Monday, 16 July 2018

Carlo Fantom's entry in John Aubrey's Brief Lives (1680-93)

Brief Lives wiki
CARLO FANTOM
CAPTAIN CARLO FANTOM, a Croatian, spake 13 languages; was a Captain under the Earle of Essex. He was very quarrelsome and a great Ravisher. He left the Parliament Party, and went to the King Ch. the first at Oxford, where he was hanged for Ravishing.
Sd. he, I care not for your Cause: I come to fight for your halfe-crowne, and your handsome woemen: my father was a R. Catholiq; and so was my grandfather. I have fought for the Christians against the Turkes; and for the Turkes against the Christians.
Sir Robert Pye was his Colonel, who shot at him for not returning a horse that he tooke away before the Regiment. This was donne in a field near Bedford, where the Army then was, as they were marching to the relief of Gainsborough. Many are yet living that sawe it. Capt. Hamden was by: The bullets went through his Buff-coat, and Capt. H. sawe his shirt on fire. Capt. Carl. Fantom tooke the Bullets, and sayd he, Sir Rob. Here, take your bullets again. None of the Soldiers would dare to fight with him: they sayd, they would not fight with the Devil.
Edmund Wyld, Esq., was very well acquainted with him, and gave him many a Treat, and at last he prevailed with him so far, towards the knowledge of this secret, that Fantom told him, that the Keepers in their Forests did know a certain herb, which they gave to Children, which made them to be shott- free (they call them Hard-men.)
In a Booke of Trialls by Duell in foli (writ by Segar, I thinke) before the Combatants fight, they have an Oath administered to them by the Herald; where is inserted (among other things) that they have not about them either Charme or Herb.
Martin Luther in his Commentaries on the First (or second Commandment, I thinke the First) saies that a Hard-man was brought to the Duke of Saxonies Court: he was brought into the great Hall and was commanded to be short with a Musquet: the bullet drop't downe and he had only a blew Spott on his Skin, where he was struck. Martin Luther was then by, and sawe the Bullet drop-downe.

1 comment:

Robbie Rodiss said...

He must have been quite a character and I am amazed that something wasnt done to develop him into a film or series.