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TLbc IbaMuiPt SocietiP.


The Travels of Pietro della Valle in India,
edited by Mr. Edward Grey, in two volumes, have been
issued to members during the year. More recently, a
volume containing Mr. Markham's translation of the
Journal of Columbus' First Voyage, together with
documents relating to the voyages of John Cabot and
Gaspar Corte-Real, has also been issued.

Mr. Theodore Bent's Early Voyages to the Levant,
comprising the Diary of Thomas Dallam, and extracts
from the Diaries of Dr. John Covel, is now ready for issue ;
and there will shortly appear, in two volumes, a collection
of Early Voyages to Hudson's Bay in Search of
a North-West Passage, edited by Mr. Miller Christy.
These contain carefully annotated transcripts of the rare
first editions of the North-West Foxe and Capt. James's

The President has translated the Letters of Amerigo
Vespucci, and other documents relating to the career of
the Florentine navigator, with Notes and an Introduction.
The volume is now ready for the press.

Dr. Robert Brown's Leo Africanus is also ready for

Among other works undertaken for our Society, Mr,

Miller Christy has in hand jENS MUNK'S VOYAGE TO
Hudson's Bay, translated from the Danish. This work
will complete our series of voyages to the North-West in
the first half of the seventeenth century.

The Council having decided on sending a set of its
publications, as complete as possible, to the Chicago
Exhibition, the books (80) were suitably bound and sent
to Chicago. They were placed in the British Section
(Liberal Arts, Group civ), in a case specially made to hold
them. This set has since been purchased by an American
book collector at the price fixed, 310 dollars.

Our list of Subscribers, with a total of 289, shows an
increase on previous years. The balance at the bank was
i^239 iSs. ^d. at the end of 1892.

The following Members of Council retire : Mr. Bouverie
Pusey, Mr. Ernest Satow, and Capt. Sir J. Sydney Webb ;
and the following gentlemen are proposed for election :
Capt. Nathan, R.E., Mr. F. Ducane Godman, F.R.S., and
Mr. C. P. Lucas.





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From the Painting in Christ's College, Cambridge.







I 599-1600.


1 670- 1 679.


i£lritftr, toil!) an $iitvotiurtioii nnti flotes,









Clements R. Markham, Esq., C.B., F.R.S., Pres. R.G.S., President.
Major-General Sir Henry Rawlinson, K.C.B,, D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S.,

Associi Etranger de L bistitut de France, Vice-President.
Lord Aberdare, G.C.B., F.R.S.
Vice-Admiral Lindesay Brine.
Robert Brown, Esq., M.A., Ph.D.
Miller Christy, Esq.
The Right Hon. Sir Mountstuart E. Grant Duff, G.C.S.I., late Pres.

F. Ducane Godman, Esq., F.R.S.
Albert Gray, Esq.
C. P. Lucas, Esq,
A. P. Maudslay, Esq.
Captain Nathan, R.E.
Admiral Sir E. Ommanney, C.B., F.R.S.
E. a. Petherick, Esq.
S. W. Silver, Esq.
Coutts Trotter, Esq.
Prof. E. B. Tylor, D.C.L.
Captain W. J. L. Wharton, R.N.

, Honorary Secretary.



P0RTRx\iT OF Dr. Covel, photographed from the painting at
Christ's College, Cambridge, by kind permission of Vice-
Chancellor J. Peile .... frontispiece


Introduction . . . . . i

List of English Ambassadors to the Porte in the

Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries . . xlii

Addenda et Corrigenda .... xliii

Dallam's Travels (1599- 1600) . . . .1

Dr. Covel's Diary (1670- 1679) . . . -99

Index . . . . . . 289


§ I. — Of the Formation of the Levant Company
OF Turkey Merchants.

HE two manuscript diaries which
are published in this volume
give us the experiences of men
who resided in Constantinople
during the earlier days of the
Levant Company. When Master
Thomas Dallam went with the present of a marvel-
lous orgran from Oueen Elizabeth to the Sultan
Mahomed III in 1599, our Company of Turkey
Merchants had scarcely organised themselves.
When Dr. Covel went as chaplain to the embassy
In 1670, the Company was still struggling to gain
for itself those rights — or capitulations, as they are
called — which formed the basis of the prosperity of
the Company during the ensuing century and a
half Consequently, I think, a succinct account of
the rise of this Company will form a suitable intro-
duction to the perusal of the diaries themselves.



In the development of our system of commerce
the Company of Turkey Merchants played a most im-
portant part, second perhaps only to the great East
India Company, and its history is the history of one
of those pillars on which British prosperity has been
constructed. It was a marked feature of the sixteenth
century, when all those Companies — the African
Company, the Muscovy Company, the East India
Company — all had their rise, and by them was laid
the foundation of our subsequent mercantile successes.
The Levant Company lived an active life of 244
years ; and, besides the amount of wealth it accumu-
lated for this country, it did infinite service in the
development of art and research, geography and
travel, the suppression of slavery, and the spread
of civilisation in countries which would still have
been unapproachable had not the continued efforts of
the 244 years been towards civilisation and humanity.

The history of the capitulations or treaties with
which foreign nations sought to establish them-
selves in the greatest centre of commercial enter-
prise before the opening out of other routes to
India is a very interesting one, and dates back to
remote ages, when commercial bodies were formed
in the city of Constantine, at the time when the
power of the Greek emperors was on the wane. As
far back as the ninth and tenth centuries of our era,
the emperors of the East granted to the Warings or
Varangians from Scandinavia capitulations or rights
of exterritoriality, which gave them permission to
own wharves, carry on trade, and govern them-



selves In the Eastern capital : these rights esta-
blished numerous ijnperia in imperio during the
succeeding centuries In Constantinople. The Vene-
tians obtained them early In the eleventh century ;
the Amalfians In 1056, the Genoese In 1098, and
the PIsans In mo, and henceforward they became
so general, that the Greeks of the later empire
complained that there were no wharves for them-
selves, and that they could not compete with these
Indefatigable foreign traders ; much as we hear com-
plaints now amongst our own artisans of the Influx
of German and Belgian workmen Into England.

When the Turks took Constantinople they did
little to Interfere with the existing order of things :
the Genoese and Venetians got their capitulations
renewed ; the right to have disputes with their
fellow-countrymen decided by their own authorities ;
the right to have questions between them and Otto-
man subjects decided only In presence of a Vene-
tian Interpreter ; exemption from the tax Imposed
on Christians In lieu of military service ; and the
right to appoint their own magistrates In Constanti-
nople. Being a nomadic race, the Ottoman Turks
cared little for commerce : their ships were the
caiques of the Greeks ; their emperors wrote their
decrees In red Ink, as their Greek predecessors had
done ; and to the foreign traders who flocked to
Constantinople they gave the same privileges that
the Greek emperors had done, and, as far as they
were concerned, the status quo was maintained.

Meanwhile trade was passing westwards ; the time



was come when the Portuguese, the French, and
finally the EngHsh were to succeed the ItaHan re-
pubHcs as the commercial nations of the world.

In 1536 Sieur Foret arranged a capitulation for
the French between Sultan Solyman I and Francis I,
and the essential articles of this treaty have been
often redrawn and embodied in many treaties with
the different European Powers, and still remain as
the foundation of the many treaties under which
foreigners now live in Constantinople : matters of
dispute between Frenchmen were to be decided
only by their own authorities ; questions between
Frenchmen and Turks were to be decided only in
the presence of the French dragoman ; they could
appoint their own magistrates, and were exempt
from the harach. This was the first of what we
may call the modern capitulations, by which the
Western nations have obtained their footing in Con-
stantinople ; they are by no means an invention of
the Turks, but a distinct inheritance from the old
Byzantine days, which they were compelled to adopt,
and which has turned out to be as great a boon to
the Mussulman as to the foreigner who obtained it.

In proportion to the exigencies of the Turk and
his want of money, the system of capitulations has
increased in strength. Encroachments have occurred ;
fresh clauses have had to be introduced to meet the
subtleties of the Turk ; the so-called avanias, of
which we shall hear more in Dr. Covel's diary, had
to be combated ; but, nevertheless, the progress has
been continuous, and no Company has contributed


more to the success of the foreigner on Turkish soil
than the *' Turkey Merchants" of England.

During the reign of Elizabeth, our Infantile com-
mercial adventures were beginning to make them-
selves felt. Early In the sixteenth century there
had been a few Isolated cases of voyages to the
Levant In search of wealth. From 1511 to 1534
we hear of certain "tall ships belonging to London,
Southampton, and Bristol, which made voyages to
the East, trading with Sicily, Crete, Chios, and
sometimes Cyprus, Tripoli, and Beyrout In Syria";
but there appears to have been no systematic com-
merce carried on In English bottoms In those days,
most of the trade between the Levant and England
being conducted by the Venetians. So far back as
1 5 13 we had a consul established at Chios, and In
1534 (Hakluyt, vol. II, p. 98) we read of an exciting
voyage made by The Holy Cross and The Matthew
Gonso7t to Crete and Chios, both ships coming back
much the worse for wear. In 1550 Captain Boden-
ham, with "the great Barke Aucher\ went to Chios,
and three years later Anthony Jenklnson went to
Aleppo, and got trading privileges " on a footing with
the most favoured nations". This was the actual
foundation of our future capitulations, and the first
commencement of our Levant Company.

Up to this time the carrying trade between Eng-
land and the Levant had been carried on, on ships
called argosies, by the Venetians. Sir Paul Ricaut,
son of a London merchant, who was born in 1620,
was secretary to Lord WInchilsea, and consul at


Smyrna for eleven years ; he wrote, by the direction
of Charles II, a work entitled The Present State
of the Greek and Armenian Churches. He also
wrote a book entitled The Present State of the
Turkish Empire, a very interesting work, the first
edition of which, Pepys tells us, was destroyed in the
Great Fire of London. In this work he tells us
that the ships known as argosies were so called
because they were built at Ragusa for the Venetian
merchants. ''These vast carracks called argosies,
which are so famed for the vastness of their bur-
then and bulk, were corruptly so denominated from
Ragosies, ships of Ragusa." The Ragusans, as
merchants, were much to the fore in those days,
prior to the great earthquake, and had, as we see
from Dr. Covel's diary, an ambassador of their own
at Constantinople.

" Your mind is tossing on the ocean ;
There, where your argosies, with portly sail, —
Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood,
Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea, —
Do over-peer the petty traffickers,
That curt'sy to them, do them reverence.
As they fly by them with their woven wings."

(Shakes., Merchant of Venice, Act i. Scene i.)

One of these argosies was wrecked off the Isle of
Wight about 1575, and it is said that the Venetians
refused to bring merchandise into such dangerous
seas after this catastrophe. Perhaps this argosy
may be the very one which suggested to Shake-
speare the shipwreck of the Venetian merchantman.
At any rate, this fact obliged individual action on


the part of the EngHsh merchants of the day, and at
once necessitated the formation of a distinct Com-
pany, if the trade with the Levant was to be con-

Another point also contributed to the starting of
an independent trade with the Levant, namely, a
quarrel with Venice concerning the duties on cur-
rants (State Papers, Domestic, nth April, 1606).
In 1575 Venice had granted a patent to one Acerbo
Velutelli, a native of Lucca, which gave him the
sole right of importing to England currants and
oil from Venetian dominions. Velutelli contrived to
get these articles conveyed to England on English
ships, and, by exacting an export duty for his own
benefit, enriched himself and impoverished the Vene-
tian traders. Venice then imposed a fine of 55-. 6d.
on currants and oil conveyed to England in other
than Venetian bottoms. Elizabeth retaliated by a
similar fine on their importation, and for a time
trade in these commodities was at a standstill.

Yet another, and that a political, cause promoted
our intercourse with Turkey. Queen Elizabeth was
just entering into her vital contest with Philip 1 1 of
Spain, and to secure the alliance and co-operation of
the Sultan was one of her favourite schemes at this
critical juncture. Until the reign of Amurath III
the English had been altogether strangers to Tur-
key ; but in 1579 three merchants were sent to
Constantinople — William Harebone, Edward Ellis,
and Richard Staple — to spy out the land, as it were,
and, if possible, obtain for English merchants the


same social and commercial privileges that other
nations enjoyed. Two years later Queen Elizabeth
formed a treaty charter with Amurath III for five
years, In which he styles himself " the most sacred
Mussulman-like Emperor", and she also granted letters
patent to a small Company entitled " The Company
of Merchants of the Levant", consisting of Sir E.
Osborne, Thomas Smith, Stephen and William
Garret — " because they had found out and opened a
trade In Turkey, not known in the memory of any
man now living to be frequented by our progenitors."

The first of the Company's ships to trade with
the Levant was sent out In 1582. It was called
The Great Susan, and William Harebone, the first
ambassador from England to the Ottoman Porte,
was carried out by her. He established factories
at Constantinople, obtained capitulations from the
Porte, and regularly inaugurated our trade there.
Harebone was considerably assisted by the great
Vizier Sokolli and the Sultan's tutor, the learned
historian Seadedin, in his negotiations. (Von Ham-
mer. )

At the same time It is evident that commercial
objects were not paramount In Queen Elizabeth's
mind, but a desire to obtain the Sultan as an ally
against her formidable enemy. In her letters to the
Sultan she takes advantage of the well-known horror
the Mahommedans have of image-worship, and
styles herself, ''the unconquered and most puissant
defender of the true faith against the idolaters who
falsely profess the name of Christ".


In 1587 her agent in Constantinople presented a
petition to Sultan Amurath III, for assistance against
the Spanish Armada, imploring him to send help
** against that idolater, the King of Spain, who, rely-
ing on the help of the Pope and all idolatrous
princes, designs to crush the Queen of England, and
then to turn his whole power to the destruction of
the Sultan, and make himself universal monarch."

Christendom, luckily for the reputation of Eliza-
beth, never saw an alliance between the Crescent
and the Cross of so peculiar a nature brought to
any ultimate result. The Sultan promised, but did
nothing. Turkey was already on the decline,
and her internal troubles occupied her sufficiently.
Ranke, vol. I, p. 433, speaks of "the advances made
by the English Government to the Turks in the
time of Elizabeth", and this factor had no doubt as
much to do with the formation of the Levant Com-
pany as anything else.

In 1586 a charter was granted to fifty-three
individuals, with power to trade in the Levant ; and
though, of course, the ambassador resided at Con-
stantinople, in those days the principal mart of
English trade* was Aleppo, where Michael Locke
was at that time consul, whose account of the con-
dition of affairs In that city is quaint and interesting.
He also speaks of the trade of Chios being great some
years before, and alludes to it as ''the great store of
sundry commodities", and further states that in 1593
tin was the principal article of export from England.
He founded a factory at Aleppo which was one


of the most flourishing In the Levant for 1 50 years.
The outlet of this commerce was Scanderoon, and
we find all the vessels which traded to the East,
including the ship Hector, which took Master Dallam
out, going to Scanderoon before Constantinople.

Sir Edward Barton was the first resident ambas-
sador at Constantinople. Harebone had evidently
been only sent out as a plenipotentiary extraordinary
to inaugurate the intercourse with the Levant.
Hakluyt (vol. II) gives us an account of the present
which Sir Edward Barton took out on the ship
Ascension In 1593 for the Sultan Amurath III: "12
goodly pieces of plate, 36 garments of cloth of all
colours, 20 garments of cloth of gold, 10 garments
of satin, 6 pieces of fine Holland, and certain other
things of good value." To his powerful wife, the
Sultana Safiye, Queen Elizabeth sent a "jewel of
her Majesty's picture set with rubies and diamonds;
3 pieces of gilt plate ; 10 garments of cloth of gold ;
a very fine case of glasse bottles, silver and gilt ;
and 2 pieces of fine Holland." With Mahomed HI,
who succeeded his father, Amurath HI, in 1595, Sir
E. Barton seems to have been on most intimate
terms, carrying on the traditional alliance, and hopes
of possible hope of support which had been started
in his father's reign.

Mahomed HI was the eldest son of Amurath,
one of his 103 children. He was a son of his
Venetian wife and favourite, the Sultana Safiye, a
lady of the House of Baffo, who had been captured
by a Turkish corsair in her youth. Mahomed HI


put nineteen of his brothers to death on his accession,
the grossest instance of fratricide even in Turkish
annals. He was at the outset of his reign chiefly
engaged in wars in Hungary, and in these Sir
Edward Barton accompanied him. They ended in
the victory of Cerestes, and, on his return to Con-
stantinople, Sir E. Barton, worn out by the rigours
of the campaign, died. In Sultan Mahomed Hi's
letter to Queen Elizabeth, in 1 596, he thus alludes
to Sir E. Barton: ''As to your highnesse's well-
beloved Ambassador at our blessed Porte, Edward
Barton, one of the nation of the Messiah, he having
been enjoined by us to follow our imperial camp
without having been enabled previously to obtain
your highness's permission to go with my imperial
Staff, we have reason to be satisfied, and to hope
that also your highness will know how to appreciate
the services he has thus rendered to us in our
imperial camp."

Mustapha, the first Turkish envoy to England in
1607, ^Iso alludes to Sir E. Barton : '' Mr. Barton
was in the army .... when Raab, alias Severin,
was won from the Christians."

Sir E. Barton came of a Yorkshire family, and
was sent out to Constantinople as ambassador in
1593, with the title of "Agent for her Majesty with
the Grand Seignior". Subsequently, however, he
received his stipend from the Levant Company.
He died at Chalki, one of the Prince's Islands, in
1597, and was buried at the monastery there. His
tombstone (which Dr. Covel saw, vide p. 281) was


displaced and put over the door of the monastery
wrong way up, until Lord Strangford had it put in
its present position, and the following inscription is
still legible : —

" Eduardo Barton, Illustrissimo Serenissimo Anglorum Reginse
Oratori viro prsestantissimo, qui post reditum a beUo Ungarico
quo cum invicto Turcorum imperatore, profectus fuerat diem
obiit, pietatis ergo, ^etatis anno xxxv. Sal. vero mdxcvh xvni
Kal. Januar."

Mr. Henry Lello was appointed to succeed Sir E.
Barton. From the Venetian Daily's report we learn
about his reception by the Sultan. He calls him
Sir Henry Billoe (Von Hammer), but this is an
obvious mistake. Sir Henry Lello wrote regularly
to England an account of affairs as they progressed
at Constantinople. His term of office is chiefly
marked by a prolonged quarrel with the French
ambassador, to which Dallam refers in his MS.
(vide p. 8i), to settle which the Baily of Venice, one
of the Capello family, was chosen arbiter.

Sir Henry Lello's correspondence is now in the
Record Office, and from one of his letters we learn
officially how the Sultan received the present which
Dallam took out. I herewith transcribe a consider-
able portion of it as bearing very good testimony to
the accuracy of Master Thomas Dallam's MS. : —

"5. P. Foreign^ Turkey^ No. 4.
''Henry Lello to S'' Rolf Cecil, 21 Oct. 1599.

" Right Honorable, — I omitted the last curier, for that I could
not then, nor yet cannott, advize yo"" honno^ of that good succes
of my ymployment heere w*'^ the G"" Signior, as I expected, by


the meanes of the french Ambassador, who, with his great bribes
(receyvinge now the Pope's pay), sparethe nothinge to hinder all
my desingnes in mallice, seinge the reputation of Her Majesty is
so great in this port, and cheefly for the consulledge of forrestiers,
W^^ the Grand Signior lyttle after the arrivall of the shipp
graunted should come under Her Majesty's banner, nothwith-
standinge the same was formerly graunted by his father and him
sealfe, proffering all other reasonable demaunds w'^^ her Majesty
should desire, countinge hir frindshipp before that of any other
Christian Prince, rejoysinge greatly to see the shipp to come into
port, and more hir princely presents, espetially the instrument
and plate, whereof hee made gre^t accompt, and at the tyme
apoynted mee to come present the same ; he made demonstration
therof by spekinge himsealf to me w^^ hath not ever bin used (as
is reported) to any Cristian prince's ambassador, the manner
whereof in breefe I doe hereby advize yo"" honnor.

" Althoughe he kept his court out of the Cittie, yett cam hee
home of purpose for mee to delliver her Majestie's letter and
present, and to kisse his hand, at w^^ tyme I apoynted to attend
upon me xii gentlemen on horsebacke, vested in cloth of gould
and silver, a gentlem usher, ii pages in white damaske, 20 menn
in livery gownes, xii merchaunts, desently apparelled merchaunt-
like in blacke, and my sealf attired as richly as I might.

"The captains of the Chowses and Spahees(Chiauses and Spahis)
were sent to accompany and entertayne mee to the G^ Signior his
pallace, where first in open court before the G"^ Signior, his
Pashas, or Counsellors, I declared to them her Ma*^y^'s pleasure,
salutations, and requests.

" Conferring about divers late accidents, espetially of her Majes-
tie's forces against Spaine, and of the peace made betweene him
and the French Kinge, w^^ thay all seemed to dislike, we spent
a smale tyme untill the banquett ordayned for mee was provided ;
which being furnished, only I, Halul Pasha, the Cheefe Vizier,
and a first Pasha, late general of Scelestia (Silistria), sate at one
Table, the other Pashas satt apart by them sealves ; at another,

Online LibraryThomas DallamEarly voyages and travels in the Levant → online text (page 1 of 27)