This is the transcript of episode 2.5 of my podcast series on, and leading up to, Thomas Dallam, the Elizabethan organ builder who sailed to Constantinople with a gift for the Sultan. You can listen to the episode here or through the usual podcast services.
Welcome to the first Human Circus Mini-episode. The idea here is to cover events, themes, ideas, or people that don’t quite fit into the main series for one reason or another, and to do it in shorter, more focused episodes than I do with the full lengths, so that’ll probably usually look like 15-20 minutes, but we’ll see how it goes here. If you have any comment, questions, or suggestions you would like to send my way, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on twitter @circus_human. The website is human_circus.blubrry.com. Finally, if you are enjoying the show, if it brings you at least as much joy as a single mediocre coffee in a month, then you can let me know, and help keep the podcast sustainable, by donating to my coffee page at ko-fi.com/A7071B1K, and you can find that link on the website. Now, let’s get to late 16th century Portugal.
Girolamo Conestaggio once wrote of King Sebastian of Portugal, that he, “young and unskilled, guided by some sinister star, or by that divine permission which would punish this people, went into Africa, to a dangerous (although glorious) enterprise, leaving the realm emptied of money, naked of nobility, without heirs, and in the hands of ill-affected governors.”
Sebastian was bound for the Battle of the Three Kings. We talked briefly about the outcome last episode, how Elizabeth took a certain amount of blame for it, how it would result in al-Mansur on the Moroccan throne and Philip of Spain on the Portuguese one, but I want to take the opportunity here to cover the event in more detail. We’re joining the story as King Sebastian prepared to invade Morocco.