Bourne Archive: People: Job Hartop
http://boar.org.uk/abiwxo1Swift’sHartop.htm Latest edit 22 Jul 2010
Web page © R.J.PENHEY 2007
The Bourne Archive.
Swift’s Biographies: Job Hartop.
From John Swift’s
Bourne and People Associated with Bourne.
(pp. 32 – 33)
apparently being of an adventurous disposition, and becoming tired of the
monotony of life in Bourne, left our old town in the year 1568.
Arriving at the seaport of Bristol, he found a ship
there called the Jesus, commanded by that great seaman Sir John Hawkins, one of
the eminent commanders of that great period. He at once took service in this
ship, and sailed with it. First to the coast of Africa, where they loaded the
vessel with negroes, took them to America and sold them. They then
sailed along the American coast, picking up now and then a Spanish ship and
taking possession of its cargo. They then sometimes landed on the coast,
surprising and looting small Spanish settlements, or raiding Indian villages.
In one of these raids, their leader John Hawkins, was
wounded by an Indian poisoned arrow, and they were very much afraid they would
lose him, but a negro who was with them, being used to these poisoned weapons,
managed to extract the poison and the great commander’s life was spared. One
day through some misunderstanding, Job Hartopp, our
Bourne man, and a few of his comrades got left on the shore, and the Jesus
sailed away without them, leaving them in the country of their enemies. They
hid themselves in the forest, and then wandered into the interior, concealing themselves and hiding from the Indians, whom they knew would
have no mercy on them. They forded or swam rivers, living on fish or fruit.
After many months of this life, being thoroughly depressed, tired out, their
powder and shot spent, they decided to surrender themselves to the Spaniards,
and hoped thy would have pity on them. But they soon found they had made a big
mistake. The Spanish had no pity for the hated Englishmen; the wicked heretics
must receive no mercy. They were sent to work on the plantations as slaves, or
as oarsmen on the Spanish ships. Job Hartopp was sent
on a galleon and worked at the oars for 12 years. Chained to a bench, he was
hardly ever allowed to go on land, and then only as a prisoner chained to
another slave. After 12 years at the oars he was taken into the Spanish
governor’s house, where he worked as a drudge, doing all the
mean and base work of the establishment. Fortunately for him, a Flemish ship
called at their port, and being short handed, asked for some men. The governor1, knowing Job was a sailor, gave
him to the captain, and so once more he went to sea. On the voyage home they
were pursued by an English ship which followed them for many leagues, caught
them, and summoned the Flemish ship to haul down its flag. Job Hartopp making himself known to the Captain, was taken on
board the English ship, and in a few weeks was safely landed by the Dudley at
Portsmouth, very glad after all his troubles and trials, to make his way to the
old town of Bourne again.
Marrat, following Fuller, gives
him the name ‘Hernando de Soria’.
See also, William Marrat’s version
of this story. The two versions are broadly parallel but Swift gives more
detail. Unfortunately, his version reads as though he has inserted some of this
the detail from his imagination, to make for easier reading. The broader story
of Hawkins’ third voyage is covered by the Dictionary of National Biography
article. (See DNB: enter
‘Sir John Hawkins’ then select the ‘merchant and naval commander’). The
relevant voyage is the third one.
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