Photographer's Note

The harbour side village of Baltimore in the south-west of Ireland is a favourite port of call for fishermen and yachtsmen because of its sheltered position behind Sherkin Island. This shot was taken on a wet and miserable afternoon but the hardy sailors were not worried by the weather after all with a boat named Gale-force who would be?

Baltimore has a rich maritime history which is sometimes tragic. A strange misfortune befell the village in 1631 when pirates from Algiers and armed troops of the Turkish Ottoman Empire stormed ashore at the little harbour village. In an era when it was common place for white traders from England to land on the African coast and to seize black people as slaves, this was one of the comparatively rare occasions when the boot was on the other foot.
A massacre took place when two Algerian galleys landed in the dead of night, sacked the town and bore off into slavery mostly women and children. Altogether fifty youngsters ‘even those in the cradle’ were abducted, along with thirty-four women and nearly two dozen men, principally the descendants of dissenting and peaceful Protestant settlers from Cornwall, Somerset and Devon.
The invasion left King Charles I (reign 1625-49) incandescent with rage and provoked him into a reaction extreme enough to help create a revolution in England.
The prisoners were destined for a variety of fates - some would live out their days chained to the oars as galley slaves, while others would spend long years in the scented seclusion of the harem or within the walls of the Sultan’s palace. The old city of Algiers, with its narrow streets, intense heat and lively trade, was a melting pot where the villagers would join slaves and freemen of many nationalities. Only two of them ever saw Ireland again.

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Additional Photos by Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2806 W: 84 N: 6959] (31631)
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