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Hakluyt, Richard. "The Worthy Enterprise of John Fox".


- this is a chapter from Hakluyt's instructive adventurous book Voyager's Tales

- the story emphasizes valiancy and above all religious devotion of the Englishmen


English merchants on board of the Three Half Moons bound to Spain are attacked by Turks. The ship's owner appeals to the valiant men on board, assuring them that God is on their side. A mass prayer follows. There is a fight, the description emphasizes the superior valiancy of the Christians. The number of the Turks however overweights ten times the number of the Christians, and the Turks win, sending the captured Christians to the galleys in Alexandria.

One of the slaves, John Fox, wins due to his cleverness more liberty. During the thirteen or fourteen years of his serving in the galleys, he never ceases to pray for delivery. He plans to escape together with several trustworthy fellow-slaves. He finds an ancient sword, his fellows equip themselves with what weapons they can get, too. In the night of the escape Fox kills the galley keeper with his sword for his being a bloodsucker of Christian blood. Fox and his fellows defeat the warders of the gate and get better weapons. Fox's companions steal from the treasure they find but he himself does not touch it.

Fox calls the other slaves to set them free. He is not once hurt, but the those carrying the wicked treasure are killed. Alexandria and a fort nearby are summoned against the Christians' rising. Parallels to the Bible are developed: Israelites and their way through the Red Sea, Daniel and the lion, the undestroyable walls of Jericho, etc. All of the parallels mentioned concern the cases when Almighty God saved His elect.

Also this time the Christians are delivered and manage to get on board of a ship. They pass also the most difficult of God's tests when their ship escapes from the reach of Turkish cannons. In this, Christian God proves Himself to be the only living God. Turkish god fails to help the Turks, their god is also to blame for suffering such a behaviour of them. Fox summons the Christians on board for a mass prayer.

The ship suffers from contrary winds, lack of victuals, and famine. But unlike the Israelites, the delivered men do not murmur against God. After about a month they are rewarded for their patience and land at the island of Candia, Gallipoli. Fox's sword is kept as a precious monument. They sold their ship and each man gets his share. John Fox is rewarded by the Pope and becomes a recognized and respectable man.


  • Author

    Hakluyt, Richard. (ca. 1552 - 1616).
  • Full Title

    "The Worthy Enterprise of John Fox, an Englishman, in Delivering 266 Christians out of the Captivity of the Turks at Alexandria, the 3rd of January, 1577."
  • First Published

    In: Voyager's Tales.
  • Form


Works Cited

Hakluyt, Richard. "The Worthy Enterprise of John Fox". In: Voyager's Tales. Teddington: The Echo Library, 2006.


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