Saturday, 15 May 2010

Barbary Pirates

What do I know about these North African Muslim pirates? Not a lot. They were a major pain for Western powers throughout our period though I think they peaked in the 17th century. This image shows Dutch ships attacking Tripoli in 1670. They plagued the seas raiding for slaves often taking off whole towns and villages from places as far afield as Ireland and Britain as well as the Mediterranean countries who were most affected.
Interestingly the Earl of Essex in the Civil War had a regiment of Moors who were released from a jail in Cornwall to serve in the army of Parliament. Anyway if you want to learn more about these campaigns read the wikipedia entry.

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