Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

3 Centuries Of Naval History In Shanties & Sea Songs With Lyrics & Notes

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there was presented to the House of Lords 'the humble and lamentable complaint of above 1,500 poor captive souls, now under the miserable oppression of the Turks in Argier, Tunis, Sally and Tituane.' Parliament ordered a general collection throughout the whole of England for the redemp­tion of the captives, and the King issued letters, patent for that purpose. {Lords' Journals, iii. 411-13; Bewes, Church Briefs, p. 117). The verses entitled, The lamentable cries of at least 1500 Christians, printed on p. 31, were evidently-printed and circulated in 1624, when this general collection was made. Beyond raising money in this way for ransoming captives, James did nothing, and nothing was done by Charles till Rainborow was sent to Sallee in 1637. 'The expedition of 1637, whereby 300 or 400 Englishmen were rescued from slavery, was, in design and execution, the solitary success of Charles's naval administra­tion' (Oppenheim, The Administration of the Royal Navy, p. 277). Though a True journal of the Sally Fleet, with the Proceedings of the Voyage, written by John Dunton, mariner, was published in 1637, no ballad writer celebrated the achievement. When the reign of Charles I. began he was at war with Spain, and a ballad entitled The Honour of Bristol, better known as The Angel Gabriel, relates a fight between a Bristol privateer of that name and three Spanish ships (p. 34). The ballad was written by Laurence Price: the precise date of its publication is uncertain {Roxburghe Ballads, vi. 428). Neither Cecil's expedition to Cadiz, nor Buckingham's to the Isle of R6, inspired anything but satires. A short ballad by 'a gentleman who was present in all that service' epitomises the history of the Cadiz voyage (ib. vi. 420). References to both may be found in the volume of