master and his three lords, that it was time to send some ships for wheat to places thereabout, before the Turks hoste were come thither. And for this purpose was appointed a ship named the Gallienge, whose captaine hight2 Brambois, otherwise called Wolfe, of the Almaine nation, an expert man of the sea, the which made so good diligence, that within a moneth he performed his voiage, and brought good store of wheat from Naples and Romania,3 which did vs great comfort.

2 The participle of the Anglo–Saxon verb Hatan, to call:

“Full carefully he kept them day and night;

In fairest fields, and Astrophel he hight.”

SPENSER Astrophel i., 6.

3 The territory around Rome, not Roumania.

How a Brigantine was sent to Candie for wine, and of diuers ships that came to helpe the towne.

After this, a motion was made to make prouision of wine for the towne, for the men of Candie durst not saile for to bring wine to Rhodes as they were woont to doe for feare of the Turkes hoste: and also they of the towne would send no ship into Candie, fearing to be taken and enclosed with the sayd hoste by the way. Howbeit some merchants of the towne, were willing to haue aduentured themselues in a good ship of the religion, named the Mary, for to haue laden her with wine in Candie. But they could not agree with the three lordes of the treasure, and their let was but for a little thing: and all the cause came of the sayd traitour de Merall, faining the wealth of the treasure: for he intended another thing, and brake this good and profitable enterprise and will of the sayd merchants, seeing that it was hurtfull to the Turke, whose part the said traitour held in his diuelish heart: that notwithstanding, the reuerend lord great master, that in all things from the beginning to the ende, hath alway shewed his good will, and with all diligence and right that might bee requisite to a soueraigne captaine and head of warre, found other expedience, and sent a Brigantine into Candie, in the which he sent a brother sergeant named Anthonie of Bosus, a well sprighted4 man and wise, that by his wisedome wrought so well, that, within a small time he brought fifteene vessels called Gripes, laden with wine, and with them men of warre the which came vnder shadow of those wines, because the gouernours of Candie durst let none of their men goe to the succour of Rhodes for feare of the Turke. And beside those fifteene Gripes came a good ship whose capitaine and owner was a rich yong gentleman Venetian, Messire Iohn Antonio de Bonaldi, which of his good will came with his ship laden with 700. buts of wine to succour the towne with his person and folkes, whose good and lowable will I leaue to the consideration of the readers of this present booke. For hee being purposed to haue had his wines to Constantinople, or he was enformed of the busines of Rhodes, and was in the porte du Castell in Candie, would not beare his vitailes to the enemies of the faith, but came out and returned his way toward Rhodes, forgetting all particular profite and aduantage. He being arriued at Rhodes, dispatched and sold his wine, which was a great encrease and comfort for the towne. And when he had so done, he presented his person, his ship, and his folke, to the reuerend great master, the which retained him, and set him in wages of the Religion. And during the siege, the sayd capitaine behaued him woorthily in his person, and put himselfe in such places as woorthy men ought to be, spending his goods largely without demanding any paiment or recompense for his doing, of the Religion.

4 Loyal.

How the corne was shorne downe halfe ripe and brought into the towne for feare of the Turkes hoste.

During these things, the reuerend lord great master carefull and busie to haue euerything necessary, as men and other strengths, sent vessels called brigantines, for to cause the wafters of the sea to come vnto Rhodes for the keeping and fortifying of the towne, the which at the first sending came and presented their persons and ships to the seruice of the religion.

Haruest in April and May. After that the sayd lord caused to shere downe the Rie of his isle, and caused it to bee brought into the towne, which was done in Aprill: and then in May in some places, he made to shere the wheate halfe ripe, howbeit the most part was left in the fields, because the Turkes hoste was come out of the streights of Constantinople. And doubting that any number of ships should come before to take the people of the sayd Isle vnawares, the sayd lord made them to leaue shering of wheate, and caused the people of the furthest part of the Isle to come into the towne.

While that the great master prouided for all things after the course of time and tidings that hee had, there arriued a Carak of Genoa laden with spicerie from Alexandria, the which passed before the port of Rhodes the eight day of Aprill, and rid at anker at the Fosse, 7. or 8. miles from the towne, for to know and heare tidings of the Turkish hoste. Then the lord willing to furnish him with people as most behoouefull for the towne, sent a knight of Prouence named sir Anastase de sancta Camilla, commander de la Tronquiere to the captaine of the Carak, praying him to come into the hauen with his ship for the defence of the towne, profering him what he would, assuring him ship. The captaine excused him, saying, that the merchandise was not his owne, but belonged to diuers merchants to whom he must yeeld account. Howbeit at the last after many words and promises to him made hee came into the hauen, the which captaine was named messire Domingo de Fournati, and hee in his person behaued him valiauntly in the time of the sayd siege.

How the great master caused generall musters to be made, and sent a vessell to the Turkes nauie, of whom he receiued a letter.

After the moneth of April the lord master seeing that the Turkes hoste drew neere, and that he had the most part of the wafters within the towne, he caused generall musters of men of armes to be made. And began at the knights, the which vpon holy Rood day in May made their musters, before the Commissioners ordained by the sayd lord in places deputed to each of them called Aalberge. The which Commissioners made report to the lordes that they had found the knights in good order of harnesse and other things necessary for warre, and their araie faire and proper, with crosses on them. When the muster of the knights was done, the lord master thought to make the musters of them of the towne, and strangers together: but his wisedome perceiued that harme should come thereby, rather then good, doubting, that the number of people should not bee so great as he would, or needed to haue, whereof the great Turke might haue knowledge by goers and commers into Rhodes, and therefore he caused them of the towne to make their musters seuerall by bandes and companies, and the strangers also by themselues, to the end that the number should not bee knowen, notwithstanding that there was good quantitie of good men and well willing to defend themselues. And the more to hearten and giue them courage and good will, some knights of the Crosse, decked their men with colours and deuises, and tooke with them men of the towne and strangers, and with great noyse of trumpets and timbrels, they made many musters, as enuying each other which should keepe best aray and order, and haue the fairest company. It was a great pleasure to see them all so well agree, and so well willing.

The number of the men of the towne amounted and were esteemed, three, or foure thousand, beside men of the villages that might be 1500. or 2000.

The eight day of the same moneth, the Turkes hearing of those tidings, made a fire for a token in a place called le Fisco, in the maine land right against Rhodes. And certaine dayes afore they had made another, that is to weet, when the ship of a knight named Menetow went thither, and had with him the clarke of the gallies named Iaques truchman, the which vnder shadow to speake with him, was withholden of the Turkes. For the great Turke had commanded to take him or some other man of the Rhodes to haue perfect knowledge in what estate the towne was then in euery thing. And they of the towne weening that the second fire was for to deliuer Iaques, the reuerend lord great master sent one of his galliasses, whose patron was called messire Boniface of Prouence, to know the cause thereof. And when hee arriued at the sayd place of le Fisco, he demaunded of the Turkes wherefore they had made the token of fire. And they said that it was because their lord had sent a letter to the great master, but as yet it was not come, and desired him to tary till it were brought. The patron as warie and wise in the businesse of the sea, thought in himselfe that the Turkes made such prolonging to some euill intent, or to surprise his vessell being alone, wherefore hee bade them giue him the letter speedily, or els he would goe his way, and neither tary for letter nor other thing: and told them of the euill and dishonest deed that they had done the dayes afore, to withhold the clarke vnder their words and safeconduct: and therewith he turned his galliasse to haue gone away. The Turkes seeing that, gaue him the letter, the which he tooke, and when he was arriued at Rhodes, he presented it to the lord great master, which assembled the lordes of his counsell, and made it to be red. The tenor whereof was such as foloweth.

The copie of the letter that the great Turke sent to the Iord great master, and to the people of the Rhodes.

Sultan Solyman Basha by the grace of God, right mightie emperor of Constantinople, and of himselfe holding both the lands of Persia, Arabia, Syria, Mecha, and Ierusalem; of Asia, Europe, Aegypt, and of all the Sea, lord and possessor: To the reuerend father lord Philip, great master of Rhodes, to his counsailors, and to all the other citizens great and small, greeting. Sending conuenient and worthy salutations to your reuerances, wee giue you to weet, that we haue receiued your letters sent vnto our imperiall maiestie by George your seruant, the tenor whereof we doe well vnderstand: and for this occasion we send vnto you this our present commaundement, to the end that we will that ye know surely how by our sentence we will haue that Isle of Rhodes for many damages and euill deeds which we haue, and heare from day to day of the sayd place done to vs and our subiects, and ye with your good will shall hold it of vs and doe vs obeisance, and giue the citie to mine imperiall maiestie. And we sweare by God that made heauen and earth, and by 26000. of our prophets, and by the 4. Misafi that fell from the skies, and by our first prophet Mahomet, that if ye doe vs homage, and yeeld you with good will vpon these othes, all you that will abide in the sayd place, great and small, shall not need to feare perill nor damage of mine imperiall maiestie, neither you, your goods, nor your men: and who so will goe to any other place with his goods and houshold, may so doe, and who so will dwell and inhabits in any other places vnder mine Imperiall maiestie, may remaine where they like best, without feare of any person. And if there bee any of the principals and woorthy men among you that is so disposed, wee shall giue him wages and prouision greater then hee hath had. And if any of you will abide in the sayd isle, yee may so doe after your auncient vsages and customes, and much better. And therefore if that Imperiall maiestie, or els know yee that wee will come vpon you with all prouisions of warre, and thereof shall come as it pleaseth God. And this wee doe, to the end that ye may know, and that ye may not say, but we haue giuen you warning. And if ye doe not thus with your good will, wee shall vault and vndermine your foundations in such maner, that they shalbe torne vpside downe, and shal make you slaues, and cause you to die, by the grace of God, as we haue done many, and hereof haue ye no doubt. Written in our court at Constantinople the first day of the moneth of Iune.

How the Turkes came to land in the Isle of Lango, and were driuen to their ships againe by the Prior of S. Giles.

When the lord great master and his counsell had heard the tenor of the letter, they would giue none answere to the great Turke, but that he should be receiued with good strokes of artillerie. So that to a foolish demaund behooued none answere. And it was very like that he would haue nothing. For sixe dayes after, that was the 14. day of the said moneth of Iune, the Brigantines that went toward Sio to know of the said armie, came againe and sayd, that of a trueth the said armie was comming; and that nigh to Lango an Isle of the religion, and 100. mile from Rhodes, they had seene and told 30. sailes that were most part gallies and fustes: the which vessels set men on land in the isle of Lango. Then the prior of S. Giles, Messire pre Iohn de Bidoux commander of the said place, taried not long from horsebacke with his knights and people of the isle, and he met so well with the Turkes, that he droue them to their ships, and slew a certaine number of them: and of the side of Pre Iohn some were hurt, and his horse was slaine. When the enemies were entered into their gallies, they went to a place called castle Iudeo on the maine land, betweene the sayd isle of Lango and the castle of S. Peter.

How part of the nauie and armie of the great Turke came before the citie of Rhodes.

The 18. day of the said moneth of Iune, these 30. gallies went from the sayd place, and passed, by the Cape of Crion, entering the gulfe of Epimes beside Rhodes, and were discouered from the shade of the hill of Salaco, a castle in the isle of Rhodes. On the morrow they came out of the gulfe by plaine day, and sailing along by the coasts, they entered into a hauen on maine land called Malfata, where they abode three dayes. Then they went from thence, and returned to the gulfe of Epimes, where they abode two dayes and two nights.

The 24 day of the same moneth they issued out of Epimes, and trauersing the chanell, they came to the yle of Rhodes in a place before a castle called Faues, and they went to land, and burnt a great field of corne the same day, which was the feast of S. Iohn Baptist our patron. The guard of a castle named Absito in the yle of Rhodes discouered and spied the great hoste, and in great haste brought word to the lord master, and sayd that the sayd hoste, that was in so great number of sailes that they might not be numbred, was entered into the gulfe of Epimes. The 30 sailes that lay in the yle arose in the night, and went to the sayd hoste in the gulfe.

The 26 day of Iune the sayd great hoste arose and went out of Epimes an houre after the sun rising, and trauersing the chanell, they came to a place called the Fosse, eight miles from the towne. And the 30 first sailes turned backe toward the cape of S. Martin and other places to watch for ships of Christian men, if any passed by to Rhodes. The great hoste abode still till noone or one of the clocke, and then arose, not all, but about 80 or 100 ships, as gallies, galliasses, and fusts: and passed one after another before the towne and hauen of Rhodes three miles off, and came to shore in a place nigh to land, called Perambolin, sixe miles from the towne. In the which place the sayd hoste abode from that time to the end of that vnhappy siege.

The number and names of the vessels that came to besiege Rhodes.

The number of the ships were these: 30 galliasses, 103 gallies, aswell bastards as subtill mahonnets, 15 taffours, 20 fusts, 64 great ships, sixe or seuen gallions, and 30 galleres, besides the nauy that waited for Christain men, if any came to succour vs. These were the vessels that came at the first to lay the siege. And sith that sayd host came out of Perambolin, there came from Syria 20 other sailes, aswell gallies as fusts. And many other ships came sith, and ioyned with the sayd army in the time of the sayd siege. And it was sayd that there were 400 sailes and moe.

The same day that part of the host came to the sayd place, the reuerend lord great master ordeined a great brigandine to send into the West, to certifie our holy father the pope, and the Christian princes how the Turks army was afore Rhodes. And in the sayd vessel he sent two knights, one a French man named Sir Claude Dansoyuille called Villiers, and Sir Loys de Sidonia a Spaniard: and they went to the pope and to the emperour.

After the comming of the Turks nauy into the sayd place, if was 14 or 15 dayes or they set any ordinance on land, great or small, or any quantity of men came on shore, whereof we marueiled. And it was tolde vs by some that came out of the campe, and also by the spies that the lord great master had sent abroad arayed as Turks that they, abode the commandement of their great lord, vntill the hoste by land were come into the campe. Howbeit there came some number for to view the towne, but they went priuity, for the ordinance of the towne shot without cease.

All this while the gallies and galliasses went and came to land, bringing vitaile and people. At the which ships passing nigh the town, were shot many strokes with bombards, which made some slaughter of our enemies: and when the most part of them was past, they began to set ordinance on the land with great diligence. Then the lord great master departed from his palace, and lodged him nigh a church called The victory, because that place was most to be doubted: and also that at the other siege5 the great businesse and assault was there.

5 This refers to the siege of Rhodes in 1480, by Mohammed II., the conqueror of Constantinople.

How the lord great master made his petition before the image of S. Iohn, and offered him the keyes of the towne.

The day before were made many predications and sermons, and the last was in the church of S. Iohn Baptist. When the sermon was done, a pontificall Masse was celebrate with all solemnities, and all the reliques taken downe, and the lord great master and all his knights with great deuotions and reuerence heard it. And when the Masse was ended, the lord great master made a pitious oration or prayer before Saint Iohn Baptist his protectour: and aboue all other words, which were too long to tell, he besought him meekly that it would please him to take the keyes of that miserable city. The which keyes he presented and layed vpon the altar before the image, beseeching S. Iohn to take the keeping and protection thereof, and of all the religion, as by his grace he had giuen to him vnworthy, the gouerning vnto that day: and by his, holy grace to defend them from the great power of the enemies that had besieged them.

How the women slaues would haue set fire in the towne.

The eight day of Iuly it was knowen that the Turkish women being slaues and seruaunts in many houses of the towne, had appointed to set fire in their masters houses at the first assault that should be made, to the end that the men should leaue their posterns and defenses to go and saue their houses and goods. And it was found that a woman of Marchopota being a slaue, was first moouer thereof, the which was taken and put to execution.

The same day some of our men went out for to skirmish with the Turkes, and many of them were slaine with shot of our artillerie, and of our men but one.

How the Turkes layd their artillerie about the towne, and of the maner and quantitie of their pieces and gunshot.

The 18. day of Iuly, for the beginning and first day they set vp a mantellet, vnder the which they put three or foure meane pieces, as sacres, wherewith they shot against the posterns of England and Prouence. But the mantellet was soone broken and cast downe, and their pieces destroyed with the shot of the wall, and they that shot them were most part slaine. As this first mantellet was broken, by the great and innumerable people that they had they set all their ordinance on land, and caried it to the places where it should be bent, or nigh thereby.

And the 29. day of the same moneth, they set vp two other mantellets. One beside a church of saint Cosme and Damian, and another toward the West. And from these mantellets they shot great pieces, as Culuerings, double gunnes, and great bombards6 agaynst the wals of England and Spaine, to the which mantellets the ordinance of the towne gaue many great strokes, and often brake them. And the more to grieue the towne and to feare vs, they set vp many other mantellets in diuers places, almost round about the towne, and they were reckoned foure score: the which number was well lessened by the great quantitie of strokes of artillerie shot out of the towne from many places.

The artillerie of the Turkes was such as followeth.

First there were sixe great gunnes, cannons perriers of brasse, that shot a stone of three foote and a halfe: also there were 15. pieces of iron that shot stones of fiue or sixe spannes about. Also there were 14. great bombards that shot stones of eleuen spans about. Also there were twelue basiliskes, whereof they shot but with 8. that is to weet, foure shot agaynst the posterns of England and Spaine, and two against the gate of Italy: the other two shot sometime against Saint Nicholas tower. Also there were 15. double gunnes casting bullets as basiliskes. The meane shot, as sacres and pasuolans, were in great number. The handgunshot was innumerable and incredible. Also there were twelue potgunnes of brasse that shot vpward, whereof eight were set behind the church of S. Cosme and Damian, and two at saint Iohn de la Fontaine toward the port of Italy, and the other two afore the gate of Auuergne, the which were shot night and day: and there were three sorts of them, whereof the greatest were of sixe or seuen spannes about. And the sayd stones were cast into the towne to make murder of people, which is a thing very inhumane and fearefull, which maner of shooting is little vsed amongst christian men. Howbeit by euident myracle, thanked be God, the sayd pieces did no great harme, and slew not past 24. or 25. persons, and the most part women and children, and they began to shoot with, the said pieces from the 19. day of the same moneth, vnto the end of August, and it was accounted that they shot 2000. times more or lesse.

Then the enemies were warned by the Iewe that wrote letters to them of all that was done and sayd in the towne, that the sayd potgunnes did no harme: wherefore they were angry, for they thought that they had slaine the third part of our people: and they were counselled by him to leaue that shooting, for it was but time lost, and pouder wasted, and then they shot no more with them. It is of a trueth that they shot with the sayd potgunnes 12. or 15. times with bullets of brasse or copper, full of wild fire, and when they were in the ayre, they flamed foorth, and in falling on the ground, they brake, and the fire came out and did some harme: But at the last wee knew the malice thereof, and the people was warie from comming neere to them, and therefore they did hurt no more folke.

6 For particulars of the artillery used from the 14th to the 16th Centuries, see Vol. iii, page 207. note.

How the captaine Gabriel Martiningo camee to the succor of Rhodes, and all the slaues were in danger to be slaine.

The 24. day of the same moneth a brigantine arriued that was sent afore into Candie, wherein came a worthy captaine named Gabriel Martiningo with two other captains. And there went to receiue him messieur prou Iohn prior of S. Giles, and the prior of Nauarre. Then after his honourable receiuing as to him well apperteined, they brought him before the lord great master that louingly receiued him, and he was gladly seene and welcommed of the people, as a man that was named very wise and ingenious in feats of warre. Then came a Spaniard renegado from the host, that gaue vs warning of all that was done in the field, and of the approaching by the trenches that our enemies made.

And in likewise there arose a great noise in the towne, that the slaues Turks that wrought for vs in the diches had slaine their keepers, and would haue fled, which was not so. Neuerthelesse, the rumour was great, and they rang alarme: wherefore the sayd slaues comming to prison, as it was ordeined in al the alarmes, were met of the people, which in great anger put them to death: so that there were slaine an hundred and moe the same day. And if the lord great master had not commanded, that none should hurt them, they had bene all slaine, and there were fifteene hundredth of them: which slaues did great seruice in time of the siege: for they laboured dayly to make our defences, and to cast earth out of the ditches, and in all works they were necessary at our needs.

How the great Turke arriued in person before Rhodes.

The 25 day of the sayd moneth many of our men went out for to skirmish in the field and made great murder of Turks, and in likewise did our artillery. And it is to be noted that the 28 day of the same moneth the great Turke in person passed le Fisco a hauen in the maine land with a galley and a fust, and arriued about noone, where his army lay, the which day may be called unhappie for Rhodes. For his comming, his presence and continuall abiding in the fielde is and hath beene cause of the victorie that he hath had. When the gallie that he came in was arriued, all the other shippes of the hoste hanged banners aloft in their toppes and on their sayle yerdes.

Soone after that the Turke was arriued, he went to land, and mounted on his horse, and rode to his pauilion which was in a high place called Megalandra, foure or fiue miles fro the towne but of the danger of the gunne shot. And on the morrow, as it was reported to vs, hee came to a Church nigh the towne called Saint Steuen, for to viewe the Towne and fortresses, whereas they had set vp mantellets for to lay their ordinance.

The last day of Iuly, one of our briganidines went out with a good company of men arrayed as Turkes, and some of them could speake Turkish, and went by night to lande through the Turkes hoste, and demaunded if there were any that would passe ouer into Turkie, that they should haste them to come. The Turkes weening that they had beene of Turkie, there entred a 12. persons, the which were carried to Rhodes, by whom we knew what they did in the campe.

The first day of August the Captaine Gabriel Martiningo was made knight of the order of the religion by the lord great Master, and was made the first auncient of the Italian nation, of the first baliage or priorie that should be vacant. And in the meane season the religion should giue him twelue hundred ducates for pension euery yeere, and the same day he was receiued to the Councell in the roome of a baylife.

The fift day of the sayd moneth our master gunner was slaine with a gunne, which was great losse for vs at that time.

The 15. day of the sayd moneth was knowen and taken for a traitor, Messire Iohn Baptista, the physicion aforesayd, which confessed his euill and diuelish doings, and had his head striken of.

Of the marueiloous mounts that the Turks made afore the towne, and how the capitaines were ordered in the trenches.

After the comming of the great Turke, the enemies began to shoote with ordinance of another sort then they did before, and specially with harquebushes and handguns, and also to make their trenches and approches. And also they did more diligence then afore, to bring the earth nigh the towne with spades and pickaxes. And it is to weet, that they mooued the earth from halfe a mile off, and there were shot out of the towne innumerable strokes with ordinance against the sayd earth, and innumerable quantitie of people hid behind the sayd earth, were slaine. Neuerthelesse they neuer left working till they had brought it to the brimmes of the ditches: and when it was there, they raised it higher and higher in strengthning it behind. And in conclusion the sayd earth was higher then the wals of the towne by 10. or 12. foote, and it seemed a hill. And it was agaynst the gate of Auuergne and Spaine, and beat our men that were at the gates and bulwarks, in such wise, that none durst be seene till certaine defences and repaires were made of plankes and boards to couer our people and keepe them from the shot. And at the gate of Italy was made such another heape, and in none other part.

When the trenches were thus made to the ditches, the enemies made holes in the wals of the ditch outward: wherethorow they shot infinitely with handgunnes at our men aswell on the walles as on the bulwarks, and slew many of them. Then the bashas and captaines entred into the trenches, ech to his place after their order and dignity: that is to wit, Mustafa Basha as chiefe captaine entred the trench direct to the bulwarke of England with his people and captaines vnder him. Pery Bassha went to the trenches against the gate of Italy with his folkes and captaines vnder him. Acmek Bassha was in the trenches of Auuergne and Spaine with the Aga of the Ianizaires and the Beglarby of Romany with him. The Beglarby of Natolia was in the trenches of Prouence. Allibey was with his company against the gardins of saint Anthony on the North side, and diuers other captaines with him, and set his ordinance against the wall of the gate of Almaine, which was but weake, and set vp seuen mantellets by the milles toward the West: and by the space of eight or nine dayes they beat vpon the same wall; which put vs in great feare, if they had continued. Howbeit the noble lord great master forthwith caused repairs to be made within, and planks and tables to be set to fortifie the sayde weake wall: and abode there from the morning til night, to cause it to be the more hasted. The artillery of the gate of Almaine, and the Massif of the gate of the campe and of the palais beat so sore and so often vpon the sayd mantellets that it wearied the enemies to make and repaire them so often: and they tooke vp the pieces, and bare them away. And also they could not well beat the sayd wall because the brimmes of the ditch without were almost as hie as the wall that they beat. But or they bare the artillery away, they beat the steeple of S. Iohns church so, that the most part was broken and cast downe. The foresayd mantellets were appointed to beat S. Nicholas tower, and by the space of ten or twelue dayes they shot sore against it: but they had so sharpe and vigorous answere, that there was not one mantellet that abode whole an houre. The captaine of the sayd tower and his folke did such diligence and businesse in shooting off their pieces, that the enemies durst set up no more mantellets by day, nor shoot no more but onely by night, while the Moone did shine, which is a thing worthy of memory, of maruaile, and of praise. At the last when they had beaten against the sayd tower a certaine time, seeing that it furthered nothing, they tooke their ordinance from thence, and bare it where they thought best.

During the shot in the sayd place, the other captaines were not idle nor in a sleepe, but without cease night and day they beat the wall of England and Spaine, and set foureteene mantellets against it, shooting great bombards, whereof some of the stones were fiue or sixe spannes about, and some other of nine or ten: and within a moneth and lesse they cast downe the wall almost euen smooth with the Barbican. And when the sayd wall was so beaten, they set to beat the bulwarke of Spaine for to raise the defences: and in their trenches they set three great bombards, which shot stones of eleuen spannes in compasse, and with the sayd pieces they beat the sayd bulwarke and wall in such wise, that they made great bracks, and the stones and earth that fell, serued the enemies for ladders, so that they might come upon the plaine ground. In like sort they raised the defences from the height of the bulwarke at the posterne of Prouence, and set three great pieces on the brimme of the ditch, which shot stones of eleuen spannes against the wall, and within a while they made a breach as at the posterne of Spaine. The artillery of the towne did shoot without cease against the mantellets, and brake many of them, but they made other as it is said in the nights. For they had all things that belonged to them, and needed. And out of the posterne of England was shot a gunne that brake downe one of the sayde mantellets, and hit upon one of the pieces, and slew foure or fiue men, and bare away both the legs of the master of the ordinance, which died soone after: whereof the great Turke was very ill content, and sayd that he had rather haue lost one of his basshas or captaines then the sayd master. Also it is to be knowen that there were three or foure mantellets addressed against the plain ground of Italy, and by continuall beating of shot that they made, there was also a breach, and by the earth and stones that were fallen, they might come vp to it.

Of the politike repaires and defences that the ingenious captaine Gabriel Martiningo, made within the towne against the breaches in the walles.

The captaine Gabriel Martiningo, prompt, diligent, and expert to giue remedies to the needful places, foorthwith caused to make the trauerses vpon the wall whereas the breach was, with good repaires, and gunnes small and great which were set in the sayd trauerses, the which shot not onely at the breaches but to the trenches, and made great murder of enemies aswell at the assaults that they made as otherwhiles. And beside the trauerses, the sayd captaine planted small artillery, as harquebushes, and handgunnes vpon certaine houses within the towne, that stood open against the breach, with good repaires: and from that place great slaughter of Turks was made at the assaults. Also it is of trueth that beside the sayd mantellets that shot against the wall of England and Spaine with great bombards, were two mantellets in an hie place toward the way to the gardin of Maunas, in the which were certaine double gunnes, as basilisks with holow stones and wild fire in them, which shot against the wall into the towne at all auentures for to make murder of people: howbeit, thanked be God, they did no great harme but to the houses.

After these great and terrible beatings, and that the enemies had way to mount vpon the towne walles, and come to hand with vs by trauersing of their trenches to the fallen earth within the breach more surely, and without hurt of our gunshot, shooting, thorow holes that they made in the walles of the ditch without, they cast vp much stone and earth, because it should couer them from the shot of the bulwarke of Auuergne. And also they shot feruently against the bulwarke of Spaine, for to raise the defences, of the which at the last they raised the most part, reseruing only a few gunners below in the mine of the sayd bulwarke, which litle or nothing damaged them. And this is touching the gunshot, whereof I say not the third part, because it is a thing incredible to them that haue not seene it. For some dayes they shot with those great bombards that were on the brimme of the ditch, and from the mantellets bent against the wall of England and Spaine 20 or 30 times and more. And I beleeue verily that since the creation of the world such artillery, and so great quantity was neuer bent and layed before any towne as hath bene against Rhodes at this siege. Wherefore it is no maruell if the walles be and haue bene beaten downe, and if there be breaches and clifts in many places.

Of the mines that the Turks made: and how they ouerthrew part of the bulwarke of England.

And because as it is sayd before, that the greatest hope that the enemies had to get the towne of Rhodes, was by mining, therefore now after that I haue spoken of the gunshot and beatings, I shall shew of the mines that the Turks made, the which were in so great quantity, and in so many places, that I beleeue the third part of the towne was mined: and it is found by account made, that there were about 60 mines, howbeit, thanked be God, many of them came not to effect, by occasion of the countermines that they within made, and also trenches that the right prudent lord the great master caused to be made deepe within the ditches, vnto two or three foot of water. The which trenches and certaine pits that he had caused in the sayd ditches to be wrought, or the host arriued, serued right well since: for night and day there were men in them to watch and hearken when the enemies mined, for to meet them and cut their way, as was done many times.

And for to speake of the mines that had effect, and damaged vs, it is to wit, that the fourth day of September, about foure houres after noone, the enemies put fire in two mines, one was betweene the posterne of Spaine and Auuergne, which did no hurt but to the Barbican. The other was at the bulwarke of England, which was so fell and strong, that it caused most part of the town to shake, and cast down a great part of the sayd bulwarke at the spring of the day: and by the earth and stones that fell into the ditches, the enemies came vpon the bulwarke with their banners, and fought sore and mightily with our men, not with hands, but with shot handgunnes. The lord great master that was come 15 dayes or more with his succours to the sayd bulwarke, went with his company to helpe them that fought After that they had fought the space of two or three houres, the enemies repelled and driuen backe by our men from the sayd bulwarke, and beaten with ordinance on euery side, withdrew them with their losse, shame, and damage. A thousand and more Turkes slaine before the English bulwarke. And this was the first victory that our lord gaue vs, and there abode of our enemies a thousand and more.

When this assault was done, they, made another at the breach in the wall of Spaine, and mounted vpon it, but the ordinance of the trauerses of the walles and of the houses made so faire a riddance, that they were very willing to withdraw themselues: for at the retreat, and also at their comming the sayd ordinance of the bulwarke did them great damage, albeit that they had made some repaire of earth. Of our men died that day 25 or there about, as well knights as other. And the same day in the morning departed out of this world Gabriel de Pomerolles lieutenant to the lord master, which on a certaine day before fell from the wall as he went to see the trenches in the ditches, and hurt his breast, and for fault of good attendance he fell into a feuer, whereof he died.

How the Turks assailed the bulwarke of England, and how they were driuen away.

The ninth day of the sayd moneth, at seuen in the morning the enemies put fire in two mines; one at the posterne of Prouence, which had none effect: the other was at the bulwarke of England, which felled another piece nigh to that that was cast downe afore. And the sayd mine, was as fierce as the other, or more, for it seemed that all the bulwarke went downe, and almost all they that were in it ranne away. And when the standard of the religion came into the sayd bulwarke, the enemies were at the breach ready to haue entered: but when they saw the sayd standard, as people lost and ouercome, they went downe againe. Then the artillery of the bulwarke of Quosquino, and of other places, found them well enough, and slew many of them. Howbeit, their captaines made them to returne with great strokes of swordes and other weapons, and to remount vpon the earth fallen from the sayd bulwarke, and pight seuen banners nigh to our repaire. Then our men fought with morispikes and fixed speares against them the space of three whole houres, till at the last they being well beaten with great ordinance and small on euery side withdrew themselues. And of their banners our men gate one, for it was not possible to get any more: for assoone as any of our men went vp on our repaires, he was slaine with small gunnes of the trenches, and holes made in the walles of our ditches. Two thousand Turks slaine at the Englis bulwarke. And there was slaine of our enemies that day at the assault 2000 of meane men, and three persons of estate, which lay dead along in the ditch, with faire and rich harnesse. And it was reported to us from the campe, they were three saniacbeis, that is to say, great seneshalles or stuards. And of Christian men of our part abode about thirty persons. And this was the second victory giuen to us by the grace diuine.

How Sir Iohn Bourgh Turcoplier of England was slaine at an assault of the English bulwarke.

The 17 day of the same moneth, about midday, the enemy came againe to giue another assault to the sayd bulwarke, at the same place aforesayd, without setting of fire in mines, and brought fiue banners with them, nigh to the repaires. Then was there strong fighting on both parts, and there were gotten two of their banners, of the which sir Christopher Valdenare, that time Castelaine of Rhodes, gate one: the other was in the hands of Sir Iohn Bourgh Turcoplier of England, chiefe captaine of the succours of the sayd posterne of England, a valiant man and hardy: and in holding of it he was slaine with the stroke of a hand-gunne, which was great damage. The sayd banner was recouered by one of our men. And after long fighting on both sides, the enemies seeing that they got nothing but stripes, returned into their trenches. At the sayd fray the lord prior of S. Giles pre Iohn was hurt thorow the necke with a handgun, and was in great danger of death, but he escaped and was made whole. The same day, and the same houre of the sayd assault, the enemies mounted to the breach in the wall of Spaine, and came to the repaires to the handes of our men, and fought a great while: but the great quantity of artillery that was shot so busily and so sharply from our trauerses on ech side, and out of the bulwarks of Auuergne and Spaine, skirmished them so well, that there abode as many at that assault as at the other of England, well neere to the number of 5000. And they withdrew themselues with their great losse and confusion, which was the third time that they were chased and ouercome; thanked be our Lord, which gaue vs the force and power so to doe, for they were by estimation a hundred against one.

Also the 22 day of the same moneth of September they fired a mine betweene Italy and Prouence, which did no harme.

Of the terrible mine at the posterne of Auuergne.

And the 23 day of the same moneth they fired two mines, one at the posterne of Spaine, and the other by the bulwarke of Auuergne, the which mine by Auuergne was so terrible, that it made all the towne to shake, and made the wall to open from aboue to beneath vnto the plaine ground; howbeit, it fell not, for the mine had vent or breath in two places, by one of the countermines, and by a rocke vnder the Barbican, the which did cleaue, and by that cleft the fury and might of the mine had issue. And if the sayd two vents had not bene, the wall had bene turned vpside downe. And for truth, as it was reported to vs out of the campe, the enemies had great hope in the sayd mine, thinking that the wall should haue bene ouerthrowen, and then they might haue entered into the towne at their pleasures: but when they saw the contrary, they were very ill pleased. And the captaines determined to giue assault at foure places at once, to make vs the more adoo, and to haue an entrance into the towne by one of the foure. And the sayd day and night they ceased not to shoot artillery: and there came in hope of the mine threescore thousand men and moe into the trenches.

How the bulwarke of Spaine was lost, and woone againe.

The 24 day of the same moneth, a little before day, they gaue assault at the breach of Spaine, to the bulwarke of England, to the posterne of Prouence, and at the plaine ground of Italy, all at one houre and one time. The first that mounted to the breach of Spaine, was the Aga of the Ianissaries, a valiant man, and of great courage with his company, and bare three score or three score and tenne banners and signes, and pight them in the earth of the breach, and then fought with our men, and mounted on our repaires, making other maner of fray and more rigorous then the other that were passed, and the sayd skirmish lasted about sixe houres. And forthwith, as the assault was giuen, a great sort of Turks entred into the bulwarke of Spaine, and set vp eight or nine signes or banners vpon it, and droue our men out, I can not tell how, vnwares or otherwise. And they were lords of it three houres and more. Howbeit there were of our men beneath in the mine of the sayd bulwarke, the which bulwarke so lost, gaue vs euill hope. But incontinently the lord great master being at the defence of the posterne of England, hauing knowledge of the sayd losse, and that there was great fighting and resistance on both sides at the breach of Spaine, marched thither with the banner of the crucifix, leauing the charge of the sayd bulwarke in the hands of the bailife de la Moree messieur Mery Combant. And the lord mounted on the wall of Spaine, whereas then began a great skirmish, and euery man layed his handes to worke, as well to put the enemies out of the breach, as to recouer the bulwarke that was lost. And the sayde lord sent a company of men into the bulwarke by the gate of the mine, or by the Barbican, the which entred at the sayd gate, and went vp, where they found but few Turkes. For the artillery of the posterne of England, right against the bulwarke of Spaine, had so well met and scattered them, that within a while our men had slaine all them that were left. And thus the sayde bulwarke was gotten and recouered againe, and with all diligence were made new repaires and strengths to the sayd place. And in like sort, the enemies were put from the breach, and few of them escaped, and all their banners and signes were left with vs. Surely it may be sayd, that after the grace of God (the trauerses of Spaine and Auuergne, and the small artillery set on the houses right against the sayd breaches, as it is sayd, with the comming and presence of the lord great master) hath giuen vs this dayes victory.

As touching the murder of the people, done by the artillery of the bulwarkes of England and Spaine, the quantity was such that a man could not perceiue nor see any ground of the ditches. And the stench of the mastifs carions was so grieuous, that we might not suffer it seuen or eight dayes after. And at the last, they that might saue themselues did so, and withdrew themselues to the trenches: and the reuerend lord great master abode victorious of the sayd place, and in like sort of the other three assaults, the which were but little lesse then that of Spaine, for they fought long. But in conclusion, the enemies beaten on all sides, and in so many sorts, with artillery were put backe, and vanquished, that there died that day at all the foure places fifteene or sixteene thousand. And the slaughter was so great at the plaine Italy, of the cursed enemies, that the sea was made redde with their blood. And on our side also died to the number of an hundred men or more. And of men of dignity in the towne, hauing charge, died Sir Francis de Fernolz, commander of Romania, which Sir Francis was chiefe captaine of the great ship of Rhodes, and he was slaine at the plaine of Italy, wounded with two strokes of harquebushes: it was great dammage of his death, for he was a worthy man, perfect, and full of vertues. There died also messieur Nastasy de Sancta Camilla aforenamed, hauing two hundred men vnder him of the lord great masters succours. There died also diuers other worthy men that day, and many were maimed. Among all other that lost any member, messier Iohn de le Touz called Pradines, being at the sayd bulwarke, with a stroke of artillery had his arme smitten away, in great danger to haue lost his life; howbeit by the helpe of God he died not. Sir Will. Weston captaine of the English posterne hurt. In like sort the same day was hurt Sir William Weston abouesayd, captaine of the posterne of England, and had one of his fingers stricken away with an harquebush: which knight behaued himselfe right woorthily at all the assaults.

Of the Turkes part, of great men, were two principall captaines slaine vnder the Aga of the Ianissaries, and another captaine that was come out of Surey to the campe certeine dayes before, with sixe hundred Mamelukes, and two or three thousand Moores. And of them that were hurt of great men the Beglarby of Natolia had a stroke with an arrow as he was in the trench of Prouence. And many other were wounded, whose names be not rehearsed here, because of shortnesse.

How the great Turke for anger that he could not get the towne, would haue put his chiefe captaine to death, and how they made 11 mines vnder the bulwarke of England.

During this assault, the great Turke was by his pauillion in a place that he had caused to be made, and saw all the businesse, and how his people were so sharpely put backe, and the victory lost on his side, and was very sore displeased, and halfe in despaire: and he sent for Mustafa Basha with whom he was angry, and chid him bitterly, saying that he had caused him to come thither, and had made him to beleeue that he should take the towne in fifteene dayes, or a moneth at the furthest and he had beene there already three moneths with his army, and yet they had done nothing. And after these wordes he was purposed to put him to death in the campe: but the other Bashas shewed him that he ought not to do iustice in the land of his enemies, for it would comfort them and giue them courage. Whereby he did moderate his anger, and left him for that time, and thought to send him to Cairo, least the people there would rebell, by occasion of the captain of Cairo which died a few dayes before. Howbeit he departed not so suddenly, and or he went he thought to assay it he might do some thing for to please the Turke, aswell for his honour as to saue his person, and was marueuous diligent to make mines at the bulwarke of England for to ouerthrow it. And by account were made 11 mines aswell to the sayd bulwarke as elsewhere, beside them spoken of before, and that they had fired. But the most part of the sayd mines came to no proofe though they put fire in them, and many were met with countermines, and broken by our men by the good diligence and sollicitude of sir Gabriel Du-chef, steward of the house of the lord great master, which had the charge of the sayd countermines at the same bulwarke. In the which businesse he behaued himselfe well and worthily, and spared not his goods to cause the people to worke and trauell, but spent thereof largely.

How the Turks were minded to haue gone their way, and of the traitours within the towne, and of many great assaults.

The Turks seeing that by mining they were nothing furthered, nor might not come to their intentions, and hauing but small store of gunpowder, were in deliberation and minde to haue raised the siege, and gone their way. And in deed some of them bare their cariages toward the shippes: and also certaine number of people went out of the trenches with their standards straight to the ships. And it was written vnto vs from the campe how the Ianissaries and other of the host would fight no more: and that they were almost all of one opinion for to go away, saue some of the captaines of the foresayd Mustafa Bassha or Acmek Bassha. And in the meane season the false traitours that were in the towne wrote letters to the campe, giuing them knowledge of all that was sayd and done among vs. And also an Albanese fled to the enemies campe, and warned them not to go, for the gunshot was nigh wasted, and that the most part of the knights and people should be theirs shortly.

In like sort then wrote the abouesayd Chanceller Sir Andrew de Merall, whose treason as then was not knowen: but when it commeth to the effect of his treason, I shall shew the knowledge that he gaue to the enemies at diuers times.

When the bashas and captaines of the hoste vnderstood the sayd warnings, they all purposed for to tary, and caused those tidings of the towne to be knowen ouer all the army. And beganne againe to shoot artillery faster then euer they did, for new shot was come into the campe. Then Mustafa Bassha being in despaire that he could do nothing by mines, by gunshot, nor by assaults, he being ready to depart for to goe into Surey by the great Turkes commandement, before his departing hee thought once againe to assay his aduenture, and made three assaults three dayes together. The first was on a Saturday the fourth day of October an houre before night. The other on Sunday in the morning. And the third on Munday after dinner. And the sayd three assaults were made to the bulwarke of England. And it was assailed but with stones and bagges full of artificiall fire. And at these three assaults many of our men were hurt with the sayd fire, and with the stones that came as thicke as raine or haile. But in the end the enemies got nothing but strokes, and returned into their trenches euill contented, and murmuring, and sware by their Mahomet that Mustafa Bassha shoulde not make them to mount any more to the sayd bulwarke. And that it was great folly for them to cause them to be slaine at the will and fantasie of one man. These wordes sayd in Greeke by some of the enemies were heard of our men as they went downe from the bulwarke. And because (as it is sayd) that the enemies at the assaults that were made, came vp by the earth and stones that fell from the breaches, some of our men aduised to clense the barbican, and take the earth out of the ditch, to the end that the enemies should not easily come vpon the wall. And in effect weening that it were well and behoouefull to be done, by great diligence night and day by mines they voided the barbican, and the most part of the earth that lay in the ditch was brought into the towne, the which was hurtfull afterward, and was cause that the enemies got the foot of the wall. Notwithstanding, they had it but scarsely. But this cleansing furthered the time, and caused them to get it sooner then they should haue done if the earth had lien still: but their finall intent was to raise the defence of the bulwarks, and then passe at their pleasure, and enter into the barbican, as they haue done: for the enemies seeing that the barbican was clensed, thought to get into it by the trenches, and so they did, howbeit they were certaine dayes letted by our handgun shot The enemies seeing, that they might not come neere it, couered their trenches with tables to saue themselues: and then they made a mine whereby they might goe to the barbican. So by these two meanes, afterward they were repaired with earth and with a certaine wall that they made for to eschew the shot of the bulwarks of Auuergne and Spain: and in the mine they found but two gunners, which they slew by force of men. By this manor they being couered on all parts and without any danger, passed thorow and lept into the barbican, and got the foot of the wall; which was the 17 day of October, an vnhappy day for the poore towne, and occasion of the ruine thereof, and winning of the same.

At this point they slept not, but lightly and with great delight they began to picke and hew the wall. And weening to make remedy therefore, and to finde meanes to driue them from the sayde barbican with engines of fire and barrels of gunpowder, wee slew many of them, but it auailed nothing: for the quantitie and multitude of people that trauelled there was so great, that they cared not for losse of them. And if we had had men enow within the towne, there might haue bene remedy to haue raised them from thence: but considering that our force and totall hope was in people, wee left to doe many things that might haue beene done, and that should haue bene good then and other times also, for fault of men of warre. At the last it was pondred by Sir Gabriel Martiningo, that there was no remedy but to hew the wall for to meet them; and beat them with ordinance and with engins of fire to burne and vndoe them. Then our men began to hew the wall, and made some holes to shoot at the enemies that slept not, but did as wee did, and shot at vs, and indeed they slew and hurt many of our men. Then Sir Gabriel Martiningo ordeined to make repaires within the towne at the front where they did cut the wall, to the end that after the walles were cut, the enemies should know with whom to meet. The trauerses were made on ech side with good artillery great and small: and the sayd trauerses and repaires were of the length that the enemies had cut the wall, and beganne at the massife of Spaine made by the reuerend lord great master Mery d’Amboise, and ended at the church of Saint Saluador. The which trauerses and repaires the vulgar people call the Mandra, that is to say, the field.

The meane time that the repaires and trauerses were made with all diligence, Sir Gabriel Martiningo neuer ceased going to euery place to puruey for all things: and he being on the bulwarke of Spaine to ordeine all things that were needfull, there came a stroke of a handgun from the trenches that smote out his eye, and put him in danger of his life, but thanked be God, he recouered his health within a moneth and a halfe. His hurt came ill to passe, for the need that we had of him that time in all things, and specially to the repaires of the breaches. Neuertheles the lord priour of S. Giles (not ignorant in all such things) with other men expert in warre, attended to the sayd repaires and trauerses, there and elswhere. The enemies on the other side night and day without rest (for the great number of labourers that they had hourely and newly ready) hewed and vndermined the sayd wall.

And the 20 day of October they put fire in the vndermines, weening to haue cast downe the wall, but they could not: then they would haue pulled it downe with great ropes and ancres, but the artillery of the bulwarke of Auuergne brake their ropes, and sent them away lightly.

At the last they made a mine vnder the sayd wall and breach; and the 26 day of the same moneth they did put fire to the same mine, weening to haue ouerthrowen the wall, which it did not, but raised it, and made it to fall almost straight vpright, which was more disaduantage to the enemies then profit. Then they shot artillery at it, which in fewe dayes beat it downe, and they had opening and way to come into the Towne. Neuerthelesse it was not necessary for them as then to enter: for the artillery of our repaires beat them in the forepart, and the artillery lying at the two milles at the posterne of Quosquino, and in that of England, whereas was a basiliske that beat right vpon the breach with other pieces: and therefore the enemies sought other meanes, and beganne to raise the earth betweene our two walles, drawing toward the bulwarke of England on the one side, and toward Auuergne on the other side, and would haue cut the wall further then, our trauerses were for to come in vnbeaten of our artillery. Then were the repaires inlarged and made greater with the wall that was cut, of the height of twelue, and 16 foot in bredth: and so the enemies might goe no further forward, but shot great artillery against our repaires, for to breake and cast them downe, and also they made trenches for to come right to the breach, and vnto the repaires: and certeinly we looked day by day, and houre by houre for to haue some assault. The reuerend lord great master, the which, as it is sayd, had left the bulwarke of England the day that the great assault was made, and since that time he moued not from thence while they hewed the wall, and where as the breach was, because that they were most dangerous and most vnquiet places. And continually the sayd lord kept him behinde the sayd repaires with his knights and men of succours, intentiuely ready and prepared to liue and die, and to receiue his enemies as they ought to bee receiued. And he abode three or foure dayes at the sayd breach, continuing since it was made, vnto the end, fighting with his enemies euery day in great perill of his body: for oftentimes hee put himselfe further in the prease then needed for the danger of his person, but he did it for to hearten and strengthen the courage of his people, being so well willing to defend and die for the faith.

How the enemies assailed the posternes of Prouence and Italy, and how they were driuen away.

By the will of our Lord, the enemies alway in feare and dread, would giue none assault, but continually shot against our repaires, and made trenches for to passe forward into the towne: by the which trenches they shot infinitely with harquebushes and handgunnes, and slew many of our folke, and specially of them that wrought and made the repaires that were broken and crased. And they put vs in such extremity, that we had almost no more slaues nor other labouring people for to repaire that which they brake night and day, which was a great hindrance for us, and the beginning of our perdition. And if we had much to doe in that place, there was not lesse at the gate of Prouence, and at the plaine of Italy: for dayly they were doing either with assault or skirmish, and most at the plaine of Italy. Howbeit by the helpe of our Lorde with the good conducting of the captaine of succours of the same place, the priour of Nauarre, that was prompt and intentiue, and could well incourage his men, the enemies had alway the woorst, and were driuen from the sayde plaine, and from the breach of Prouence.

How the treason of Sir Andrew de Merall was knowen, and of the maraellous assaults that the Turks made.

Vpon these termes and assaults, the treason of the chancellour Sir Andrew de Merall, of whom I spake before, was perceiued: for a seruaunt of his, named Blasie, was found shooting a quarrell of a crossebow with a letter, whereof he was accused to the lord great master, which commanded to take him and examine him by iustice, and he confessed the shot of that letter and of other before, at the commandement of his master: and sayd that he had great acquaintance with the Turks bashas, and that it was not long since he had written a letter, to them, warning them that they should not go, for gunshot began to faile, and the men were wasted by slaying and hurting at the assaults in great quantity: and if they abode still and gaue no more assaults, at the last the towne should be theirs. And diuers other things the seruant sayd of his master, of the which I haue spoken part before at the beginning, and of the warning that he gaue to the great Turke for to come.

But to returne to the plaine of Italy. After many battels and assaults done in the said place, by continuall shot of seuenteene great gunnes that beat the sayde plaine, the repaires and trauerses were almost broken and lost. And by trenches the enemies were come ioining to the breach, and neuer ceased to grate the earth and scrape the earth to cause the repaires and trauerses to fall: and at the last the most part fell downe, and our men were constrained to leaue the sayd plaine, saue a camell that was toward the sea, as it were the third part thereof. Certaine dayes afore the enemies, came to the foot of the plaine, and did cut it and rased the earth, and at the last they passed thorow vnto the towne wall: and anon began to hew and cut as they did at that of Spaine. The lord great master seeing that, anon cast down a part of the church of our Lady de la Victoria, and of an other church of S. Panthalion. And within they began to make the repaires and trauerses as at the place of Spaine, whereto was made extreme diligence, but not such as the lord would, and as was needfull, because there were no labourers for to helpe. After that the enemies had woon the most part of the bulwarke of England and the plaine of Italy, they purposed to make assault to the sayde plaine, and to the breach of Spaine, and to enter into our repaires to winne them for to make an end of vs. And for euer to affeeble the repaires and for to abash vs, the 28 day of Nouember all along the day and night they ceased not to shoot great artillery both from the brimmes of the ditches with those great pieces, casting stones of nine and eleuen foot about, and from the mantellets without. And as it was reckoned, they shot the same day and night 150 times or more against our repaires and trauerses of the wall.

And in the morning the 29 day of the same moneth, the vigill of S. Andrew at the spring of the day, the enemies went thorow the breach with their banners, and entred into the repaires with greater number of people then they did at the great battell in September, hardily and furiously for to fight with vs. But at their comming in, the artillery of the trauerses, and the handgunnes, and the gunshot of the milles found them so well and so sharply, that he that came in, was anon dispatched and ouerthrowen, and there abode aboue 2000 of the Turks slaine. The other that came after seeing their fellowes so euill welcomed, as people that were astonied and lost, they turned againe to their trenches: at whome the artillery of the milles shot victoriously, and hasted them to go apace: and by report from the campe there died sixe thousand or mo that day: the which day might be called very happy, and well fortunate for vs, thanked be God, for there was none that thought to escape that day, but to haue died all, and lost the towne: howbeit, the pleasure of our Lord was by euident miracle to haue it otherwise, and the enemies were chased and ouercome. And it is to be noted that the same day the raine was so great and so strong, that it made the earth to sincke a great deal that they had cast into the ditches, for to couer them from the shot of Auuergne. And the sayd earth being so suncken, the artillery of the sayde bulwarke (vnwares to them) smote them going and comming, and made great murder of the sayd dogges. The sayd day also the enemies came to the plaine of Italy for to assault it; but when they vnderstood that their fellowes had bene put backe so rudely, and with so great slaughter, they were afrayd, and so they returned againe to their trenches.

How the Turks got the plaine ground of Spaine.

And that done, Acmek Basha seeing their businesse euery day goe from woorse to woorse, and that at the assaults were but losse of people, without doing of any good, and that there was no man that willingly would go to it any more, he intended to giue no more assaults but to follow his trenches, and by them enter couertly without losse of a man from the breach to the other end of the towne. Semblably he intended for to winne the plaine earth beside Spaine: the which to get, he came at pleasure to the foot of the wall, and began to beat downe the plaine ground, and to giue many skirmishes and conflicts to our folke that kept it. And there were slaine many good men. And at the last, for default of more helpe and of gunshot, it was left and giuen vp of our men, and so lost. That done, the enemies came thither as in other places. And this is the third place where they came nere to the foot of the wall. And whoso wel considereth in what estate the poore towne was at that time, seeing their enemies haue so great aduantage, might well say, and iudge, that at length it should be taken, and a lost towne.

How a Genouois came to the gate of the towne for to speake for a treaty and deliuerance of the same.

A Few dayes after the saide iourney a Christian man that was in the campe, the which by his speech was a Genouois or Siotis, came to the gate of Auuergne, and demanded to parle, and after that he was demanded what he would haue, he sayd that he had maruell of vs why we would not yeeld our selues, seeing the pitious estate the towne was in: and he as a Christian man counselled vs to yeeld our selues with some agreement; and that if we would looke thereto, that some should be found expedient to do somewhat for our safeguard. And it is very like that he sayd not such words, nor spake so farforth in the matter, without commission from some of the chiefe of the campe, or of the great Turke himselfe. To the which Siotis was answered, that he should go away with an euill hap, and that it needed not to speake of appointment: and that though the enemies had great aduantage, there was yet enough wherewith to receiue and feast them, if they made any assault. These words heard, he went away: and two days after he came again, and demanded to speak with a marchant Genouois of the towne named Mathew de Vra, and he was answered that he which he demanded was sicke, and might not come, but that he should deliuer the letter, and it should be giuen to him. The sayd Siotis sayd nay, and that he would giue it himselfe, and speake with him: and sayd that he had also a letter of the Grand signior, for the lord master. Vpon this he was bidden to go his way: and to set him packing, they shot after him a piece of artillery. The next day after Ballantis Albanese that was fled thorow the breach of Spaine to the campe, came from the sayd Genouois proposing such words, or like as the other had sayd, saying likewise that the Grand signior had sent a letter to the lord master. To whom no words were spoken nor answere made, for the lord great master as wise and prudent considering that a towne that will heare intreatings is halfe lost, defended vpon the paine of death sith that Siotis had spoken these two times, that none should be so hardy to speak nor answere them of the campe, without his knowledge and commandement: but seeing they were such ambassadors, they reported the words of the sayd Albanese, or euer the sayd lord had knowledge of the words of the Siotis. The which words spread thorow the towne put many folke in thought, and would haue vndone that that the Siotis said the which is no maruell whereas is much people, for with good will and most often they regard sooner to saue the liues of them and their children, then they doe to the honour of the residue. Howbeit not one durst speake a word openly of that businesse, but all secretly: and some came and spake to certaine lords of the great crosse for to speake to the lord great master. And in effect some lords spake thereof to him, persuading him that it should be good to thinke thereon, seeing that the towne went to losse. To whom the sayd lord shewed many things for his honour and the Religion: and that no such things ought to be done or thought for any thing in the world, but rather he and they to die. The lords hearing this answere, went their wayes and then returned againe to the sayd lord, aduising him more to thinke well, on all things, and to the saluation of his towne and of his religion. And they said moreouer, that they doubted that the people would rather haue a peace then to die themselues, their wiues and children. The lord seeing that such words were as things inforced, as who should say, if thou do it not, we shall do it as wise men and prudent, willing to make remedies of needfull things by counsell, called the lords of his Councell for to haue aduise in these doings, and other. And when they were assembled, the lord proposed the words that were to him denounced, and sayd: With these terms and wordes came two or three marchants and citizens of the towne that knocked at the doore of the Councell, and presented a supplication to the great master, and lords of the Councel, whereby they required and besought meekely the sayd reuerend lord to haue respect to them and their poore housholds, and to make some appointment with the great Turke, seeing that the sayd matter was already forward in purpose, that he would do it; and that it would please him to consider the pitious and sorrowful estate that the towne was in; and that there was no remedy to saue it: and at the lest way, if the lord would not make appointment, to giue them leaue (of his goodnesse) to haue their wiues and their children out of the Rodes to saue them, for they would not haue them slaine nor made slaues to the enemies. And the conclusion was, that if the sayd lord would not puruey therefore, they would puruey for it themselues. And there was written in the sayd request the names of eight or ten of the richest of the towne. Which words of the sayd supplication being heard, the sayd lord and his councell were abashed and ill content as reason would, seeing that it was but a course game, and thought on many things to make answere to the sayd citizens, for to content and appease them: and also to see if they should intend to the appointment, as they required, and after as the Genouoy had reported: and the better to make the sayd answere, and to know more plainly in what estate the towne was in all things: that is to wit, first of gunpowder, and then of men of warre, and of the batteries. Also were demanded and asked the lord S. Giles pre Iohn, which had the charge of the gunpowder, and then the captaine Sir Gabriel Martiningo, for being ouer their men of warre (as it is said) as to him that knew the truth; if the towne might holde or not, or there were any meanes to saue it. The sayd lord of S. Giles arose, saying and affirming vpon his honour and his conscience that almost all the slaues and labourers were dead and hurt, and that scantly there were folke enow to remoue a piece of artillery from one place to another, and that it was vnpossible without folke any more to make or set vp the repaires the which euery day were broken and crushed by the great, furious, and continuall shot of the enemies artillery. As for gunpowder the sayd lord sayd, that all that was for store in the towne, was spent long agone, and that which was newly brought, was not to serue and furnish two assaults. And he seeing the great aduantage of the enemies being so farre within the towne, without powder to put or chase them away, for default of men, was of opinion that the towne would be lost, and that there was no meanes to saue it. The words of the sayd lord finished, the captaine Gabriel Martiningo for his discharge sayd and declared to the reuerend lord and them of the Councell, that seeing and considering the great beatings of the shot that the towne had suffered, and after seeing the entring which the enemies had so large, and that they were within the towne by their trenches both endlong and ouerthwart; seeing also that in two other places they were at the foot of the wall, and that the most part of our knights and men of warre and other were slaine and hurt, and the gunpowder wasted, and that it was vnpossible for them to resist their enemies any more, that without doubt the towne was lost if there came no succors for to helpe and resist the siege. The which opinions and reasons of these two woorthy men and expert in such feats, vnderstood and pondered by the lord great master and the lords of the Councell, they were most part aduised for to accept and take treaty if it were offered, for the saueguard of the common people, and of the holy reliques of the church, as part of the holy crosse, the holy throne, the hand of S. Iohn, and part of his head, and diuers other reliques. Howbeit the lord great master to whom the businesse belonged very neere, and that tooke it most heauily, and was more sorrowfull then any of the other, as reason required, was alway stedfast in his first purpose, rather willing to die then to consent to such a thing, and sayd againe to the lordes of the Councell: Aduise you, and thinke well on euery thing, and of the end that may happen, and he proposed to them two points: that is to wit, whether it is better for vs to die all, or to saue the people and the holy reliques. The which two points and doubts were long time disputed, and there were diuers opinions: neuerthelesse, at the last they sayd all, that howbeit that it were well and safely done to die for the faith, and most honor for vs, notwithstanding seeing and considering that there is no remedy to resist against our enemies, and meanes to saue the towne: and on the other part, that the great Turke would not oppresse vs to forsake our faith, but only would haue the towne, it were much better then, and tending to greater wealth to saue all the iewels abouesayde, that should be defiled and lost if they came in the handes of the enemies of the faith. And also to keepe so much small people, as women and children, that they would torment and cut some in pieces, other take, and perforce cause them to forsake their faith, with innumerable violences, and shamefull sinnes that should be committed and done, if the towns were put to the sword, as was done at Modon, and lately at Bellegrado. Whereby they did conclude, that it were better, and more agreeable to God, for to take the treaty, if it were proffered, then for to die as people desperate, and without hope.

How the great Turke sent two of his men to the towne, to haue it by intreating. And how the lord great master sent two knights to him, to know his assurance.

Vpon these consultations and words almighty God that saueth them which trust in him, and that would not that so many euils and cruelties should come to the poore city and inhabitants of it, and also that the great Turke might not arise in ouer great pride and vaineglory, put him in minde to seeke to haue the sayd towne by treaty, which he ought not to haue done for his honour, nor by reason, for the towne was in a maner his. And in like sort he ought not to haue let vs goe as he did, seeing that we were his mortall enemies euer, and shall be still in the time comming, considering the great slaughter of his people that we haue made in this siege. Howbeit, the eternall goodnesse hath blinded him, and hath pleased that these things should be thus, for some cause vnknowen of vs. And for conclusion, the great Turke sent to haue a communication and parle in following the words of the Genouese aforesayd. Then was a signe set vpon the churche of the abbey without the towne, to the which was made answere with another at the milles of Quosquino. And forthwith came two Turks to speake with them of the towne. Then the lord great master sent the Priour of S. Giles pre Iohn, and the captaine Gabriel Martiningo to know the cause of their comming. And when they came to them, without holding of long speech, the two Turkes deliuered them a letter for to beare to the lord great master from the great Turke, and then returned safely into their tents. When the two lords had receiued it, they bare and presented it to the reuerend lord great master, which caused it to be read. By the which the great Turke demanded of the lord great master to yeeld the towne to him, and in so doing he was content to let him go and all his knights, and all the other people of what condition soeuer they were, with all their goods and iewels safe without feare of any harme or displeasure of his folks. And also he swore and promised on his faith so to do. The sayd letter was sealed with his signet that he vseth, that is as it were gilded. And he sayde afterward, that if the lord great master would not accept the sayde treaty, that none of the city, of what estate soeuer he were, should thinke to escape, but that they all vnto the cats, should passe by the edge of the sword, and that they should send him an answere forthwith, either yea or nay. After the sight of the contents of the sayd letter of so great weight, and the time so short for to giue so great an answere, and with demand, the sayd lord great master and all the lords of the Councell were in great thought, howbeit they determined to giue an answere, seeing the estate of the towne so ill that it could be no woorse. Hearing the report and opinions a day or two before of the two lords ordeined to view the defects of the towne, saying that the towne was lost without remedy: considering also that the principalles of the towne would haue appointment. And in likewise, at the other counsell all the lords had already willed and declared, that it were better to saue the towne for respect of the poore people, then to put it all whole to the furie of the enemies, whereupon they agreed and concluded for to take the foresayd treatie. After the conclusion taken, answere was made readily for a good respect: that is to weet, to take the Turke at his worde, to the ende that he should not repent him of it, nor change his opinion. For euery houre his people wanne and entered further and further into the towne. And for to goe vnto the great Turke were ordeined these two knights, Sir Passin afore named, and he bare the token of the White crosse: and another of the towne named Robert de Perruse iudge Ordinarie.

When these two ambassadours had made them readie, they went out at the gate of Quosquino, and went to the tent of Acmek basha, capitaine generall. And because it was late, and that they might not goe that day to the great Turke, on the next day in the morning the foresaid captaine Acmek led and conueied our sayd ambassadours to the great Turkes pauillion, that they might haue the more knowledge plainely, and for to heare his will as touching the wordes which were reported to the reuerend lord great master, and after, the contents of his letter and writings.

When the sayd two ambassadours were departed out of the towne, there did enter two men of authoritie of the campe; one was nephew or kinsman of the sayd Acmek, the other was the great Turkes truchman, which the lord master caused to be well receiued, and they were lodged nigh the sayd gate of Quosquino. And then truce was taken for 3. dayes, and the enemies came to our repaires, and spake with our folke and dranke one with another.

How the ambassadours of Rhodes spake with the great Turke, and what answere they had.

When our ambassadours had made reuerence to the great Turke, they sayd that the lord great master of Rhodes had sent them to his Imperiall maiestie to know what he requested and desired that they might talke together, and how the great master had receiued his letter. The great Turke answered them by his truchman, that of demanding to speake together, nor writing of letter to the great master he knew nothing. Howbeit, sith the great master had sent to him for to know his will, he bade say to them that the great master should yeeld him the towne. And in so doing he promised by his faith for to let him goe with all his knights, and all other that would goe with their goods, without receiuing any displeasure of his people of the campe. And if he accepted not the sayd treatie, to certifie him that he would neuer depart from Rhodes till he had taken it, and that all his might of Turkie should die there, rather then hee would faile of it, and that there should neither great nor litle escape, but vnto the cats they should be all cut in pieces, and sayd that within 3. dayes they should giue him an answere, for hee would not that his people should loose time, and that during the sayd truce they should make no repaires nor defences within the towne.

When the great Turke had ended his wordes, our ambassadours tooke their leaue of him, and returned to the towne, and there was giuen to each of them a rich garment of branched veluet, with cloth of gold of the Turkish fashion. Then Acmek basha tooke sir Passin, and led him to his pauillion, and intreating him right well, caused him to abide all that day and night: and in eating and drinking they had many discourses of things done at the siege, questioning each with other. And among all other things our ambassadour demaunded of Acmek, and prayed him to tell for trueth how many men died of the campe while the siege was laied. 64000. Turks slaine at the siege of Rhodes The said Basha sware vpon his faithand certified, that there were dead of the campe of violent death, that is to say, of gunshot and other wayes, 64000. men or more, beside them that died of sicknesse, which were about 40. or 50. thousand.

How one of the ambassadours made answere of his message, and how the Commons would not agree to yeeld the towne.

Returne we now to our purpose and to the answere that our ambassadours brought to the lord great master. The sayd Robert Perruse made the answere, and told what the great Turke had sayd, certifying that he would haue an answere quickly yea or nay. The which answere after the demaund of the great Turke hath bene purposed and concluded by the whole counsel, and his offer and treatie accepted, howbeit the sayd ambassadours had it not to do so soone nor the first time that they went for good reasons, but yet they would not deferre it, for feare lest he should repent him. And vpon these determinations that they would haue sent the sayd Peruse to beare the answere, came some of the common people of the towne to the lord great master, that was with the lordes of the counsell, and sayd that they were aduertised of the appointment that he had made with the great Turke, and that he would yeeld the towne with couenaunts by him taken, which, they supposed ought not to be done without calling of them. And because they were not called to it, they sayd that they would not agree thereto, and that it were better for them to die, for the great Turke by some way would put them all to death, as was done in Bellegrado in Hungarie.

How the lord great master sent two ambassadors for the Commons to the great Turke.

When the reuerend lord great master had heard their wordes, he sayd graciously to them, that as touching the acceptation of the great Turks offer, it was needful so to do in the degree that the towne was, and the causes wherefore he bad done it the counsell had seene and discussed, and that it was a thing that might not, nor ought not to be sayd nor published in common, for reporting of it to the enemies by traitours, but be kept still and secret. And moreouer, that it was concluded to make an answere shortly, for to take the great Turke at his word, lest he repented, him. For if they had bene called, or the answere had bene giuen, it had bene ouerlong businesse, and in the meane time the Turke might haue changed his mind, and that that he had done and concluded with the great Turke, the lordes of the counsell had well regarded and considered in all things, and for their profite and aduantage, as much or more as for that of the Religion. And that they would send to the great Turke againe other ambassadours, the better to know his will, and to be surer of his promise. Then the lord great master ordained two other ambassadours for to goe to the great Turke, which were two Spaniardes, the one named sir Raimon Market, and the other messire Lopez at whose issuing entered Sir Passin the first ambassadour, and the other two went to the tent; of Acmek basha, for to leade them to the great Turke. And when they were within the Turkes pauillion, and had done him reuerence as appertained, our ambassadours sayd that the great master had heard and seen his demaund to yeeld the towne. And for that it is a thing of great weight, and that he had to doe and say with many men of diuers nations, and because the time of answere was so short, hee might not doe that that hee demaunded so soone. Howbeit hee would speake with his people, and then hee would giue him no answere.

How the Turke began the assault, and how the Commons agreed to yeeld the towne.

When the great Turke heard the answere of our ambassadours, he sayd nothing, but commaunded his Bashas that they should begin the battell againe to the towne, the which was done, and then the truce was broken, and the shot of the enemies was sharper then it was afore. And on the other side nothing, or very litle for fault of pouder: for that that there was left, was kept for some great assault or neede. Howbeit the sayd Acmek Basha kept one of the ambassadours, and messire Lopez onely entered. The great master seeing the warre begun, and the shot thicker then it was afore, and the enemies entred hourely by their trenches further into the towne, called them that before had sayde to him, that they would not the towne should be yeelded, but had rather for to die. And therefore the sayd lord sayd that he was content for to die with them, and that they should dispose them to defend themselues well, or to doe their endeuour better then they had done in times past. And to the ende that each one of them should haue knowledge of his will (for as then be spake but to foure or fiue of them that gainesayd him) he made a cry through all the towne, that all they that were holden to be at the posternes or gates should giue attendance, and not to come away day nor night on payne of death: for afore, the Rhodians came but litle there. And that the other that were not of the posternes, or that were of his succours, should goe to the breach of Spaine where the sayd lord was continually, and not to goe away day nor night on the aboue sayd payne. The sayd cry made, each one were obedient for a day or twaine, howbeit a yoong Rhodian left his posterne and went to his house, which on the next day was hanged for breaking of the lordes commaundement. Notwithstanding that, by litle and litle the people annoyed them, and their heartes failed; and left the posternes and breaches: in such wise, that the enemies might come in without finding great resistaunce, but of a fewe that the lord master caused to abide there (that is to weet) knightes of his succours. And in the night he sought out more people for to keep the watch at the said breach, and paied to them as much as they would. The sayd lord seeing himself thus abandoned and left of his people, he sent to aske them againe wherefore they did not their endeuour, and why they came not to day, as they sayd before. Which made answere that they sawe and knew well that the towne was lost for certaine reasons that were told them: by occasion whereof they had gainesaid the ordinance of the sayd lord, and sayd that they had bene wrong enformed of diuers things: and on the other side, that they feared that the Turke would not hold his word. But sithens they sawe that there was none other remedie but to abide the aduenture and fortune, they sayd that they put all to the sayd lord to doe what he thought good, and that hee would see what were best for them. And required the lord, to doe them so much fauour as to let them choose one or two among them for to goe to the great Turke with his ambassadours for to haue suretie of him. The which was granted, and two ordinarie ambassadours were chosen for them; one Nicholas Vergotie, and the other Piero of saint Cretice, and the foresayd Passin should returne with them for to make the sayd answere. Then the great master or they departed (prolonging the time as much as he might) aduised to send a letter to the great Turke, the which his grandfather had written or caused to be written. In the which letter he gaue his malediction or curse to his children and successours, if they enterprised to besiege Rhodes. The sayd Robert Perruse bare the sayd letter, and as he was accustomed, he went to Acmek Basha for to cause him to haue audience, and to present the sayd letter. And the Basha sayd hee would see the letter: for it is the guise in the great Turkes court, that none may speake to him nor giue him a letter, but he be aduertised first what shall be said, or what shall be written. When the Basha had seene the wordes written in the said letter, he brake it and cast it on the ground, and did tread vpon it, saying many iniurious and villanous wordes to the sayd iudge. And bade him returne apace to his great master, and bid him to thinke on his businesses and to make answere to the great lord (as he had sent and commaunded) or els, it should not be long or he sawe his dolorous and wofull ende. And that same day were taken two men of ours that bare earth toward the bulwarke of England. Of whom the sayd Acmek caused an officer to cut off their noses, fingers, and eares, and gaue them a letter to beare to the lord great master, wherein were great wordes and threatnings. After the sayd Perruse was returned, messire Passin was sent againe to the sayde Basha, for to know of him if the great Turke would be content with any summe of money for his costes and expenses, that he had made for his armie. The which answered that such wordes or offers of siluer were not to bee sayd nor presented to the great lord on paine of life, and that hee set more by honour then by siluer. And therefore hee bade him returne and say to the great master that hee should make answere to the great lord after his demaund, to yeeld or not yeeld the towne. The sayd Passin made relation of the wordes of the Basha to the great master: the which for the great sorrow that hee had deterred alwayes, saw himselfe in such pitious estate. Notwithstanding, the sayd lord putting all to the wil of our lord, and considering that there was no remedie to do otherwise, nor to resist any more his enemies: and being constrained on all sides to make the appointment, with great heauinesse, inestimable dolours and bewailings, at the last gaue his voyce to yeeld the towne (with the treatise or offers to him presented) which was the 20. day of December, the yeere of our lord a thousand fiue hundreth and two and twentie.

An answere to such as will make question for the deliuerance of the citie of Rhodes.

And if by any it were demaunded wherefore the sayde lord great master hath yeelded the towne to the great Turke, requesting it with treatie and couenaunts, which was a signe that he feared and would no more fight, but goe his way. To this I answere: Notwithstanding that the great Turke was aduertised by some traitours, and by other that fled into the campe, that the powder almost failed, and that there were but fewe men of warre within the towne, yet he beleeued not, nor gaue credence of all that was reported to him, but thought verily that wee had ynough for a great while, and considered that hee must tary till they were wasted and spent, whereto behooued time. And seeing all his estate entered into strange places, and into the lands of his enemies, and had bene there already sixe moneths, (and not without great danger of his owne person) thinking on the other side, that taking the towne by assault, he should lose many of his folke; and yet when hee had ouercome and wonne the towne, they should fall each vpon other in departing of the bootie or pillage, doubting finally the hazard of warre. For these reasons and other that may be alleaged, the great Turke had much rather to haue the towne by composition and treaty then otherwise. And it suffised him to driue his olde enemies out of the countreys of Leuant, and set the subiects of his countreys in rest and suretie. And we of the towne that knew our weaknesse, and that we might do no more, it seemed better to saue so much small people, then we and they to fall into the furie of our enemies, for otherwise could we not haue done, but tempt God, and died as in dispaire.

How the citie of Rhodes was yeelded to the great Turke, and of the euill behauiour of certaine Turkes.

But to returne to our principall: After that the reuerend great master had giuen his voyce to the yeelding of the towne, he sent the said Passin againe for to beare it to the great Turke. And with him went the two men that were chosen of the Commons, and they went all three together to the tent of Acmek Basha. To whom the sayd Passin first made this pitious answere and conclusion to yeeld the towne. Notwithstanding, he sayd the people had ordained two men among them for to goe to the great Turke, to speake of their particular doings, and to haue some suretie of their persons, wiues, and children, to the ende that it were not done to them, as to those of Bellegrado. The sayd Acmek led the three ambassadours toward the great Turke. And when they were entered into the pauilion, the sayde messire Passin made the report of his ambassade to the sayd lord, and sayd that the great master yeelded him the towne vnder the promise made by his Imperiall maiestie, with the treatie promised. Of the which promise bee held him sure and certaine, and that hee would doe no lesse: howbeit, the people had required him to giue them licence to go to his maiestie for to aske some request of him. Then the two citizens besought the great Turke that he would for suretie remooue his campe from the towne, to the ende that they should haue no maner of harme to their bodies nor goods, and that they that would goe, should goe, and that they that would abide still, might be well entreated. The great Turke answered by his interpreter to messire Passin, that hee accepted the towne, and promised agayne vpon his faith, and on his honour to the lord great master, that he would performe that he had promised, and sent to him by the same Passin that he should not doubt of the contrary: and if he had not ships ynough for to carie his people and their goods, that hee would let them haue of his, and that he would deliuer the artillerie that was woont to be in the ships of the Religion. And as touching the request of the people, he sayd that he would remooue the campe, and that they that would abide, might abide, and they should bee well entreated, and should pay no tribute in fiue yeeres, and their children should not bee touched, and who so would goe within the sayd space of fiue yeeres, they should goe in good time. These worries ended, our ambassadours tooke leaue of him, and when they were departed, they spake againe with the saide Acmed Basba for to haue a letter of the contents of the promise of the sayd lord. And by his commandement the sayd letter was made, whereby he promised to let go the great master with all his knights, strangers and men of the towne that would go with their goods, without hauing displeasure of any of his people of the campe, or by the wayes. When the letter was made, it was deliuered to messire Passin. And as touching withdrawing of the campe, the sayd Basha promised againe that he would do it, since the great lord would so: howbeit he remooued but from the trenches, and some of his people went a litle way off. And the sayd Basha demaunded in the Turkes behalfe, that they should send to him in hostage foure and twentie knights, whereof two should bee of the great Crosse, and two and twentie citizens. And the sayd lord should send onely a captaine with three or foure hundred Ianissaries, for to keepe the towne when the campe were withdrawen. And so it was done; and beside this he gaue twelue dayes respite to the lord great master, to prepare him and depart out of Rhodes. And in conclusion all this done, our ambassadours returned and made the report to the reuerend great master of all that they had done and practised with the great Turke, and the sayd Basha, and gaue him the letter for to goe surely. Then the great master with his counsell ordained the foure and twentie persons, and other of the towne. When they were readie, they went to the campe, where they were well intreated foure dayes. During this time, Ferra Basha passed from the maine land to the campe, with foure and twentie or fiue and twentie thousand Ianissaries, which by the commaundement of the great Turke was gone vpon the borders of the countreis of the Sophie. For the Turke seeing the people of the campe discouraged and willing no more to goe to the assaults, sent to the sayde Basha to come to Rhodes with his people, which would haue withstood vs sore as fresh men. And it was the worke of God and a wonderfull myracle, that they came after that the appointment was made: for if they had come afore, it is to be supposed that the deed had gone otherwise, and there had bene many strokes giuen: but I beleeue that the ende should haue bene pitious for vs, but God would not that the Turke should haue victory vpon vs as hee might haue had, seeing the great aduantage that he had in all things, but he blinded him and would not that he should know his might. And on the other part it may be sayd and marueiled how it was possible alway to haue ouercome our enemies in all assaults and skirmishes, and at the end to loose the towne, it was the will of God that so hath pleased for some cause to vs vnknowen. It is to bee thought, that lacke of men and gunshot, and the enemies so farre within the towne, and ready to enter at other places with the treasons haue caused the towne to be lost. Two or three dayes after the comming of the sayd Basha, his Ianissaries and other of the campe entred into the Towne, which was on Christmas day, within the time giuen to vs, and then the Turkes word was broken, if it were his will or not, I cannot tell. Neuerthelesse there was no sword drawen, and in that respect promise was kept. But they made pillage, and entered by force into the houses of the castle, and tooke all that they might and would. After that they had ransacked the houses, they entered into the churches, and pilled all that they found, and brake the images. And there was no crucifix, nor figure of our lady, nor of other saints, that were left whole. Then with great inhumanitie they went into the hospitall of poore and sicke folke, called the Fermorie, and tooke all the siluer vessell that the sicke folke were serued with, and raised them out of their beds, and droue them away, some with great strokes and staues, and some were cast down from the galleries. When these hounds had done that acte, they went to the church of saint Iohn and tooke downe the tombes of the great masters, and sought if there were any treasure hid in them, and they forced certaine women and maidens. And all they that were christened and had bene Turkes afore, were they men, women or children, and children, that the sayd men had made christians, they led into Turkie, which thing is of greater importance then any of the other. The morrow after Christmas day, the reuerend lord great master went to the great Turkes pauillion for to visite him, and to be better assured of his promise, the which lord he made to be wel and graciously receiued. And he signified vnto him by his interpreter, that the case so happened to him was a thing vsuall and common: as to loose townes and lordships, and that hee should not take ouermuch thought for it: and as for his promise, he bade that he should not doubt in any thing, and that he should not feare any displeasure to his person, and that he should goe with his people without feare. With these wordes the sayd lord thanked him, and tooke his leaue and departed.


L’enuoy of the Translator.

Go little booke, and woefull Tragedie,

Of the Rhodian feareful oppugnation,

To all estates complaining ruthfully

Of thine estate, and sudden transmutation:

Excusing me if in thy translation

Ought be amisse in language or in werke,

I me submit with their supportation,

To be correct, that am so small a clerke.

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