Things I Never Knew About.

Hi,

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I wonder if you have ever read about the village of Baltimore in Ireland, and about what happened there in the early dawn of June 20th, in the year of 1631.

Charles 1 was ruling in England at this time.

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During this period of history there were many raids carried out in Europe by pirates from the Barbary coast.

There were more than one million people taken as slaves from coastal areas, ranging from the Mediterranean up past France and on to Iceland, where it is thought that over 200 Icelandic people were stolen from a village in about 1627.

People were taken from ships travelling around the shores, crossing from England to Ireland and naval ships were also attacked on the high seas.

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The raid on Baltimore was carried out by the crews of two pirate ships under the command of a notorious Dutchman called Murad Reis.

Some reports say that he was helped by a man called John Hackett, who had been the Captain of a ship that the pirates had captured at sea.

He had led the raiders to the quiet and undefended village in return for his own release.

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The terror that the sleeping villagers experienced, as the huge band of 200 or more pirates suddenly overran the quiet village, must have been dreadful.

I would imagine that they would have set fire to everything to bring out the disorientated and panicked people very quickly and easily.

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Over 100 men, women and children were quickly taken back to the ships as prisoners  and eventually ended up 1,000 miles away, in the slave markets of Morocco,Tunisia or Algiers.

They would have been sold, to be used as anything from perpetual galley slaves to ladies-of-the-harem, or anything in between.

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They were gone unseen to their unknown fates

Unlike the traitorous John Hackett, who was reported as having been hung for his perfidy.

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Isn’t that amazing, and I knew nothing about that form of kidnapping having taken place, or that it was on such a scale.

It should be made into a film at the very least.

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So, go forth bravely and have a pirate-free day.

J,x.

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