The History of Leith

May 18, 2013

Special collections for ransoming sailors

15 Agust 1644.—The Sessione hath condescendit
that money should be borrowit for ye
releise of Archbald Waker and Alexr Guidall
and ye Sessione sail give band for ye same to
releise them from among ye Turks in Argeir
with yis provision that Andro Brysone merohand
in Edr who releived them give his back band to
reduce ye money in caise they com not to
Christian shore as also if he bear ye risk
of ye sea.
(Note.—It was not uncommon to take special
collections for ransoming sailors captured by pirates,
but in the case of these two men the Session were
willing to borrow money for their ransom on this
prudent condition, however, that the lender took the
risks of the sea. In days when Scottish ships sailed
from Leith to Portugal and the Levant with their
cargoes of wool and dried salmon and herring, they were
often pounced upon by pirates, who sold their crews
into slavery in Algiers and Barbary. Some were
ransomed and some escaped bearing on their bodies
the marks of brutal usage. For such the church
readily extended her charity in donations which
revealed their poverty oftener than their generosity.)

Source-South Leith Records

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