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783 [759]

K. Hen. 7. The misery of captiues vnder the Turkes. The danger of them that flee thence.

mayne bond to the Lord, for him to sell at his pleasure: and therfore such as are wise amongst thē wil not mary. They which refuse to be circumcised, are miserably handled: for example wherof, the author (which geueth testimony hereof) doth inferre his owne experience.

MarginaliaEx Bartholomeo Georgioniz Peregrina lib. de afflictionibus Christianorum sub Turca.

Such captiues as be expert in any manuall art or occupation can better shift for thēselues: but contrariwise, they whiche haue no handycraft to liue vpon, are in worse case. And therfore such as haue bene brought vp in learning, or be priests or noble men, & such other, whose tēder educatiō can abide no hardnes, are the least reputed, & most of all other neglected of him that hath þe sale or keping of thē, for þt he seeth lesse profit to rise of them, then of the other: & therfore no cost of raymēt is bestowed vpon them, but they are caried about bare head, & barefoote, both sommer & winter in frost and snow. And if any faynt and be sicke in the way, there is no resting in any Inn, but first he is driuē forward with whips, and if that will not serue, he is set peraduenture vpon some horse: or if his weakenesse be such, that hee cannot sit, then is he layde ouerthwart the horse vpon hys belly, like a Calfe, and if he chaunce to dye, they take of hys garment such as he hath, and throw him in a ditch.

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In the way moreouer, beside the cōmon chayne, which doth inclose thē all, the hāds also of euery one are manicled which is because they shoulde not harme theyr leaders, for many times it happened þt x. persons had the leading of 50. captiues: & whē night came, theyr feet also were fettered, so þt they lodged in no house, but lay vpon the groūd al night.

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MarginaliaThe miserable calamitie of Christen women being in captiuitie vnder the turkes.The yong women had a litle more gentlenes shewed, being caried in paniers on the day time. But when nyght came, pity it was to heare the miserable crying out of such as were inclosed wtin by reason of the filthy iniuries which they suffred by their cariers, in so much that the yong tēder age of 7. or 8. yeres, as wel of þe one sexe as of þe other could not saue thē frō þe most filthy villany of the bestiall turkes.

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MarginaliaThe maner of Christen captiues, how they are brought to markets and solde.When the morning cometh, they are brought foorth to the market, to sale, where the buyer if he be disposed plucking of theyr garments, vieweth all the bones & ioynts of theyr body: and if he like them, he geueth his price, and carieth thē away into miserable seruitude, either to tilling of their groūd, or to pasture their cattel, or some other straūge kind of misery incredible to speake of: MarginaliaChristians in their captiuitie, put to drawe in the plough like horses.In so much that the author reporteth, that he hath sene himselfe, certeine of such Christen captiues yoked together like horse and oxen, and to draw the plough. The maid seruaunts likewise are kept in perpetuall toile and work in close places, where neither they come in sight of any man, neither be they petmitted to haue any talke with theyr fellowe seruauntes. &c. Such as are committed to keep beastes, lye abroad day and night in the wilde fieldes, without house and harbor, and so chaunging their pastour, goe from mountayne to mountayne: of whom also, beside the office of keeping the beastes, other handy labour is exacted at spare houres, such as pleaseth theyr maysters to put vnto them.

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MarginaliaThe great daungers of Christen captiues which flye out of turky.Out of this misery there is no way for them to flye, especially for them that are caryed into Asia beyond the seas: Or if any do attempt so to do, he taketh his time chiefely about haruest, when he may hide himselfe all the day time in the corne, or in woodes, or marishes, and finde foode: and in the night onely, hee flyeth and had rather been deuoured of wolues and other wild beastes, then to returne agayne to his maister. MarginaliaThe maner and shift of our men in getting ouer the sea.In theyr flying they vse to take with them an hatchet and coardes, that when they come to the sea side, they may cut downe trees, and binde together the endes of them, and so, where the sea of Hellespontus is narrowest, about the Sestos and Abidos, they take the sea, sitting vpon trees, where, if they winde & tide do serue luckely, they may cut ouer in foure or fiue houres: MarginaliaThe manifold daungers by the way in flying.But the most part either perish in the floudes, or are driuen backe agayne vpon the coastes of Asia, or els be deuoured of wilde beastes in woodes, or perish with hunger and famine. If any escape ouer the seas aliue into Europe, by the way they enter into no towne, but wander vpon the moūtaynes, following onely the northstarre for theyr guide.

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MarginaliaThe mysery of Christian cities & prouinces which liue vnder the turkes tribute.As touching such townes & prouinces, which are won by the Turke, and wherein the Christians are suffered to liue vnder tribute: first all the nobility there they kill and make away, the churchmen and Clergy hardly they spare The Churches with the belles & all the furniture thereof, either they cast down, or els they conuert to the vse of their owne blasphemous 

Commentary  *  Close

The addition of this adjective, 'blasphemous', is one of only twointerpolations that Foxe made to Georgevits's description of Ottoman treatment oftheir captives. This description of the Ottoman sultan as a master thief is one ofonly two interpolations Foxe made into Georgevits's description of Ottomantreatment of their captives

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Religion, leauing to the Christians, certayn olde and blinde chappels, which when they decay, it is permitted to our mē to repayre thē agayne, for a great somme of mony geuen to the Turke: Neither be they permitted to vse any open preaching or ministration. But only in silence and by stealth, to frequent together. Neither is it lawfull for any Christian to beare office within the ci-ty or prouince, nor to beare weapon, nor to weare any garment like to the Turkes. MarginaliaIf Christians may not goe lyke turkes, why should our Gospellers goe like Papistes? And if any contumely or blasphemy, be it neuer so great, be spoken agaynst thē, or agaynst Christ, yet muste thou beare it, and holde thy peace. Or if thou speake one word agaynst theyr religion, thou shalt be compelled (whether thou wilt or no) to be circumcised: And then if thou speake one word agaynst Mahumet, thy punishment is fire and burning. MarginaliaThe turkes haue their fire & fagots, as well as our papistes. And if it chaunce a Christian being on horsebacke, to meet or passe by a Musulman, that is a Turkish priest, MarginaliaThe Christians must light from their horse, meting a turkish priest, and adore hym.he must light from his horse, & with a lowly looke, deuoutly reuerēce & adore þe Musulman: Or if he do not, he is beatē down frō his horse wt clubs & staues.

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Furthermore, for theyr tribute they pay the fourth part of theyr substance and gayne to the Turke: beside the ordinary tribute of the Christians, whiche is to paye for euery polle within his family, a ducket vnto the Turke: which if the parentes cannot doe, they are compelled to sell theyr children into bondage. Other being not able to pay go cheined in fetters from dore to dore begging, to make vp theyr payment, or els must lye in perpetuall prison.

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MarginaliaAn other miserie most lamentable, in takyng away Christen mens children from their parentes, to serue the turke.And yet notwithstanding, whē the christians haue discharged all duties: it remaineth free for the turkes to take vp among the christians children, whom the best like, and thē to circumcise and to take them away being yong, from the sight of theyr parēts, to far places, to be brought vp for the Turkes wars, so that they may not returne to them agayne: but first are taught to forget Christ, & then theyr parents: so that if they come agayne amongst thē, yet are they not able to know theyr kinsfolkes and parents.

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This misery passing all other miseries, no man is able wt toung to vtter, or with words to expresse. MarginaliaO myserie.What weping & teares, what sorow and lamentatiō, what groning, sighes, and deep dolor doth teare & rent a sonder the woefull harts of the sely parents, at the plucking away of their babes and children? to see theyr sonnes & theyr own childrē, whom they haue borne and bred vp to the seruice of Christ Iesus the sonne of God, now to be drawn away violētly frō thē to þe warfare of Satan, and to fight agaynst Christ? to see theyr babes borne of christiā bloud, of christiās to be made turks and so to be pluckt out of their armes and out of their sight without hope euer to returne to them agayne: to liue perpetually with aliens, barbarous & blasphemous Turkes, and so to become of the number of them which are called fatherles and motherles. MarginaliaThis is with teares rather thē with words to be expressed.

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Albeit the same childrē 

Commentary  *  Close

This description of covert Christianity under the Ottomans, and of aprophecy of Christian overthrow of the Turks, are all taken from BartolomeoGeorgivits, De origine imperii Turcorum as excerpted in Theodore Bibliander,Machumetis Saracenorum principis…Alcoran (Basel, 1550), III, p. 179..

afterward do greatly degenerate from the fayth of Christ, MarginaliaPriuy Gospellers in Turkie,yet very many of them haue priuily about them the gospell written of S. Iohn, In principio erat verbum &c. which for a token of remembraunce of theyr christian fayth, they cary vnder theyr armehole , writen in greek and araby. Who greatly desire, and long looke for the reuenging sword of þe Christians to come & deliuer them out of theyr dolorous thraldome and captiuity according as the Turkes themselues haue a prophecy, MarginaliaAn olde Prophesie of the turkes touching the sword of the Christians. & greatly stand in feare of the same. Wherof more shalbe said (Christ willing) in the chapter folowing.

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¶ And thus haue 

Commentary  *  Close

The following remarks on the afflictions of Christians under Ottomanrule and the need to make them known to English readers, are Foxe's own comments.

ye heard þe lamētable afflictiōs of our christian brethren vnder the cruell tyranny & captiuity of þe turks, passing all other captiuityes that euer haue bene to Gods people, either vnder Pharao in Egipt, or vnder Nabuchodonoser in Babilō, or vnder Antiochus in þe tyme of the Machabees. Vnder the which captiuity, if it so please the Lord to haue his spouse the church to be nurtered, hys good will to be done and obeyed. But if this misery come by the negligence & discorde of our christian guides & leaders, then haue we to pray and cry to our Lord God, eyther to geue better harts to our guiders and rulers, or els better guides and rulers to his flocke.

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And these troubles and afflictions of our Christen brethren suffered by the Turkes, I thought good and profitable for our countrey people here of Englande to knowe, for so much as by the ignoraunce of these, and such like hystoryes worthy of consideration, I see much inconueniēce doth folow. MarginaliaNecessary for many causes that the troubles of the church be knowen.Whereby it commeth to passe, that because we English men being far of from these countryes, and little knowing what misery is abroad, are the lesse moued with zeale & compassion, to tender theyr greuaunces, and to pray for them, whose troubles we know not. Whereupō also foloweth, that we not cōsidering the miserable state of other are the les gratefull to God, when any tranquility by hym to vs is graunted. And if any litle cloud of perturbation arise vpon vs, be it neuer so litle, as pouerty, losse of liuing, or a litle banishment out of our countrey for the Lordes cause, we make a great matter thereat, and all because wee going no further then onr own country, and onely feeling our own crosse, do not compare that which we feele, with the great crosses, whereunto the Churches of Christ commonly in other places abroad are subiect. Which if we dyd

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