Tag Archives: Transcript

Transcript: Edward Webbe



This is the transcript of my episode on Edward Webbe, Elizabethan merchant, adventurer, master gunner, and, perhaps, liar. You can listen to the episode here or through the usual podcast services.

Welcome to Human Circus. Today, we open a new book, and we begin a new journey. Actually, we’ll end a new journey too. This isn’t going to be a repeat of the Dallam series, with the conclusion getting further and further away, the longer we go. Today, it’s a stand-alone episode.

Let’s start at the title page. There, we read: “The Rare and most wonderful things which Edward Webbe an Englishman borne, hath seen and passed in his troublesome travels, in the cities of Jerusalem, Damascus, Bethlehem, and Galilee; and in the lands of Jewry, Egypt, Grecia, Russia, and in the land of Prester John. Wherein is set forth his extreme slavery sustained many years together, in the galleys and in the wars of the great Turk against the lands of Persia, Tartaria, Spain, and Portugal, with the manner of his releasement, and coming into England in May last.” We’ve definitely lost something in the way we describe our books since then.

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Thomas Dallam 5 – Transcript



This is the transcript of episode 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 back to Human Circus, and welcome back to my series on the life and times of Thomas Dallam, with the emphasis thus far squarely on the times and the life aspect rather lacking. Today, in exciting news, Dallam has arrived. At last, he will leave London for the court of the sultan, Mehmed III, and we’ll be talking about it. If this is your first time listening to the podcast, you won’t know why this is so exciting for me, but you see, I initially picked out Dallam’s story as an interesting one to cover back when I was talking about Schiltberger and Timur. I thought this would make a nice one or two parter, a man sails to Constantinople with an organ, quick and easy. Further reading on the subject led to what was basically a six episode prequel, on Elizabethan engagement with the Islamic world and on how those worlds were not so distinct as we might imagine, a story within the story of 16th-century globalization you could say. But now it’s Dallam time; there’ll be sailing and piracy and the sight of new lands. First though, let’s recap.

Continue reading Thomas Dallam 5 – Transcript


Thomas Dallam 4 – Transcript



This is the transcript of episode 4 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.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to my series on English organ-builder Thomas Dallam which has developed into a series on Elizabethan England’s diplomatic engagements with the Islamic world, to be concluded with Dallam’s story. Last episode, we talked about England’s first ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, William Harborne. We saw the evolution of his position from “so called merchant” to official appointee and his struggles with rival diplomatic representatives, particularly the French and Venetians who he described as “subtle, malicious, and dissembling people.” We saw some of the difficulties he faced such as palace infighting and piracy, and how the latter a problem whether it was committed by or against the English. We saw him try to push Walsingham’s program, a united Anglo-Ottoman fleet against the Spanish naval threat. We saw him headed home at the end of his term, in August of 1588, successful enough in his work but worn out and underpaid, a pretty relatable figure really. And I told you he was replaced by his young secretary Edward Barton, a well-liked man who will show himself to be resourceful, bold, and not above a little underhandedness where necessary. Today, we’ll be tracing Edward Barton’s time in the sublime port of Constantinople, a time which saw him struggle due to his unofficial position, navigate the death of a sultan, and eventually go to war alongside the Ottomans in campaign against a Christian foe.

Once again, if you enjoy the episode, please keep listening after it’s done for ways to help me out with it.  

Let’s talk first about the circumstances as Barton stepped up and into his new job. Specifically, let’s talk about at his employers.

Continue reading Thomas Dallam 4 – Transcript


Thomas Dallam 3 – Transcript



This is the transcript of episode 3 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.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to my ongoing exploration of Elizabethan English trade with Islamic powers, and my ongoing attempt to get to the story of Thomas Dallam, the man I’m going to be talking about pretty soon now.

If you have a question, comment, or complaint, you can reach me at circus_human on twitter or by email at humancircuspod@gmail.com, no spaces, en dashes or em dashes. The website is human_circus.blubrry.com. Finally, if you feel compelled to help keep the podcast afloat, please keep listening at the end of the episode, and I’ll tell you how you can.

Last full-length episode, we talked about England’s developing friendship with Saadian Morocco under Al-Malik and Al-Monsur, and I mentioned at the end that there was at the same time an association building between England and the Ottoman Empire. When we last looked in on the state of Anglo-Ottoman diplomacy in the episode about Jenkinson’s visit to Safavid Persia, we saw Ottoman Sultan Suleyman interceding against English traders. Things had to change quite significantly for that relationship to reach the exchanging of gifts stage, and it’s the later developments of that change that we’ll be talking about here, largely through a look at the efforts of a single English representative in Constantinople, a man named William Harborne.

Continue reading Thomas Dallam 3 – Transcript