Prisoner of the Indies - the adventures of Miles Philips as told by Geoffrey Household
by Household, Geoffrey
pub. by Little Brown and Co., Boston, 1967 - - maps on endpapers - isbn none - LCCN = 68-11111 About this book note on pages 204 - 208 - 208 pages.
Household uses various sources, largely Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries pub 1589, by Richard Hakluyt as a primary source to tell the tale of Miles Philips. Philips went to sea in 1567 at age 13 on the Jesus of Lubeck, Robert Barrett, Master and John Hawkins as head of the fleet. He ended up captured at San Juan de Ulna (near Veracruz) in Mexico. He was taken to Mexico City and put to work for a wealthy Spaniard there. Subsequently he ran afoul of the Inquisition (as an English heritic) and managed to get off with 3 years of servitude in a monastery. He then learned the silk weaving trade and eventually escaped through various adventures to Spain on a Spanish merchant ship. From there he narrowly escaped being again apprehended by the Inquisition and managed to ship out on a galley in the Mediterranean and jumped ship in a port where he saw an English merchantman which took him back to England. After boarding and that ship sailing his adventures were not over. They were attacked by a Moorish galley but managed to not only repulse the attack but also capture the galley and free the galley slaves (who rowed the boat, most of whom were Spaniards) to allow them to return to Spain.
Miles Philips was well received by his old friend John Hawkins who was by that time a high government official, and Philips was questioned about Spanish strengths, as it was shortly before the Armada attack on England. (Which happened in 1588.) Miles lived a good full life eventually marrying a Spanish lady and in 1603 wrote a letter to his sons describing his adventures and explaining why he did not get directly involved during the defense against the Armada... fear of capture again...
This book was written and published for the juvenile market. It is fairly well written and introduces the reader into the history of the time in a fair and reasonable... and very readable ... manner. I recommend it for a good light historical read.
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