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

The Ambassage of Master Henry Roberts, one of the sworne Esquires of her Maiesties person, from her highnesse to Mully Hamet Emperour of Morocco and the King of Fesse and Sus, in the yeere 1585: who remained there as Liger for the space of 3. yeeres. Written briefly by himselfe.

Vpon an incorporation granted to the Company of Barbary Marchants resident in London, I Henry Roberts one of her Maiesties sworne Esquires of her person, was appointed her highnesse messenger, and Agent vnto the aforesaid Mully Hamet Emperor of Marocco, king of Fesse, and Sus. And after I had receiued my Commission, instructions, and her Maiesties letters, I departed from London the 14. of August in the yeere 1585. in a tall ship called the Ascension, in the company of the Minion and Hopewell, and we all arriued in safetie at Azafi a port of Barbary, the 14. of September next following. The Alcaide of the towne (being the kings officer there, and as it were Maior of the place) recalled mee with all humanitie and honour, according to the custome of the Countrey, lodging me in the chiefest house of the towne, from whence I dispatched a messenger (which in their language they call a Trottero) to aduertise the Emperour of my arriuall: who immediately gaue order, and sent certaine souldiers for my guard and conduct, and horses for my selfe, and mules for mine owne and my companies carriages. Thus being accompanied with M. Richard Euans, Edward Salcot, and other English Marchants resident there in the Countrey, with my traine of Moores and carriages, I came at length to the riuer of Tensist, which is within foure miles of Marocco: and there by the water side I pitched my tents vnder the Oliue trees: where I met with all the English Marchants by themselues, and the French and Flemish, and diuers other Christians, which attended my comming. And after we had dined, and spent out the heat of the day, about foure of the clocke in the afternoone we all set forward toward the Citie of Marocco, where we arriued the said day, being the 14. of September, and I was lodged by the Emperours appointment in a faire house in the Iudaria or Iurie, which is the place where the Iewes haue their abode, and is the fairest place, and quietest lodging in all the Citie.

After I had reposed my selfe 3 dayes, I had accesse to the kings presence, delinered my message and her Maiesties letters, and was receiued with all humanitie, and had fauourable audience from time to time for three yeeres: during which space I abode there in his Court, as her Maiesties Agent and Ligier: and whensoeuer I had occasion of businesse, I was admitted either to his Maiestie himselfe, or to his vice Roy, whose name was Alcayde Breme Saphiana, a very wise and discreet person, and the chiefest about his Maiestie. The particulers of my seruice, for diuers good and reasonable causes, I forbeare here to put downe in writing.

After leaue obtained, and an honourable reward bestowed by the Emperour vpon me, I departed from his Court at Marocco the 18. of August 1588. toward a garden of his, which is called Shersbonare, where he promised mee I should stay but one day for his letters: howbeit, vpon some occasion I was stayed vntil the 14. of September at the kings charges, with 40. or 50. shot attending vpon me for my guard and safetie.

From thence at length I was conducted with all things necessary to the port of Santa Cruz, being sixe dayes iourney from Marocco, and the place where our shippes do commonly take in their lading, where I arriued the 21. of the same moneth. In this port I stayed 43. dayes, and at length the second of Nouember I embarqued my selfe, and one Marshok Reiz a Captaine and a Gentleman, which the Emperour sent with mee vpon an Ambassage to her Maiestie: and after much torment and foule weather at Sea, yet New-yeres day I came on land at S. Iues in Cornwall, from whence passing by land both together vp towards London, we were met without the Citie with the chiefest marchants of the Barbary Company, well mounted all on horsebacke, to the number of 40. or 50. horse, and so the Ambassadour and myselfe being both in Coche, entred the citie by torchlight, on Sunday at night the 12. of Ianuary 1589.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55