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Marsh (Elizabeth) Narrative of her Captivity in Barbary [...et al.]
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This bound manuscript contains two separate narratives. Narrative of her Captivity in Barbary, a draft of the earliest Barbary captivity narrative to be published by an Englishwoman, details Elizabeth Marsh's 1756 capture by pirates. The second piece, Journal of a Voyage by Sea from Calcutta to Madras, and of a Journey from thence back to Dacca, written considerably later circa 1775, describes her travels around India.
Elizabeth Marsh, a middle-class Englishwoman, was born in 1735 to a naval dockyard manager and his wife. She was living with her parents in Minorca when the start of the Seven Years' War in 1756 forced the family to relocate to Gibraltar. On a sailing voyage to visit friends in England, her ship was attacked by corsairs. Marsh, along with the other passengers and sailors, was taken captive and sent to Sallee (Salé) and then Marrakesh (Marrakech), Morocco. Her sufferings were politically motivated; the soon-to-be sultan, Sidi Mohammed, had responded to the insulting behavior of an envoy of the British government with a wave of aggressive captive-taking. Marsh was ransomed by the British government after several months, and returned safely to Gibraltar.
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