The Battle of Alcazar: An Account of the Defeat of Don Sebastian of Portugal at El-Ksar El-Kebir

By E. W. Bovill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
Lisbon

T HE VERY SMALL PARTY of followers who remained faithful to Mulai Mohammed during his flight from the victorious Abd el-Malek included no one of consequence. He still had, however, one powerful adherent who was endeavouring to hold out independently against the new régime. This man was Sidi Abd el-Kerim, kaid of a great part of the kingdom of Fez, including Arzila, Larache and El-Ksar el-Kebir. Having boldly rejected all Abd el-Malek's attempts to win his allegiance he had soon found himself in great peril in face of the latter's growing power and of the defection of most of Mohammed's men. In July 1577 he endeavoured to secure Portuguese protection by offering Sebastian the port of Larache. Before he received an answer to this offer -- for all we know his letter never reached Sebastian -- his situation became so desperate that he fled to Arzila and shut himself up behind its walls. Realising that unaided he had no hope of holding out indefinitely against Abd el-Malek, he appealed to the governor of Tangier, Duarte de Meneses, to come to his aid, promising to cede Arzila to Portugal. The governor at once put to sea with five ships, occupied Arzila in Sebastian's name and sent a brother of Sidi Abd el-Kerim to Lisbon to report the unexpected recovery of a port which John III had abandoned twenty-four years before. The nearness of this old fronteira to the fortress of Tangier and to the coveted port of Larache made its recovery at this juncture very timely and exceedingly welcome to Sebastian. It also greatly encouraged his expectation that the Moors would welcome him into Africa.

Meanwhile Mohammed himself had begun to tire of Portuguese hospitality and close confinement within the narrow walls of Ceuta. Life on that rocky wind-swept promontory was

-74-

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The Battle of Alcazar: An Account of the Defeat of Don Sebastian of Portugal at El-Ksar El-Kebir
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vi
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Chapter I - The Fear of the Moor 1
  • Chapter 2 - Don Sebastian 7
  • Chapter 3 - Mulai Mohammed 19
  • Chapter 4 - The Kingdom of Fez 25
  • Chapter 5 - Mulai Abd El-Malek 36
  • Chapter 6 - Queen Elizabeth's Secret 43
  • Chapter 7 - The Meetinq at Guadalupe 53
  • Chapter 8 - Ways and Means 62
  • Chapter 9 - Lisbon 74
  • Chapter 10 - Africa Invaded 89
  • Chapter 11 - The Road to El-Ksar 100
  • Chapter 12 - On the Plain of El-Ksar 114
  • Chapter 13 - The Battle 127
  • Chapter 14 - Philip I of Portugal 141
  • Chapter 15 - Mulai Ahmed El-Mansur 158
  • Chapter 16 - The Moors Re-Arm 169
  • Chapter 17 - El-Mansur and Elizabeth 175
  • Note on the Contemporary Accounts of The Battle of Alcazar 187
  • Bibliography 189
  • Index 192
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