Bourne Archive: Bourne People: Job Hartop’sHartop.htm                       Latest edit 22 Jul 2010

Web page © R.J.PENHEY 2007

The Bourne Archive.

Fuller’s Biographies: Job Hartop.

Nuttall’s edition of 1840, of Thomas Fuller’s, Worthies of England . Volume Two (pp. 284-5): Worthies of Lincolnshire: Seamen, may be found in Google Books.


Job Hartop was (as he himself* affirmeth) born at Bourn in this county [Lincolnshire], and went anno 1568 (early days, I assure you, for the English in those parts) with Sir John Hawkins, his general, to make discoveries in New Spain. This Job was chief gunner in her majesty’s ship called the Jesus of Lubec, being the queen’s by no other title but as hired for her money, who in the beginning of her reign, before her navy-royal was erected, had her ships from the Hans-towns 1.

Long and dangerous was his journey; eight of his men at Cape-Verd 2 being killed, and the general wounded with poisoned arrows, but was cured by a negro 3 drawing out the poison with a clove of garlic,† enough to make nice noses dispense with the valiant smell for the sanative virtue thereof.

 He wrote a treatise of his voyage; and is the first I met with, who mentioneth that strange tree, which may be termed the tree of food, affording a liquor which is both meat and drink; the tree of raiment, yielding needles wherewith, and thread whereof, mantles are made; the tree of harbour, tiles to cover houses, being made out of the solid parts thereof; so that it beareth a self-sufficiency for man’s maintenance.

Job was his name, and patience was with him 4; so that he may pass amongst the Confessors of this county; for, being with some other by his general, for want of provisions, left on land, after many miseries they came to Mexico, and he continued a prisoner twenty-three years, viz. two years in Mexico, one year in the Contraction-house in Seville, another in the Inquisition-house in Triana, twelve years in the galleys, four years (with the Cross of St. Andrew on his back) in the Everlasting-Prison, and three years a drudge to Hernando de Soria 5; to so high a sum did the inventory of his sufferings amount.

So much of his patience. Now see “the end which the Lord made with him.” Whilst enslaved to the aforesaid Hernando, he was sent to sea in a Flemish 6, which was afterwards taken by an English ship, called the Galeon Dudley 7; and so was he safely landed at Portsmouth, December the second, 1590; and, I believe, lived not long after.

* In his Travels, inserted in Hackluit’s Voyages, last Part. P. 487.

† Idem, ibidem.

RJP’s Footnotes

1. ^     Ports of the Hanseatic League, of which Lubeck was a prominent member.

2.        The point best known as Cape Verde (green headland) is at the western extremity of Africa. This fits the pattern of the voyage, since Hawkins and his crew were trading as slavers. Cape Verde is now part of Dakar, Senegal. By following the coast in this Satellite photograph northwards, it is easy to see that when the first Portuguese navigators were coasting southwards, after a long, sandy and rocky desert coast, with its salt lakes, the cape impressed them with a sudden change to green vegetation.

3.        This was originally a Portuguese word for black. In English, it was used to describe someone whose parentage was from Africa, south of the Sahara. The use of the word is now disliked but for Fuller, it would have had no such connotations beyond foreignness. Everyone’s foreigner is by definition, exotic or strange. True, the Africans in the ship were mainly or all, slaves but so was Hartop in his next ship, where he was the foreigner. Where it exists, the idea of kindness towards foreigners without leverage, is a modern one. With respect to slavery, it has developed since around 1800, well after Fuller was writing. This note is not a comment on the morality of a way of thinking; merely an attempt to neutrally describe the way things were.

4.        The biblical Job is mentioned several times in the Old Testament, notably in the Book of Job. His patience is referred to in the Epistle of James, Chapter V: 11.

5.        He presumably came from Soria, which is now in the Community of Castile and León, in central-northern Spain.

6.        A ship from the Spanish Netherlands.

7.        Dudley will have come from the name of the Dudley family, most likely, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Just possibly, it might come directly from Dudley, in Worcestershire , now West Midlands.

For a much fuller account of the voyage, see (DNB enter ‘Sir John Hawkins’ then select the ‘merchant and naval commander’). The relevant voyage is the third one.

A further description of the third voyage is available on Paul Welbank’s site.

Two other versions of Hartop’s story are available: Marrat’s and Swift’s.


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