Cromwell letter to Mahomet Han

Cromwell letter to Mahomet Han  (1655) 
by Oliver Cromwell

To the high and Mighty Emperor, Sultan Mahomet Han, Chief Lord and Commander of the Mussulman Kingdom[1], Sole and Supreme Monarch of the Eastern Empire.

As for a long time free trade and intercourse has been exercised by our subjects and people in your royal Porte as elsewhere in your dominions, we for our part are right willing to continue the same, and gratefully accept the favour shown to them by your royal hands. Yet we cannot but be "touched by a feeling of resentment" at the wrongs and injuries inflicted on some of them by the injustice of evil ministers and officers, contrary, we are persuaded, to your privity and knowledge.

These therefore are to give you to know that William White, Englishman, commander of the George, was met with by the Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli fleet, and desired to serve you Highness against the Ventians, which service he accepted on promise of performance of conditions agreed upon, for pay and freedom of the ship and mariners.

Yet all were seized at Rhodes and the ship fired, whereby damage was amounting to 50,000 dollars[2], as we are informed by his petition, and also by a certificate under the hand and seal of Sir Thomas Bendish, our late ambassador at your Porte.

Many demands have been made for redress without effect, all which we think good to represent to you, trusting that you will give special orders for satisfaction and reparation.


  1. An early term for Muslim
  2. Although not a common term, "dollars" were used throughout the 17th Century, as seen in Shakespeare's Macbeth