Based on Andrew Barker’s Authentic and Particular Report, it was a wealthy Catholic who unwittingly supplied Ward an escape route back to the days that was. The guy offered off his Hampshire estate with the intention of moving himself, his wife and children, and all of his worldly goods (including #2,000 in ready money) into the more rigorous religious climate of France. There was talk of this at the taverns and alleys of Portsmouth, and John Ward heard that the guy had bought passage on a bark, a small merchant ship, which was currently at anchor in Portsmouth refuge. His claws were already stowed aboard, even though the passengers and the majority of the team were accommodation at the town, waiting for a reasonable wind for France.
That night, Ward persuaded about thirty of the comrades to desert by the Lion’s Whelp and join him in storming the bark, arguing that they would have no difficulty in neutralizing the two hands on watch and slipping out of the sanctuary with all the Catholic’s fortune before anybody realized what was happening. Ward and his guys duly crept aboardoverpowered the watch and”straight shut [them] under deck, and commanded them not to squeak like rats” In the still darkness they the little vessel out of Portsmouth harbor.
So far, so great. By sunrise they were away from the firearms of Portsmouth’s fort and out from the English Channel, and the moment had arrived for Ward to take a look at his ill-gotten Catholic gold. He’d the captives brought up on deckand got the unpleasant surprise”These poor wretches shaking for fear earlier this horrible thief, they answered, that his expectation was herein frustrate. Store of riches they need to admit there was really, but upon what reason they understood not, it was the day before landed again.” To put it differently, Ward’s supposed victim somehow had gotten wind of the plot to rob himand his goods and money were sitting safe and secure back in his lodgings at the Red Lion Inn at Portsmouth.
Not really knowing what to do or where to go, just that”we’ve proceeded up to now to the thieves’ route, that to reunite we will be stopped with a halter,” the guys got drunk on some wine they found from the hold and set off toward Land’s End in Cornwall.
Away from the Isles of Scilly, about half an hour from the southwest tip of Cornwall, they sighted a French merchant ship of tons, fully inhabited and jumped for Ireland. (Initially related to the amount of tun casks of wine that a merchant boat could carry, tonnage refers to the inner volume of a vessel rather than its weight.) She was equipped with six guns, which left her more than a match to the bark if it came to a struggle. But Ward had no intention of engineering a head-on bang. He hailed the Frenchman–a totally normal procedure after two boats met over the high seas–and hauled alongside her, patiently”passing several hours at polite discourse… seeming glad of another’s familiarity” while nearly all of his men stayed hidden belowdecks. When he guessed that any suspicions that the French team could have had been lulled, he gave a sign, at which his guys burst outside on deck along with the rookie pirates boarded their prey, captured her freight, also imprisoned all hands before”any time to think the way they had been hurt.”
History doesn’t record the fate of the French team, but it was their boat that Ward desired. This was a larger vessel than his own, having more firepower. Now he needed more guys. He crawled Cawsand, a little fishing village overlooking Plymouth Sound known as a centre for smuggling, and went ashore in a longboat.
Throughout Ward’s career as a pirate one of the most effective qualities was his power of persuasion. He’d convinced half of the Lion’s Whelp’s team to jump ship and steal the bark using the presumed cargo of gold; when that failedhe persuaded them to take part in a bold act of piracy. In the years ahead, he would convince Ottoman officials to supply him with men and munitions; he would convince English representatives who came to seek him down that they should switch sides. And now, on the shore and around the quay and at the alehouse,”with all the news of his victory, and expectation to come,” he persuaded that the smugglers and sailors of Cawsand Bay to follow him into the Barbary Coast.
Leaving ashore the two watchmen taken prisoner when he uttered the bark at Portsmouth, Ward and his group of pirates sailed south, across the Bay of Biscay and down the coast of Spain and Portugal. Off Cape St. Vincent that they took a little flyboat, a flat-bottomed coastal dealer employed by the Dutch. She was laden with precious product, and since they turned west through the Straits of Gibraltar, Ward put her team to the bark and abandoned them to steer her own course for residence, while he and his small convoy climbed back and headed to the shelter of Larache around the Atlantic coast of Morocco. We do not know how long they stayed there, just that their second trophy was a settee, a two-masted, single-decked transportation boat used to carry spare galley slaves and more commonly seen from the Levant than at the western half of the Mediterranean. Subsequently Ward decided to take his squadron, which now consisted of the settee, the French merchantman, along with the flyboat, directly to the pirate haven of Algiers.
His timing couldn’t have been much worse. A couple of months earlier, a British privateer called Richard Giffard, a one time friend of those Algerians who had afterwards changed sides and was now fighting against the Turks to the Duke of Tuscany, sailed right into Algiers and tried to set fire to the Algerian corsair fleet. He failed, but the governor of Algiers,” Mohammed that the Eunuch, was suitably angered. He rounded up a couple of Giffard’s team who had somehow been left behind if their captain returned tortured them to death. English retailers in the city were imprisoned and ordered to pay hefty penalties; English boats were banned from going into the port; also it was generally known that Giffard’s fellow countrymen were no longer welcome at Algiers.
When John Ward arrived, hoping to eliminate his trophy cargoes and victual his boats at a city famous throughout the Western world as a safe refuge for European renegadeshe was surprised to meet with a frosty reception. In actuality, several members of the team were arrested that they moved ashore, and it was just after some careful negotiation along with a hefty bribe that Ward was able to procure”the peace and enlargement of his followers.”
According to another Englishman called Richard Parker who was in Morocco at the time to trade woolen products for sugarWard created a hasty escape and tried his fortune alongside Salé, on the Atlantic coast. Arriving there late at 1604, he offered his products, victualed and trimmed his boats, also recruited more men–mostly, it appears, by Parker’s own boat, the Blessing, which was abandoned so undermanned that the merchant thought he would never get back into England. He was left with little choice but to hitch a ride with all the pirates. (Or so he advised the Admiralty court when he was brought before it accused of piracy a few years afterwards.)
Early in 1605, Ward set sail from Salé on a course that took him throughout the Straits and back toward Algiers. This moment, however, he kept moving eastward across the Barbary Coast, beyond the ancient ruins of Hippo Regius, where Saint Augustine had expired as Vandals stormed the city walls at A.D. 430; beyond the Khroumirie Mountains with their forests of cork-oak extending nearly into the sea; beyond the corsair foundations of Tabarquea and Bizerte, which started life as Phoenician settlements over 700 years before the birth of Christ. Eventually Ward and his small convoy rounded Cap Farina and entered the Gulf of Tunis.
Tunis had been famous in Europe because of refuge for outcasts and outlaws. In the early sixteenth century, even once Oruç Barbarossa made the city his base for raids on Venetian shipping and an whole community of Christian retailers settled there to trade in stolen goods, the Hafsid ruler of Tunisia,” Mohammed IV, was safeguarded by”fifteen hundred most choice soldiers, the best portion of whom would be renegadoes or backsliders from the Christian religion” The subject of a protracted struggle between the Ottoman Empire and Spain during the 1500s, Tunis was inhabited at 1534 by Turks under the control of Khair ad-Din; then by the Spanish; again by Turks at 1569; again by the Spanish; also by the Turks for a third and last time in 1574, if the Hafsids, who had become more than puppet kings of the Spanish, were ousted along with the Ottoman emperor installed a beylerbey, or provincial governor, whose authority has been enforced by means of a garrison of 4,000 Janissaries.
The Janissary corps has been the nucleus of the Ottoman military. All its members have been converts to Islam who was recruited from the children of the devshirme, the child-tribute that the empire exacted from Christian area states from the Balkans. Highly disciplined and rigorously trained in the use of arms, they were a hierarchical warrior course that was answerable to its officers to Istanbul, and not to the civil authorities in the many provinces where the corps was cooperating. Janissaries played a vital political and social part in all the Ottoman outposts on the Barbary Coast, and also for a governor to dismiss their pursuits has been to court disaster.
The Ottoman Empire’s objective in holding and taking Tunis was mainly strategic. The city was considered as a bulwark against expansionist Christian forces from the Mediterranean, a base from which to start military operations from the West, and no real attempt was made to overthrow the neighboring country, and the fact that Istanbul appointed a pasha to govern for only 1 year at a period did little to encourage stability.
In 1591 the rank-and-file Janissaries garrisoned at Tunis rebelled from their former officers, whom they accused of fixing them poorly. The mutineers chose leaders of their own, whom they called deys (from the Turkish dayı,”maternal uncle”), also forced the pasha to take a minimal role because the sultan’s representative and also to cede real power into the dey.
For seven years, judgment deys came and went with alarming frequency, so none of them strong enough to maintain the different factions inside the Janissary corps in check. Subsequently in 1598, a professional officer called Uthman appeared as the leader Tunis wanted, and also, with a little help from 2,000 neighborhood Arab troops, he also took charge of the corps along with the capital.
Known variously in England as Kara Osman, Osman Bey, Crosomond, and also the Crossymon, also explained at different occasions as Viceroy, Captain of Janissaries, and Lord Admiral of the Sea, also considered as the archetypal sinister Turk, Uthman Dey has been a competent administrator and a clever manager of guys. His rule, as per a seventeenth-century history of Barbary, has been characterized by gentleness, justice, and also a deep tranquillity. One of the many achievements of his reign were an important trade treaty he reasoned with France, which entailed a mutual renunciation of the right of search; success at maintaining harmonious relationships both inside Tunisia and between Tunisia and the remainder of the Ottoman Empire; along with the welcome he gave into thousands of Moriscos, Spanish Muslims expelled from Andalusia from 1609. As stated by the seventeenth-century historian Ibn Abi Dinar, Uthman Dey”left space for them in the town, and distributed the neediest of these among the people of Tunis,” thus bringing an army of skilled artisans and laborers to his nation and revitalizing Tunisian crafts and arts.
In the West, yet, Uthman Dey is remembered for only one thing and one thing only: piracy. As a part of his attempts to build a prosperous new Tunis, he worked closely with the head of the navy, the qaptan, along with the powerful guild of corsairs, the taifat al-raïs, to set the city among the most crucial corsair bases around the Barbary Coast. European renegades and”Turks”–which catchall English euphemism both for taxpayers of the Ottoman Empire and for all Muslims, wherever they came out –had worked out of Tunis for generations, paying tribute to officials and responsibility about the slaves and prizes that they brought in available. But Uthman invested in corsairing expeditions and supplied every single corsair captain, or raïs, with firearms, and money. He guaranteed that Janissaries acquired a share of the proceeds. (Janissaries functioned as the battling force aboard all corsair vessels, along with also the Janissary officer in control was in charge of the boat, because he outranked its raïs.) From the time of his death, Uthman had managed to weave piracy so profoundly into the fabric of Tunisian society it was a major state industry.
The country business, as it was turning out to be for smaller marine nations all over the Mediterranean. Unable or unwilling to contend with the large trading powers such as Spain, France, and the Venetian Republic, or even with their up-and-coming competitions, England and the Dutch Republic, these states turned privateering to a mainstream commercial action. This meant that, strictly speaking, the corsairs of the Mediterranean weren’t pirates, in the same way the privateers of Western Europe weren’t pirates. Much has been made from the distinction with twentieth-century apologists, who worry that the institutional and legalistic features of corsairing: the issuing of commissions, the way that prizes were taxed by the country, the restrictions on who could and who could not be attacked. In the majority of Mediterranean languages that the term”corsair”–the French corsaire, the Provençal corsarithe Spanish corsario, ” the Italian corsaro–means”privateer” as different from”pirate” It was only the idle English who persisted in treating the two phrases as synonymous: at the 1599 edition of the Voyages, for example, Richard Hakluyt talked of”the Turkish cursaros, as we call them rovers.” Over a hundred years later a British historian could still talk of”the corsories or pirates of Tripoli.”
All these are muddy semantic waters. Christian and Muslim states embraced increasingly legalistic positions in the class of the seventeenth century, even as collectively ratified and (in concept ) expressing posts of peace arrived to occupy a place of importance in Europe’s stance toward Barbary. From the 1670s forward, the English government resources tended to reserve the charge of piracy for the buccaneers of the Caribbean, who were becoming an increasing menace. (In 1684 Henry Morgan wrote from Jamaica to instruct his London lawyers to sue a publisher for describing him as a”pirate” rather than a”privateer”; he also won #200 in damages, and costs.) English consuls at Barbary were careful never to refer to corsairs since pirates, despite the fact that the absence of a treaty in contrast to the existence of a country of warfare was enough for those corsairs to warrant taking a vessel from a militarily weak state for example Naples or even Ragusa or Genoa.
Most seventeenth-century Englishmen were particular. The term”corsair” was not typical in English anyhow, and the charge of piracy was regularly and casually leveled at the warships of some other state the English didn’t enjoy, including all the Barbary Coast countries. Whatever the case, what was the legal status of Tripoli or even Tunis or even Algiers–all part of the Ottoman Empire–if they declared war on a European country to legitimize the plundering of its merchant ships, even while their political leaders in Istanbul concurrently assured the state in question which the Ottoman Empire was friendly and that no these hostilities were supposed? What if the taifat al-raïs was so bound up with government, as it often was, that it might engineer a declaration of war to be able to legitimize the search for lucrative victims, therefore turning diplomacy itself into a tool of piracy? After pointing out the confusion and stressing that the difference between a privateer and a pirate, then the Oxford English Dictionary drops back into the fog by defining a corsair as”a pirate-ship sanctioned by the nation to which it goes.”
A additional complication was that the wars of faith that were being fought in the Mediterranean–sometimes by proxy, sometimes not–all through the past century. The fiercely anti-Islamic trend in Catholic southern Europe had its counterpart at the devout Muslims who still saw the Barbary Coast corsairs as front-line troops from encroaching Christendom. “And there have been some who went to the sea jihad and found fame,” wrote the Algerian historian Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Maqqari at the 1620s. Forty years later a Moroccan pilgrim who paused in Tripoli on his way to Mecca called corsairs as mujahideen and described their actions as jihad. They were fighters for Allah, ghuzat mu’mineen, also by attacking European shipping they were resisting the colonizing forces of Christendom, which had not given up their objective to gain a foothold in North Africa and hamper the dar al-Islam.
Like the truth, the reasons of individuals are rarely pure and never simple. Circumstance, ideology, history, the chance to strike back, the delight that could accompany an act of violenceall played their part in the introduction of a corsair culture across the Barbary Coast. So did gain. Ibrahim bin Ahmad, an Andalusian sailor and master gunner who arrived to Tunis with other Morisco refugees at 1609, was thrilled at the warm welcome he was given when he arrived. “The ruler, Uthman Dey–God have mercy upon himtook an interest in me and appointed me to the control of two hundred Andalusians, providing me the sum of five hundred sultanis [gold coins] and two hundred hand-guns along with daggers and whatever was needed for a sea voyage.” Suitably fitted out, Ibrahim set off”in search of the infidel and his wealth.”