Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/233

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ii s. XL MAR. 20, i9i5.] NOTES AND QQERIES.


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glimpses of his comparatively dull, un- eventful life : his days devoted to business, his evening walk to Dulwich or Hampstead, and, returning to the old City home, his nightly relaxation at some neighbouring tavern. Such a course of existence would hardly fit him for the adventurous life in the Turkish Empire of those days, and yet, although we have but few souvenirs re- maining of the Turkey merchants in Eng- land, the number of youngj men who em- barked at Wapping or Blackwall on " le- vanters " for Cyprus or Alexandretta must have been considerable in the eighteenth century.

Some few of the old City houses still linger in out-of-the-way nooks, mute monu- ments of unrecorded lives, with their neat- looking red-brick fronts and classic doorways entering into marble - paved halls. From such homes the young men whose graves are in the Levant went to pass years of weary exile in a Khan at Aleppo, or to found a Levantine family in Larnaca or Smyrna.

The majority of the merchants whose monuments remain in the Levant died in their youth. Extreme youth must have been a recommendation, if not imperative, in all aspirants to a position in the Factory, and as a rule merchants sent their sons, and not their clerks, to act as their factors, as they in their turn had been sent by their fathers.

The Levant was regarded as a pernicious station. Moryson, a traveller of about 1600. says that European merchants or factors established at Aleppo seldom returned home, " the twentieth man scarcely living till, his prentiship being out, he may trade here for himself." A hundred years later the conditions of life were somewhat better, to judge by Dr. Bussell's account of the Factory.

The colony of Englishmen at Larnaca and Ormidhia differed from the older Aleppo Factory in that it consisted of merchants living more a family life. The semi- collegiate " Khan," with its unmarried young men,* was not known in Cyprus. Apropos of this, a curious souvenir of long ago was recently picked up at Larnaca: it is an old posy-ring or betrothal token, a " Baffo diamond," on which is engraved within an oval the representation of a fantastic altar supporting two hearts. Around the margin are the words LOVE VNIGHT vs (sic). It jooks like native workmanship, such as some


Vide Maundrell's ' Journey.'


young merchant of 200 years ago would" ery possibly have commissioned in Larnaca bazaar.

Aleppo in the seventeenth century was he emporium of the Indian trade : Venetian r French, Dutch, and English merchants 3onstituted a large community within its ^alls, and in the reign of Charles II. upwards of fifty English houses formed the "nation " inder the British Consul, and inhabited the- English " Factory " or Khan.

Aleppo was the centre of the business operations of the " Levant Company," or ' Company of Merchants trading in the- Seas of the Levant," founded by Queen Elizabeth in 1581, which remained in the enjoyment of its profitable privileges until L825. Cyprus rose into importance as a factory of the Company during the eigh- teenth century. Smyrna also belongs to the later period, and continues as the centre of the Levant trade of modern days. The consular district of Aleppo embraced various Vice-Consulates, not necessarily permanent,, of which Cyprus (Larnaca) was perhaps one of the most important.

The Cyprus Vice -Consulate may be traced back to 1626, but the actual English Colcny and Factory of Larnaca can only be said to synchronize with the course of the eigh- teenth century. There are no records preserved separately of the Cyprus Vice- Consulate, but many stray documents referring to it are to be found amongst the Letter-Books, &c., of the Aleppo Consulate removed, as mentioned above, to the Public Record Office, London, in 1910. The oldest of these books contains a reference under the date 22 July, 1626, to " Petro Savioni, Nro V. Console in Cipro." As was fre- quently the case at that period, the entries are in the Italian language.

The first record of a regular consular appointment in Cyprus is : At the Court of Assistants of 19 May, 1636, a letter was read from Mr. Glover, " who hath taken upon him the Consulship of Cyprus," asking for the Levant Company's approbation. At the General Court of 2 June, 1636, Glover was appointed Vice-Consul, subordinate to the Consul of Aleppo (vide Epstein's ' Earljr History ' of Levant Company, p. 216).

M. D'Arvieux (' Memoires '), going out to Aleppo as the representative of the " Grand Monarque " in 1675, describes the seas of Cyprus as infested by Tripoli (Africa) and Majorcan corsairs. Whilst anchored in Lar- naca Bay he was feted by all the resident Europeans in the island with sumptuous