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TROUGHTON, Thomas.

Barbarian Cruelty;

Or, an Accurate and Impartial Narrative of the Unparallel'd Sufferings and almost Incredible Hardships of the British Captives, belonging to the Inspector Privateer, Capt. Richard Veale, Commander, during their Slavery under the Arbitrary and Despotic Government of Muley Abdallah, Emperor of Fez and Morocco ... Third Edition. [Bound together with:] A Supplement to the Barbarian Cruelty ...

Published: London: R. Walker, 1751

Stock code: 72892

Price: £1,650

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Third edition of the main text, first published in the same year, first edition of the supplement which contains the accounts of four of Troughton’s fellow captives. “A scarce account of the adventures of the survivors of the Privateer Inspector, which was wrecked on the coast of Morocco” (Cox). One of the most infamous incidents involving the enslavement of British seamen occurred in 1746 when the ship Inspector, was wrecked in Tangier Bay, “All eighty-seven survivors were taken into captivity … It was five long years before Troughton and his surviving comrades were brought back by the British Government” (Milton, White Gold p269). Troughton sets out to relate in detail, “not only an Account of the various Hardships which our now happy ransomed Slaves … were obliged to undergo under the tyrannical Treatment of their respective Task-Masters, or Overseers, but a succinct Account likewise of the Country in which they were taken Captives, and of the wild and extravagant Measures which are occasionally pursued by the Emperor of the Place, whose Will alone is his Law and whose Orders, however irrational, inhuman, or unaccountable they may be, must, on no Pretext whatever, be contested or disobeyed … flattering ourselves that a Narrative of such Variety of shocking Incidents, and unheard-of Cruelties, will of themselves by sufficiently amusing” (Author’s Preface). So outlandish was his tale that Troughton went to great lengths construct an effective “strategy of authentication” (Colley, Captives p90). “He swore to the authenticity of his captivity narrative in front of its printer, and before the Lord Mayor of London himself, Sir Francis Cockayne. He even took twenty-one of his fellow sailors and former comrades in captivity along with him to the Mansion House to ‘attest to the accuracy of his account.’ Their combined testimonies, which bore the names of the seamen able to write and the marks of those who could not, were inserted as a preface to [the] published text, in a transparent attempt to reassure and convince readers before they embarked on it.”

Octavo (171 102 mm). Recent sprinkled half calf to style, red morocco label, raised bands with gilt rules, small floral tools to compartments, marbled sides. Portrait, 5 folding plates. Somewhat browned, repairs to verso of 2 plates, no loss of text or image; a nicely presented copy of an uncommon book.

Bibliography: Colley, Captives: Britain, Empire and the World, 1600-1850; Cox I, p. 382; Milton, White Gold: the extraordinary story of Thomas Pellow.

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