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Folklore: Sack of Baltimore

GUEST,# 13 Jul 15 - 08:46 PM
GUEST,Phil 14 Jul 15 - 01:32 AM
The Sandman 14 Jul 15 - 03:27 AM
The Sandman 14 Jul 15 - 03:29 AM
MartinRyan 14 Jul 15 - 04:15 AM
MartinRyan 14 Jul 15 - 04:20 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jul 15 - 04:21 AM
MartinRyan 14 Jul 15 - 04:35 AM
MartinRyan 14 Jul 15 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 14 Jul 15 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,# 14 Jul 15 - 11:30 AM
Keith A of Hertford 14 Jul 15 - 11:31 AM
Keith A of Hertford 14 Jul 15 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,# 14 Jul 15 - 11:43 AM
meself 14 Jul 15 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 14 Jul 15 - 12:07 PM
Les from Hull 14 Jul 15 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 14 Jul 15 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,# 14 Jul 15 - 01:17 PM
JeffB 14 Jul 15 - 01:55 PM
MartinRyan 14 Jul 15 - 02:45 PM
wysiwyg 14 Jul 15 - 02:48 PM
meself 14 Jul 15 - 03:02 PM
Keith A of Hertford 14 Jul 15 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,# 14 Jul 15 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,# 14 Jul 15 - 06:37 PM
LadyJean 15 Jul 15 - 12:19 AM
GUEST,# 15 Jul 15 - 01:16 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: GUEST,#
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 08:46 PM

While searching for something else I came across a piece of history that is probably familiar to many of those on the eastern side of the Atlantic, but it's a story I'd never encountered before in book or in song.

In short, Barbary pirates captured/kidnapped over a hundred men, women and children who were sold into slavery of various sorts in northern Africa. The date of the raid was June 20, 1631. The questions I have are as follows.

Is this a well-known piece of Irish/UK history?
Are there songs about it that are still sung?
Are there books published that are informative and accurate?

Many thanks for any light you are willing to shine on this subject.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 01:32 AM

Elkin, The Stolen Village: Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates (Dublin: O'Brien, 2006)

Is fairly recent and a good starting point. Note: There were a number of Turkish Army regulars in the raiding party. Not a pirate raid in the usual sense.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 03:27 AM

there is pub in baltimore called the algiers,thee is a song caled the sack of baltimore, words bt thomas davis to an air calledcois laoi nas reabh, it can be found in james n healy irish ballads of song and sea.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 03:29 AM

THE SUMMER 1 sun is falling soft on Carbery's hundred isles,        
The summer sun is gleaming still through Gabriel's rough defiles;        
Old Innisherkin's crumbled fane looks like a moulting bird,        
And in a calm and sleepy swell the ocean tide is heard:        
The hookers lie upon the beach; the children cease their play;               5
The gossips leave the little inn; the households kneel to pray;        
And full of love, and peace, and rest, its daily labor o'er,        
Upon that cosy creek there lay the town of Baltimore.        

A deeper rest, a starry trance, has come with midnight there;        
No sound, except that throbbing wave, in earth, or sea, or air!               10
The massive capes and ruin'd towers seem conscious of the calm;        
The fibrous sod and stunted trees are breathing heavy balm.        
So still the night, these two long barques round Dunashad that glide        
Must trust their oars, methinks not few, against the ebbing tide.        
Oh, some sweet mission of true love must urge them to the shore!               15
They bring some lover to his bride who sighs in Baltimore.        

All, all asleep within each roof along that rocky street,        
And these must be the lover's friends, with gently gliding feet—        
A stifled gasp, a dreamy noise! "The roof is in a flame!"        
From out their beds and to their doors rush maid and sire and dame,               20
And meet upon the threshold stone the gleaming sabre's fall,        
And o'er each black and bearded face the white or crimson shawl.        
The yell of "Allah!" breaks above the prayer, and shriek, and roar:        
O blessed God! the Algerine is lord of Baltimore!        

Then flung the youth his naked hand against the shearing sword;               25
Then sprung the mother on the brand with which her son was gor'd;        
Then sunk the grandsire on the floor, his grand-babes clutching wild;        
Then fled the maiden moaning faint, and nestled with the child:        
But see! yon pirate strangled lies, and crush'd with splashing heel,        
While o'er him in an Irish hand there sweeps his Syrian steel:               30
Though virtue sink, and courage fail, and misers yield their store,        
There 's one hearth well avenged in the sack of Baltimore.        

Midsummer morn in woodland nigh the birds begin to sing,        
They see not now the milking maids,—deserted is the spring;        
Midsummer day this gallant rides from distant Bandon's town,               35
These hookers cross'd from stormy Skull, that skiff from Affadown;        
They only found the smoking walls with neighbors' blood besprent,        
And on the strewed and trampled beach awhile they wildly went,        
Then dash'd to sea, and pass'd Cape Clear, and saw, five leagues before,        
The pirate-galley vanishing that ravaged Baltimore.               40

Oh, some must tug the galley's oar, and some must tend the steed;        
This boy will bear a Scheik's chibouk, and that a Bey's jerreed.        
Oh, some are for the arsenals by beauteous Dardanelles;        
And some are in the caravan to Mecca's sandy dells.        
The maid that Bandon gallant sought is chosen for the Dey:               45
She 's safe—she's dead—she stabb'd him in the midst of his Serai!        
And when to die a death of fire that noble maid they bore,        
She only smiled, O'Driscoll's child; she thought of Baltimore.        

'T is two long years since sunk the town beneath that bloody band,        
And all around its trampled hearths a larger concourse stand,               50
Where high upon a gallows-tree a yelling wretch is seen:        
'T is Hackett of Dungarvan—he who steer'd the Algerine!        
He fell amid a sullen shout with scarce a passing prayer,        
For he had slain the kith and kin of many a hundred there.        
Some mutter'd of MacMurchadh, who brought the Norman o'er;               55
Some curs'd him with Iscariot, that day in Baltimore.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 04:15 AM

I recall Davis's poem from schooldays - but have never heard it sung.

I used to teach sailing in Baltimore for a week or two every summer, many years ago. Beautiful area (as GSS will know) - sadly in the news recently due to a tragic multiple drowning.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 04:20 AM

For a short account of the incident:

Click here

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 04:21 AM

As Phil says, fairly recently rediscovered in Elkin's book - not particularly well written, but fascinating reading.
I understand there has been something done on it since.
The pirates were led by a Dutchman and the raiders were Dutch, Algerians and Turks
Local politics and collusion by the British and Irish authorities were part of the plot.
There is a song about one of the protagonists, chieftain Fineen O'Driscoll: 'Fineen the Rover', (written, I think, by Dominic Behan - certainly sung by him), but as I remember, the events of 1631 didn't come into it.
There was a silly review of the book in the Irish Independent, describing it as a raid by "Islamic terrorists" - the author, Des Elkin, is a staff writer for the Irish 'Sunday World'.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 04:35 AM

"Fineen the Rover" certainly predates Dominic Behan ( bit of a copyright pirate himself, of course!) - late 19th C. Maybe Robert Dwyer Joyce or someone of that ilk. I'll check.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 04:40 AM

Yep -

Click here

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 06:29 AM

Forgive my failing memory. However, IIRC, Barbary Coast pirate raids along the English channel, and one presumes the southern coast of Ireland, were fairly common around this time. Indeed, I strongly suspect that the Royal Oak (Roud 951) celebrates just such a raid. If so, that would certainly account for the devastation unleashed by the RO on the pirate fleet. Barbary coast ships tended to be very lightweight and very fast; little more than skiffs in fact and they certainly wouldn't have been built to withstand the cascade of cannon shot which a fighting man of war could unleash.

Whatever, while BC pirates were a pretty vicious lot, to call them "Islamic terrorists", as the Irish Independent appears to have done, is indigestible nonsense. Unfortunately, it is also the kind of garbage which the British far right tries to poison people's minds with.

One such organisation, happily now virtually defunct, used to run an on-line bookstore. Amongst torrents of crap about the "red menace", the dangers of miscegenation, and the devil knows what, were lurid accounts of the "Islamic menace" which the Barbary Coast pirates used to terrify the "Christian West" with.

Recently, English newspapers have been covering the conviction of Robert Ewing for the murder of Blackpool schoolgirl Paige Chivers in 2007. What the newspapers didn't say so much about was that the aforementioned far right organisation tried to whip up a storm of hatred against Blackpool's Islamic community by claiming - with no supporting evidence whatsoever - that she was the victim of an Islamic grooming gang.

That was quite obscene enough, and the incident represents a fair example of the depths to which these vermin will sink, in their determination to demonise perfectly innocent Islamic citizens.

However, anyone looking up the 2007 membership list of this outfit would have found that it contained the name and address of that self same Robert Ewing. That's right, the organisation which had been trying to start a witch hunt against everybody who ever worshipped in a mosque, had the real murderer lurking in its own ranks.

If I ever need a new definition of the word 'sick', that will just about fit the bill.

The Royal Oak. Roud 951

As we was sailing all on the salt seas,
We hadn't sailed months past but two or three,
Not before we saw ten sail of Turks,
All men-o'-war full as big as we.

"Pull down your colours, you English dogs!
Pull down your colours, do not refuse.
Oh, pull down your colours, you English dogs
Or else your precious life you'll lose!"

Our captain being a valiant man,
And a well-bespoken young man were he:
"Oh, it never shall be said that we died like dogs,
But we will fight them most manfully!"

"Go up, you lofty cabin boys,
And mount the mainmast topsail high,
For to spread abroad to King George's fleet
That we'll run the risk or else we'll die!"

The fight begun 'bout six in the morning,
And on to the setting of the sun.
Oh, and at the rising of the next morning,
Out of ten ships we couldn't see but one.

Oh, three we sank and three we burned,
And three we caused to run away,
And one we brought into Portsmouth harbour,
For to let them know we had won the day.

If anyone then should enquire
Or want to know our captain's name,
Oh, Captain Wellfounder's our chief commander
But the Royal Oak is our ship by name.

From The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, Williams and Lloyd
Collected from Moses Mansfield, Surrey, 1912, by Clive Carey.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: GUEST,#
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 11:30 AM

Thank you all for the interesting and informative posts. They're very much appreciated.

I don't know why I didn't connect the Turkish soldiers on board with the janissaries. It leads me to suspect that because the raid on Baltimore took place near the time the janisseries were broken up as an organization, the soldiers on board were pirates in the sense they were in the process of becoming--or were by that time--mercenaries.

I also agree that the modern day spin put on Muslim motivations of that time is bunk. I'm intrigued by the collusion of English and Irish land and/or shop owners and the eventual fate of at least one ship owner who helped the raiders accomplish their objective. Something I read also states that the Barbary pirates attacked as far north as Iceland.

Thank you all once again.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 11:31 AM

I started a thread about this in 2003.
Much history is to be found in it,
thread.cfm?threadid=62934&messages=82


Here is a fragment of a poem posted there,
From: ard mhacha - PM
Date: 15 Sep 03 - 05:04 PM

Keith, This poem which I was taught at school, a long time ago, always fascinated me.
I do remember clearly the third verse,

All,all asleep within each roof along that rocky street

and these must be the lover`s friends, with gently gliding feet-

A stifled gasp,a dreamy noise!"the roof is in a flame"

From out their beds and to their doors rush maid and sire and dame,

And meet upon the threshold stone the gleaming sabre`s fall,

and o`er each black and bearded face the white or crimson shawl.

The yell of "Allah" breaks above the the prayer, and shriek and roar,
O blessed God the Algerine is lord of Baltimore.

And it goes on and on, something like eight verses, the Author was Thomas Davis. Ard Mhacha


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 11:34 AM

(Thomas Davis also wrote "A Nation Once Again."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: GUEST,#
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 11:43 AM

Thank you, Keith. I should have searched Mudcat but I seldom have much luck with that. Your post added to the others has certainly given me a great deal to start with. I appreciate your kindness.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: meself
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 11:51 AM

' ... a silly review of the book in the Irish Independent, describing it as a raid by "Islamic terrorists" - the author, Des Elkin, is a staff writer for the Irish 'Sunday World' .... '

I do trust that the 'Irish Independent' and the 'Sunday World' are publications that no reasonably intelligent person takes seriously ... ?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 12:07 PM

I can't speak for the Irish Independent, but its British equivalent is, by Fleet Street standards at any rate, both weighty and intelligent. I certainly wouldn't have expected a phrase like "Islamic terrorists" to crop up in such a context.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: Les from Hull
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 12:41 PM

Barbary corsairs (from the nominally Turkish states of Algiers and Tunis) were active for centuries before being suppressed by European states in the early 19th century. Spain, Italy and Malta were more regularly raided for slaves.

Another Barbary Corsair was Ward the Pirate of folk song fame.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 01:01 PM

Les, how does the word nominally fit into this? Is it because Tunis and Algiers were part of the Turkish empire? Forgive my ignorance, but I'd always imagined that 'Turk' in this context was a general term of abuse for anyone who looked Arabic and liable to blow your ship from underneath you.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: GUEST,#
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 01:17 PM

http://www.historyireland.com/early-modern-history-1500-1700/from-baltimore-to-barbary-the-1631-sack-of-baltimore/

Just parking the link here for the nonce.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: JeffB
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 01:55 PM

The pirates were based on Lundy Island in the approach to the English Channel, from where they also attacked the Cornish village of Mousehole. They even raided as far as Iceland. They were on Lundy around the period 1627 - 32. Murat Reis's original name was Jan Janszoon.

Before Ries, Lundy had been the base of the piratical Marisco family, and was used by pirates and privateers of different nations for many years to come.

There are a few songs - those which say a ship was a just day from her loading port - which I suspect derive from attacks by pirates in the Bristol Channel, but I don't think the Royal Oak is one of them.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 02:45 PM

Fred

The Irish Independent is a very different kettle of fish from its English namesake.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 02:48 PM

The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62934   Message #3723595
Posted By: W y s i w y G !
14-Jul-15 - 02:46 PM
Thread Name: Songs for white slaves?
Subject: RE: Songs for white slaves?

Modern Irish scholarship draws a clear distinction between US chattel slavery and any form of white slavery including the Algerine/Barbary form. The distinction is not new; the perspectin of the need to imagine worse horrors than the Algerine slaves experienced may be. 

Excerpts from a book at Gutenberg summarize:

"'Indeed, truth and justice demand from me the confession that the Christian slaves among the barbarians of Africa are treated with more humanity than the African slaves among the professing Christians of civilized America; and yet here sensibility bleeds at every pore for the wretches whom fate has doomed to slavery.'

"Such testimony would seem to furnish a decisive standard or measure of comparison by which to determine the character of White Slavery in the Barbary States. But there are other considerations and authorities. One of these is the influence of the religion of these barbarians.... the generally kind treatment bestowed by Mohammedans upon slaves. The lash rarely, if ever, lacerates the back of the female; the knife or branding iron is not employed upon any human being to mark him as the property of his fellow-man. Nor is the slave doomed, as in other countries, where the Christian religion is professed, to unconditional and perpetual service, without prospect of redemption. Hope, the last friend of misfortune, may brighten his captivity."

I offer this as information, not argument.....my fone does not facilitate making links and pasting multiple text quotes but the information is out there.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: meself
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 03:02 PM

That's a pretty rosy picture compared to what I read in a book on the subject not too long ago - title & author have slipped my mind, though; it could have been by Davis ....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 04:17 PM

My reply is on the old thread.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: GUEST,#
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 06:13 PM

"He [Jan Janszoon] was destined to become a pirate king on the Barbary Coast in North Africa. Jan was known in the English speaking world as Captain John, John Barber and Little John Ward. His Arabic names were Caid Morato, Morat, Morat Rais, Murad, Murad Reis, Mutare Reis, Morato Reis and Murat Reis. Reis or rais in Arabic means captain."

from

http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~windmill/html/murad%20reis.html


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: GUEST,#
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 06:37 PM

https://ia700406.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/0/items/whiteslaveryinba00sumnrich/whiteslaveryinba00sumnrich_jp2.zip&file=whiteslaveryinba00sumnrich_jp2/whiteslaveryinba00sumnrich_0009.jp2&scale=4&rotate=0

The quote that W y s i w y G ! provided is from 'White Slavery in the Barbary States' by Charles Sumner and originally printed in 1853.

From some further reading, the picture that is appearing is clear like a foggy day. My hope is to concentrate on the particular raid and not the issue of slavery per se, although it is obvious that the purpose of the raid and others like it was economic in that slaves were a valuable resource.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: LadyJean
Date: 15 Jul 15 - 12:19 AM

I can reccommend "Pirates of the Barbary" by Alan Tinniswood. It will have you turning pages. It does include a chapter on the sack of Baltimore.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sack of Baltimore
From: GUEST,#
Date: 15 Jul 15 - 01:16 PM

Thank you, Lady Jean.


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