The XVI century official portrait of the Tudor Queen featured Elizabeth I with her hand on the globe. Behind her, defeated Spanish Armada battle ships were depicted. The invincible Armada “vanished into smoke” – reads one of the English chronicles.
Once poor nation obtained new future looming with wealth, majestic power and treasures. National pride for the English fleet underlay the massive royal propaganda. The new protestant state was ruthless, ambitious and insatiable.
In contrast to the medieval maps on which England was no more than a Northern island, in the XVI century it sprawled to the centre of the world. The map of that time was a mirror of England’s global-scale appetites. Africa, both Americas, Asia, ocean islands – everywhere the borders, ports and strategic points were marked.
Western adventurers – the English called themselves so. Their trade skyrocketed with blooming imports and exports. But the commercial spree was overshadowed by a tremendous threat which could not be predicted. Entire flotillas disappeared after going into the sea.
Chronicles narrate about ships wildly crossing the seas with no identification signs. A horrible story happened on the Southern shore of Ireland. About 100 dwellers of a village disappeared from their homes overnight in 1631. In 1625, 80 fishing sailors were lost from Cornwall.
After the sailors’ disappearance, light was shed on the source of that evil. The menace arose from “Turks”. But the word did not mean the Turkish nationality, it meant the natives of Northern Africa, Berber Muslim pirates who caught people to sell them as slaves in the North of Africa.
From the space for enrichment and expansion, the sea and the ocean turned into a source of horror and fear. Now it was time for the English to feel the reverse side of slavery by themselves.