Together with a List of those who are still on board the said Galleys.

LONDON, Printed for Richard Parker at the Ʋnicorn under the Royal Exchange, and Sold by A. Baldwin near the Oxford Arms in Warwick-lane, 1699.

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IT is not out of any vanity that I have been induced to publish the following account of my sufferings, while I have remained on board the French Kings Galleys, or in the Dungeons of Marseilles; but the Lord out of his infinite mercy having saved me out my distresses, brought me out of darkness, and broken my Fetters, some pious persons have thought I should be ungrateful, did I not praise the Lord for his goodness, and publish his wonderful works to the children of men.

I left the Kingdom of France upon account of my Religion in the year 1679, being then aged about 18 years of age, and went to St Domingo, and from thence to New York, where I married sometime after, and as I had been bred to Sea; some friends of mine fitted out a small Ship of about 80 Tuns, which they trusted to my care and command, having been made a Free Denizen of England by his present Majesty in the first year of his Reign.

I sailed from New York on the 15th of August 1692, bound for Jamaica, and was taken on the 29th by a Privateer from St Malo, who was returning home from St Domingo. I continued two months on board his ship, after which I was put in Prison with other Seamen and Prisoners at War. The Judge of the Admiralty being informed that I was a French Protestant, gave notice thereof to the King’s Attorney, who having acquainted Monsieur de Pontchartrain with it, received order to persuade me to change my Religion; or in case I proved obstinate, to condemn me to the Galleys. This order was signified unto me, but God was pleased to assist me in such a manner, that I was not terrified in the least, and did not hesitate at all, to answer that I could not comply with their desire, seeing it was against my Conscience. Their solicitations proving vain, I was brought before the Court to be examined, and asked, why I was not returned into the Kingdom, when the King had by a Proclamation recalled all his Subjects, who were in foreign Countries?

I answered, that it was because the Gospel commanded me, when I was persecuted in one Kingdom, to fly into another Country. The Judge, being likely a stranger to Scripture maxims and expressions, told me that I blasphemed; but having desired him to tell me wherein, he would not, and repeated the same word. I replied, that this was an expression of the Son of God contained in the Gospel; whereupon he inclined his head, looking upon the Greffier or Clerk of the Court, repeating once more that I blasphemed. He examined me also upon several other articles foreign to my purpose, and sent the Information he had taken to Court.

I remained four months in the Prisons of St. Malo, where I had many temptations to overcome, as threats and promises, but by the grace of God I was proof against all their artifices. The order of the Court being arrived, my Sentence was pronounced, and I was sent to Rennes, to appear before the Parliament of Britany. I was put on Horseback, bound hand and foot, but the shaking of the Horse causing my Arms to swell, the Manacles proved then too little, and I felt then a most exquisite pain. An Advocate of the Parliament, who travelled the same Road, pitying my condition, desired those who were appointed to conduct me to take off the Manacles, but had much ado to persuade them to it. I was then considerably eased, but it was impossible for me to hold a Pen to write in a fortnights time.

Some days after my arrival at Rennes I appeared before the great Chamber, and was commanded to hold up my hand, and swear to answer truly and directly to the Interrogatories which should be made unto me. They asked me first my Name and Profession, and then why I had settled my self in a foreign Country, contrary to the Kings orders. I own I was then struck with such a terror that I could hardly speak, but they bid me to be assured, and to answer the questions that were put to me. This having revived me, I told them, I had left my Native Country, because Jesus Christ the King of Kings, commanded me to fly from that Country, where I could not enjoy the Liberty of Conscience, and retire into another.

The first President told me, that Persecution was a great evil; but added, that I was not to be ignorant that St Paul commands to obey Kings not only in temporal things, but likewise for Conscience. I replied, that likely St Paul did not understand that passage in the sense of his Lordship; for if he did so, My Lord, said I to the President, Why did he not obey Nero?

He asked me afterwards whether I had fired upon the Kings Subjects, but understanding that my Ship had no Guns, nor any other offensive Arms, he asked me whether I would have fired upon them if I had been in a capacity to do it? I replied, that it was natural for a man to defend his Estate and Goods; whereupon he interrupted me, in these words, it is a great misfortune for you to be born in that Religion, and that the Holy Ghost has not enlightened you, withdraw. I was remanded to the Prison, and two hours after the Attorney General came to tell me, that if I would change my Religion I should have my Pardon, and that they would help me to a good employment at Brest. I gave him the same answer I had given to the Kings Attorney at St Milo, viz. that I was ready to lose my life, rather than renounce my Religion, whereupon he went away, commanding to put me to the Chain with some other Galley Slaves.

It was on the 3d of April, 1693. that I was tied to the great Chain with 59 other Slaves, which were condemned to that dreadful Punishment, some for desertion, others for defrauding the King’s Duties upon Salt, and others for horrid Crimes, as Robbery, Murder, and 4 for Rapes. It rained almost all that month, so that we could hardly Travel 5 Leagues a day, and when we arrived at night in any Village or Town to lye, they put us as so many Beasts, in Stables, where, though always wet and dirty, we often wanted Straw to lie upon. We had three pence half-penny a day for our nourishment, but it often happened that we could find no Bread for our Money in those Villages where we were obliged to lie upon the Road. When they put us in these Stables, they fastened both ends of the Chain to the Walls, so that we had only the liberty to lie down, but not to stir at all.

That hard fatigue and the coldness of the Water threw me into a Bloody Flux, and being unable to walk, I gave forty Livres to our Captain to obtain the liberty to be carried in a Cart: Happy to have found a man, whose Cruelty could be melted with Money!

As we went through all the Capital Cities of the Provinces that lye between Brest and Marseilles, our number encreased apace, for we took above 60 other Slaves at Saumur and Angers, condemned for various crimes. We recruited also at Tours, Bourges and Lyons, insomuch that we were upward of 150 men when we arrived. It is indeed a horrid Spectacle to see such a number of men fastned to a Chain, and exposed to so many miseries, that Death is not so hard by half as this punishment.

We arrived at Marseilles on the 10th of May, and about the same time arrived also 800 other Slaves from several parts of that Kingdom. We were divided into 40 Lots, and I and several others were sent on board the Magnanimous, commanded by Monsieur de Soisan. There were on board that Galley six persons upon account of their Religion, and amongst them there were three very timorous and fearful, who sometimes had the weakness to comply in some manner with the Idolaters of the Mystical Babylon. God was pleased to send me thither to encourage them, and my example and exhortations wrought such an impression upon them, that they resolved to glorifie the name of their Saviour openly, and without any disguise. One of them told the first Lieutenant of the Galley, with a Christian courage and resolution, that he had indeed been so unhappy as to faint under the weight of the Persecution, but that he begged Gods Pardon for that Crime, and that he abhorred the Idolatry of the Church of Rome. They told him in my hearing, that they should make him expire under beating, but he answer∣ed, that by the grace of God he was ready to dye. This was enough to kindle the fury of the Captain of the Galley against me, who complained, that since I was arrived, that man had discontinued to do his duty, to use his own phrase, for so they speak of such who have the weakness to go to Mass, &c. This incensed them so much against me, that they resolved to treat me with a greater severity than the rest of the Slaves, and loaded me with two Chains, whereas the others had but one.

There happened some time after another thing, which considerably increased their rage. A Roman Catholic Slave on board the Warlike, for having deserted the Kings service, observing that the Officers used more severity on Mr Carrieres than any others, and understanding he was there only for refusing to change his Religion, had the curiosity to know from him what was the Religion he maintained with so much constancy and magnanimity. That faithful Confessor explained to him the Principles thereof, and gave him a New Testament translated by Father Amelote. I was informed thereof, and writ to him some Letters to encourage him to go on with the examination of our Religion; to which he applied himself with so much sincerity, that upon Easier-day next following he refused to worship the Host; and had the courage to declare to his Captain, that he would never own himself any more a Roman Catholic. They loaded him with two Chains, and used him with a most barbarous severity. They searched immediately his Pockets, and having found therein some of my Letters, my Persecutors were enraged against me, and made me sufficiently fear the effects of their Fury. Their barbarous usage did not fright our new Proselyte into any compliance; for God has so strengthened him, that for these five years since he has been, and is still, a most Glorious Confessor of his name.

When my Enemies saw that their Chains and other Hardships wrought no impression upon me, they writ to Court that I spoke English, and was perpetually a writing. This reason was sufficient for them to obtain an order to transfer me from the Galleys into the Prisons of the Citadel of Marseilles; but before I speak of the cruelties they exercised upon me, I think it may not be improper to give a short account of the hardships the Slaves are exposed to.

They are 5 upon every form [chiourme, i.e. bench], fettered with a heavy Chain, which is about ten or twelve foot long They shave their heads from time to time, as a sign of their Slavery, and they are not allowed to wear any Hats or Periwigs, but the King allows them every year a Cap, with two Shirts, two pair of Drawers of the coarsest Linen, a sort of upper Coat of a reddish Stuff, and a Capot; but it is to be observed, that they have of late but one Coat and Capot every two years, and two pair of Stockings every year. They have only Beans, and nothing else for their food, with about 14 ounces of course Bread a day, and ne’er a drop of Wine whilst they are in Port. They are devoured in Winter by Lice, and in Summer by Bugs and Flees, and forced to lye one upon another as Hogs in a Stie. I shall not take notice in this place of the barbarity they are used with by the Officers of the Galleys, which is beyond imagination. The Protestants are obnoxious to all these miseries, and a great many others besides. They are not allowed to receive any money from their Friends and Relations, unless it be very privately; they are every day threatened and tormented by Priests and Fryers, who, being unable to convince them by reasons, think that severity alone can do it. To this I must add the trouble and vexation a Christian Soul is afflicted with, to live with wicked and desperate fellows, who never use the tremendous name of God, but for cursing and swearing.

On the 3d of May in the year 1694, orders came from Court to transfer me into the Prison of the Citadel, and I was put into the same Dungeon wherein Monsieur Laubonniere, one of our most illustrious Confessors dyed seven months before. I was forced to lye upon the Stones, for I could not obtain for a year together any Bed, nor even Straw to lye upon. There was a strict order to suffer no body to speak to me, nor me to write to anybody, and the Aid Major came every night to search my Pockets, when he had taken his round. Though my condition was as miserable as possible, no body took pity on me, and the Victuals they gave me was hardly sufficient to keep me alive. In the meantime God, out of his infinite Love afforded me such comforts, that I little regarded the miseries I was reduced to. I remained there about a year without seeing any body; but about that time the Director of Conscience of the then Governor came to see me, as they were bringing me my Dinner. He had hardly looked upon me, but he cried out, Lord, in what condition are you, Sir! I replied, Sir, don’t pity me, for could you but see the secret pleasures my heart experiences, you would think me too happy. He told me, that the greatest sufferings did not entitle a man to the Glory of Martyrdom, unless he was so happy as to suffer for Truth and Justice; which I granted him, but told him withal, that the Holy Ghost had sealed that truth in my heart, and that very thought was my comfort in all my afflictions. That Priest taking his leave of me, he wished that God would multiply his Grace on me; and sent me a Straw-bed to lie upon. I continued 22 months in that Prison, without changing any Cloths, my Beard being as long as the hair of my head, and my face as pale as Plaster. There was just under me a generous Confessor, whom they had so much tormented, that they had turned his Brains, but having some good intervals, had always reason enough to refuse to comply with their desires; he asked me one morning with a loud voice, how I did? This was immediately reported to the Governors, whereupon I was immediately removed into another Prison, where I continued very little, because of my singing of Psalms, though I sung with a very low voice, that I might disturb no body. I was put on the 20th of May 1696. in a subterraneous Hole, wherein I remained till the 1st of July next following, that I was sent, together with the distracted person I have named, by express order from the Court to the Castle of If, about five miles from Marseilles, in the mouth of the Harbor. They had likewise five weeks before sent thither five other persons, from the same Citadel. We were all at first in different Prisons, but as five Sentinels were required to keep us, they obtained leave from the Court to put us together in a secure place, so that on the 20th of August I and the poor Gentleman I have spoken of, were put in a Hole, and the other three in another. The place was so disposed, that we were obliged to go down a Ladder into a dry Ditch, and then go up by the same Ladder into an old Tower through a Cannon hole. The Vault or Arch wherein we were put was as dark, as if there had been no manner of light in Heaven, stinking, and so miserable dirty, that I verily believe, there is not a more dismal place in the world. We might have received some Money to help us in this great distress, but they would not suffer it, so that all our senses were attacked at once; sight by darkness, taste by hunger, smell by the stench of the place, feeling by Lice and other vermin, and hearing by the horrid blasphemies and cursing, which the Soldiers, who were obliged to bring us some Victuals, vomited against God and our Holy Religion. The Missionaries, who flattered themselves that we could not resist much longer, were almost enraged, when they saw our firm resolution to dye in the profession of our Religion, and therefore began to talk of nothing else but of the Judgments of God; and thereupon I could not forbear one day to tell them, that the Judgments of God were upon them, for he suffered them to fill the measures of their Crimes, in insulting over us in our miseries, but that God was just, and would not fail to avenge us, and punish them according to their demerits.

Having continued 6 months in that Pit, my fellow sufferer happening to dye, I was removed into the other with the other 3 Confessors. As that poor man was in his agony, he heard some of the Soldiers say, that it was necessary to send for the Chaplain, but he made a sign with his hand, to testify his aversion to it, and so gave up the Ghost unto the Lord.

We continued all four in the other Pit for some time, without seeing any light at all, but at last they gave us leave to have a Lamp while we eat our Victuals. The place being very damp, our Cloths were rotten by this time; but God was pleased to have mercy upon me, miserable sinner, and of another of my fellow sufferers; for on the 3d of July the Lord broke our Fetters, the Right Honorable the Earl of Portland, then Extraordinary Ambassador to the Court of France, having reclaimed us in his Majesty’s name. We left two of our Companions in that dreadful Pit, and about 370 others on board the Galleys, where they glorify the name of God with an unparalleled Courage and Constancy.

This is the short, but sincere account of my sufferings, which I have written at the request of several eminent persons, as a means to comfort and rejoice in the Lord the Faithful Servants of Jesus Christ, and confound the Emissaries of Satan, who would fain make the world believe that there is no persecution in France.

And now, Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me bless his only name, and forget not his benefits. I love the Lord because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of Death compassed me, and the pains of hell got hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple, I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from Death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living. I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted. I said in my haste, All men are liars. What shall I render unto the Lord, for all his benefits towards me? I will take the Cup of Salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord, now in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of his saints. O Lord, truly I am thy servant, I am thy servant, and the son of thy handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord, now in the presence of all his people. In the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord.