Skip to main content

'Lista di Schiavi di non Ricatto, buoni al' Remo, et da potersi vendere she sono in Pisa' [List of unredeemed slaves, good for galley service or to be sold, who are now in Pisa]. Endorsed 'nota schiavi'.

 Single Item
MS. 12750

  • Request

A list of 47 named individuals captured at sea, probably by ships of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and of the Order of Saint Stephen, a Tuscan military order founded in 1561 by Cosimo I de' Medici, 1st Grand Duke of Tuscany. The document is written on a bifolium, probably in or very shortly after 1608, the latest date given in the list. There are numbers prefixed to most of the names. It is not clear what this represents as they are not sequential and range between 4 and 300. They may cross refer to an inventory or register. The captives all appear to have Muslim names, and originate from the Eastern Mediterranean or North Africa. The types of ships on which they had served are sometimes noted, and the approximate age of the individual is also recorded, together with the year they were taken in most cases, the date of capture mainly ranging from 1602 to 1608. One 'Alansur Rais' [Captain Alansur] appears to have been taken twenty years before the date of the document, i.e. c 1588-9.


  • Creation: c 1608


2 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Italian

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark, e.g. MS. 12750].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.


MS. 12750

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12750


List of unredeemed slaves, good for galley service or to be sold, who are now in Pisa, c 1608

Biographical / Historical

The fleet of the Grand Duke of Tuscany was involved in several actions off the North African coast in the early 17th century. The Order of St Stephen was dedicated to fighting the Ottomans and pirates in the Mediterranean. Both the Ducal fleet and that of the Order sometimes formed parts of larger fleets in alliance with Spain, the Papacy and the Knights of Malta. Several of the captives listed in the document were from 'Bona' (Bone or Annaba, now in Algeria). Annaba was a seat of the Barbary pirates, and in 1607 was attacked by the Order of St Stephen who carried off 1500 captives. One of the captives appears to have been taken at Bona ('Abdela di Mansur di Bona ... preso a Bona'). Sometimes the name of the ship that took the captives is recorded, such as 'Giafer di Abdela d'Aleppo ... preso col' Galeon' Livorno'. Often two or more individuals were taken from the same ship, as for example six persons taken from 'un' Caramussale' [caramoussal obsolete: a Turkish and Moorish ship of burden, noted in the 17th cent. - OED]. Many were taken 'alla Ja'', one 'sopra la Ja'', and one 'vicino della Ja'' (near la Ja'), in 1608. Since one captive was from la Ja', this presumably refers to a place, probably in North Africa. Three brothers (Hadar', Aidar' and Ali di Faraatt') were captured there. A marginal note next to three individuals also captured there records 'questi tre si vogliano tagliare' (literally, 'these three wish to cut).Two entries mention 'Cavaliere Guadagni' as the captor at la Ja. The Guadagnis were a Florentine family, and according to an online history of the Guadagni family (at, accessed 09/12/2021) Guglielmo Guadagni was commander of the Grand Duke of Tuscany's galleons, and led an attack on the fortress of Laja in 1608. This history also records that Guadagni was promoted to 'General of the Galleys of the Grand Duke of Tuscany' in 1607 as a reward for his successful expedition against Bona.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Purchased, Bloomsbury Auctions, Dec 2017

Catalogue of a list of unredeemed slaves, good for galley service or to be sold, who are now in Pisa, c 1608 CMD ID 12750
Finding aid prepared by Mike Webb
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom